Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Tour for Selling Out by Amber Lin (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Author Amber Lin is here today with her book Selling Out that is my favorite kind of book....an intense, gritty story that intersperses romance amongst characters with lots of emotional baggage.  So keep reading to get a glimpse of this book and make sure to comment for your chance to win an Amazon GC........

Shelly Laurent escapes her life as a high-class escort, but against her better judgment she takes the scared young Ella with her. In retaliation, her pimp and his dirty cops frame them both for murder. On the run, Shelly turns to the one man who could be her salvation: Detective Luke Cameron. She doesn’t know if she can trust him or if he’s just a mirage, but she needs his help to free them all.
With a heart forged in fire and irreverence born of necessity, Shelly fights Ella’s demons—and faces her own. She throws light on the shadows of Chicago’s underworld, challenging everything she knew and the man she’s come to love. Together, a prostitute and a cop fight for truth stronger than secrets, hope deeper than deception, and a bond more enduring than betrayal.


I drove home on fumes and climbed directly into a scalding hot shower. I scrubbed away the rejection from earlier, the fear and the stench of the streets. After using up half the bottle, I poured the rest of the soap out and watched as the peach-colored gel swirled down the drain. I couldn’t have used it again anyway, not after using it today. Maybe it was strange, but the rituals kept me sane, and what did they hurt? Who did they hurt? I lay down on the cold, hard floor of the tub and curled into a ball on my side, letting the water rain down on me.
Distantly, I heard the phone ringing, but I couldn’t have moved. Not until the water turned cold, and I began to shake. I pulled myself up and turned off the shower. After throwing on a large shirt to sleep in, I grabbed the answering machine and climbed into my plush bed with 600–thread count sheets. I curled my body around the little black box and pressed Play.
“Hey, it’s me.” He sounded tired. “I guess you’re busy.”
There was a pause, which I scribbled in with well deserved recriminations. I may not have been with a client today, but I would be tomorrow. This was my life. I could apologize for it, but I couldn’t change it any more than a ship could change the tides.
“I worked a double shift today,” he said on the recording. “One of the other guys, his wife went into labor, so I took over for him. Wasn’t too bad, though. Just tiring. For her, I mean. It took her ten hours to push him out, so what the hell do I have to complain about? Nine pounds, a boy. I didn’t see him yet, came straight home.” There was silence. “Straight home and called you. Funny.”
The answering machine broke the awkwardness with a click.
There were no more messages. I pressed the button again.
“Hey, it’s me. I guess you’re busy. I worked a double shift today. One of the other guys, his wife went into labor…”


After reading the previous book in this series, Giving It Up, I was left wondering what ever happened to the hooker with a heart of gold Shelly.  In this story Shelly proves that she's much more than that as she continues to try to make her life better after turning informant for policeman Luke.  Getting out of the business isn't as easy as she thinks as self-doubts lead her to one last party that ends with her and the girl she saves on the run from the law and having to rely on people she never wanted to have to count on.  And having to count on others is not something Shelly's good at.

From the moment she was young she's been a plaything for men, but after feeling used for so long she finally decides to use others first.  It's made her tough, sarcastic, and living life for the moment as her life constantly feels out of control.  The only person that's been able to give her a glimpse of something better, and the only man she feels she can trust, is policeman Luke who's still on her mind even though she's no longer his informant.  She wants to be something better for him but her low self-esteem holds her back from leaving the life she knows behind.  When she's accused of murder they're forced into working in close quarters which forces her to admit her true feelings about him and address the old demons that have kept her feeling unworthy of a better life.  Seeing her slow climb to self-betterment is an admirable journey with emotionally painful bumps along the way.  Her life is again put in jeopardy as the story progresses and as her and Luke get closer to the true murderer she learns some very gutwrenching truths from her childhood that show how strong her survival instincts are.

Luke too has had a hard life growing up which has led to his strong desire to protect others.  He wants a better life for Shelly and will do whatever he can to help her realize her self-worth.  As the two of them traverse through the gritty underside of the city they draw closer together as each learns more about the other and Shelly can no longer hide behind her snarkiness.  There are certain truths that Luke can no longer keep hidden from Shelly that will bind them together even further but are extremely gutwrenching to hear.

Luke is a true romantic with Shelly.  He wants to give her the wooing she missed out on and it leads to some delightfully fast-paced yet sweetly sensual banter.  The sexual interludes between them are steamy and get more intense as the trust between them builds. Seeing Shelly with Luke shows the shift in her thinking and proves that sex isn't always about business and that she's entitled to find satisfaction too.

We see characters from the previous book which made for a nice catch up of their stories.  I was particularly excited to see the return of Phillip whose still as jaded as ever.  There's a lot of hurt he hides behind his hardened demeanor and his interactions with Ella, the girl Shelly saves, show a Phillip left off kilter by the feelings she arouses in him.  I love his conflicted nature and am intrigued by what Ella could bring to his life.  She's a sarcastic girl who's been through some rough times but has remained pure, which is something unexpected to him.  With this in mind I'm definitely hoping his story is told next.

Amber Lin is an author that shows life as it is, nothing is sugar coated. Her characters are put through the wringer but come out the other side stronger for everything they've been through.  As a reader I found myself fully immersed in the story and personally invested in the lives of these truly likable characters who deserve happiness after all the pains they've suffered.  Readers definitely need to experience this book, and series, as it's unforgettably intense with characters you're easily drawn to.

My rating for this is an A.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.



Amber Lin married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who’s smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good.



Amber will be awarding a $25.00 prize, author's choice, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

-To be entered, leave a comment, along with your email addy.
-A winner will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 4/5.


  1. Wow, excellent review. I'm not sure if I like Shelly that much..I think I must read on!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  2. "Unforgettably intense" sounds like just the thing. Thank you for your impressions.


  3. Great review, thank you.


  4. I really enjoyed the review. This sounds like an awesome book.

  5. Thanks for the awesome, well though out review. I sounds like Luke is going to be a really great hero in the story

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  6. Great review. SELLING OUT is on my TBR list already, I am fan of Amber's stories :)
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

  7. Added this book to my TBR...Enjoyed reading your review as well! Thanks for sharing. Happy to have found a new author :)
    oddball2003 at hotmail dot com

  8. Thank you for a beautiful,thoughtful review.
    Each excerpt is an eyeopener to what the characters might be like.
    Glad to know that Philip will also have his book and possibly his own HEA.
    Best Wishes,
    Sydney W


  10. What an exciting book! Enjoyed the excerpt and review. Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. Nice review and excerpt

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  12. Thanks for the giveaway!