Sunday, June 23, 2013



Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the Selling Scarlett Blog Tour! This tour is hosted be InkSlinger PR. My stop includes a review, excerpt, and tour-wide giveaway.

Selling Scarlett (Love Inc., #1)
Series: Love Inc. #1
Category/Genre: Erotic Romance/Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Barkley's Books
Publication Date: 4/14/13
Format: Kindle ebook
Pages: 269
Source: Received from author for review

Elizabeth DeVille doesn't belong at a party like this—one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.

Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail.

When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter's den of vices, she's a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn't have, and she's come up with a foolproof way to get it.

Follow Elizabeth—code-named Scarlett—to the lush Nevada brothel where she'll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that's not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil's mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.

Okay, it's been a little hard for me to gather my thoughts on Selling Scarlett, because honestly, this wasn't the book I was prepared for. This is actually a good thing. What I thought I was getting was a simple story of a young woman who is auctioning off her virginity for money, as if that's simple at all. And I'll admit, while the idea of auctioning virginity definitely squicks me out, I was curious. I was hoping the author could sell me on the idea of a woman who would do this. But, that is only one aspect to the story. Selling Scarlett was also a story of corruption, greed, manipulation, and sacrifice.

Okay, I don't really like to rehash the story in my reviews, but to get understand why I'm saying Selling Scarlett is not simple and much more than it seems, I kind of need to. And let me also say, the first few chapters of the story were iffy for me. I felt like I was put into the middle of a story with no idea who these characters were and why they were acting as insanely as they did. But I kept going, and was quickly invested in the story.

Moving on... Elizabeth DeVille has had a years-long crush on Hunter West. Elizabeth and Hunter both grew up in affluent families, but Elizabeth's family has lost most of their fortune. One night, Elizabeth and her friends, Suri and Cross, go to a party at Hunter's house. Elizabeth inadvertently spies Hunter in a very intimate position with another woman, then has an encounter of her own with him, then sees him acting very, very strangely. She's flustered to say the least, and has an awkward conversation with Cross, followed by a tragedy. This leaves Elizabeth in the position of needed money, and a lot of it, to help her friend, and thus, you have the circumstances of why Elizabeth would auction her virginity. It sounds weird, I get it, and it's not something I could ever see myself doing, but there you have it. And it actually makes for an interesting story.

Alright, so I said Selling Scarlett was more than a virginity auction. Here's where that comes in: Hunter West is really and truly effed. This is a guy who has more money than he knows what to do with, but is completely unhappy. Oh, and he's being bribed and manipulated by a bitch of a porn star. I know, right? It's completely crazy, but that's how these rich people roll. Well, apparently Hunter and his family have some skeletons in the closet, and this evil chick is going to destroy him unless he does what she wants. But, there's a whole lot more at play than just Hunter's secrets, and this goes all the way to illicit affairs, politicians (of course), and human trafficking. The mystery was elaborate and intricate and I was consumed with finding out who was responsible and how everything goes down.

So among all of the WTF-ery, Selling Scarlett is also a love story. It seems that as much as Elizabeth has been pining for Hunter, he's been wanting her too. The story is full of push-and-pull between the two, with Hunter knowing that he's just no good for her, and with the extremely shady business going down in his world, he wants to keep her safe. I know it seems unlikely, but the love story between them was very endearing. Hunter and Elizabeth both make some big sacrifices and hard choices to help the other. And I have to say, that despite the odds, they were a great pair.

Selling Scarlett is a great choice if you're looking for a book that is definitely more than meets the eye, and will keep you on the hook and guessing until the very end.

Favorite Quote:

  I shouldn't take this any further, but her mouth on mine is so soft, it's like a vindication.  ~ebook, 77%

  As I dress, I think about everything that's transpired between Libby and I. Everything that's been said. And I wish, for the first time, that I was a free man. Really free. I wish that I could have her. Not just for a night. She's not that kind of woman. And the crazy thing is, when I'm with her, I'm not that kind of guy.  ~ebook, 79%

