Crave: Undone #1 by Jennifer Dawson with Excerpt

Crave: Undone #1 by Jennifer Dawson with Excerpt

Allow me to introduce Jennifer Dawson,with  the first book in her new Undone series. Please read on for an excerpt, and don’t forget to enter the giveaways – there are two!  US based entrants can enter to win a CRAVE gift basket which includes Decorative reusable storage trunk, Signed copy of CRAVE, $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card. 4 Premium Chocolate Truffles. Argan Oil Sugar Scrub w/shower scrunchie. Pink & black Pillar Candle. Black & Pink Chalk Board Flower Pot. Hanging chalk board and a Candle Holder with pink sparkly battery votive.  For International entrants, you could win one of 3 digital downloads for your own copy of CRAVE. And, you’ll want to check out the other tour stops for this release tour, just to see what readers are saying about the book!


The first I have read by Jennifer Dawson and I’m seriously wondering just how I missed her! Her writing is tight and polished: each word leads you neatly to the next without stutter or babble, and the characters are alive on the page, sharing their own issues, worries and dreams.

Layla is a businesswoman whose life was rocked by tragedy.  In her moments of ‘what if’ she bemoans all she has lost, and as we all do, wants to feel that way again: connected, wanted, safe and protected.  Her journey to find a new footing in the life she has now, and to somehow deal with her own guilt over John’s death.  Grasping at straws, she has returned to what was familiar in her life with him, the sex themed club they frequented.  Several random encounters with men, Layla is in control, keeping her lines drawn and walls up. Until Michael.

Michael is so much more than the ‘typical’ dom: while he sees the desire and need for the control that comes with submission in Layla, he’s not going to push her into the ‘call me Master’ role as is so common in many romances that play with BDSM of late. Instead, there is a true interest in Layla as a person: he wants to share her burdens, lighten her heart and help her to find her footing in the world again.

A slow-growing D/s relationship story, the build and development is realistic and carefully plotted: you can see the development of the trust, confidence and caring that must be present in these relationships, and the realization that their connection will be so much more than scratching an itch. The continual tension of the lust, desire and hope for ‘something more’ between Michael and Layla is a delicious appetizer: while not laden with pure sex or heat, the moments that do exist impact all the more for the emotional connection between them and the reader’s empathy with the characters.

Secondary characters make appearances that tweak interest for more, but the true focus is on the relationship that unfolds before our eyes, feeling real and wholly emotional, daring us to invest in this story and series.  Dawson plays the emotional scale with aplomb, bringing the characters’ humanity to light, allowing readers to experience the story as if present in real time.

Crave: Undone #1 by Jennifer Dawson with Excerpt

Title: Crave
Author: Jennifer Dawson
Series: Undone #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Dark-theme
Published by: Self-Published
ISBN: 1511472979
Published on: 1 June, 2015
Source: Author via Tour Company
Pages: 350
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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I vow. I crave. I give in.

I used to be a nice, normal girl. I had dreams. Good, happy dreams of a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, and a fairytale love that lasts forever. Nobody ever warned me that sometimes, the prince dies three weeks before the wedding.

Like any addict, I swear this time is the last….

Now, I go through my days, a shadow of my former self. I pretend I’m okay, and the people in my life pretend to believe me. But, sometimes, when I can no longer stand the craving, I roam an underground sex club looking for my next hit. It’s dirty and wrong, but I can’t stop, and my only line of defense between them and me, is the rules I’ve designed to keep me safe. The men always abide by my rules. Until I meet him.

And, like any addict, I’m wrong.

I don’t question the instincts that tell me to run. One look at him, standing there, power radiating off him in waves, tells me all I need to know. He will make me crave those happy dreams I’ve left behind. And that is not an option.

A copy of this title was provided via Author via Tour Company for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


Eleven P.M.

Two months. Five days. Twenty-one hours.

It’s my new record although I have no sense of accomplishment. No, I’m resigned as I walk down the dark, deserted alley. The heels of my knee-high, black patent boots click against the cracked concrete in echo of my defeat. The distant sounds of the bass thuds in my ears in time to the heavy beat of my heart.

My own personal staccato of failure.

I’m not sure why it’s always a surprise. Maybe because, at first, my conviction is so strong. By now my pattern is long and established—I vow, I crave, I give in.

Rinse. Repeat.

But, like any good addict, I always swear this time is the last.

Of course, I try. My therapist has given me “management tools” to get me through the hard times, and like a good patient, I follow her instructions to a tee—I meditate, do yoga, and write all my crappy feelings in the journal she insists I keep.

Only, it’s backfired and become part of the ritual. When the cycle starts, it’s a matter of time before I end up here.

I’m sure when John brought me to this underground club the first time, he’d never envisioned I’d be back on my own, wandering through the crowds, looking for my next fix. The club reminds me of him, and I wish I could go somewhere else so I wouldn’t be confronted with my betrayal, but I don’t have a choice. There aren’t ads for places like this. Or maybe there are and I don’t know where to look.

Swift and sudden, anger clogs my throat, and for a split second I hate him for changing me so irrevocably, and leaving me so permanently. Fast on the heels of anger, the guilt wells, so powerful it brings a sting of tears to my eyes. In the pockets of my black trench coat, my nails dig crescents into my palms.

I push away the emotions. Exhaling harshly, my breath fogs the air as I spot a hint of the red door that signals both my refuge and my hell. I hear the muffled hum of music that will crescendo once I’m inside to pump through me like a heartbeat.

My pace quickens along with my pulse.

As much as I hate giving in, I can’t deny my relief. Once I step through that door, I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to be normal.

The tension, riding me all day, distracting me in meetings, making me wander off in the middle of conversations, ebbs. A twisted excitement slicks my thighs as the bare skin under my skirt tingles.

I haven’t bothered with panties. It makes things easier, quicker. Less about getting off and more about taking care of business.

I have on my usual club fare: short, black pleated skirt that leaves a stretch of thigh before my stockings start. A sheer, white silk blouse that’s unbuttoned low enough to show the lace of my red demi-bra. My lips are slicked with crimson and my dark chestnut hair is a tumble of shiny waves down my back.

My outfit is carefully orchestrated. I leave as little to chance as possible.

No leather or latex. I’m not into bondage. Chains and rope do nothing but leave me cold. Once upon a time I loved to be restrained by fingers wrapped tight around my wrists, digging into my skin, but now I can’t handle even a hint of being bound.

I reveal plenty of smooth ivory skin, my clue to guys into body modification or knife play to stay away. I like fear, but not that kind. I want my bruises and scars hidden away, not worn like a badge of honor for the world to see.

My wrists and neck are free of jewelry so the Masters don’t confuse me with a slave girl. I tried that scene once, thinking all their hard play and intense scenes would focus my restless energy and make me forget, but there is no longer anything submissive about me.

I don’t want to obey. I want to fight.


About Jennifer Dawson

Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later, they’re married and living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog.

Despite going through a light FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is history.

These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer, writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband.

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