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Surrender: Devil’s Den #1 by Violetta Rand with Excerpt and Giveaway

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.

Book Review:

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.

Surrender: Devil’s Den #1 by Violetta Rand with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Surrender
Author: Violetta Rand
Series: Devil's Den #1
Also in this series: Surrender, Sin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Loveswept
ISBN: B00MSS0X6S
Published on: 27 January, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 240
Rated: three-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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Goodreads


About the Book:

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.

Tasty Excerpt

Everything blurs again. I’m pushed aside, and barely manage to look up as I hit the ground. The angler wrestles that bastard down without throwing a punch. He has hold of the dealer’s throat and I hear him gasp for breath.

“I’m giving you one chance to walk away,” the hottie says calmly. “If you don’t, you’ll crawl. Understand?”

It takes a second, but the dealer nods. I scoot away several feet, still sitting on my ass. Slowly, the fisherman releases him. The asshole scrambles to his feet, straightens his collar, then wipes the sand off his backside. There’s no forgetting his hawkish features. Black hair and eyes, a slim build, and expensive boots. Ostrich, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t forget details like that. In fact, I look at everyone with a critical eye.

“I know who you are,” he says.

“So does half the city,” I say sarcastically. It’s true. Working in a strip bar doesn’t preserve my anonymity.

“I’ll be back.”

“Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.” I enjoy bantering too much. “There’s a twenty-dollar cover charge.”

He swallows, then scowls.

“Are we done here?” my savior asks.

“For now.” The dealer turns on his heels and tromps away.

I cup my face between my hands. I’m fortunate and owe this guy a big thank you. When I look up, he’s staring at me, hard.

“Thank you,” I say. “Very much.”

He gives me a lopsided grin. Cool and confident. He has sandy-colored hair and dark eyes—a dangerous combination.

“I’m Garrick.”

I nod. What kind of name is that? It reminds me of something out of the cheesy romance novels I read. But somehow, it fits. “Robyn,” I say, standing.

We walk toward each other, and it’s the first time I notice his exceptional height. He’s tall and muscular, at least six foot three. No wonder Cartel Guy flopped around like a fish out of water in his grasp. “I mean it,” I emphasize. “If you weren’t here . . .”

“It’s nothing.” He waves his hands dismissively. “Can I take you somewhere?”

“My car is half a mile that way.” I point toward the pier.

“Come on.” He gestures toward his truck. “I’ll give you a ride.”

 

 

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About Violetta Rand

Raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, Violetta Rand spent her childhood reading, writing, and playing soccer. After meeting her husband in New England, they moved to Alaska where she studied environmental science and policy as an undergraduate before attending graduate school. Violetta then spent nearly a decade working as an environmental scientist, specializing in soil and water contamination and environmental assessments.

Violetta still lives in Anchorage, Alaska and spends her days writing evocative New Adult romance and historical romance. When she’s not reading, writing, or editing, she enjoys time with her husband, pets, and friends. In her free time, she loves to hike, fish, and ride motorcycles and 4-wheelers.

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