OPENING UP (Ink and Chrome #1) by Lauren Dane-a review
About the book: Release Date June 16, 2015
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?
REVIEW: OPENING UP is the first installment in Lauren Dane’s adult, contemporary Ink and Chrome erotic romance series focusing on the men of Twisted Steel- a custom motorcycle and car shop. This is Twisted Steel co-owner/former soldier Asa Barrons, and PJ (Penelope Jean) Colman’s storyline.
Told from dual third person perspectives (PJ and Asa) the storyline follows twenty five year old (and free spirit) PJ Colman as she attempts to bring the family owned tire business- Colman Enterprises-into the twenty first century. With her purple striped hair, tattoos, piercings and the lack of a college diploma, PJ is the black sheep of the Colman family, and is the bane of her father’s existence. When PJ issues an ultimatum regarding her latest attempts at diversifying Colman Enterprises, PJ walks away looking to Twisted Steel to help promote her upstart custom detail business. Enter Asa Barrons-twleve years PJ’s senior and the man who will break her heart.
On the surface, Asa is a tattooed and pierced bad boy; the personification of perfection, and a man who has the ability to make women swoon, and PJ is no exception. But Asa has issues with PJ’s age, and in this, our hero is constantly pushing PJ away. Their attraction to once another is palpable, and while PJ continues to work for Twisted Steel, Asa is unable to stop his need and want for the woman who calls to his heart. When one too many men pay attention to the woman he wants, Asa will mark his territory making sure everyone knows that PJ belongs to him.
The relationship between Asa and PJ is highly sexual. Asa likes to talk dirty and prefers a little kink in the bedroom; paddles, whips, canes. PJ is the woman who is willing to try anything for the man with whom she is falling in love. Asa also has a bit of a quick temper and a jealous streak that requires our hero to reign it in on several occasions. PJ is a strong female heroine who isn’t afraid to speak her mind; defend her ideas; or tell the truth. PJ will learn that it is difficult for most women to be accepted into the misogynistic world of custom cars and garage mechanics. The $ex scenes are steamy, erotic, and provocative.
OPENING UP is an ensemble storyline with a large cast of characters in both secondary and supporting roles. Throughout the novel we will be introduced to PJ’s dysfunctional family: Siblings Colman CEO Jay, Shawn, and Julie, as well as Uncle Fee and their father Howard Colman Jr. There is some bad blood between PJ and her father, that when revealed is heartbreaking and painful to comprehend. Uncle Fee has some sort of control over Howard Jr that is never quite revealed about the how and why. Lenore Colman, PJ’s mother, is a bit of a door mat as it pertains to her emotionally abusive husband, but in the end, Lenore will open her eyes and see what it is Howard Jr has created through his acidic personality and jealous ways. Asa’s mother Pat Barrons, and his sister Courtney will welcome PJ into their family; PJ’s best friend Audra is our heroine’s sounding board when things begin to fall apart.
Twisted Steel co-owner (and former soldier) Duke Bradshaw plays a supporting role throughout the storyline. Duke’s story will be told next in FALLING UNDER; his love interest is Carmella Rossi-a woman also introduced as Duke’s neighbor in OPENING UP. Mick Roberts, former soldier and initially an all around a$$hole, runs into some trouble with Asa, when he is not willing to accept Asa’s relationship with PJ-the age difference is a constant source of anxiety and frustration.
OPENING UP is an engaging and fascinating introduction to Lauren Dane’s Ink and Chrome erotic romance series. The characters are colorful, emotional and at times, heartbreaking; the premise is moving, hopeful and enjoyable; the romance addicting and seductive. Although the next two installments focus on Asa’s friends and fellow soldiers, I am hoping there will be a few storylines involving PJ’s brothers and sisters at Colman Enterprises. The family dynamics have resulted in an intense struggle for acceptance and love.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.
Reviewed by Sandy