Review: Opening Up by Lauren Dane

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Ink & Chrome #1
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?

I read Opening Up in a couple of days. It was a pretty fast read, but it was one of those books that I liked but didn't love. 

Anyway, like I said, I did like Opening Up and my favorite thing about it was PJ's character. She did have her daddy issues (her dad was a huge asshole), but she's a strong, independent woman who goes after what she wanted. I really admired her. She didn't take any shit from Asa and when he did something she disagreed with or he stepped out of line, she called him out on it. She communicated her feelings right away and she didn't let things fester and I really, really appreciated that about her and found it very refreshing.

As for Asa, I didn't connect with him as much as I did with PJ. He's 37 years old (PJ is 25) and co-owner of a custom auto shop called Twisted Steel. Like PJ, he has tattoos and piercings (they both have piercings in some very interesting places) and lives and breathes fast cars and motorcycles. He has great relationships with is mom and two younger sisters. He's basically the total sexy package--he's a good guy and he did some very sweet things to PJ and he defended her against assholes (her dad included), but... I don't know... I personally wasn't attracted to him. Maybe it's because I'm not a big fan of piercings or his brand of kink (riding crops, floggers, etc.--but this is not a BDSM novel).

PJ and Asa got together pretty quickly--I want to say within the first 100 pages or so--but it wasn't an insta-love kind of deal. Many months passed within those 100 pages as Asa worked through his misgivings (like, their age difference, mixing business with pleasure, etc.) about starting something with PJ. After that, they had a pretty solid relationship. Outside forces brought on problems but they were a pretty solid couple. If you're looking for that will-they-won't-they all the way to the end romance plot, you might be disappointed. If you are looking for a steamy, turn-the-AC-up kind of read, Opening Up is a good one to pick up. The sex scenes were extra steamy and frequent without being repetitive. 

I think my biggest issue with Opening Up was the writing. I have read many books (romance novels and other genres) where I could just breeze through reading the sentences and paragraphs. It wasn't the case here. More than once I had to reread a sentence or two to really get what was being said. I thought the writing was bit clunky and some of the dialogue didn't quite flow well. Admittedly, I did read another book by Lauren Dane previously and I had the same issue with the writing there, so maybe I just don't gel with Ms. Dane's writing.

If you're in the mood for a quick, very steamy read, Opening Up is a good one to pick up. The heroine is awesome; the hero, while he wasn't for me, is great; and the sex is hot. I recommend you keep it under your radar.

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