Elizabeth's POV
Blinded by a haze of lust, I sail into the room, flaps of emerald silk flying around me, my hand already reaching between my legs.
Through my mental fog, I notice the vastness of the bedroom. My eyes slide over the flames blooming in a marble fireplace and I spot a tasseled pillow tossed haphazardly, inches from the fire. My attention settles on the bed; it's huge, with four mahogany posts and a deep green bedspread that matches my gown almost perfectly. I dimly note a surprising lack of pillows, just before I trip on one. I glance down at my feet, surprised to find I am standing in a sea of pillows. I glance around, still panting, and notice a broken mirror hanging beside a small armoire.
I'm confused and, for a second, worried, but another glance around the room reveals nothing else out of the ordinary. I assume someone has used the room for a party quickie. That turns me on even more, and I rush back to the door, locking it behind me before striding back to the bed.
It's ridiculous. I'm still blazing hot. I feel full and restless. Desperate. I know what I need. I've never done this outside my bedroom, but Hunter West does something strange to me, so I'm not entirely surprised—nor am I inclined to stifle my desire. I'm a grown woman, and God knows I'm the only one with a say-so in my sex life. Why not do what I want? Ten minutes, and I'll be back out in the hall, feeling a lot more level-headed. It's win-win.
I grin as I scoot up onto the mattress, inhaling the sweet scent of leather and cologne as I lean back on the only remaining pillow. Sweaty and trembling, I part my legs and reach under my gown. My fingers have just found their mark when a shadow rises from the floor space on the other side of the bed.
Hunter is shirtless and sweat-slicked, with dark eyes and a twisted mouth. He wipes his forehead, squinting, and speaks in a voice that sounds strangely far away. "Is that you, Libby?"
I can't speak. I can't even move for the longest moment. When I find my voice, I sound like I'm choking. "Libby? N-no."
Oh dear God, he's beautiful. I am in awe of his shoulders. His pecs. My heart is racing, and under my gown, I quiver in response to—well, it must be pheromones. I have the urge to grab his arms and pull him down beside me on the bed. Instead, I squeeze my eyes shut.
Oh God. I'm done. I was an outcast before, but my old crowd will really slay me now.
Slowly I lift my eyelids, finding Hunter closer; he's leaning over the mattress, the weight of his gorgeous upper body propped on his thick arms. His face softens when his eyes meet mine, and he nods slightly. "Yes it is."
I have no idea what he's talking about anymore, because my brain has turned to soup. I'm all glowing, glittering sensation as his green gaze sweeps me from toes to crown. His brows are slightly gathered, his mouth still tight. Firelight illuminates his face, so I can see the exact moment he realizes what I've been doing. His torso stiffens as his hands, pressed against the mattress, curl into big fists. He makes a low, approving sound and speaks in a voice that sounds like molten lava.
"That’s so sexy."
I look down at my hand, still tangled in my gown. "It is?" I search his face.
"Oh, yeah. Hell yeah." He's on the bed with me that next second, his gym-ripped body licked by the glow of flames. I gasp when he grabs my hips and turns me toward him. His eyes are flaring, and I expect him to let go of my fleshy hips. I'm already recoiling, hating myself for humiliating myself in front of this man. Instead he pulls me closer, locking both hands around my big ass and squeezing.
"Let me get you off," he purrs. I feel a throb between my legs, followed by a rush of needy warmth.
Oh God. .

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About the author:
I'm a 20-something sci-fi nerd with a journalism degree and a serious York Peppermint Pattie addiction. I spend my days baby-wrangling and dog-chasing and my nights tapping on my laptop and hanging out with my writer/editor husband. A fun day for me involves lots of writing, running, and researching topped off with some quality Kindle time. My life's goal is to find an empty cottage in an enchanted forest, install a solar panel for my laptop, and move in - never to be seen again, except in sweatpants.
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  1. Selling Scarlett does sound like it has messed up characters. But I'm glad that there was so much else going on that made this a decent read for you Andrea. After reading this blurb I admit I am intrigued with some of the decisions these characters have decided to make. Great review! :)

  2. I love the cover & it sounds really interesting, I'm curious about these characters and the story-line so I have added it to my TBR pile.

    Thanks for sharing Andrea! :-)

  3. This really does sound very interesting and very different. I like that you point out there is more to the story than meets the eye. Great review!

  4. Oh wow. This does sound like it is full of WTF-ery. He's being bribed by a porn star? Virginity auctions? holy crow! I'm happy that even though the first few chapters were a little iffy for you, you were able to get into it and come out having enjoyed it overall!

  5. This sounds really intriguing. I think I would like it! I hate it when I feel like I'm just kind of thrown into a story, but I'm glad that it got better for you and you were able to get into it! Great review babe!!

  6. The story sounds pretty out there, but I like stories that make you a little uncomfortable. I'm curious to see how it all plays out. Excellent review. Thanks!

  7. Thanks - I am adding this to my TBR!!

    1. The concept of the book is tabo and that sparks my fancy!!

  8. ah wow so yeah I been looking at this one myself cause it sounded so different, didn't realize how deep the story ran though. Definitely sounds like one wild ride with a lot of going on. Hope it all wrapped out nicely in the end.

  9. Okay, just as you, I thought it was just like a baby brother of FSoG or something, but turns out I'm wrong O_O It does sound different and I think I may even want to explore this one. The excerpts you chose are great!

  10. I like WTF books that aren't black and white. I think I might like this one. Still dying for you to read Captive in the Dark!

  11. I would like to read the book because it sounds amazing. I just love Ella's books. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  12. Hot damn! (can I say that?!?) I've been curious about this book and now that I've read your review, I'm sooo going to read it! Thanks for the awesome review, Andrea. I loved it and your quotes. And that excerpt...*fans self* Yeah...

  13. Thanks so much for being part of my tour. Your review was so thoughtful and well put-together. I also love the quotes you picked out... Big hugs! Ella

  14. OMG, if you haven't read Captive in the Dark I strongly recommend it. It's WAY more taboo than mine (I barely got through the first book, which is saying something) but by the end of book three I was in love with her storyline! Plus the writing is amazing... I just finished the third one last night.

  15. I love romantic suspense but haven't tried an erotic one!

  16. Your review and the excerpt have intrigued me a lot, sounds like nothing I have read before.

  17. I've seen this one around, but I didn't really know what it was about. Sounds interesting.

  18. Excellent Review friend! You made me want to read this! I love a book where there is more going on then meets the eye! Excellent quotes! Thanks for sharing!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  19. so glad you enjoyed it but I'm gonna take a HARD PASS on it lol I was lost after the P thing *exit stage left even*

  20. Great informative review. I just bought this the other day so I am glad to know to push through the first few chapters. Love the quotes.


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