Spotlight & Giveaway: Sin and Ink by Naima Simone

Posted October 12th, 2018 by in Blog, Spotlight / 57 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Naima Simone to HJ!

Hi Naima and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Sin and Ink!


Tell us about the book with this fun little challenge using the title of the book:

S is for Sister-in-law
I is for Illicit
N is for Need

A is for Angsty
N is for Naughty
D is for Dirty as in talker.

I is for Ink. I know I cheated, but there weren’t any T’s for tattoos!
N is for Never. As in, he can never have his brother’s widow.
K is for Knox, my ex-MMA-champion-turned-tattoo-shop-owner.

Please share the opening lines of this book:

Several sins could send a man to hell.
Blasphemy. Murder. Idolatry.
Lusting after your dead brother’s wife, especially when you were responsible for his death, might not top blasphemy, but it must be on the list.


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • My cousin is a tattoo artist (almost all of mine are his work!), and I picked his brain for research. He was willing to help, but with one condition. I put him in the book, and he looks like Taye Diggs with dreads. So when you meet Hakim Alston, one of the artists at Hard Knox Ink, now you know how he came to be.
  • Confession. I used to hate first person books. I’d put a book back down if I saw an “I” or “me” instead of “she” or “her” without even giving it a chance. But then I read Kylie Scott’s Lick. It turned me out! Now a couple of years later, I’m a first person fanatic!
  • Knox Gordon, the hero, was originally a burned-out rock star fresh out of rehab.
  • I’m an Oprah fan-girl and wanted to find some way to work Harpo Studios into the book since the story takes place in Chicago. But alas, no go. But there’s always Book 2…
  • My hero, Knox, is an anime addict. So is my son. It’s all he watches. So of course, I tapped him to help me with the anime mentioned in the book. He gave me a crash course, and even started a debate between two of my earlier ARC readers about the most epic Naruto battle. LOL!


Was there a scene in this book that was harder to write than others?

There’s one scene that comes to my mind. On the tail of an emotional moment, Knox and Eden were intimate. Almost immediately after, as the pleasure faded, guilt and grief bombarded her. The last man to touch her had been her dead husband—Knox’s brother. And she hadn’t expected the onslaught of emotion after being with another man. Here’s an excerpt:

Ripples of pleasure ebb through me as I return to myself. The short, heavy rasps escaping me eventually ease to soft pants.

But with the return of sanity comes…more sanity. I shiver, the sweat dotting my chest, throat, and face turning slightly clammy on my skin. The last of the lust-thick haze evaporates, and like mist parting on the dawn of a cold, stark morning, reality greets me. Reality and an overwhelming sense of grief and guilt that almost crushes me to the floor.

No longer can I say that the last man I was intimate with was my husband. I was a virgin when I met Connor. And before that, growing up in a house with an alcoholic who loved to party? When the drinks flowed, so did the unsound decisions. My introduction to sex had been at ten, walking in on my father fucking my mother’s “best friend” on the living room couch, empty bottles of alcohol littering the floor. In contrast, Connor taught me sex could be beautiful between two people who loved each other. He’d been the only man I’d trusted with my body…until now.

Dark, twisted sorrow wraps around my chest like barbed wire, tightening, drawing emotional blood. It feels like I’m snipping another string, another tie that binds Connor to me. And a small part of me screams and rages for picking up the scissors and willingly slicing it.

I hadn’t experienced this sadness when Knox had touched me in the shop the first time. Maybe because it hadn’t gone as far. Maybe because he hadn’t been inside me. Turning me into this sexual, moaning creature I didn’t recognize.

Giving me a cataclysmic, mind-bending orgasm when release had only occurred a handful of times with Connor.

That’s the betrayal.

How dare my body, my mind explode for him—a man I care for, but don’t love—the very first time he’d penetrated my body, when it’d taken over a year of being together before I reached it with the man I adored. And even then, not very often. But there’d been intimacy, affection, commitment, and love between us. Here, with Knox, it’d been purely physical except for a familial love that had just now been conspicuously absent.

A part of me reverts to the devastated, raging widow I’d been right after Connor’s death. And that part resents my body—resents the need that even now stirs as Knox slides his finger free, and my sex clenches around it, already feeling empty and aching to be filled again.

Tears scald my eyes, my head a noisy, confused blender of grief, anger, guilt…and desire.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

I want readers to take away from Sin and Ink the reminder that forgiveness is a choice, and there’s power in making that choice. It’s freeing. And healing.


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: I’d like to give away a $10 Amazon gift card.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: So Sin and Ink is a taboo/forbidden romance. What is your favorite taboo or forbidden romance?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Info:

There’s sin, and then there’s literally going-straight-to-hell sin…

Being in lust with my dead brother’s wife pretty much guarantees that one day I’ll be the devil’s bitch. But Eden Gordon works with me, so it’s getting harder and harder to stay away. I promised my family—and him—I would, though.

