Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: Opening Up by Lauren Dane

Opening Up 
by Lauren Dane
Series:  Ink & Chrome #1
Pub. Date:  June 16, 2015
Publisher:  Forever / Grand Central
Pages:  325
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lauren Dane delivers Book #1 in her Ink & Chrome erotic romance series.

The men of the Twisted Steel custom motorcycle shop are great with their hands... and they're not afraid to get dirty.

PJ is exactly the kind of woman Twisted Steel owner Asa Barrons doesn't need. The last thing he wants to do is mix business with pleasure, and PJ has some of the best custom detailing he's ever seen. But the chemistry between them won't be denied, and soon he's introducing her to a whole new world in the bedroom, pushing her far beyond anything she's ever experienced. PJ finds she can't get enough, but how far is too far before he consumes her completely?

This is the story of Penelope (PJ) and Asa, who are both involved in the custom auto industry. PJ's family legacy, handed down from her grandfather, is Colman Tires. With both the auto and tire industry being so male-dominated, this book was filled with misogyny, which made an interesting backdrop to the romance.

PJ and her sister, Julie, are not really given their due in the family business because they have a vagina. Watching PJ struggle against this, continuously seeking approval from a very cold and arrogant father, made me empathize with her a great deal. She is a creative soul, and I had a good picture of her in my head. I love the pinup style, and having that as her trend fit into this book perfectly. I had taken a break from contemporary romances lately because the heroines were getting on my nerves... but I'm happy to report that did not happen once in this book. Yay! PJ was an appealing character. She had style. She was artistic. She wasn't afraid to engage in, and even excelled at, a male-dominated business where she constantly had to prove herself and deal with the good ol' boy idea that she was less worthy because of what she didn't have between her legs. She stood up for herself and went after what she wanted. And most important of all, she was not a whiny pathetic female when it came to her romantic relationship! She dealt with Ada fairly and like an adult, it was quite refreshing.

As for Asa, he was a hardened alpha male who endured a rough childhood, then enlisted in the military to stay out of trouble and make a future for himself. I admire him for that, but I admired him even more for the way he took care of his family and PJ. I loved that he continually empowered PJ, and took her seriously from the start. Yes, he made some mistakes, but they worked through them like adults instead of either one shutting down, not communicating, and/or throwing a temper tantrum. I never got a great picture of Asa in my head as the septum piercing and hairstyle aren't my thing, but I was totally down with everything else.

It's so nice to read a book that deals with relationship issues using maturity and common sense. I have gotten tired of the ones filled with drama drama drama. I recommend this book to someone who wants to read an adult romance that steams up the sheets. The ages of our characters are outside of the new adult trend, so this one should be popular with the 25-45 crowd. I definitely will be reading more Lauren Dane in the future. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed her characters and writing.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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