Category Archives: Lauren Blakely

THE THRILL OF IT by LAUREN BLAKELY

the thrill of it

 

SYNOPSIS

A new adult story of Love. Sex. Addiction. Blackmail. And Power…

Some say love can be an addiction. Others say it’s the thing that makes life worth living. Let me tell you everything I know about love…Love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase. A thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman must fight for themselves. At least that’s how it was for me. A high-priced virgin call girl by the time I started college, I was addicted to love and to sex. Even though I’ve never had either. I controlled love, played it, and held the world in the palm of my hands. Then I fell down from those highs, and I’m being blackmailed for all my mistakes, forced to keep secrets from everyone, except the only guy I don’t regret.

Trey…

With all the other women, I knew what they were. They were temporary. They were pills, they were bottles, they took away all the pain, and numbed the awful memories that wore down my ragged, wasted heart. Until I met Harley. She’s the only girl I ever missed when she walked away. But now she’s back in my life, every day, and there are no guarantees for us, especially since I don’t know how to tell her my secrets. What happened to my family. All I know is she’s the closest I’ve ever come to something real, and I want to feel every second of it.

How can you love with no regrets when regret is all you know?

the thrill of it collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

Jenny:  4.0 Stars
Gitte: 2.5 Stars

There’s a first for for everything!!! 
It’s not very often we disagree on a book, but it happened with The Thrill of It.  Here is our review for The Thrill of It with two different opinions

Jenny:  Well, the synopsis of this one certainly piqued my interest from the get go. I mean, how can you be a sex addict and a virgin?  I was intrigued by that statement and had to find out what this was all about.  The first chapter pulled me in and so begun the story of Trey, a sex addict with a penchant for cougars, and cougars with a penchant for Trey. And Harley, a girl with so many walls built up over an unorthodox past wandering aimlessly through life pleasing others at the expense of herself, addicted to the control her situation brings to her and not specifically the sex. Both imperfectly perfect in each other’s eyes, yet so totally unworthy and broken in their own eyes.

“All I hope is that you can someday know that love doesn’t have to be a brutal, bitter, power game. Love can be the ugly beautiful.”

Harley and Trey’s story was certainly different, I found the story somewhat refreshing and I couldn’t stop reading it. I needed to know what brought them to the point where we pick up their story. What could have set these two on such a self-destructive path? Yep, there was so much I needed to know and I was drawn in immediately.  But…..we didn’t agree on this one though did we G?

Gitte: So, now for something completely different guys! Jenny and I can count on one hand the amount of times over the last two years where we have disagreed on a book. We are book soul mates. This will be the first review we’ve done since starting the blog where we’ve disagreed on how we felt over a book. Hmmm, this could be interesting.

Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed this story to a point, it was very well written and flawless in execution, however, the storyline didn’t wow me. I have to say I found the storyline extremely dubious, a virgin who’s never been touched – anywhere, who’s a ‘sex addict’ and a ‘love addict’. Seeing that this is the crux of our heroine’s story I looked the term up and read several articles on this very much disputed concept. Having been interested in the psychology of human behaviour since my degree from university I have to say I just didn’t get it. I understood her patterns of behaviour to a degree, after all it stems from a misplaced sense of control, but I found the storyline grasping at straws to be unique, the straws being very farfetched. Our heroine is a ‘love’ addict, yet she has never really loved anyone nor does she want or understand love, which she states on numerous occasions. Hmmm……

‘Love isn’t a quilt, love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase, a thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman for himself.’ – Harley

Now, yes you can argue that this is fiction so why am I being so harsh? Well, I guess for me when the topic of which a story line is based on is so specific, it needs to be handled with some authenticity and woven into the fictional tale. This is where it fell short for me.

‘I’m a sex addict and a virgin. I know everything about sex and I’ve never done it. I know nothing about love.’ – Harley

I will re-iterate again, I did enjoy it as I needed to see where it went and I love the writing style of this Author, the emotion is definitely there and well executed!!

Jenny: I can absolutely understand where you’re coming from Gitte because as you know,  I’m naturally inquisitive and I did wonder if this was an actual disorder and did question the authenticity of it all. However, I let the story lead me and by the time I questioned it I had become well and truly invested in Trey and Harley’s story.

