Friday, June 19, 2015

Release Week Blitz & Review: Opening Up (Ink and Chrome #1) by Lauren Dane

Opening Up
Ink and Chrome #1

Lauren Dane

June 16, 2015

Forever Romance

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eARC from publisher for a honest review


The men of Twisted Steel are great with their hands. And they're not afraid to get dirty. 

Asa Barrons is never lonely for long. Co-owner of the Twisted Steel custom motorcycle shop, he works hard and plays harder. But he never allows his after-hours affairs to interfere with business-until he meets racing royalty PJ Colman. While the blue-eyed blonde is all princess on the outside, on the inside Asa can see that this woman is ready to take a walk on the wild side. 

PJ knows trouble when she sees it, and Asa is the complete package: fast bike, killer ink, and a sinfully sexy smile that has her imagining things nice girls never do. She talks her way onto the Twisted Steel team to prove her painting skill, and soon learns that Asa is eager to show off some skills of his own. 

With the help of Asa's expert touch, PJ is initiated into a world of wicked desire. No limits. No inhibitions. No turning back. But as perfect as their passion seems, a new challenge awaits, forcing them to ask just how far they are willing to go . . .

Ink and Chrome Series:
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My Thoughts:

Opening Up is the first book that I've read by Lauren Dane.  I was attracted to the beautiful book cover, as well as the summary.  This story is told from the dual perspectives of the main characters, Penelope Jean "P.J." Coleman and Asa Barrons.  The pacing of the story was steady.

Asa Barrons is a "manly man."  One look at him and you see strong, sexy, powerful, and magnetic.  He co-owns his own successful motorcycle shop, Twisted Steel, with his best friend, Duke Bradshaw.  P.J. works for the family business selling tires.  When Asa and P.J. see each other at a business event, sparks fly.  P. J has her eye on Asa, and when she is determined, she get's what she wants.  Asa is attracted to P.J's stunning beauty, sex appeal, and amazing personality, but dismisses the idea of being with someone so young.  She is twenty-five, and at thirty-seven, Asa see's too much of an age gap.

However, as P.J. begins her own business offering custom paint, Asa can't avoid her; no matter how hard he tries.  The temptation of the sexy and alluring P.J. proves to be too much, and eventually he gives in to a whirlwind affair of sexual bliss, love like no other, and fierce protectiveness.

My favorite aspect of Opening Up was P.J.  She was a strong, intelligent, hard-working, and ambitious woman.  She had to deal with discrimination in the work place, even with her own family, yet she demanded respect and wouldn't let anyone hold her back.  I respected and admired P.J.  She was all heart!  She was a force to be reckoned with.  I couldn't stand her father, uncle, and oldest brother!  They acted like her opinion didn't matter because she was a female!  There was that "glass ceiling," that exists in the work force for women today, especially in predominately male careers.  I love that Ms. Dane brought this social issue to the forefront in her story.

Asa was a man that exuded control.  I loved how while P.J. let him have control in the bedroom, she demanded equality in her relationship.  She was also determined for Asa to lose the foothold on his never-ending control in all situations.  These two together made a wonderful power couple.  They supported each other, shared secrets, were sexually adventurous, and grew due to having each other as a significant other.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, Falling Under, which is Duke's story.  I loved Duke's personality in this story.  He was very loyal, easy going, and a great friend!  I look forward to watching him fall in love!  

My Rating:

I give, Opening Up, by Lauren Dane 3.5 Strong Woman, Sizzling Sexy Times, New Beginnings Filled Stars!!!

Book Teasers:

Book Excerpt:

