Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: The Start of Us and The Thrill of It by Lauren Blakely

The Start of Us (No Regrets, #0.5)
(No Regrets 0.5)

BLURB: A new adult story of First Times. Last Times. Connections. And No Regrets...

I only wanted a tattoo. A mark on my body to remind me of who I used to be. Something to hold onto when I started my penance for all the things I’d done wrong, the bad choices I’d made by the time I turned nineteen. Instead, I found a night of possibility, of truth, of hope for the future. And the most intense physical connection I’ve ever had. 

The only one I’ve ever had, and one I will never forget.


When she walked into my tattoo shop, I knew she was like me. Harley had secrets. She had a messed-up past, and things she wanted to run from, or forget ever happened. I couldn’t let her go. So we agreed on one night – to spend it together wandering around the city, getting to know each other, the clock ticking because we knew tomorrow would bring an end to the possibility of an us.

Unless tonight was only the start.

How can one night be the start of something when tomorrow it has to end?

 My Review
Even though this is a short novella it was long enough to draw me in and make me want to know more about Trey and Harley. About their pasts, about their addictions. 

Harley meets Trey when she steps into No Regrets, the tattoo parlor he works at, to get her first tattoo. What she didn't expect is to find the one person who makes her feel. To make her want things she has never wanted.

Trey doesn't expect his next client to stir something up inside him. But he knows when he sees her that he wants to know more about her. He wants to touch her, feel her, and taste her. Just for one night. For one night they let down their guards and just feel with each other. 

I was shocked at how fast things progressed between these two, but it was fitting. Sometimes you meet someone and they make you feel things and make you want to feel so much more.So you lose yourself in them. Their touch, their scent, their kiss. Even if it is just for one night. 
That is what Trey and Harley did. Just one night. Tomorrow a new day begins.But just for that one night they feel.

5 Stars 

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The Thrill of It (No Regrets, #1)
                                                               (No Regrets, Book 1)

BLURB: A new adult story of Love. Sex. Addiction. Blackmail. And Power...

Some say love can be an addiction. Others say it's the thing that makes life worth living. Let me tell you everything I know about love...Love isn't patient, love isn't kind. Love is a game, a chase. A thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman must fight for themselves. At least that's how it was for me. A high-priced virgin call girl by the time I started college, I was addicted to love and to sex. Even though I've never had either. I controlled love, played it, and held the world in the palm of my hands. Then I fell down from those highs, and I'm being blackmailed for all my mistakes, forced to keep secrets from everyone, except the only guy I don't regret.


With all the other women, I knew what they were. They were temporary. They were pills, they were bottles, they took away all the pain, and numbed the awful memories that wore down my ragged, wasted heart. Until I met Harley. She's the only girl I ever missed when she walked away. But now she's back in my life, every day, and there are no guarantees for us, especially since I don't know how to tell her my secrets. What happened to my family. All I know is she's the closest I've ever come to something real, and I want to feel every second of it.

How can you love with no regrets when regret is all you know?

My Review
All I hope is that you can someday know that love doesn't have to be a brutal, bitter, power game. Love can be the ugly beautiful.

Harley is addicted to sex and love. Love and sex. But she is a virgin. 

I am nineteen years old and I have kissed twenty-four guys, which amounts to four guys per year since my first kiss at age thirteen. 

Harley, aka Layla, is a high priced call girl. Escort. Call her what you may, either way men pay her for her services. I was very curious to see how this would work considering she is a virgin, to pretty much everything. She is a call girl. But really that title sounds so dirty compared to who she really is. She is just trapped. Trapped by her fear of love, trapped by her mother's expectations, by who her mother is. Being a call girl helped her gain control. Until she gets caught and is being blackmailed. I thought there was no way for this story to work but it did. It talks round and around in circles but it all comes together and makes sense. I couldn't understand why she berated herself so much for what she has done. It's not great but it's not all that bad either. But she is addicted. Addicted to the high she feels from a job, from the money, from power she gains. But she wants to break free from the job, her addiction, her mother, and her blackmailer.

Trey has his own secrets too. They weren't as bad as I had imagined but I can see how they damaged him. Trey is also addicted to sex and love. He used sex as a way to mask the pain and secrets of his past. Sex with older women is his thing. He gets high off getting them off. Making them want him. By knowing he holds that power. But he is tired of being addicted.Once he sees Harley again he knows he wants her. She isn't older than him but something about her calls out to him. 

I fully think Trey and Harley bring out the best in each other. I love how they form this friendship, even though they both crave and want what they had that first night together. Before they went to the Sex and Love meetings. before they swore off any and all relationships. No sex. No love. But as always when you want something you are told you can't have you find yourself wanting it even more. But with these two, there is nothing wrong in it. They are beautiful together. Together they share almost everything at first. When the time comes and they fully start to let each other in that is when it becomes something more. Together they get through their addictions. It seemed to take a while for everything to come full circle and for the most part this story is pretty drama free. Aside from the blackmail, while bad is not too horrible. I am hoping the drama level stays fairly low in the second book as well. The ending really didn't catch me off guard. I am looking forward to the next book though. I need more Harley and Trey. 

Remember, the pain is the arrow coming out, not the arrow coming in.

5 Stars! 


About the Author :

Lauren BlakelyLauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in TROPHY HUSBAND, she thinks life should be filled with hot men, cool clothes, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones

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