Review: Opening Up by Lauren Dane

Deb’s Review of Opening Up (Ink and Chrome Book 1) by Lauren Dane
Contemporary erotic romance released by Forever on June 16, 2015

Opening Up

The men of the Twisted Steel custom hot rod and 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?

Lauren Dane owes me a new Nook. Fine, I’ll take a Kindle but it had better be fire-proof because it’s all her fault my Nook began overheating in Chapter ONE. By Chapter Three, I was using oven mitts and I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but the darn thing eventually melted in my lap.

Alright, alright, I’m exaggerating about the Nook. But I’m not exaggerating about the incredible chemistry that ignites when Penelope Jean (PJ) Coleman and Asa Barrons collide in this first book of Lauren Dane’s new Ink & Chrome series, that centers around Twisted Steel, a custom build bike and hot rod shop owned by Asa and his buddy, Duke. I’m not a gearhead but I do appreciate great art and the artists who create it. The men at Twisted Steel are definitely artists and Dane successfully conveys the love, enthusiasm, and pride these guys have for their work which is a big turn on, indeed. PJ’s character intrigued me, she is a woman working her way into the macho world of custom car painting. That takes talent and spunk, both of which PJ has boatloads of. And maybe I was a tad bit interested in Asa as well. *smirk*

If I was given the chance to choose a new identity, it would hands down be Penelope Jean. She is passionate as hell about life and knows what she wants. She sports piercings, tattoos, and you never know what color her hair may be on any given day; but she owns it and makes it beautiful. A true artist, PJ is able to look at a car, talk to the owner, and know just how to paint and detail it to perfection. She has given her all to Coleman Enterprises, the family business, and tried to remain loyal. But when her ideas to expand the business are repeatedly shot down by her father, PJ walks away. And straight into Asa’s life. She’s admired Twisted Steel’s work and is set on convincing Asa he needs her not only in his business, but in his life as well. She knows he’s older and could most likely eat her alive but she’s willing to take her chances. She’s been fantasizing about this beautiful hunk of man ever since they locked eyes and touched hands at a recent industry party. PJ does in fact hold her own against Asa without being a whiny snit. I loved that she called him on his shit but never held a grudge. Their chemistry permeated the pages, and the looks they give each other… Whew! Almost as erotic as the kinky sex Asa introduces PJ to. For being a mere 25 years old, PJ has an incredibly mature outlook on relationships, which I found refreshing as well as a relief. She may have been emotional at times over her father’s undisguised disappointment in her; however, she held her head up and continued on.

Asa Barrons is the perfect compliment to PJ. He’s tall, tattooed, and pierced. His cut body and tough-as-nails attitude is irresistible. I adored Asa’s fierce love and loyalty to his mom, sisters, his friends and his former military buddies. His early childhood was terrifying, but rather than turn him hard and bitter, the experience humbled him. He has scruples. As a matter of fact, his intense attraction to PJ made him uncomfortable because he felt she was too young. But after being coerced to participate in a photo shoot at Twisted Steel where he is paired up with a very sexy PJ, his resolve begins to shatter. (Yes, people, this was the first Oh, My! Nook melting scene) She evoked raw feelings of lust and desire he was ultimately unable to deny. When they get together to talk business, Asa is even more smitten by her business savvy and maturity. At this point, he’s a goner. As if all this wasn’t enough, Asa actually admits when he’s wrong and makes endearing efforts to right things when he’s screwed up with PJ. *swoon*

In addition to PJ and Asa, the secondary characters are so well written that I found myself excited to know more about them as well. They are all family in every sense of the word, related or not. I love this dynamic. Quick, witty, and very clever dialogue had me laughing out loud. Ms. Dane knows her characters inside out and stays true to them throughout the story. All of this combines into a very fun, hot-as-hell, page turner that I couldn’t put down.
And guess what? Duke’s book is next up in August!

Grade: A-

You can read an excerpt here or buy a copy here.

6 thoughts on “Review: Opening Up by Lauren Dane

  1. Limecello

    I’ve been behind on books but I need to read this one – especially since you enjoyed it so much! 😀

  2. Pingback: Review: Falling Under by Lauren Dane | Limecello

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