July 2, 2015

RELEASE WEEK REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Sweet Sinful Nights (Sinful Nights #1)

I'm a huge fan of Lauren Blakely's Seductive Nights series... and now there's a spin-off! She kicks off her new Sinful Nights series with SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS, the story of Brent and Shannon. It's an amazing second-chance romance story! Read on for my review, an excerpt and an incredible giveaway for an iPad Mini!

Sweet Sinful Nights (Sinful Nights #1), by Lauren Blakely
Publish Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) She was the one who got away… 

Ten years ago, Brent Nichols let the love of his life slip through his fingers. It’s his greatest regret, especially since she’s all but disappeared. But when the gorgeous and captivating woman walks into his life unexpectedly, he’s determined to win her back. Whatever it takes, he won’t make the same mistake twice.
Easier said than done… 

Shannon Paige has hardened her heart to the man she was once engaged to be married to. After the way he left, and after the hell she’s been through with her checkered family, there’s no way she’s letting him into her life again. The problem is, the second she sees him, he’s more handsome and charming than before. And she’s torn between wanting to fight with him and wanting to sleep with him -- Maybe both. Soon they fall into each other’s arms, consumed with a desire that burns through the years. 

But if these two fiery lovers are going to have a real second chance at this kind of intense, passionate, bone-deep love, he’ll have to give her his whole heart, and she’ll have to give up all the secrets from her messy past. 

And that messy past is about to spill over into her carefully constructed present… 

SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS is book one in SINFUL NIGHTS, a four-book series. Each book will follow a new couple.

Of all the many, many romance tropes out there, the second-chance romance one is my favorite. Couple that with the fact that Sweet Sinful Nights is the first book in a spin-off from Lauren Blakely's Seductive Nights series (which I loved), and the hero is Brent Nichols, brother to Seductive Nights hero Clay Nichols (whom I LOVED), and this was a sure thing. 

Brent realized he screwed up about 0.2 seconds after his fiance walked out on him. For the next 10 years, both of them moved up in their careers and became wildly successful, but there was never anyone to share it with. Until their paths crossed again when their businesses unexpectedly partner on a venture. And, now that Brent knows where to find Shannon, and has to see her for work, he is not making the same mistakes again. He is determined to win back her love and her trust, no matter what.

I loved that Brent and Shannon were so fiery together. Even when they were only 21 and engaged, they had passion in spades. That passion manifested in either heated arguments or hot, sweaty sexy times. They were both also very ambitious. Brent was a comedian with designs on working in television in California. Shannon was a former dancer who wanted to choreograph in New York. Brent was especially young and stupid early in their relationship, and far less willing to compromise or give in. This ultimately cost him his relationship with Shannon when their careers landed them on opposite ends of the country. Someone really should've told him that ultimatums are NOT the way to a girl's heart. 

The really awesome thing about Brent, though, was that he realized his mistake immediately. For their big fight in the beginning, we're in Brent's head, and it's like he knows he's screwing up, even as he opens his mouth to deliver the death blow to their relationship. He tries to contact Shannon. Tries to find her. But, she goes off the grid as far as Brent is concerned and he eventually gives up. It's always so sad when couples like this lose so many years to pride and ambition and other things that don't really matter much. 

Brent is just as alpha as his brother Clay is, so when he runs into Shannon 10 years later, he knows that this. Is. It. He finally has a chance to tell her all the sorries and I love yous that he didn't say before. And, he knows after their first meeting that the passion is still there, so he uses that. He reminds Shannon of all the things that had been great about them. And, they both give each other time to learn all the things that have changed in the time they were apart. 

Now, he had the opportunity for a second chance. The game was on, and he was going balls to the wall to win his woman back.

For her part, Shannon tried to resist. And, I get why. Brent hurt her so badly. And, she gave it a valiant effort too. But, seriously. I don't think any woman could resist this man once his sights have been set on her. It was just a matter of time until she was down for the count. But, the big question was whether the underlying problems before still existed now. Would Brent pick his career over her again? Would he force her to make an impossible decision again? Her reticence to be together with him again was very real and very understandable. 

Brent was her sweet, sinful addiction, and she rationalized that it was much healthier to need him than the bottle or a needle.

There's a very interesting back story going on about Shannon's mother. She's in prison for enacting a murder-for-hire plan that ultimately killed Shannon's dad when she was a teen. She's always claimed her innocence, and no one has believed her. Shannon and her brothers' relationship with their mother is strained, at best. Non-existent at worst. It's always been an area where Shannon has been unusually vulnerable, and Brent once again steps into his role as her supporter and protector where her mother is concerned. But, events concerning Shannon's mother come to light over the course of the book that open the door for the next book in this series, which I presume will focus on Shannon's oldest brother Ryan. Although Brent's and Shannon's story comes to a definitive and satisfying close, there is still a bomb that is dropped at the very end that leaves a very interesting cliffhanger out there for Ryan's story to start on. 

