Review/Excerpt & Giveaway: Opening Up by Lauren Dane (Ink and Chrome #1)

Opening Up by Lauren DaneAvailable: June 16,2015 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Forever

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

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?

What an amazingly refreshing story from the award winning Lauren Dane! This was my first book by her….I know, stop yelling at me…..and it definitely wont be my last!

Along with her three other siblings, PJ is poised to take over the family tire business when their father and meddling uncle finally retire. But PJ has always been the black sheep of the family. She follows no ones tune but her own much to the rest of her family’s dismay. A college drop out, she dreams of taking her love of custom painting vehicles and turning it into a profit earner for the company. The rest of her family is leery of her ideas and he father outright forbade it so Pj does the only thing she can do. Quit and strike out on her own.

The co-owner of the local vehicle build and restoration shop, Asa is as big and scary as they come. Yet whenever he sees PJ he softens and yields to her without hesitation. She may be a whole lot younger than him, but after some rather eager convincing and a little bit of groveling, he realizes he can never let this woman go. She’s ambitious, headstrong and doesn’t mind a little innovative punishment in the bedroom. She’s perfect for him in every way.

I think PJ is my favorite heroine of the year so far! Her ability to not only deal with the chauvinistic pigs in a mostly male dominated career field was second only to her ability to deal with her complete asshole of a father. She took no shit from anyone and had no problem telling men where they could stick their dumbass ideas about women working in their field. Her pain at the hands of her own family tore me up inside but she always recovered with grace and shouldered on in her dream of building her custom paint business. I think the evolution of the rest of her family as the book went on was so incredibly well done. As a reader I started out hating them all with the exception of the only sister, because she actually got the pain PJ was experiencing, but as the book progressed and their true feelings/situations were brought to light I could suddenly understand them and the positions they were in.

If PJ was my favorite heroine, Asa has to be right up there as one of my favorite heroes. He is this huge, manly man who exuded such power and testosterone, but was such an emotionally centered individual that I swooned with every page turn. Sure, he had his moments, especially when he kept denying himself pleasure simply because of PJ’s age, but his mega hotness won me (and PJ) back every time. His penchant for some kinky flogging while keeping both of them in a position of power was both hot and a breath of fresh air in a D/s dominated genre. I loved his constant backing up of PJ, no matter what she decided, even when her family couldn’t give her the same respect. He was protective without being overbearing, and I loved that.  Who couldn’t love a man who is self reliant, a gentleman AND loves his mother and sisters with complete devotion?

Opening Up is an emotionally charged, slightly kinky, awesome contemporary romance that is sure to please eager readers! Dane has created a word I can’t wait to return to!

I give Opening Up by Lauren Dane 5 stars!


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, PJ.”

“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.


***Top 5 songs to get tattooed by – by Lauren Dane***

I like slow jams or things with a lulling/engaging beat or rhythm so you can throw yourself into that and roll with the pain.


1.     Lo Fidelity Allstars – Nightime Story (yep, that’s how it’s spelled)

3.     Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice

4.     Stevie Wonder – Do I Do

5.     Weezer – Say It Ain’t So

 What about you all? If you’ve gotten ink, what sorts of music do you like to hear while you’re under the needle?

DaneOPENINGUPLaurenAbout the author:

Find Lauren: Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

The story goes like this: While on pregnancy bed rest, Lauren Dane had plenty of down time, so her husband took her comments about “giving that writing thing a serious go” to heart and brought home a secondhand laptop. She wrote her first book on it. Today, Lauren is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 60 novels and novellas across several genres.


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And don’t miss FALLING UNDER, book #2 in the Ink & Chrome series, on sale August 4, 2015!




Duke Bradshaw, co-owner of the Twisted Steel custom motorcycle and hot rod shop, may devote his days to chrome and leather, but his nights belong to Carmella. His sultry redheaded neighbor has a smile like an angel and a body built for sin, and for the past year both have dominated Duke’s dreams. When a problem at Twisted Steel requires a fast fix, Duke sees his chance to finally make his fantasy a reality. Ever since she first heard the low rumble of his engine, Carmella Rossi has wondered if Duke Bradshaw handles his women as expertly as he handles his bike. When he shows up at her door offering her a much-needed job at his shop, she gets her chance to find out. Beneath Duke’s masterful touch, Carmella soon submits to a world of unimaginable pleasure.  But history has taught Carmella how bad a boy boy can be. If she doesn’t put on the brakes fast, her hard-bodied heartbreaker could drive her right over the edge . . .


Pre-order: Amazon/B&N


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