February 19, 2015

RELEASE WEEK REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Forbidden Nights (Seductive Nights #5)

I'm so in love with Lauren Blakely's Seductive Nights series. FORBIDDEN NIGHTS is the fifth book in the series, and is the long-anticipated story of Nate and Casey. And it's one of the hottest ones yet. Check out my review of Forbidden Nights, and if you haven't read it yet (WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?!), there's an excerpt down there too. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a $25 GC to Victoria's Secret!

Forbidden Nights (Seductive Nights #5), by Lauren Blakely
Published February 17, 2015
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, obtained from the author
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Sinfully sexy hotel CEO Nate Harper knows exactly how to please a woman. He's equally skilled in keeping his heart safe from the kind of hurt his ex inflicted on him years ago. But one thing he's not so good at what-so-ever is getting his mind and all his dirty thoughts off the gorgeous, outgoing, and absolutely captivating Casey Sullivan, the new head of the Joy Delivered company.

They've been friends for years now, and Casey trusts Nate completely. So it makes perfect sense to her to ask him for hands-on guidance when she finds herself in need of some of his romantic expertise.

The trouble is, his heart may be signing up for more than it bargained for when he agrees to help her learn to abandon her need for control in the bedroom. Because as she experiences what it means to let go, he'll start to experience what it means to feel again...

But what happens when all those forbidden nights turn into a deeper connection that's much more than expected?

Holy smokes, was this a scorching hot book. Nate was absolutely it for me. He was alpha and protective and sweet and attentive all in one gorgeous package. And, gosh darn it, he's a really good friend, too. 

Nate is very good friends with sex toy company owner Casey, and has been for years. He's also been harboring a pretty serious crush on her too. Casey is fresh off yet another breakup with a man who couldn't handle her take-charge attitude. In a flash of brilliance, Casey asks Nate to help her be more submissive. Nate's dream is coming true - he finally has the chance to get Casey out of his system and still remain friends with her. 

Okay. Now, how many times have we heard of friends who decide to have sex to either scratch an itch or to teach a lesson of some sort, and they actually think that nothing will change? Sure, the story may have been told before, but that doesn't mean it can't be enjoyable. 

For my part, I just really love Lauren Blakely's story telling. Her characters are so cool. I mean, Casey owns a sex toy company, and Nate owns a bunch of hotels. I loved all the marketing ideas that Lauren Blakely infused into this story. There was plenty of opportunity for both Nate and Casey to demonstrate their business prowess, which definitely solidified them as dominant personalities. 

And, therein lies the main point of the story. Casey isn't secure in her alpha female status. She's dated some losers who put her down because she likes to take charge, and now her confidence is shaken. She thinks she needs to change herself in order to be a suitable catch for a man. I felt really bad for Casey. I liked her so much, and I hated that guys had been so insecure in their manhood as to not be able to put up with a confident woman. And, they made her feel so bad that she thought she had to change. My heart went out to her. 

Nate responded to her story exactly the way he should have. He likes her just the way she is. He tells her that she shouldn't ever be asked to change herself for some guy who doesn't have enough stones to give up control every now and again. He says just the right things. And, when Casey asks him to teach her how to be submissive in the bedroom, he jumps at the chance. 

For Casey, this might have started out as just an experiment with a friend, but for Nate, it was the realization of a dream. He's had a thing for Casey forever, and now he gets to put his hands all over her. But, really. It could never stay like that, now could it. You throw sex in any mix, and you're asking for serious complications, and anyone who thinks otherwise is crazy. 

And, as suspected, complications - in the form of feelings - develop. I know - shocking, right? Casey is especially rocked by the turn of events, but thankfully, she handles it well. Nate is along for the ride and hoping it all works out for him like it did for his friends Clay and Julia. And, the culmination of Nate's lessons of submission happen at Clay and Julia's destination wedding. It's a perfect ending to this sexy book. I fell in love with Nate right along with Casey - I could read about them over and over again.

He threw the napkin on the table and reached for her hand. Her expression was one of complete surprise. “Dance with me.”

Her lips quirked up and she seemed to understand what he’d done. Given her an order. She nodded demurely and he led her to a small sliver of a dance floor, near where the woman with the microphone was singing a Billie Holiday number. He pulled Casey in close. She tensed briefly, as if unsure where to rest her hands, whether on his shoulders or waist. He planted them firmly on his shoulders, and wrapped his arms around her sexy, slim waist that fit perfectly in his hands.

“Just relax and let me lead,” he said, whispering in her ear, a waft of her tropical scent drifting by his nostrils. She shivered briefly against him, and that nearly did him in. He stayed strong, swaying gently, guiding her in slow, sensuous moves. “I’ll show you how to let go, but you have to trust me. And that’s where it starts. With trust. I’m not a Dom, you’re not my Sub—we’re not going to join a BDSM club, or sign a contract. But I can show you how good it will feel when you give up control.”

She breathed in sharply, as if acclimating to new air on a distant planet. “Why do men like a woman to give up control? What is it about the lack of control that men like so much?”

“It’s not that they like a lack of control. But a man wants a woman who gives herself to him. He wants a woman to melt into his arms, to get aroused from a kiss on the back of her neck,” he said, and traced a fingertip gently under her hair, watching her reaction as she drew in a breath. “It’s the hand on her arm.” He trailed his fingers down her bare skin to her elbow as he leaned in to whisper, “Or warm breath near her ear.” She gasped, and he kept going. “He wants a woman who’s so turned on, she’ll nearly beg for it. He wants her abandon. He wants to be the only one to make her feel that way.”

She parted her lips to speak, but he shushed her with his fingertip against them. God, he was so tempted to let her suck on his finger right now, to watch her simulate a blow job, to let her show him what she could do. But that would come later. He needed to kiss her first.

That is, after he teased her.

“At some point soon, some point very, very soon, I’m going to kiss you,” he said, watching the expression in her eyes shift to a heady kind of desire. Her fingers curved into his shoulders, holding on tightly to him. “You’re going to close your eyes,” he said, and then her lids fluttered closed. “And you’re not going to know when it’s coming. You’re going to want it. Your body is going to be crying out for a kiss,” he said, his voice husky and raw as her chest rose and fell, and she moved closer to him as they swayed. He cupped the back of her neck, watching her response to every touch, from the way her lips parted as he threaded his hands through her hair, to how she leaned back into him, almost relishing the way his fingers ran slowly through those soft, wavy strands. A sigh came next, a desperate needy sigh, and a barely-there arch of her back, her body seeking out more contact. “But I might not kiss you yet. I might run my hands down your arms,” he said, then did just that. “Or maybe I’ll stop telling you what I’m going to do.”

Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and her books have appeared multiple times on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Caught Up in Love, Seductive Nights, and Fighting Fire. She recently released Nights With Him, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Her next book in that series is Forbidden Nights, releasing in early 2015. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign).

Website: http://www.laurenblakely.com/
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A Message From Lauren:

I'm so thrilled that the Seductive Nights erotic romance series is continuing with a new installment starring a new couple! This series has been such a joy to write since it started as a fan-driven series, with Julia and Clay, and then Jack and Michelle, and now this this new novel is about Nate and Casey. Readers requested that I write their story next, so I did! FORBIDDEN NIGHTS can be read without having read the earlier books. (Though, why wouldn't you want to meet the other couples?!)

I can't wait to introduce readers to Nate Harper and Casey Sullivan. They’re a dynamic duo and many early readers are saying this is their favorite story yet! Nate knows exactly who, and what he wants, and is thrilled when the opportunity he’s dreamed about for years presents herself to him. Expect many steamy encounters between these two!
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