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Chelle Bliss Books

Blaze eBook

Blaze eBook

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SERIES: Men of Inked Heatwave #4

TROPES & THEMES: Return to Hometown, Opposites Attract, Friends to Lovers, Playboy

Lily Gallo prided herself on her pristine reputation.

A dedicated bookworm.
An awkward goody-two-shoes.
Lover of fiction more than reality.
Jett Michaels had always had a broken moral compass.
A cocky egomaniac.
An unashamed womanizer.
Craving adventure instead of responsibility.
Lily never expected to come face-to-crotch with her old high school crush, and she never dreamed he’d make her an offer she couldn’t refuse. But what was supposed to be a platonic arrangement quickly spiraled out of control.
Can the inexperienced nerdy girl tame the notorious player?
Or will he peel back her pages, exposing the wildcat hidden underneath?


  1. Flame
  2. Burn
  3. Wildfire
  4. Blaze
  5. Ignite
  6. Spark
  7. Ember
  8. Singe
  9. Ashes
  10. Scorch
  11. Torch
  12. Inferno
  13. Cinder
  14. Dare


There’s always a moment in my day when I want to smack someone in the face I’m just about there, but I’m doing my best to hold it together, because today, that someone is my father.

He’s taken me under his wing since I dropped out of college, teaching me everything there is to know about Inked and the piercing of every type of body part imaginable—and even some I never thought possible.

The man is the quintessential helicopter parent, hovering around me every second of the workday and even at home. I thought it was cute when I was a little girl. It didn’t even bother me when I was in high school because the big lug loved me and he showed it.

But now, at twenty-one, it’s old. Really old.

Then there’s the fact that I’m Lily.

The sweet one.

The good girl.

The only person in the family who doesn’t say how I feel, always wanting to keep the peace—or at least, not draw extra attention to myself.

“Dad, I know. You’ve watched me do it hundreds of times already,” I huff, resting my chin in my palm, staring out the front windows of the shop. “I seriously can do this on my own now.”

His eyes widen as he jerks his head back like I’ve slapped him with my words. “I know, sweetheart.” He nods. “I know.”

I know there’s a but in there because there always is. My father doesn’t know how to agree with anyone without adding the big old but, throwing in his opinion whether he’s right or wrong.

“But…” And there it is. Predictable.

I roll my eyes.

“Fine,” he says quickly after he glances down, catching me. “You can do the next client through the door all by yourself.”

I sit up straight, mouth hanging open, because my dad’s never this easy. “Really?”

He taps his finger against the large calendar sitting on the front desk. “It’s a simple nipple piercing in an hour. You could do those in your sleep.”

“At this point, I can do them all in my sleep,” I tell him, pushing his finger out of the way so I can see the other appointments for today. The shop has only been open an hour, but so far, it’s been extremely quiet. The rest of the day is booked, but not overbooked…nothing I can’t handle on my own. “Why don’t you take the day off, take Mom somewhere nice, and let me handle this today?” I bat my eyelashes, begging for him to say yes, because if there’s one thing I know about my dad, he’s a sucker when it comes to me.

He reaches back, rubbing the back of his neck as he glances around the empty waiting room. “I don’t know, Lily. It’s a big step.”

“Everyone’s here.” I motion toward the back area where everyone’s busy setting up or working on their first client of the day. “If I have a problem, I’ll ask Uncle Joe or Anthony. And—” I smile, placing my hand on his chest “—Mom’s off today and the house is empty.”

Barf. I can’t believe I’d stoop so low as to entice my father with an empty house and my mother to get a little space. But times like this call for drastic measures, even if that includes your parents doing the nasty.

Dad’s face brightens. “She’d probably like to grab some lunch.”

“Yeah,” I mutter as he kisses the top of my head, no longer concerned with leaving me alone for the first time ever. “You’ll make her day.”

“Mine too,” he whispers in my hair.

Still gross, but it’s working.

“It’s just easy piercings today. A few nipples, a couple ears, and two belly buttons.”

“Sounds like a blast.” I don’t even try to hide the lack of enthusiasm from my voice. Who knew so many women had their nipples pierced? Not me, but the number is staggering and growing each day.