     Twisted Steel was magnificent. 
     PJ turned in a slow circle as she stood in the middle of their showroom. Just to her left, a 1970 Chevelle. Candy-​apple red. 
     Big windows fronted the space, but they managed to still give it a sort of intentionally gritty feel inside with black leather couches placed in a way to look at the cars and bikes on display like art. 
     She loved it so very much. Bold and clever. It took itself very seriously when it came to the product but also had a little bit of tongue-in-cheek self-​deprecation. Delicious design choices all over the place, including a custom Harley Softail in black matte that gave her a little shiver. 
     She’d thought it impossible for Asa to be any hotter, until she saw this place. 
     “If you’re done getting all wet over cars can we get your makeup done?” Audra called out. 
     “Do you see this?” PJ pointed at the Softail’s back tire. “It’s so fat and delicious. I might actually be maybe a little wet, yes. But I’m just telling you that because we’re so close.” 
     PJ plopped down in front of a makeshift makeup station mirror. 
     “Go look at your outfits with Stella so she can get you styled for each.” Audra had taken on the task of organizing the shoot. She pointed at a rolling rack of clothes that had PJ’s name on it. 
     “I see a theme here.” Stella, who was acting as their makeup person for the day, took in each outfit. 
     Tom bounded into their space, amped up on coffee. “What? She’s like a ridiculously sexed-up girl next door. Guys love that. We all know it. So work it and sell my decks!” 
     “You can’t be here now. I have it handled.” Audra shoved him out and closed the door to the small conference room where they’d set up. 
     “He’s like a hamster on crack,” PJ muttered. 
     “The cutest hamster ever, though. Here.” Audra shoved an outfit PJ’s way. 
     The first dress turned out to be a pale blue-​and-​white gingham. 
     She wore it with red glitter pumps, and Stella teased PJ’s hair up in the back and curled her bangs before dividing at the nape of her neck into two braids. 
     Thick liner, red lips, and a beauty mark and she found herself shoved back out. 
     “PJ, come over and meet Frank, he’s the photographer.” Tom introduced them. “We’re set up in the shop so come on with me.” 
     She tried not to trip and fall as she kept stopping to gape at things. Where the showroom had been all about the art of the completed project—a perfect experience for a potential client—the shop, with its bays and workstations, was clearly the heart of the operation. 
     High windows sent shafts of light down onto the shop floor and to the offices that ringed it. It was orderly and tidy without being compulsively so. 
     She skidded to a halt when she saw the car she’d be posing with. 
     “Sweet mother of Bob Dylan,” she breathed out at the sight of the deep blue 1950 Cadillac roadster convertible before her. 
     “I take it that means you approve?” Frank asked her. 
     “I might need some alone time with this car later.” 
     “I know the owner. He might allow it.” 
     She turned to catch sight of Asa walking over. Walking! Ha. Prowling was a far better word. The air seemed to hum around him, and she found it a little harder to breathe. Especially when he came to a halt just inches from where she stood. 
     “This is yours?” She might have an orgasm just looking at the car. And now she knew it was his. 
     He nodded, the corner of his mouth hitching up slightly. 
     “Morning, PJ.” 
     “Morning, Asa. I’m going to have a moment with your car, but I won’t do anything she doesn’t want.” 
     He stepped closer. “What if she does? What if she wants it all?” 
     Man, was she in over her head. Just flirting with him was taking all her effort. What would he be like in bed? What would he kiss like? 
     “I’d want to take it slow. Just the tip. At first. If she didn’t like it we’d stop.”
     The smile on his mouth made her tingly. 
     “I might try that one. Just the tip has mixed results.”
     Oh, well. That one made her a little dizzy. And by the look he wore, he knew the effect he was having. 
     “I doubt that.” 
     “Mixed results. You strike me as an overachiever.” PJ lowered her lashes a little as she took in the heft of all that steel. Of course he had a Caddy. Big, strong, bold. Totally in charge. Just like him. 
     “So if I’d given you the ‘just the tip’ line?” 
     She smiled then. “I don’t know. Why don’t you try it now?” 
     PJ rather felt as if she was having an out-of-body experience. There was no other explanation for the words she’d just spoken. Out loud. 
     Asa opened his mouth and everything inside her seemed to still, just waiting to hear what he’d say. 
     And then Tom called out to get to work and they reluctantly parted.

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About Lauren Dane:
The story goes like this: While on pregnancy bed rest, Lauren Dane had plenty of down time, so her husband took her comments about "giving that writing thing a serious go" to heart and brought home a secondhand laptop. She wrote her first book on it. Today, Lauren is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 60 novels and novellas across several genres.

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  1. I like when there is balance in a relationship and can handle submission in the bedroom. Sounds like a good start despite some characters who annoyed you.

    1. I enjoyed the balance in their relationship as well :)

  2. PJ definitely sounds like my kind of woman, Lindy! I love a strong female character who has to fight for the respect of others - because that's mostly what life is for women everywhere... Asa sounds like a great hero, too, and having a sizzling hot love affair between the two would definitely work for me ;)
    Thanks for the great review, and for hosting the giveaway Lindy!
    Have a great weekend and happy reading.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    1. Yes, P.J was an awesome character! Have a great weekend Lexx :)

  3. I like what you said about these two and the dynamics of their situations. Your focus on characters makes your reviews so helpful since I'm always most interest in the characters when it comes to my enjoyment.

    1. Thanks so much Sophia! I appreciate your input :)

  4. I love that the author addresses the age issue- because 12 years is a huge difference. I am glad that PJ faces her discrimination head on. Sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders. Whirlwind affairs are the best good review Lindy!

  5. Ah, the avoiding that doesn't work game. Nice. There is a big age gap between these two. Interesting.

    1. Yep! I love it when a character can't avoid his love interest :)


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