Thursday, April 10, 2014

Release Day Launch: Business as Usual (Off the Subject #3) by Denise Grover Swank

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Business As Usual
Off the Subject #3
By:  Denise Grover Swank
Published:  April 10, 2014
Mature Content:  18 & Up
Source:  Publisher
Purchase At:  Amazon

GR's Summary:

Lexi Pendergraft has given up on finding love after a disastrous encounter with her last boyfriend. Instead, she focuses on two things: One, setting up a summer program for underprivileged middle-school aged students. And the second, getting to the bottom of her brother Reed’s recent strange behavior. His secret is destroying his relationship with his fiancée Caroline, and Lexi will do anything to help him save it. Especially after he gave up his dream to give Lexi a chance at a semi-normal college experience, something her parents threatened to steal from her after her rape a year ago. 

Ben Masterson is determined to make it through his final semester of his senior year at Southern University. After recently losing his full ride scholarship, he’s suffering from sleep deprivation while trying to keep up with his mechanical engineering courses and working three part time jobs. He thinks he’s lucked out getting a job in the university math lab. The only problem is his boss—Reed Pendergraft.

As part of a role in a community theater play, Lexi wears a black wig and feels a confidence she hasn’t experienced in over a year. When she wears it to a bar close to the theater, she doesn’t think Ben, a bartender there, recognizes her. While Ben’s intrigued about what she’s up to, he’s smart enough to stay far away from his overprotective boss’s sister. Until fate forces him to help her, but why won’t she tell him her real identity?

 Off the Subject Series:

My Thoughts:

The Off the Subject Series, by Denise Grover Swank, is a great New Adult Contemporary Romance Series.  Each book can be read as a standalone novel, but the characters in each story are connected.  In Aftermath, we got Scarlet and Tucker's story.  In Redesigned, we got Caroline (Scarlet's best friend), and Reed's story.  In Business As Usual, we get Lexi (Reed's younger sister) and Ben's story.

I have been anticipating Lexi's story, since I first met her in Redesigned.  I absolutely adore her.  Se is super sweet, warm hearted, and ambitious!  She was the one responsible for getting her stubborn older brother Reed, and Caroline together.  Lexi is extremely loyal, and just wants the best for those that she cares about.  She is a very determined, and hardworking individual who worked behind the scenes to help underprivileged students get opportunities that they otherwise would not have access too.  She works tirelessly because she truly cares!  

Unfortunately, she suffered a very traumatic experience, and is trying to get back on her feet.  Her confidence has been shaken, and she fears that she will never be the same.  Lexi has lost her sense of empowerment and confidence when it comes to men, sex, and relationships.  However, when she attends a celebration after a play she was in, she finds herself feeling differently about herself; all because of the black wig on top of her head.  She feels sexy, strong, and in control.  That night, she ends up meeting Ben, a gorgeous bartender that attends the same college as she does. The sparks fly, and these two end up crossing paths on a regular basis.  However, Lexi needs to lose the wig, and confess who she really is, and Ben has a secret of his own.  Will the secrets that they both keep, destroy their chance at love? 

Lexi and Ben were great characters.  I loved how Ms. Swank made this story focus on Lexi's journey to reclaim the power that she had lost at the hands of a perpetrator.  This story really focused on the healing process, and Lexi's strength and courage.  I loved Ben too.  He was a very gallant character.  He was the kind of guy that stood up for others, and was protective of those in need.   He was attracted to Lexi, but he was also drawn to her essence. I was so excited that there was plenty of appearances made by Scarlet, Reed, and most of all Caroline. I love these characters, and can never get enough of them.  Ms. Swank has brought them all to life, and they really do jump off the page!  Also, there were a few surprises, and plot twists along the way.  I read Business as Usual rapidly, and loved every moment of it!

My Rating:

I give, Business As Usual, by Denise Grover Swank, 4 Powerful, Poignant, and Pleasurable Stars!  If you are looking for a new contemporary romance series that has depth, awesome characters, and great story lines, check out this series!  You will love it!


The song ends and I look across the room, hatred filling every pore of my body for the person who’s putting Alexa through this charade. Tina’s watching us with amusement. I look down into Alexa’s face and she steps away from me. Our song is done. Our commitment is up.
Only I’m not ready to let her go yet. Maybe I can save her at least part of her embarrassment.
I cradle her cheeks and stare into her eyes, looking for any sign that she finds my touch revolting. But her breath comes in short bursts and her pupils are dilated. My thumb strokes her right cheek bone, and it amazes me how smooth her skin is. I should stop prolonging my torture, but I don’t want to hurry this moment. I want to sear it into my brain.
I lower my face to hers and her mouth parts in anticipation. Our lips touch lightly and I run my tongue along her upper lip. Her hands return to my shoulders as she takes a step closer, pressing her chest to mine, her mouth parting as she sighs. My tongue accepts the invitation, twining with hers.
Her arms tighten around my neck and I slide a hand behind her head. Blood rushes to my groin and the way she’s pressed against me, she has to know I’m getting a hard-on, yet she doesn’t step away. She presses closer instead.
Still, I take my time with the kiss, making it last. I want more, so much more, but we’re on a dance floor, surrounded by at least thirty people, being watched intently by a group of perverts in the corner. I want to keep this pure. I want to take the thing Tina meant as a punishment for Alexa and turn it into something meaningful. At least for me. But the way Alexa clings to me tells me the experience has power for her too, even if it’s just because she’s sacrificing herself for some other guy.
I finally lift my head and stare into her lust-filled eyes and I want to curse the gods who put her in my path only to take her away.
“Thank you,” she breathes out with a sigh.
“Do think that was enough to appease her?”
Her eyes cloud with momentary confusion. “Oh…yeah.”
“If it’s not, I want you to promise me that you’ll ask me for help.” I sound like a pervert myself, but the thought of someone like Tattoo Guy pawing her nauseates me.
She seems to understand my intention because she gives me a grateful look. Tears fill her eyes. “Thank you.”
I want to kiss her again, to take her out the back door and away from Tina and her vile crew, but that’s not what Alexa wants. I step back and interweave my fingers with hers. It takes every ounce of fortitude in my body to take her back to that table. When we get there, I pull out her chair to show this table full of disgusting low-lifes how to treat a woman.
Tina claps her hands. “I think there might be hope for you two yet.” She waggles her eyebrows at Alexa, then looks up at me. “I told you Reed’s—”
Alexa leans forward, her eyes wild. “I think I need another drink.”

I stare at her in disbelief. She’s trying to interrupt Tina because she thinks I don’t know who she really is—Alexa Pendergraft, baby sister to that asshole Reed Pendergraft. And with a sigh, I realize it’s better this way, all around, because I would throw everything away to get one shot with this girl.

Purchase At:

Amazon | Kobo 
 B&N Coming Soon!

About Denise Grover Swank:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period.  Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.)  Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks.  She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

You can find out more about Denise and her other books at:


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  1. I have so loved the first two books and I really want to get to this one. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You're Welcome Val :) Thank You for stopping by!

  2. Great review. I really enjoyed the first book in this series. I need to get busy and read the second and this one. I definitely want to get to know Lexi and Ben.

  3. Oh I love the premise and I am glad it works as a standalone.. i want!

  4. I haven't read any of the other books in this series but something about this book just grabs me and for whatever reason I really want to read it. I am so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives


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