"He tempts her, but kindness and a few mind-blowing orgasms aren't enough to put her back together again. Allie has no hope for a real relationship. Two years ago her best friend betrayed her in the worst possible way – she’d be stupid to trust a man again."
Pages: 268 pages
Publisher: Loose ID Publishing on June 2012
Form: E-book (from tour for an honest review)
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance (+18 Only)
Amazon: Buy / $11.49 (Kindle) ( EU price, click to see yours )
All Romance E-books: Buy / $7.99 (E-book)
Excerpt: Chapter 1
"Allie prowls the club for a man who will use her hard and then ditch her. Hey, it's not rape if she wants it. Instead she finds Colin, who looks tough but treats her tenderly, despite her protests.
He tempts her, but kindness and a few mindblowing orgasms aren't enough to put her back together again. Allie has no hope for a real relationship. Two years ago her best friend betrayed her in the worst possible way – she’d be stupid to trust a man again. Besides, she has her daughter to think of, the only good thing to have come from that dark night.
But when her rapist returns, threatening her sanity and custody of her daughter, Allie turns to Colin. Under his protection and patient touch, Allie begins to heal and learns to hope. Colin’s no saint, though, and his criminal past draws danger of its own. Allie must fight to protect her child and the man she loves, hoping her new found power will be enough to save them all." ~From Goodreads
The story is from Allie's point of view only which creates danger and mystery around Colin that really is steamy in the beginning! I did really like Colin even though he was bad boy, totally, being involved in crime will do that to a guy - but he made it up in protecting and loving Allie.
Allie to me personally was bit too messed up. He character was quite sad, having been raped by her best friend and having got a child of that. But she did have a her strong moment and happy moment but mostly I found her too dark for me.
I actually quite liked Shelley, Allie's "escort" friend and well as Allie's daughter those two brought much needed lightness and kindness to the story - without them it might have been too dark for me.
And of course I hated Allie's baby daddy, who wouldn't! But the danger coming from her connection with Colin also revved up the novel and gave it that suspense angle!
Amber Lin will be giving away the following prize! One randomly drawn commenter on the tour will win an erotic romance prize pack, including paperback copies of Bared to You by Sylvia Day, Simply Carnal by Kate Pearce, Lessons in Letting Go by Cara McKenna ( print combo of Willing Victim and Curio ), Comfort Object by Annabel Joseph, a collection of signed Giving It Up swag AND a $50 Amazon Gift Card ( BN.com or All Romance may be substituted )
Niina : Welcome to For The Love of Reading, Ms. Amber Lin, I’m glad you could make it!
Amber Lin : Thanks for having me, Niina! Great to meet a fellow smexy book lover and vegetarian. Unrelated but still fun!
Niina : Let’s get started! Can you tell my readers here 4 fun unknown facts about you so we can break the ice?
Amber : Okay here we go:
1. My very first exposure to erotic fiction was on literotica when I was very underage. I don’t even remember exactly when, but it was young. Occasionally I stumble upon an old story form back then, and it’s a very taboo sort of nostalgia.
2. I actually like pop music. I don’t understand why all the fuss about Call Me Maybe. I also like other kinds of music—R&B, hip hop, some country and rock. The only thing I don’t do, no ma’am, is techno. Which is what the hubs likes to listen to. Of course.
3. I’m a little OCD about showering, as in I bathe twice a day. Sometimes more. I know I’m weird, shuddup.
4. I’m married to my high school sweetheart.
Niina : Tell us something about your book Giving It Up that we wouldn’t know just by reading the blurb?
Amber : Allie’s best friend Shelly is a prostitute. They are very close, closer than a lot of siblings. Shelly helped Allie when she was going through a dark time, and continues to help her even now. However, their entanglement will end up threatening Allie by the time the book is over.
Niina : How would you define your genre?
