Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway : At Any Price (Gaming the System, #1) by Brenna Aubrey

At Any Price
(Gaming the System #1) 
by Brenna Aubrey 

Publication date:
December 9th 2013

Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


eArc received for review

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Achievement Unlocked: 
Geek Virgin
When Mia Strong, proud geek-girl and popular gaming blogger, auctions off her virginity online, she knows she’ll make waves. But what she will not be making is a love connection. Her rules are set in stone: One night. No further contact.
It’s a desperate step, but it’s the only way she can go to medical school and pay her mother’s mounting hospital bills.
Difficulty Level: 
Millionaire CEO
Adam Drake, the enigmatic auction winner, is a software prodigy who made his first million at seventeen. Now, in his mid-twenties, he’s sexy, driven and–as CEO of his own gaming company–he’s used to making the rules. Before Mia knows what’s happening, he’s found the loophole in the rules of her auction. Every stipulation she’s made to protect her heart gets tossed by the wayside.
She can’t tell if he’s playing her…or if he’s playing for keeps.
This New Adult book is intended for audiences over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content and adult situations.


“I’m quite capable of understanding sexual attraction, Mr. Drake.”

“Adam,” he said quietly, his eyes lowering to focus on my mouth. My heart skipped a beat in its frenetic pace.


“Why does it make you uncomfortable to call me by my first name?”

I locked gazes with him, suddenly intensely aware of how close we were standing. I could smell him—a subtle scent, masculine, clean, like the ocean and the hint of peppermint candy on his breath. I could almost feel the heat and power oozing off of him in waves. I swallowed in a suddenly dry throat.

“I don’t know.”

“I want to give you one more thing to think about.”

“And what is that?” 

He leaned closer, his head approaching mine. I didn’t have the time to step back nor, I think, the willpower to do it even if it had occurred to me. His mouth met mine in a firm, sure kiss.

It wasn’t overpowering. That was the first thing that surprised me. It was a subtle give and take—gentle, at first, a warm pressure of his lips on mine. Then he took a step closer and slid a hand around my waist, the other going to my back. 

He retreated, just slightly, just enough to allow me to pursue him. His mouth moved against mine, teasing, pressing it open. Now his body pressed against mine, his head angled down to reach me, for I was at least five inches shorter than him.

I opened my mouth to him then and his tongue slid in easily. Nothing tentative in this kiss. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was telling me I had the control, declaring the decision mine and then swooping in and taking no prisoners.

His hands stayed put. I was glad of that though I wanted his touch everywhere—my aching breasts, the throbbing between my legs. Goose bumps prickled up and down my arms. His tongue explored my mouth with surety, easy possession. And—to my utter humiliation—I let loose a small whimper at the back of my throat.

The arm around my waist tightened when he heard it, responding immediately, almost instinctively. He pulled his tongue back, as if inviting me to follow him with my tongue. And tentatively, I did.

I’d been kissed before—back in high school when I was normal and I actually dated. But it had been years, now, and I’d never, ever been kissed like this. My tongue entered his mouth and he made a noise at the back of his throat, not quite a growl, kind of more like a huff. It emboldened me. Empowered me. I thrust my tongue, lacing my hands around the back of his neck. Our heads moved together for long minutes and I felt like I hadn’t breathed in a lifetime.

Everything was spinning around me and I—I was spinning too, delirious with want. Like a woman drowning in the middle of stormy sea, in desperate need of a life raft. That sea was Adam Drake and he was pulling me adrift, stranding me in some strange and forgotten land.

When finally he ended it, he pulled away so slowly that I could hardly tell our lips had parted until cool air passed between us. It was then that I saw that he was as affected as I was—flushed cheeks, his breath coming fast, his eyes dark and drunk with desire.

My Review:

I really enjoy NA Contemporary Romance books. I read a lot of them. At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey was a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting the story to be predictable, but I was happy to see that it was very different from what I was expecting. This book was a real page-turner! 

Emilia is a young student/gamer/blogger that decides to put her v-card up for auction. Mia has dreams, she knows what she wants. Her dreams involve becoming a doctor and paying for her mom's medical bills so that she does not have to worry about them. When she writes a Manifesto on her blog divulging her intention of auctioning her virginity, she catches the eye of Adam Drake. He is the highest bidder of the auction and the candidate that her best friend Heath picked as the best man to fulfill that role. From the moment they met both of their worlds are turned upside down. What started as a deal ends up changing the course of their lives.  

Emilia Strong and Adam Drake are exactly the kind of characters I love to read about. They both knew how to make me feel different kinds of emotion. With them it was a game of give and take. They had a problem giving up control and along the way they hurt each other and that's what it took to make them realize what really matters in life. I was anticipating their confrontation. It was explosive and it was REAL! My heart broke for them. They have been through so much in their lives. These are two characters that a reader can relate to. Nobody is perfect in life. We all have our fears. To read about how these two overcome their fears and learn from their mistakes is eye-opening. I won't deny that at some specific parts of the book I wanted to shake or virtually slap them both! A reader's got to love when this happens. It means the author is actually pulling us in and from that moment on we become involved in the story. I had a hard time understanding the reactions that both of them were having, but the more I read about them the more everything fell into place. These two complete each other to perfection! I loved every single twist and turn that this story had.  

Even if this book ends in a HEA, we get to have two more books in this series. I can't wait to see what happens next for Emilia and Adam. They still have many obstacles to overcome. I'm really anxious to see how their relationship is going to evolve and get stronger. Special mention to one of my favorite characters of the story: Heath, Emilia's best friend. I LOVE him! I really got attached to him and I hope we get to see him more in the upcoming books ;)

My Rating:

I give At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey 4.5 engaging, emotional, passionate stars! 

Teaser Pictures:

About the Author

Brenna Aubrey is an author of New Adult contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture. Her debut novel, AT ANY PRICE, releases in December, 2013.

She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna's favorite author is Jane Austen and favorite novel is PERSUASION.

Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover's heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. A mommy to two little kids and teacher to many more older kids, she juggles schedules to find time to pursue her love of storycrafting.

She currently resides on the west coast with her husband, two children, two adorable golden retriever pups, two birds and some fish.



  1. Oh this sounds good, and different, I was so glad to hear this ends with an HEA, which means the rest of the series will be companion novels..I am little tired of these cliffy books.

    1. I'm not a fan of cliffhangers either! Thanks for stopping by Kimba ;)


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