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Blog Tour: The Thrill of It by Lauren Blakely {Review+Giveaway}

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Welcome to my stop on the The Thrill of It blog tour hosted by InkSlingerPR!
Today I am so excited to share my review and a giveaway with you all!


The Thrill of It (No Regrets #1)
   by: Lauren Blakely

Publication Date: Nov. 21, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received from InkSlingerPR and the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 275 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes
My Rating: 4/5 stars


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.

Trey...

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:

Lauren is usually my go-to author for when I am in need of a sweet, light romance. I usually read one of hers after having my soul shattered and my heart torn to pieces. So, when I first heard her discussing how this book would take a darker direction, I was a little nervous. I already knew how talented of a writer Lauren was and so I began to mentally prepare myself for the emotional toll this book would take. She completely blew this out of the water. I mean, WOW. Lauren has managed to create a story about two characters who are far from perfect and working to overcome their own addictions.  The Thrill Of It is dark, sexy, emotional, and shows us that second chances do exist.
 
Harley and Trey have both been dealt some rather difficult hands in life and everything that has happened has brought them to the same place. Harley's life changed the moment she set foot in the No Regrets tattoo parlor and laid eyes on Trey Westin, tattoo artist. For the first time ever, she finds herself wanting a man- not because she's been paid to, but because she is genuinely attracted to him. Harley has spent her teenage life working as a call girl. She is pimped out to the wealthiest of wealthy and indulges them in their rather, interesting fantasies. However, she has never let a man touch her intimately or had sex with any of them. After spending one amazing night with Trey, she walks out of his life and straight into love and sex addiction therapy.
 
"The guy from last night who inked my shoulder, and kissed my body, and who gave me something I've never felt before- touch without agenda. A true and real want. He didn't want anything more from me than me. It was such a foreign feeling, but such a wondrous one."
 
Harley never expected to run into Trey again. However, fate had other plans for these two. Trey walks into the same therapy session and both know they are in for one hell of a ride. They decide to be friends, since both know they can't go down that road of entertaining a relationship with one another. They're in therapy! Bah. Trey and Harley have the absolute sexiest chemistry ever. I knew it would only be a matter of time before these two cracked.
 
However, Trey and Harley are in therapy for a reason. They both have pasts that still haunt them and they want to get better. Fighting their addiction is an ongoing battle every day and after their decision to become friends- their friendship becomes so much more. They lean on one another and seek comfort and strength together. Harley has confided in Trey and he knows the ghosts of her past. Words of affirmation are what drive Harley. All her life, her mother has not acted like a mother to Harley. Instead, she treats her as a girlfriend would- talking about sex and things of that nature. Harley was never brought up in a loving, nurturing environment. Instead, she was brought up superficially- always being told how pretty she was, etc. All of this really played a large role in why Harley made the decisions she did. The only person who Harley felt true love and affection from was her pimp, Cam. I was quite concerned about Cam, because he gave me the creeps, but I think in his own way (as strange as it seemed), he really did care for Harley and want the best for her.
 
Trey. Oh, Trey. I absolutely loved this man. While Harley has bared her soul to him, he has not done the same to her. He is terrified he won't be able to withstand his grief if he opens up to her about what happened in his family. That grief is what led him to his sexual addiction. He likes the numbness that he feels and how the pleasure outweighs his grief. With Harley, he finds himself feeling again and wanting a relationship with her. He manages to hold himself back with her in the beginning, because he knows she is working so hard to be better. Harley is fragile right now and even the smallest thing can cause a setback for her. Trey does a better job of fighting his addiction but I was still so afraid he would fall back into old ways and hurt Harley.
 
As I said before, these two have amazing chemistry together. There is this magnetic pull between them to simply be near each other. They talk to each other constantly, spend their free time together, and always seem to find a way to touch each other- even if it's as innocent as holding hands. I hated how much self-doubt these two had. Neither one felt they were worthy of being loved or loving another and it really broke my heart. That moment where they both realized they couldn't deny their attraction or feelings anymore? Holy hell, I think my heart stopped.
 