The front door opens, and I gasp. The man walking inside is like a ghost. Someone I haven’t seen in over five years because he’s been away, serving in the military. Or at least, that’s what I heard from Aunt Suzy.

“Oh my God, Jett!” I screech, pushing out of my father’s arms and running toward the boy I had the biggest crush on as a kid. “You’re alive.”

“Sweetheart,” he says, holding out his arms to me, catching me as I smash into him, almost climbing his body. “Why wouldn’t I be alive?” His laugh is deep, rich, and damn…it’s sexy too.

When he left, he was a boy. One I had a very serious crush on, but I never said a word to anyone. He was the older, cool kid, and I was…not. If it weren’t for Tamara and Gigi, I would’ve eaten lunch in the library, opting for solitude and fiction over the sad reality of my real life.

But Jett was popular. The girls wanted him, and the boys wanted to be him. He always had a cool factor. Something I never, even to this day, could figure out how to get a piece of for myself.

“No.” I laugh, slapping him on the chest when my feet finally touch the floor. “You left, and we never saw you again.” I shrug and snort all at the same time. I grimace and take a step back because, f*ck me, why in the name of God did I have to sound like a little pig when I laughed?

As soon as I peer down at the floor, trying to avoid his haunting gaze, he moves his fingers under my chin, forcing my face upward. “I never had an extended enough leave to stick around town for very long. When I was home, you guys were away at school, getting smarter and prettier, while I was getting my a** kicked.

Oh my God. Oh my God. Did he just say I was prettier?

No. He can’t be talking about me.

He’s just being smooth, Lily.

This is Jett after all, and he’s a world-class flirt.

Of course he’s not talking about me.

Maybe Tamara or Gigi, but not me, because I’m Lily, the nerd and the least cool chick in high school or, hell, the entire city.

“I dropped out,” I blurt, having no filter around him just like back in high school.

Some things never change. That’s why I avoided him back in the day. Any time he was around, I literally had verbal diarrhea, saying the most embarrassing shit I’d ever heard come out of any girl’s mouth when a hot guy was around.

His fingers tighten near my neck as his eyebrows rise. “You what?”

“I dropped out of college,” I whisper like it’s a dirty secret I can’t bear to say any louder, “and moved back home.”

“Jett, Jesus. Look at you, kid,” my dad says, stalking across the room until he’s at our side.

My father’s shadow, along with his outstretched hand, causes Jett to drop his hand away from my face. “Mr. Gallo. You never change. It’s great to see you, sir.” Jett smiles, and I swear to God, the whiteness of his teeth and the sparkle of the sunshine off those babies could light up a room.

My dad shakes hands with Jett, and with his other hand, he totally feels up Jett’s bicep. “The military made a man out of you, son. A real man.”

Jett’s mouth twitches as my father gropes him because the man is obsessed with muscles. Back in the day, Dad was a total meathead and a hotshot fighter. But now, he’s all about his family and Inked.

“Thanks, sir,” Jett tells him.

Dad cranes his neck toward the back as he finally releases his hold on Jett’s ample arms. “Joe, Jett’s here.”

“Jett?” Uncle Joe yells out from the back like he heard his brother wrong, but he didn’t.

He’s here, all right. Live and in the flesh and looking more delicious than ever. There isn’t an ounce of the man that isn’t drop-dead gorgeous. Even his feet are cute, and I hate feet. His face is tanned and covered in the most perfect five-o’clock shadow even though it’s early afternoon.

I stand there, staring at Jett like he’s a celebrity and I’m an awkward fan too starstruck to form words. Jett peers over at me, winking, and I nearly faint.

“Holy f*ck,” Uncle Joe says as soon as he walks into the waiting area at the front of the shop, catching sight of Jett. “It’s been two years since I’ve seen your ugly a**.”

“Uncle, you’re no prettier either, but sure as f*ck are a lot older,” Jett teases him, giving my uncle a quick bro hug.

Uncle Joe holds on to Jett’s shoulder, soaking him in like he’s one of his own kids he hasn’t seen in forever. “Sophia didn’t say you were coming home.”

“I surprised her and Dad this morning.”

“Lily, want to go over the books one more time?” my dad asks, but I shake my head and wave him off, not answering with words. “Or would you rather me stay here all day?”

