June 23, 2013

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Selling Scarlett (Love, Inc. #1)

I'm thrilled to partner with Inkslinger PR on the Selling Scarlett blog tour! Check out my review, then hop down and enter a giveaway for a chance to win your own copy of Selling Scarlett.

Selling Scarlett (Love, Inc. #1), by Ella James
Published April 14, 2013
Publisher:  Barkley's Books
Format: e-copy - obtained from Inkslinger PR in exchange for an honest review
Genre:  New Adult Contemporary Romance
To Buy:  Amazon  * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Elizabeth DeVille doesn't belong at a party like this—one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.

Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail.

When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter's den of vices, she's a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn't have, and she's come up with a foolproof way to get it.

Follow Elizabeth—code-named Scarlett—to the lush Nevada brothel where she'll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that's not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil's mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.

Selling Scarlett raised some interesting questions. Is virginity really such a big deal? If you had a chance to sell it for a crap ton of money, would you do it? 

Ethics graduate student Elizabeth DeVille decides that the answer to that question is yes, and when she makes that decision, she effectively kills two birds with one stone. Well, three, really. She gets money for something she desperately needs. She earns a killer topic for her doctorate thesis. And, she will no longer have her 23-year-old v-card hanging over her head. Especially since the guy she's been saving it for doesn't seem to want it. 

Hunter is a guy who sees himself as seriously damaged goods and not worthy of anything good. So, he engages in seriously self-destructive behavior and allows messed up people to get the better of him over and over again. There's a lot of things I loved about Hunter and a lot of things I didn't really get. I loved who he was with Libby. He was guarded, but tentatively optimistic at times. He tried to be a different person. 

But, who he was with Patricia? I don't know - it didn't quite fit with the other stuff I knew about him. Maybe that was what Ella James was going for. Like two sides of a coin, one side is a guy with lots of potential. The other side is a guy that I really didn't like very much. And, it seemed like he had a hard time deciding whom he wanted to be. The S&M stuff was a little tough to read, and a little unnecessary, I thought. It didn't end up being a major plot driver after all that, so really, what was the purpose of it all?

Libby was a great character. She has a crap life and a very small support system. And a years-long crush on Hunter West. She had gumption, and I really liked that about her. Even when things looked pretty bleak, she found a way out. That's something I can get behind. 

The actual virginity auction was over remarkably quickly. A little too quickly, I thought. There was so much build-up leading up to it, I would've liked it to have been drawn out a bit more. But, Libby's time at the brothel with the other girls was my favorite part of the book. There was such a unique and fun dynamic between all of them. 

The mystery was a good one. I kept changing my mind about who I thought was the culprit. The ending was pretty explosive and exciting. And, the HEA moment was wonderful - aren't they always, though? 

About the Author
I'm a 20-something sci-fi nerd with a journalism degree and a serious York Peppermint Pattie addiction. I spend my days baby-wrangling and dog-chasing and my nights tapping on my laptop and hanging out with my writer/editor husband. A fun day for me involves lots of writing, running, and researching topped off with some quality Kindle time. My life's goal is to find an empty cottage in an enchanted forest, install a solar panel for my laptop, and move in - never to be seen again, except in sweatpants.

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LRAtRandom said...

The cover whore in me LOVES this cover!!

Selling your v card is a brilliant idea!! Although if it would happen in real life can you imagine the scuz that would bid *shivers

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for being part of my blog tour! :) ~Ella

Unknown said...

First Off The Cover Is Amazing!
And the story line original sounds like a good read.

Krista said...

Yes, yes - the cover is awesome, isn't it?

And, I dunno. If someone offered up the kind of money mentioned in this book, I might be able to handle a scuz for an hour.

Krista said...

My pleasure - thanks for writing a cool book!

Krista said...

It was a great book, Darlene!

LRAtRandom said...

True. But some scuz wouldn't be worth any amount of money