"Here, where there is sex and love, and love and sex, and they don't just spill over into each other. They are one and the same with him."
 
Haley seems like a rather meek, fragile character when it comes to her mom, and I loved how she finally stood up to her in the end. She doesn't need her mother's validation anymore- she has Trey to help her keep the demons at bay. Standing up to her mom was a big step in Harley's recovery and even though Lauren left us with a bit of a cliffhanger ending, I have hope for Harley.
 
This is so much more than a romance, though. It's about the continuous battles these two will face and fight to overcome on a daily basis. Addiction isn't to be taken lightly and I'm amazed these two sought help for themselves instead of spiraling down into a place they couldn't come back from. However, addiction isn't the only battle these two fight. Family drama, blackmail, manipulation, and fear of relapse all plague our two protagonists. However, I am confident that together- these two can fight anything that's thrown their way.
 
"I am not my past. I am my present. I am my future. The past can chase you if you let it. You can spend your life trying to outrun it or you can stop running, turn around and look it in the face. I've stared down my past, and now I'm moving on. I am more than my past. I am my future and it belongs to me."
 
 
About the Author:
 
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat,
heart, and humor, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks bestseller lists. Like the heroine in 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 novels include Caught Up In Us, Pretending He's Mine, Playing With Her Heart, Trophy Husband, and Far Too Tempting. On November 21, she'll release the edgy new adult novel THE THRILL OF IT. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney.
 
 
 
Giveaway:
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Once you've read The Thrill of It, check out the prequel novella, The Start of Us! It is currently FREE on all platforms. See how Harley and Trey's story began! (Psst- I rated it 5 stars!)

 
 
"Arcade Fire's music makes me feel as if I can feel. Like I'm feeling everything inside me that I don't usually let myself experience. The music does that to me, like it's turning me inside out."
 
Trey's shoulders relax and he grins. "I love that. I think music can be like that. That when you don't know what to do or say, sometimes you listen to a song and it makes you, I don't know, brave or crazy or just makes it seem like a bad day isn't so bad."
 
My new favorite quote ever!!!!

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10 comments

  1. I have been dying to read something by this author but I just never seem to have the time! Jessicaaaaa make me read faster!!!! Love this review!

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    1. Aww! Teresa! Lauren is one of my very favorites! She is awesomesauce! Read fasterrrrrrr T! LOL.

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  2. This book sounds awesome! I still haven't read a Lauren Blakely novel and I actually went to read Trophy Husband while in Vermont this weekend but I never downloaded it off the cloud and since I was remote and cut off from the internet I couldn't get it and I was very sad. I love that this book sounds a bit darker (I love dark books!) The blurb sounds stellar and your review makes me very excited to get my hands on a copy. Awesome job!

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    1. Aww bummer! I love Trophy Husband! Yes, this is her darkest book yet. I think you will really like this one my friend!

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  3. I'm going to be honest, I have never read anything by Lauren Blakely. But this book sounds sooo good! Especially the characters! And I do love a book that is darker, and emotional tests the reader!! Definitely have to check this one out!
    Great review!!!!

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    1. Oh I love Lauren, Magen! She's one of my go-to authors when I need a GREAT book! And this was so different than her usual style, but she really shined as an author showing she could go in any direction!

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  4. I haven't read any of Blakely's books yet! I've been a bit hesitant over this one, but everyone seems to be saying it works. So glad you enjoyed!

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    1. It was definitely different, but I really loved it! I am a huge Blakely fan though, so I might be biased. :)

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  5. This sounds like a good one! I've read a few books by Lauren Blakely, and have really enjoyed them. I'd like to read this one. The fact that it's darker, deals with addiction, blackmail, and sounds pretty swoon-worthy, has me wanting to read it! Excellent Review Jess!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

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    1. Thanks Lindy! We have such similar tastes I have no doubt you'll also really like this one! And I found the premise to be SO intriguing!

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