That’s all he has to say to get me moving. Pretty boy or not, I don’t want my father sticking around here, hovering over me like a rain cloud.

I turn my back, leaving Uncle Joe and Jett to talk as my father goes over the schedule one more time. I sneak a peek at the hottie, pretending to be staring at the books, but I am really watching his hands move and the muscles on his arms as they flex.

“What are you doing here? I don’t have any openings today, but I could probably fit you in.”

“No, Uncle. I didn’t come for some ink, but if I did, I’d only want you to do it.”

“We’re good, Dad. I got it. Now go home and spend time with Mom,” I say, finally turning my attention to my father, trying to push him toward the door.

“If you run into trouble, baby, just call me.” He kisses my cheek and is one step closer to being gone.

“Then what’s up?” Uncle Joe asks Jett.

“I wanted to get pierced.”

My father’s foot stops in midair like someone grabbed the damn meat stick and held him there. He turns, eyeing Jett, with one hand on the door handle.

“Well, Lily’s here.” Uncle Joe ticks his head my way. “Do you know what you want to get?"

Holy sh*t. Holy freaking sh*t. Jett wants to get pierced. That means me. I’m going to pierce the hottest boy in school. The one I daydreamed about on the regular.

Jett smirks, glancing in my direction. “A Prince Albert.”

My eyes widen.

My father’s eyes do not just widen, they almost bug out of his eye sockets. “I’m staying,” he announces, dropping his foot back to the floor and letting go of the door handle.

“Like hell you are,” Uncle Joe says, coming to my rescue. “You were leaving, so leave. Lily can do this. She’s trained and has done them before.”

I blush, thinking about the times I’ve done it with my dad watching over my back while I held a cock in my hand. Talk about awkward. Besides being walked in on while having sex with someone or taking a poop, I can’t imagine anything more embarrassing.

Uncle Joe pitches his thumb over his shoulder. “If she needs help, Anthony’s here or Pike can assist.”

My dad shakes his head. “Jett’s junk is too important to let someone like Lily do it alone.”

I giggle—hearing my dad talk about Jett’s penis just sets me off, and me doing it alone.

“Listen to yourself, man.” Uncle Joe swats my father’s shoulder before pushing him backward. “Don’t worry about Jett’s junk. I know Lily can handle just about anything, including a penis.”

“Lemme die,” I whisper, covering my face with my hands to hide my red cheeks.

“It’s Jett’s penis,” my dad argues, shaking his head.

Uncle Joe crosses his arms, glaring at my father. “And his penis is special because…?”

I peek through my fingers, still too mortified to look anyone in the face, especially Jett, who’s staring right at me.

“Because it’s Jett.” My dad shrugs.

“Get out of here, or else I’m calling Mia and telling her you could’ve spent the day with her but decided to babysit your twenty-one-year-old daughter instead because she had to touch a penis.

Oh my God. I wish everyone would stop saying penis. Especially when they’re talking about Jett’s penis.

My dad throws his hands up. “I’m going, but I want a full report and expect some text messages too.”

“What details do you want?” Uncle Joe sighs, rolling his eyes. “You want to know his length or some shit?”

“I’m out,” Dad says, pushing through the front door, arms flailing around as his mouth moves.

I drop my hands from my face, gawking at the front door as it swishes and my father storms out. I can’t hear him once the door closes, but the string of curse words spilling from his lips before was fierce, creative, and nothing short of profane.

“You got this?” Uncle Joe asks me, ticking his chin toward Jett.

I nod, still mute and embarrassed.

“Good.” He smiles and grabs Jett’s shoulder. “Are you okay with her doing the piercing?”

Jett moves his gaze to me again. “As long as she knows what she’s doing and won’t lead to me getting an amputation, I’m game. How about you, Lily? You up for it?”

“I know how to handle a penis.” I smile, not realizing what the hell I just said and how freaking dirty it sounded.

That’s until Jett’s smile widens, and he winks at me again. What the hell did I say?

I know how to handle a penis? F*ck my life.

When Jett’s around, it’s like my brain disconnects from the rest of my body. This is going to be a long, long day, and it’s barely started.

“Well, she’s your girl.” Uncle Joe ignores my idiotic statement as he moves toward me with a straight face. “Just holler if you kids need help.”

