Welcome to the Selling Out Book Tour! Today I have my review as well the chance to win a $75 Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or ARe gift card!
About the Book:
Shelly Laurent escapes her life as a high-class escort, but against her better judgment she takes the scared young Ella with her. Framed for murder by her pimp and his dirty cops in retaliation, Shelly turns to the one man who could be her salvation: Detective Luke Cameron. She doesn’t know if she can trust him or if he’s just a mirage, but it’s time for her to take a stand. Just one shot, make it count, she’ll fight Ella’s demons—and face her own.
Shelly throws light on the shadows of Chicago’s underworld, challenging everything she knew and the man she’s come to love. Together, a prostitute and a cop fight for truth stronger than secrets, hope deeper than deception, and a bond more enduring than betrayal.
“Shh,” I murmured, stroking his back.
But his protests fell away as I pressed my breasts to his arm and my tongue to his ear. His harsh inhalation sounded broken, shattered, or maybe that was me.
I tasted salt and man, earth and spring. Slow licks alongside his lobe and upward, more suggestive than sensation, but for a man like this, anticipation would be everything. Or so I had imagined, all the times I had dreamed of it.
A small sound escaped him, somewhere between a grunt and groan. I took it as encouragement and smoothed my hands along the hard planes of his shoulders, his chest. Not anywhere near the bulge in his jeans, because this wasn’t about pleasure—it was about wanting.
Anything to get closer, I let my knees slide apart around his side, the faint heat of his body a shock to my core. His hands clenched and opened on his knees, and again, the muscles rippled beneath his darkly tanned skin. Was he restraining himself from touching me or pushing me off?
“Baby, no,” he groaned, letting his head fall back onto my shoulder.
No, I would never deserve to have him as more than a sex partner. And he had never fucked me, though I knew he wanted to. Every time he saw me, his eyes would darken and my stomach would bottom out, but we’d never touch. But maybe for one brief inconvenient moment, while the door was open and the young woman beyond it needed help, we could pretend. Maybe it could be enough.
I shut my eyes tightly and pressed a kiss to his temple. Pretend, just pretend. I would give him the sex he had craved, and in return, he’d give me memories. It would be a payment, just the same.
“You want this,” I whispered.
He shuddered in my arms; it was like hugging a wild animal, one who could just as easily maul me as cuddle.
“Can I touch you?” he whispered. “Please.”
It unraveled me, that plea. As if he understood that a little bit of my soul slipped away every time someone touched me. As if he would cherish the part I gave him.
I scrambled away from him as if burned, breathing hard. No.
No one understood, which was exactly the way I liked it. I ran a shaking hand over my face to smooth away the panic.
Sure, he knew the score better than most people. He had worked the beat as a patrol cop and then as a detective. Life as a high-priced escort wasn’t glamorous; it was sweat and blood sprinkled with glitter. But he didn’t know the full extent, and I prayed he never would. Henri didn’t sell bodies; he gutted them.
I panted against the headboard, unable to walk away but unwilling to beg. Luke remained carved in stone where I’d left him sitting on the edge of the bed. The air pulsed with doubt and longing—with sex.
“I want it to be real between us.” He spoke low and hoarse.
A quiet sound escaped me. Every caress, every pinch. Every slur ever spoken. “It’s always real. That’s the problem, Luke. It’s always too damn real.”
He hung his head, and I thought for a moment I heard him say I know, but the moment slipped away, the sweet intimacy sailed away like clouds on the horizon—never really mine.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Dark, gritty, seductive, and action-packed, Selling Out is a fantastic follow-up to Giving it Up. Though the stories are told in a similar style, this one is definitely my favorite. I relished the opportunity to spend more time with Allie, Colin, Philip, and especially Shelly.
From it’s first moments, the book kept me glued to the pages. As the author peels away Shelley’s layers, giving the reader more insight in to who she is, she peels away layers of plot, revealing twists, turns and surprises. We get to know the characters as well as the seedy Chicago underworld, and just when everything seems too dark, too impossible, there is a pin-point of light. But nothing in Shelly’s world is simple…
For me, the best part of the book is Shelly’s character; I adore her. She is so incredibly broken, damaged, and dark, but for whatever reason, she keeps fighting for herself, for others, and for redemption. She is complex, subversive, intelligent, and beautiful. I am drawn to her, like the people around her, especially Luke. I was taken by their electric connection, and the mystery surrounding Luke.
I enjoyed this book immensely. The story, the characters, the emotion and the author’s perspective left me breathless and wrung-out. I was completely sucked in and though I was satisfied by the ending, I was disappointed when it was over.
*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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About the Author:
Amber Lin writes erotic romance with damaged souls and deep emotion.
Her debut novel Giving It Up (Loose Id, 9781611188431) received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” The sequel is slated for release in early 2013. Her small town romance will be published by Carina Press in Fall 2013. She is represented by Jewelann Cone of the Cascade Literary Agency.
Amber married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.
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