Welcome to my stop for Surrender, book 1 in the Devil’s Den series by Violetta Rand. Please be sure to check the other tour stops, read the excerpt, and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win a $25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller, Loveswept Mug and Romance at Random Nail Polish.
I will admit that the premise hit me from the start: a New Adult romance is bound to be angsty and conflicted, full of heat and sexual tensions with characters who are intriguing. Violetta Rand doesn’t fail to deliver on all of those promises, providing a solid story with plenty for readers to wonder about even as they can’t seem to put the book down.
Robyn was tossed out of her home at 15, so her life isn’t all sunshine and roses. But, she’s taken an interesting turn into the strip club, ‘working’ her way through school. OK, so I admit it, Robyn felt a bit stereotyped for me, and I’m not entirely sure that I bought into her character. But it was fun reading and seeing her glaring inconsistencies, expected in a 20 something character – aware that she is in a job she hates, but carrying her “I don’t judge people” straight on through judgments and snark like Judy on the Bench. I expected the snark, you would if you were in a situation that you felt untenable and displeasing, but I didn’t once find a compelling reason for her choice. If, as she states, she was a ‘good girl’ and not laden with issues that are found in 99.9% of all strippers worldwide, and she is possessed of the brains needed to live her dreams in archaeology, the choice and her comfort level with being naked for cash just doesn’t fit.
Then there is Garrick, another character who’s backstory didn’t quite fit with his position as a bouncer at a strip club. Degree holders from MIT have options, lots of them. Bouncing at a club screams ‘none’ to me, or a second job. But we don’t see that. And there is the trouble I had with Garrick’s very base and almost misogynistic interior monologue in reference to women, Robyn in particular, and his attempts to appear in control and alpha in his dealings with her. It was a mix that I couldn’t fully buy into or believe, even as I couldn’t stop reading.
I couldn’t stop reading! I was looking for the ‘what next’ and how they’d reconcile two very different people, and would they develop and grow up any during the journey. Of course, there is attraction and tension: this is a strip club romance after all. And you could see Rand’s use of description, offhanded comments and alternating points of view to flush out those moments and see the world more clearly in the dimmed off-stage lighting, and under brighter scrutiny.
I may not have bought into the characters as they were presented, but I couldn’t look away. They did learn and grow, deciding to trust in one another even as everything around them is screaming no, and despite his often smarmy interior descriptions, Garrick was protective and caring for and about Robyn. Is it something to build a life on? I’m not sure, but it worked for this story and their ability to find happiness for now. And it was a compelling and intriguing read that has me curious where the author will go next.
Author: Violetta Rand
Series: Devil's Den #1
Also in this series: Surrender, Sin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Loveswept
Published on: 27 January, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour
Welcome to the Devil’s Den, a Texas strip club where the air is heavy with desire—and sometimes dreams come true.
Ever since her mother kicked her out, twenty-year-old Robyn Gonzalez has been working the poles at the Devil’s Den, saving up to finish college and travel the world. With only her wits and her gorgeous body to rely on, Robyn has learned to be independent—fiercely independent. She’s never been tempted to let a man distract her from her dreams . . . until she meets the dead-sexy Garrick Dempsey.
The club’s new head of security, Garrick had walked away from a career as a mechanical engineer to return to his roots in Corpus Christi. He hadn’t planned on getting to know someone like Robyn, with her sinfully sweet combination of vulnerability and strength, at the Devil’s Den. She acts tough, but only because she’s been hurt. Soon Garrick knows he will do anything to win Robyn’s trust. And if that means surrendering to the red-hot chemistry between them, all the better.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.