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Stay for Me: These Three Words # 1 by Carlene Love Flores with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for book 1 in the new series, These Three Words,  from Carlene Love Flores. Please read on for the review and don’t forget to check out the excerpt.  You can also visit the other tour stops to see what other readers thought about the book and be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win a $25 Amazon GIft Card.

Stay for Me

The first in a new series, this novella was set with some promising options. Long term friends Emma and Sam shared an uncomfortable night of passion, leaving them both a little embarrassed for trying.

Now, Emma manages a male strip review at Club Mantasy and Sam is one of the dancers. These two have remained friends, and while Emma wants to reengage the more personal sexual relationship, Sam’s endowments and the issues of the failed attempt hold her back.

One last night before Sam leaves the club, Emma asks him to strip for her alone.

I thought the friends to lovers concept was a tiny bit thin: their interactions were solid and well written, but in a novella it is difficult to build that real emotional connection that adds that oomph to the story.  While the author did work to build an intensity, and I loved the premise of the story as there aren’t many out there with male strippers that are as honest and caring in their feelings for the women they encounter, I just wanted more. More pages to develop the oomph, more explanation about the failed liaison and a bit more ability to connect with the characters.

Not a bad novella by any means, it was quick reading, flowed reasonably well and was entertaining with good storytelling and enough about the character’s personalities to intrigue and amuse.

Stay for Me: These Three Words # 1 by Carlene Love Flores with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Stay For Me
Author: Carlene Love Flores
Series: These Three Words #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Evernight Publishing
Published on: 14 February, 2015
Format:eBook
Source: Author
Pages: 91
Rated: three-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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Goodreads


About the Book:

One night to finally make it right before it all gets torn apart…

Two years ago, best friends Emma Chester and Sam Jason tried being intimate.

Due to Sam’s massive size, it didn’t work. Embarrassed, they did their best to move on. Now the day has come where Emma must suspend Sam as a dancer at the club they work at, awakening the buried pain of that one night.

Sam has seen this day coming but is shocked when Emma asks him to strip for her just once before he leaves the club. Allowing himself to feel for her again is too dangerous but she’s clearly not in her right mind and needs him.

Can he maintain his restraint and help her? When she hands him his uniform to strip out of, is she handing him her heart? Or is it too tattered to ever belong to him again?

See These Three Words Series on GoodReads

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

Tasty Excerpt

 

There was something about this room she hated.

And very little else to do inside besides be together. Which he was sure she also must hate after the way he’d hurt her before.

He had one word for her and feared like a little girl that saying it would be the one thing to push her away for good. But he had to say it.

“No.”

This wasn’t a place to enter on the premise that you trusted a person. You either went in here not caring a damn about what might happen, like most of the show patrons he’d brought, or fully aware and in control of yourself. No in between. Sam had watched her toe the line throughout their entire conversation.

“I won’t take you in there. You’re not ready. Don’t be stubborn and ask me how I know that. I just do.”

“It’s not up to you right now.” Her lips stopped speaking and it was clear that was the last thing she would say until he either followed her in or left her in the hallway, alone.

Like fire that realized it was on dry ground and free to burn, the thought of being in there with her jolted his body awake. Years old, buried and desperate desire, came out of hiding. He would put himself through hell to be able to have her and not hurt her. But standing directly behind Emma as she unlocked and opened the black door, he saw how he still engulfed her.

 From her petite shoulders came a giant heave as she took the first step inside.

In that instant, he knew she was wrong. He could and should choose not to go inside, but he did have something to show her. That she was safe when they were together. He couldn’t believe that was what this had turned into but found some small ground to stand on and be thankful. He wouldn’t piss this opportunity away. A man took responsibility for his actions, no matter how far in the past they’d happened and how much time he’d spent racking up distance, hiding. Sam would be the ambassador of control and restraint once they were on the other side of this door.

He had to prod her forward the next step. And the next, which set off a mile-long trail of red flags.

He waited and let her be the one to turn and close the door.

As soon as he heard it click, he slid his hands inside the tight pants pockets and held them there.

The room was dark and chilly; her breathing echoed in his ears. He went in search of the light switch. The low bulb setting purposely only lit the room one shade lighter but it was enough to see the shadow dampening her pretty face.

“Okay,” she said out loud, like she was her own coach. “Okay.”

“We’re out of here, Emma. Now.”

She held up her small hand and he’d have latched onto it had his hands been available. “No. We’re not leaving. I’m fine. I just needed a second,” she said. That wasn’t her “I’ve got this” voice. She was acting and not doing a very bang-up job of it.

Sam had no choice but to touch.

He fumbled around and found her other hand and took it into his, receiving an instantaneous jolt of comfort. He hoped he affected her the same way but couldn’t be sure. She was awfully still.

Emma looked at the neon hands of the wall clock. “We have one hour before the second show lets out,” she said.

“I’m assuming you have some plan, Emma.” God, please tell him she had a plan. Because the only one he had was to let go and keep his hands to himself, no matter what.

She stared through him and scanned the near nothingness of the room. “I do. I do have one. I want you to strip for me, Sam.”

 

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About Carlene Love Flores

Carlene Love Flores is a big fan of the stars (especially Orion), honest music (especially Depeche Mode), and her traveling family (no favorites there-she loves them all). These things inspire her intimate style of romance writing. She feels honored to be a member of Washington DC Romance Writers (WRWDC). Carlene currently lives in the D.C. area where she can often be found listening to live music and looking up at the sky on clear nights. If she could touch someone’s heart with her writing the way others have done for her, she’d say truly there never lived a luckier girl.

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