First we have Harley. Gitte, if I could get hold of her mother I’d give her a bloody good slapping.  Just what was this woman thinking!! What Harley had to cope with! Wow, no child should ever have to witness that!  It made me shudder. Could you think of anything worse? Yuk!  Harley needed love, affection and and nurturing.  What she got was a poor excuse for a friend. One who would disregard her daughter for her own gain.  Harley had very little stability in her life and it was testament to her character she was as beautiful inside as she was outside.

“I am gross. I am disgusting. Miranda is right. I don’t deserve redemption.’ – Harley

Trey gave her a reason to be. He offered her comfort, love and passion. Something this girl never thought she’d receive and I adored watching their relationship develop. Did you want to bitch slap that mother too?

Gitte: I absolutely felt for Harley Jenny, what a life she’s had and she’s only twenty years old. No parent role model, no holds barred at home in regards to morality, respect and discipline, as in there was none.

No Mother or Father figure to aspire to or look up to. You can’t blame the girl for being confused. I was confused. Her mother had a split personality in respect to her career and her life outside it. She was two completely different people. Everyone was so emotionally stunted their behaviour and rationality was skewered and hampered.

‘There is no such thing as real love. There is only agenda. There are only expectations. And if you can remove the sticky mess of feelings from the equation, you’re better off.’ – Harley

Jenny:  Her mother was a nutjob! Then we have Trey. What was his story? The tattoos? The secrecy? The sex and why older women? What sent him on this self-destructive and self-loathing path?  As Trey’s story evolved you really felt for him.

“She’s a girl. And I only know women, and I only know sex. I don’t know what to do with someone who’s not a game, a conquest, a way to numb the pain. With her, I’d have to be myself, to be honest, and truthful, and let her all the way in.” – Trey

Poor Harley and Trey had been dealt a shitty hand as far as parents and role models go. They needed love, understanding and guidance, yet instead received apathy and cold hearts.  My heart went out to Trey and Harley. Their chemistry sizzled on the pages and the sex between these two was HOT! But it was the emotion felt between two people suffering and hurting and finding that healing balm with one another that won me over.

Gitte: Now Trey was an enigma too. We got snap shots into his broken soul and I understood why he needed an escape. His story broke my heart, it was so devastating and he too was needing that control and outlet for his buried emotions. But why is sleeping with ‘cougars’ such a bad thing? HA!

‘It’s as if I’ve given her a piece of my heart, and said there, do with it what you will.’ – Trey

Jenny:  Haha! No, sleeping with cougars is NOT a bad thing! There should be more of it I say 🙂 This story had me stumped and I couldn’t fathom how this was going to play out.  How were these two damaged souls, so destroyed by sex and emotional walls ever going to come out the other end? How were they going to break down those walls?  This story was told with passion, emotion, humor and compassion.

“Maybe it’s what you need then. To feel it again. To go through that pain. To know you can say it and you’ll survive.” – Harley

Two beautiful characters who together made two halves a whole.

“He knows me. I know him. I am flawed and I made mistakes….” – Harley

One thing I will commend Lauren Blakely on with this story, among other things, was how she handled the first sexual encounter with Harley and Trey.   The scenes felt quite realistic and you could feel the timidness and uncertaintly between them and it helped you connect with them even more.  All too often we are faced with the Magical Virginal Vagina in these story. You know the one…..where our virgin has sex for the first time, comes on demand,  it’s the most amazing sex EVER for the guy and she then becomes a seasoned pro when giving her first BJ.  All that becomes an eye roll moment for the reader instead of emotional connection between the characters. But Lauren gave us a wonderful moment between Harley and Trey, where love blossomed, sex was new and exciting and where these characters learned to trust and give, and break down their emotional walls.

‘It’s weird that one person can know your before and your wish for after.’ – Harley

I really did enjoy this one.  That ending though……gah!!! Way to leave us hanging Lauren Blakely. LOL. I will be hanging out for book two that’s for sure! Dying to see how that one plays out!

I know you loved Falling For You by this author G and I bet it’s hard for you to admit you didn’t love this one but we always respect each others honesty and opinions, so final thought on The Thrill of It for you?