Told in dual POV, Sweet Sinful Nights was the best kind of second-chance love story. It was, in equal parts, hot, heartbreaking and hopeful. I can't wait for more from Lauren Blakely.

And be sure to watch for the next titles in the Sinful Nights series!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1GFI16U
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1BzqFtw
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/1GFSHTg
iBooks US: http://apple.co/1yYH1ef
iBooks UK: http://apple.co/1Fx09vK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1J6Ufqe
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/1GnZ9Mi



SINFUL LOVE - March 2016

She turned to look at him, and neither one of them said a word. Her green eyes were dark and intense. Her lips were so close. The inches between them were swallowed whole by the connection that crackled between them. She seemed to sway closer, and he moved in, seizing the moment.

He lifted his hand to her hair, still sleek in its twist, different from the shade she’d had when he knew her, but beautiful just the same. A strand had fallen loose, chestnut brown and curled. He touched it, ran his finger across the single lock. Time melted away as he leaned into the familiar crook of her neck. The craving for her ran so damn deep it lived inside his bones.

He inhaled her, that honey scent, a new smell that in an instant marked her.

“Shan,” he whispered, rough and gravelly, filled with so much want for her, which had built over the years, grown higher, spread further, formed roots. Inhabited him. He was desperate to have her in his arms again, to smother her in kisses that erased all the years.

“Brent,” she whispered, his name sounding like sugar on her tongue.

He buried his face in her neck, layering kisses on her soft skin. “Where have you been?” he asked, though it was entirely rhetorical. She hadn’t been with him. He hadn’t been with her. That was the answer.

“Where were you?” she countered softly.

He lifted his face and looked her in the eyes as he brushed the back of his fingers along her cheek. “Thinking of you,” he said. He didn’t know how he’d gone from breaking two glasses to finding her falling into his arms. But that was where they were. He cupped her cheeks in his hands. “You’re so fucking beautiful,” he rasped out, and then he crushed her mouth. He consumed her lips. He kissed her hard, and greedily, and the world around him turned black and small. It faded into a speck of nothingness because there was room for nothing else in his world but her.

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, No Regrets and Fighting Fire. She recently released Forbidden Nights, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. Her next book is 21 Stolen Kisses, a new adult romance filled with angst and romantic tension, releasing in May. This summer she'll release Consumed by You, her next title in her NYT Bestselling Fighting Fire series about sexy firemen and the women they love, and Sweet Sinful Nights, the first book in her new series Sinful Nights. 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).

Links: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Message from Lauren:

Dear Readers:

I am thrilled to share some exciting news with you! Many of you have been patiently waiting for SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS, the story of Brent Nichols and the woman he loves. Many of you already know Brent since he’s the younger brother of Clay Nichols, from NIGHT AFTER NIGHT....The good news is this-SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS is Book One in a new erotic romance series, Sinful Nights, written in the high-heat, high-stakes, high-glamour style of the Seductive Nights series that readers know and love, but heading in a new direction with a new family that’s full of drama, checkered pasts and dangerous life-and-death secrets.

SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS kicks off this new series with a fiery, passionate, and suspenseful story of two lovers reuniting after ten years. Each book in this series follow a new couple and will be set against the backdrop of sin, money, sex, greed, passion and love in the city of Las Vegas. Brent’s love interest is Shannon Paige, and she has three brothers. Yep, you guessed it - each of her brothers will be getting a book! And while each book in the Sinful Nights series follows a new couple, get ready for a storyline that will carry across the entire series -- a story of danger, risk and high-stakes suspense.

Q&A about the Sinful Nights series:

Does this take place after the events in the Seductive Nights series?
A: Yes. This story begins one year after the final Seductive Nights book.

Can I read this if I haven’t read the Seductive Nights series?
A: Yes! You won’t miss a beat if you start with SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS. That’s why it’s Book One!

Brent is Clay’s brother. Does this mean Clay will be in SWEET SINFUL NIGHTS?
A: Why yes! He will indeed appear in a handful of scenes!

Is this series similar to the Seductive Nights series?
A: Absolutely. The hero in book one is a Nichols man! Nichols men are known for being dirty, passionate and fiercely loyal! You can also expect scorching hot sex scenes, dirty talk, high-class and glamorous settings, and passionate love. Have I mentioned the heat :)?

Sinfully Sweet Summer Giveaway!

What would make your summer sinfully sweet? A new iPad Mini to catch up on all of your summer reading or a mini vacation?

Lauren is so thrilled that you are spending part of your summer with Brent and Shannon that she decided, as a special thank you, to give one lucky reader an iPad Mini or a gift certificate to their favorite hotel chain ($250 value).

a Rafflecopter giveaway