Amber : There are so many incarnations of romance and erotica and erotic romance, and I love them all. However, I do get a little snippity about certain things. For example, if a romance has explicit sex, that shouldn’t make it erotic romance. That’s a steamy romance. An erotic romance should be one where the plot hinges on the sexual AND romantic journey, as it does in Giving It Up. And again, erotica is a focus on the sexual journey; there may be romance, but it’s not central to the storyline. How can you tell? It comes down to the story turns and character arcs. So basically, I don’t mind when readers get it wrong, but I do mind when authors or industry professionals do.
Niina : What chapter of Giving It Up did you most enjoyed writing and why?
Amber : The first chapter. This is not only where you, the readers, meet Allie and Colin—it’s where I met them. Allie is at a club, looking for a rough, anonymous hook-up. Instead, she finds Colin, who treats her gently, despite her protests.
When I started writing Giving It Up, I really didn’t have any plans for it to be a full-length novel. I never even thought to publish it. The words just came out, building a world and fleshing out these characters. Since then, the first draft has been worked over many times. I have tweaked it to my idea of perfection but the core of the chapter remains.
Niina : What are you working on right now? Can you give us a sneak peak?
Amber : I’m writing Shelly’s story. Remember Allie’s best friend… who happens to be a prostitute? Yeah, hers. A sneak peek, hmm? Oookay, here you go. This is a look at her life as a prostitute…
Outside the suite, I sunk my stilettos into the carpet. The dull beat shook from behind the door, already matching the throb in my head. I had the sudden urge to call him. My fingers brushed the little black clutch.
What could I say? I know I promised I wouldn’t do it anymore, but I’m about to go bang assholes for money. I tried to join the regular world, but they didn’t want me. I’m sorry. Don’t hate me. Help me.
The door swung open, revealing a man with a shiny forehead and a bulbous belly hanging from between his open dress shirt. “I call dibs,” he shouted, spittle flying in my face.
Niina : What makes a hero you write sexy?
Amber : I think the most important thing is that the heroine can count on him. She may not always know it or believe it, but he’ll always be there for her. Supporting her, helping her and never trying to change her. Maybe second to that would be a guy who is eager to please her in bed, whether that comes in the form of uber-masculine alpha-ness or submissive beta sweetness.
Yeah, I didn’t mention looks because they just aren’t that important to me. Don’t get me wrong, they’re important to the heroine. Physical attraction is a big part of a romance. However, everyone is different. Maybe you like a scruffy cuddly bear or maybe you like them tall and lean. Maybe you like rugged dangerous or pretty boys. It doesn’t matter what the hero looks like as long as the heroine wants him that way.
For a long time my author tagline was “because everyone deserves a happy ending.” I changed it for a few different reasons, but that is still one of the core ideas behind my book. I mean, if we say that a hero is sexy because of his physical traits, then the corollary is that men who aren’t Adonis don’t deserve love or devotion or… well, sex. I want to write about the other guys (and gals), the ones who aren’t beautiful and rich and well-dressed and cultured.
Colin isn’t conventionally handsome. He’s rough, rugged, and looks like his nose may have been broken once, or twice. He wears jeans and a T-shirt and lives on a small house on a quiet street. He’s also patient, kind, gentle, and dependable. Oh, and he gives great oral sex.
Niina : What makes you feel like you’re reading or have read a truly amazing book?
Amber : Mostly I’d like to not be thinking anything at all. A good book will transport you to a different place. When you’re dragged back to earth, mostly unwillingly, you might think about how to prolong the reading experience or hope for a sequel. And then of course I want to tell everyone about it!
Niina : What’s the best compliment you’ve received on your writing? And who complimented you?
Amber : Hmm. The best compliment was that I entered one of the slightly better known RWA chapter contests, the Golden Pen. One of the judges, who was also a published author, said she’d been judging that contest for years and this was literally the best entry she had ever read. She went on about the writing and the depth etc. It also so happens that I didn’t even final in that contest. Yeah. Despite the perfect score from her, it was disliked by the others.
Giving It Up deals with some very controversial topics and the writing style is also a bit unique. As a result, it’s polarizing. I’ve received some fabulous compliments from authors and industry professionals I really respect, who I’m hesitant to call out at this exact moment to avoid being a total name-dropper, but I’ve also had my share of rejection and flat out hate.