I stand there, gaping at Jett. My mouth is opening and closing like I’m a goldfish out of water, gasping for air.

“Jett?” Gigi’s voice is filled with shock as she stands next to me, gawking at Jett too. “Am I seeing things? Are you really here?”

All I can do is blink. It doesn’t matter that Gigi seemed to come out of nowhere. I never saw or heard her walk into the waiting room. All I can think about is Jett. Jett’s penis. My hands. The needle. Oh my God. I am finally going to see the one body part I’ve dreamed about on this guy but never seen.

“Hey, sweetheart.” He runs his fingers through his beautiful hair, doing the smooth, cool thing he always has.

She’s in his arms a second later, kissing his cheeks frantically. “I didn’t think you’d come back alive.”

Jett moves his head to avoid her kisses. “Stop, Gigi.” He laughs, gripping her arms, trying to put some space between them. “You’re killing me, smalls.”

She swats his chest. “You disappear for years—no letters, no phone calls, nothing. You just vanish into thin air, and now I’m not supposed to kiss you.” She wipes her cheeks like she’s crying and being overdramatic. “You’re like seeing my long-lost brother. I’m getting my kisses before you disappear again.”

Jett’s parents, Sophia and Kayden, have been best friends with Aunt Suzy and Uncle Joe since way before any of us were born. From what I understand, Sophia and Suzy were roommates before she met Uncle Joe. I find it hard to believe because Sophia’s kind of kick-ass and Aunt Suzy…well, she’s more like me.

Jett smiles. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m back for good.”

My heart almost leaps out of my chest with the news. Not that it should matter because it’s not like we’ve ever run in the same circles. And then there’s the fact that he’s Jett and I’m boring Lily.

Gigi slaps Jett’s shoulder and nearly vibrates with excitement. “We have to celebrate, then. Tamara will be home this weekend from school. You game for a little party like old times?”

Like old times. I never had any old times. The parties they went to in high school, I didn’t attend. I stayed home, knowing my dad wasn’t going to let me go anyway, and read books. I studied on weekends or helped my mom at the clinic. I could’ve been the poster child for boring.

Jett looks over Gigi’s shoulder. “Only if Lily’s coming,” he says, staring straight at me.

I blink like I’m in a trance or daydreaming, trying to wrap my head around what he’s saying. Maybe I’m imagining things. Why in the world would the town hottie want me there? I’m about as fun as watching paint dry on the walls. I know it too, and I’ve accepted my blandness.

“She’s totally coming,” Gigi answers for me.

“Maybe she has a date or something,” he says.

Gigi snorts. “Lily doesn’t date.”
“I date.”

I give Gigi the death glare.

“Oh. Okay,” she laughs, rolling her eyes in my direction. “Are you free this weekend?”

I don’t answer right away as I stare at Jett, our eyes locked and my body beginning to overheat. “I think so.” I shrug, trying not to commit to anything in case I chicken out.

Gigi hugs Jett one more time. “We’re doing this, and it’s going to be epic.”

“Yeah,” Jett says as Gigi wraps her arms around him, but his eyes are on me.

“I better start prepping,” I say, stepping backward toward the piercing room. “So much to do.” I smile nervously, feeling the heat of his gaze.

“What are you doing at Inked?” she asks him when I turn my back, almost running away from them.

“I’m getting a Prince Albert.”

Gigi gasps. “No. F*cking. ShIt. Are you shittin’ me?”

“I never joke about my dick, sweetheart.”

Once inside the small room, I close the door, plastering myself against the cool metal for support. I can do this. It’s just a penis. I’ve seen so many at this point, I’ve lost count. What’s another one, right?


Chelle Bliss has dedicated her life to education.She has been a teacher for over ten years and holds a Master of Education degree. Teaching has given her a creative outlet, but she yearned for something more. Writing has given her that, no longer about
just creativity, it became a journey.

Chelle is an avid reader; consuming contemporary romance, dark reads, young adult, and all things erotica. Chelle wanted to create a book filled with characters that readers could relate to with real world problems and matching wallets.

Chelle loves to travel and her favorite cities are New Orleans and Paris. She currently lives in Ohio.


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