Gitte: Right, so this review breaks my heart because I loved the previous book I read by this Author and I love her, but I have to be honest. It wasn’t for me. I think the brilliant writing style, the raw emotion and the grittiness kept me reading, but the characters and storyline just didn’t work for me, though I have to say that I did like how the characters got strong and stood up for themselves as they went on the path to repair themselves emotionally.

In my opinion The Thrill of It was trying too hard to be unique but there were too many under-developed branches of storyline and not enough ‘reality to the fiction’.  It felt confused on what it wanted to be which in turn made this reader confused and unsure!

*runs to hide from onslaught of tomatoes*

J&G:  So there you have it.  TB history was made today. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.  Reading is subjective and many things come into play which can affect what we experience from a story.
We are both always so in sync with our reading and often pick the same quotes and highlight the same things as each other – so much so it’s actually quite spooky and this review goes to show that everyone will garner a different reading experience, even book soul mates.  Yet everyone should be entitled to express their opinion without fear of reprisal.
We all have an opinion and that opinion should always be respected regardless of whether the book worked for us or not.  It would be a boring world if we all loved the same thing!

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Check out and purchase The Thrill of It here: 

The Thrill of It

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Filed under 4 Stars, Lauren Blakely, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

FAR TOO TEMPTING by LAUREN BLAKELY

far too tempting

SYNOPSIS

Jane Black has written the breakup album of the century, earning her a Grammy, a huge legion of new fans, and the pressure to repeat her success. Sure, the heartbreak from her husband’s unconventional abandonment might have been her inspiration, but it hasn’t done her any favors in the dating department. So when Matthew Harrigan, the toughest music journalist out there, asks for an interview, Jane agrees—as long as her personal life is completely off-limits.

British, gorgeous, and way too tempting, Matthew’s the first guy Jane’s been attracted to since her husband. As she spends more time with him and their relationship heats up, though, so does her writer’s block. How can the queen of the break up pen the perfect follow-up when she’s seriously in love?

far too tempting

Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte

Jenny & Gitte: 4.5 Stars

Jenny:  Sometimes a story can capture you so completely that it allows the world around you to dissolves while you escape into its pages simply provides you with the perfect balance of everything you love. That was Far Too Tempting for me. It wasn’t overly angsty, overly dramatic, overly erotic or overly frustrating. Nope, this book had a bit of everything and the balance was just right.  It was the perfect escape and I loved it.

‘There comes a time when healing is simply a choice, when moving forward is a choice. You choose to love, you choose to commit, and you choose to be faithful.’

Lauren Blakely enveloped me in the journey of Jane and Matthew and in doing so she gave me the opportunity to spend time enjoying some wonderfully sexy, witty, beautiful emotional and flirty moments that I treasured. Yep, I really did enjoy this one G, what about you?

Gitte: I loved Far Too Tempting. It was a fresh, romantic and musical easy to read story that hit all the right buttons. It was beautifully written and the characters were sexy and lovable. The emotions I felt reading were intense at times and I thought this Author got the heartbreak, cynicism and romance just right…it flowed beautifully!

‘I’d come so close to giving in, giving up, moving on, because I just wasn’t making it at all. Then I was kicked to the curb….’ – Jane

Jenny:  Jane has had her confidence rocked to its foundation following the breakdown of her marriage with the father of her little boy.  Her marriage ended under circumstances that would bring any woman to her knees and Jane, quite understandably feels the need to protect her heart and finds it difficult to even comprehend opening up and trusting again.

‘Secrets can be alluring. But secrets can be devastating too.’

She feels betrayed and slighted and wonders just how she will cope and move on.  Well, one way is to put your feelings down in song and in doing so Jane inadvertently creates a kick arse album that goes on to become the break up anthem for so many and a runaway success..

‘Pain has a funny way of subsiding, eventually, so you can survive. It has this way of not suffocating you every single day. Sure, some days you’re still blindsided by a memory, a feeling, a song.’

Jane was down to earth and forthright and I really did like her because there was no diva behaviour from this girl. Jane had to put up with having her unhappiness and her rather humiliating marriage split become the thing of tabloid ridicule and that couldn’t have been easy. She was who she was and was understandably a bit guarded. What about you G.  How did you find Jane?