I can console myself that at least I am moving people to some emotion, but the truth is I don’t have a choice in the matter. If I want to write something raw and honest, these are my stories. I can’t fake it and be someone else, write someone else’s stories. But anyway, the varied perspective keeps me humble
Niina : Now to more personal questions! What’s the biggest turn on in a guy, fictional or real life?
Amber : Forearms. Wait. I know I said physical attributes don’t matter, but forearms! They are so sexy and they’re sloping and flexing – damn. Okay, but really it’s intelligence. If I see a guy who’s built well, it’s pretty to look at, like a painting. But if I hear that he’s some genius in some field or another… or better yet, I see it for myself, when he starts talking about some nerdy thing he’s passionate about… unh, damn. Gets me going.
Niina : What is your favorite guilty treat/pleasure?
Amber : Popcorn and rocky road ice cream. In fact, if I’d had a really bad day, the most indulgent thing I can do is eat popcorn for dinner, rocky road for dessert and take a nice steamy bath. Now that I’m a mama, that rarely actually happens, both due to time constraints and setting a bad example, but it’s nice to dream.
Niina : What does it take to write a really hot love scene?
Amber : The most important thing is that I have to be turned on. Sorry if that’s TMI but it’s true. And really it’s the same for any other type of scene. If I’m feeling chipper and I go write some uber-depressing breakup scene dark moment, it’s really not going to work out. It’ll be too light-hearted, too funny or just fall flat. Or if I’m feeling low and need to write some witty repartee. Sometimes you can force it, and I do, but it is generally going to need heavy revising.
So yeah, I need to be turned on. The best is when I’m just feeling it naturally and have the opportunity to write right then, although that is really great timing and doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I will read a little erotica first, although that can be tricky because I don’t want to assimilate that author’s voice.
The worst possible time to write a sex scene would be right after real sex. I’m way too sated to write any tension. Well, I am if my husband did his job right
Niina : What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Amber : Hmm, I suppose it’s a quirk that I prefer to write at night. It started out of necessity because that was the only time I had to write, but even now that I have time during the day, I will spend that on promo efforts of social media and save my heavy writing for the middle of the night. It’s so quiet and dark, and I fall into this almost trance-like state where the words pour out of me. Yeah, it’s fucking beautiful.
Niina : Before we finish, here are some Quick Fire Questions:
Pick-up or Mini-van? Mini-van. They’ll both hold my dogs, but the spoiled little mutts prefer an indoor seat.
Boots or Heels? Heels.
Cocktails or Shots? Mojitos.
M&Ms: With or Without Peanuts? Without. Have you tried the dark chocolate/mint ones? Yum.
Treats: Sweet or Salty? Popcorn.
Date: Going to Park or Going to Movies? Movies.
Jewels or Chocolates? Uh… chocolate? But mostly because it costs less. I’m a cheap date, if you know what I mean.
Men: Alpha-male or Submissive? Alpha male. Except when they’re being submissive. Unh…
Men: Clean Shaven or Stubble? Stubble FTW
Men: Bad boys or Good guys? Bad. So very bad.
Tattoos or Piercings on a guy? Yes please.
Brunettes or Blonds? Tall, dark and handsome.
Romance: Vampires or werewolves? Vamps.
Romance: Fallen Angels or Sexy Demons? Demons.
Romance: Cops or Cowboys? Cops who break the rules. See above: bad boys.
Time-Travel or Sci-fi? Sci-fi.
Romance or Erotic Romance? Hahaha, erotic. Steamy, sexy, dirty romance—yes.
Male POV or Female POV (Point Of View)? Female.
Niina : Thanks for visiting the For The Love of Reading, Amber! Any news would you like to share with your readers, or websites they can check out?
Amber : I’m working on Shelly’s story, which is the sequel to Giving It Up. Curious readers may sign up for my Barely There Newsletter, for which I will only send notifications very rarely for big things like releases. I also blog and am on twitter, so stop by and say hello!