Release Blitz/Reviews: Opening Up: Lauren Dane

OPENING UP (Ink and Chrome #1)
Lauren Dane
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(June 16, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Ink & Chrome: Book #1)

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 businessuntil 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 . . .

P.J. Coleman is unique, strong willed, and passionate. She works for her family's tire business, but her real love is custom paint, cars and motorcycles. One meeting with Asa Barrons, co-owner of Twisted Steel, sets her on fire. Their chemistry is immediate and strong. But he's older and tries to keep the intriguing free spirit at arm's length. And even when he pulls her in, then he pushes her away. He thinks he has good reasons, but she is strong enough to know what she wants and not anyone's doormat. She challenges him and drives him crazy.

P.J.  is young, but smart, sarcastic, strong and has a good head on her shoulders. It is hard to be accepted in the mens' world she wants to be a part of, but she does not back down easily and her work speaks for itself. But she also craves acceptance. She is not shy and she has it bad for Asa and won't let him forget it.

Asa is mature, deliciously alpha, sexy,and bossy. He is also protective, possessive, and likes what he likes...and he has some definite specific tastes.  He worries about their age difference and working relationship and tries so hard to resist. But P.J. makes it very difficult. I really liked his relationships with his friends and family and how supportive and intuitive he could be. But he is also a Man's man and loves fast cars, motorcycles, and is not above fighting. 

They have hot chemistry, flirty rapport, and both challenge and compliment each other. She's feisty and he's fierce and together they have intense passion. I really enjoyed them together. They have some issues to deal with not only interpersonally and from their pasts, but also with dynamics of family and friends. P.J. especially is dealing with situations that she has to handle to move on with her life and find her own way to a career she is happy with. She craves love, acceptance, and support, and struggles in some aspects of her life, but is also independent enough to be able to live without it if she has to. 

This is romantic, emotional, steamy, and humorous set against a background of custom cars. I really liked the characters and getting dual point of view. I felt the pacing of their relationship was realistic and although it was insta-lust, there was not insta-love or insta-relationship. It reminded me of her Brown Family series with the erotic scenes and P.J. had multiple siblings that also had their own issues and complicated relationships. I felt like it kind of ended a bit abruptly with fast resolution to some issues, but I am already interested in his friends Duke and Mick that will be the subject of the next books in the series. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Penelope “PJ” Coleman has struggled to find her place in the family and family business as long as she can remember. Over time, her decisions drive the wedge further between herself and her father. With ever changing hair color, piercings, and an incomplete college degree, all her father sees is a failure. All PJ wants is to do something she enjoys to help grow the company.
Asa Barrons grew up rough and took his time finding his place. As co-owner of Twisted Steel, he is a successful businessman and mechanic. He’s controlling, bossy, and an adrenaline junkie. In short, he’s purely alpha.

When PJ decides she wants Asa, they begin a battle of wills that challenges them both. The 12 years between them don’t mean anything to PJ, but Asa attaches meaning to what that difference might mean. PJ hesitates because she doesn’t want anyone in the car restoration industry to think she is getting a hand up simply because she is sleeping with Asa. And then there’s the little fact that each of them are hot-tempered and quick to act.

The attraction between these two is fiery, but what I loved most was the quiet moments between them and the support that each offered as needed throughout the story. Asa really battled his need to protect PJ, even when she wanted to fight her own battles, or was embarrassed to have Asa witness her struggles. He was one of those guys that looks hard and scary on the outside, but with the right woman turned to mush.

This was a fun, easy read. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting when I read the blurb, but it was entertaining and a great breather.

As an aside, I get a kick out of reading books set in Seattle. I grew up not far from the city, and even giggled when my hometown had a shout-out in one scene (PJ’s apartment has a view straight to the home of my heart). I don’t live there anymore, but reading stories set in and around the PNW make me feel like I’m home again, no matter the genre or subject of the book itself.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Expected August 2015
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Expected December 2015
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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