My days as an MMA champion are behind me. But whenever I see her, with those wicked curves and soft mouth created for dirty deeds, it’s a knock-down fight to just maintain my distance. “Hard Knox” becomes more than just the name of my tattoo shop. However, surrendering to the forbidden might be worth losing everything…

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo |

Meet the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— writing sizzling romances with a touch of humor and snark.

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |

57 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Sin and Ink by Naima Simone”

  1. Jeanna Massman

    Forgiveness is a blessing for both parties but it is so difficult to give and to receive.

  2. Diana Tidlund

    It is a choice but sometimes you just can’t forgive. Ex was an abusive cheat who was finally arrested for beating me and turning on our 1 1/2 year old . I could deal with what he did to me but the second he turned on my babies all bets were off. That was the day I had him arrested , got a restraining order and filed for a divorce! Best choice I ever made. Got remarried and my second husband adopted my kids . Together 26 years now. Oh and ex lost all rights to the kids

  3. Didi

    While I fully agree on forgiving is freeing and healing, the difficulty lies in forgetting or letting the issue go. But a step taken is better than none at all.

  4. John Smith

    It does sound like there’s some sin and ink in this! Regarding our hero’s love of anime–I really, really like some of it, films like “Metropolis” or a lot of films from the Ghibli Studio, but a lot of it has this strange look that’s mass-produced. I guess I like anime “auteurs.”

  5. Latifa Morrisette

    I definitely struggle with forgiveness. Especially since it was someone close to me and I can hold a grudge for a long time

  6. Jennifer Shiflett

    I have always struggled with forgiveness, but I finally realized that it’s more for my peace of mind than the person I’m forgiving.

  7. lorih824

    I do agree that forgiveness is healing however forgiving doesn’t mean we have to keep subjecting ourselves to whatever the offenses are.

  8. Staci Pope

    I never could reconcile the “forgive & forget” motto. I do believe in forgiveness; however I believe that forgetting leaves the door open for more hurt.

  9. laurieg72

    For me trust is essential to making a friendship or serious relationship work. Once that is broken I may forgive but I wouldn’t go back to a serious relationship or friendship with that person. That’s my choice and that’s what works for me.

    In HS my boyfriend dropped me by starting to date someone else. He didn’t even have the courtesy to tell me to my face. A year later he wanted to get back together. No way. In college my boyfriend and I broke up due to distance. When he transferred to my school a year later he wanted to start over, I had already moved on.

  10. Kim

    Forgiveness is a choice. Sometimes, it’s a choice you have to force yourself to make. Honestly, it can be freeing.

  11. kermitsgirl

    I absolutely agree. There are so few things in life that I feel are completely unforgivable. And sometimes forgiving someone else is more about freeing yourself from the bitterness than the other person.

  12. clickclickmycat

    I have had some bad things happen to me and I will never forgive those people. I just block them out of my mind, and pretend they don’t exist.

  13. Teresa Williams

    Forgiveness is hard and as I get older I find that it is a lot better for your health to forgive and try to foget.

  14. Evelyn

    This book sounds so good! Don’t have a favorite taboo/forbidden romance but I just discovered K Webster.

  15. Joye I

    Forgiveness is something we all should strive to do.
    he book sounds like one I would enjoy reading.

  16. BookLady

    Forgiveness is important because it allows us to move forward with our lives and not waste time on anger, bitterness, or resentment.

  17. Monique D

    I’ve never really thought about forbidden romances/taboos. I read the blurb and decide if I like what I see. And sometimes it’s when I read a fabulous excerpt such as this one. Forgiveness? Yikes! I don’t forgive easily!

  18. flchen1

    Hm… I don’t read many forbidden/taboo romances, but I have a feeling Naima Simone could make me a reader of them! I’ll be adding Sin and Ink to my TBR! As for other authors, I know Delilah Devlin’s written quite a few, include a stepbrother series… Great interview, Naima and Harlequin Junkie!

  19. Glenda M

    I don’t really gravitate towards the typical forbidden romances so I don’t have a favorite .

  20. Natalija

    I don’t read many forbidden romances. The most famous has to be On The Island by Tracey Garvis Graves.

  21. blueeyeleo

    Forgiveness is something we all should strive to do.
    he book sounds like one I would enjoy reading.

  22. Terrill R.

    I think my favorite is teacher/student, but not high school age. I enjoy the professor/graduate student. So, I guess it’s a little lighter on the taboo.

  23. Naima Smione

    I’ve just enjoyed reading all of your replies! And got a few recs in my back pocket too! Heehee! Which is bad considering my hubby just texted me about laying off buying books. LMAO!! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting and adding to the conversation! You guys are awesome!! <3

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