Gitte: How unique to get a complete snapshot of a female rock star who’s a Mum to boot. It felt so different and I really connected with her character.

“Her man did her wrong, so she went to the studio for closure….”

We all love those heart breaking songs that make us feel and cry. For me Adele gets to me every single time and no matter how many times I hear her songs I cry! Well, Jane wrote an album full of those after a devastating life event. My heart broke for her. To find your life was a ruse for five years, where your heart belonged to a man who was living a lie. How do you even try and work through something for which you have no control over and that makes you feel like a farce? Makes you feel like your identity is in question? I can’t imagine but the whole situation broke my heart. I completely understood her insecurities, her self-doubts and her struggles. Then when the fact that your heart is broken and your life changes, to be celebrated and recognised for this fact how do you go from there?

‘That is the secret of my success, the bittersweet reminder that you can write a break-up album and it can be great…but you’re only here because you are the biggest idiot in the world. Because you loved a man wildly, crazily, passionately. …’ – Jane

The journey Jane had to go through both musically and healing her heart…trusting to love without breaking all over again was emotional for sure. But it was funny and sexy too!

 Jenny:  Matthew is the gorgeous English music journo who works for Beat Magazine and who wants to do an exclusive on Jane.  He wants access to a behind the scenes look at the process Janes goes through in writing and recording her next album.  Jane has always had a thing for Matthew and is eager to do the expose but there’s one hitch.  Jane has a creative block and thinks she can only produce her best work when she suffering and heartbroken, when she starts experiencing happiness her creative juices dry up causing Jane to question everything in her life. What if she can only produce quality work if she’s unhappy? Where does that leave her?

‘Success is temporal. Fame is mercurial. Tomorrow, I could be nobody again.’

Jane and Matthew have an instant attraction and the chemistry between them is tangible.  I loved the flirty banter between them and the sexual tension and innuendos that hung in the air were delicious fun.  These two were sizzling! Matthew was a guy who wore his heart on his sleeve and I absolutely LOVED this man! He was hot and his background knowledge of the music industry gave him extra swoonie stars.  But….I have to admit to having this nervous feeling throughout that there was something sinister behind Matthew and that he had an ulterior motive for what he was doing. My heart and stomach were on constant alert as their relationship began to take off.   How about you G, did you feel the same?

“Please don’t fuck with my heart,” I say in a voice that threatens to break.
“I won’t,” he says.

Gitte:  LOVED Matthew. Again, an intelligent, cheeky and sexy male character, who in a way, was a ‘fan-boy’…so refreshing!! The chemistry and passion was intense and I did have to go douse myself with cold water a few times. At first I was as hesitant as Jane was about the motives of the enigmatic Matthew. When she opened her heart I was shouting ‘don’t do it Jane!!’ But….I can see why she fell, because I sure did too. He was quite simply bloody lush!

‘He could make or break a musician, but he could probably make or break a heart too, given the way he smiles with the most inviting grin and the way he’s a very eligible bachelor in New York City.’ – Jane

So yeah, I absolutely loved this story. It wasn’t your ordinary rock star book, it didn’t have ordinary characters, and I suppose you could say we had a bit of role reversal going on here. But what it did have was originality and I thought it was a breath of fresh air. I fell in love and I look forward to more from this Author!

‘I want someone to want me. I want to be desired, I want to be admired, I want to be adored.’ – Jane

Jenny:  We did G and I think it was that role reversal that I found so refreshing.  I was completely sucked into this beautifully engaging story of moving on, trusting, opening your heart and believing in yourself. The characters felt real and relatable and the story kept me turning the pages with gusto! No one was absolutely perfect, they all had their flaws and each and every one of them stole my heart.

‘Screw falling. I’m there. I’ve fallen in love with you, Jane.” – Matthew

This was exactly what I needed at the time and I’ll definitely be checking out more from this author that’s for sure because she kept me enthralled and entertained from start to finish.

‘These are the tentative dances of a new relationship, the tender moves of new hearts coming together, awkwardly at times……’

Is it easier to express yourself when your heart is breaking or when your heart is overflowing with love? You’ll enjoy finding out that’s for sure!

 

 ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.

 

FAR TOO TEMPTING by LAUREN BLAKELY
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far too tempting

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Lauren Blakely, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny