I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Lauren Dane
Released: June 16, 2015
Series: Ink and Chrome #1
Published by Forever
Narrator: Sasha Dunbrooke
Length: 9 hrs and 55 mins
“One thing is for certain, you need to pick up this series because it’s full of soul and heart just as much as heat. Great scorching series starter, Ms. Dane! I’m hooked!” ~ Under the Covers
I haven’t been this excited about a new Lauren Dane book in a while, and this just makes me happy. OPENING UP is the beginning of a new series with Dane’s brand of friendship that introduces you to a whole set of characters that work so well together and that you can’t help but get immediately invested in.
We kick things off in the Ink and Chrome series with PJ, a girl in her twenties that comes from a family that has long been one of the leaders in the tire industry in her town. She’s always wanted to find her own place in the workplace as well as in her family, but sadly hasn’t had much luck with that. Her passion to expand the family business into custom paint isn’t well received by her family, just as her purple hair isn’t.
I loved so many things about her! She’s got a tough skin from dealing with her father and uncle, who are major asses. She goes after what she loves and wants, whether it’s her business or her love interest. She’s independent, determined, and has a great head on her shoulders at her age. Without needing to be angsty or overtly dramatic like we often see with heroines dealing with as much as she is. She’s just mature, comfortable in her own skin and totally kicks ass!
Which worked great with the fact she ends up with an older hero. Asa Barrons owns a custom motorcycle shop and ends up giving PJ custom paint jobs. His attraction to the young spit fire is instant, but he knows his passions run on the kinky side and she’s way too young for it to appropriate. But let me clarify, we are talking he’s in his late thirties so the age difference is not as big as I originally thought. I absolutely loved him. He’s a little rough around the edges, ex military, totally alpha. Knows what he wants and doesn’t feel too bad about showing it and taking it. And did I mention there’s tats and piercings galore? Yum!
As I said, instant attraction burns into explosive chemistry. Asa and PJ are so perfect together in and out of the bedroom. And their bedroom kinks? Well, you won’t be disappointed. I know some people may complain at times about the talk during sex scenes, but I found them so endearing that they would be comfortable enough to crack a joke or just be normal, even when they were getting their sexy on.
This is also the first audiobook I listen to narrated by Sasha Dunbrooke and I was impressed by how much I enjoyed her narration. Will look forward to listening to more from her!
One thing is for certain, you need to pick up this series because it’s full of soul and heart just as much as heat. Great scorching series starter, Ms. Dane! I’m hooked!
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, 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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