Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Book Tour for Not Until You by Roni Loren (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Roni Loren's Loving on the Edge series continues to entertain with this latest steamy installment, Not Until You.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this book, along with my impressions of it, and then hear from Ms. Loren about writing a book series for old fans and new.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a print collection of the first five books in the series!

Ms. Loren's Tips for Writing a Series That Will Appeal Both to Current Fans and New Readers.........
I’ve been writing the Loving on the Edge series for a while now. NOT UNTIL YOU is my sixth print release in the series. But each time I have a new release, I find new readers who’ve never picked up one of my books before. This always thrills me. And of course I get the questions of—Do I need to read the others before I read this one? Am I going to be lost?
My answer is always no. As an author, I always try to write each new book with both a new reader and my longtime readers in mind. I ask myself the questions (1) If this is the first book that someone has picked up from me, will they be able to enjoy it fully without the previous stories? And (2) Will this give my loyal readers something new, exciting, and different while still giving them the things they look for in my books?
Luckily, what I’m doing seems to be working because not a week goes by where I don’t hear from a new reader who jumped into the series somewhere in the middle and got hooked. J It’s an important balance to strike, though, so I figured I’d share some things that help.
1. Pick something to anchor the series and connect the books – My books all follow a group of friends who are members of a kink resort called The Ranch. At first, the series started out very focused on The Ranch itself. But as it’s gone on, I now have books where The Ranch may be mentioned but the characters never actually have a scene there. So at the heart of the series is the group of people I’m following. But the spoke at the middle of the wheel is this place that connects them all. It offers a reference point for new readers and a sense of familiarity for loyal readers.
2. Focus each story on a new hero and heroine (Or hero and hero and heroine in some of mine, lol) – Each of my books can standalone because it’s one couple’s (or triad’s) story. Start to finish, you’re going to get their complete story. No cliffhangers. (This obviously isn’t the case for all series. My series is called a connected series. But if a series follows the same hero and/or heroine, it’s a different format and may involve cliffhangers. I love those, but it’s much harder to jump in mid-series.)
3. Do not do the dreaded pages of recaps – I appreciate when an author clues me in or reminds me of stuff that happened in previous books, but pages and pages of a recap send me skimming. Work in stuff from previous books with subtle mentions and in very small doses. Otherwise, you’re going to annoy longtime readers and probably overwhelm new readers.
4. Bring previous characters back for cameos – This is one of my favorite things to do because it’s like visiting with old friends. And longtime readers love to see previous couples show up in new books. I have a character, Jace, who has literally shown up in every one of my books even though he got his happily ever after in Book 2. And every time he shows up, I get reader emails telling me how happy they were to see him again. (It even led to a follow-up novella called Forever Starts Tonight because of reader requests.) This is a gift to your loyal readers AND it also may make a new reader curious enough to go check previous books out.
5. Don’t get repetitive – This is harder the longer the series goes, but as an author, I know it’s my job to make each book fresh and unique from the previous ones. We’ve all had the experience where the books of a favorite series all start to sound the same. I don’t want to be that author. So you’ll see me switch things around in my books. Sometimes I play with timelines (doing a dual format). For NOT UNTIL YOU, it was the first time I wrote my heroine in the first person instead of third because it felt right for her younger character. It keeps me creatively challenged to change things up and it keeps readers on their toes by the stories not becoming too predictable.
So those are my tips, but I’d love to hear what makes you keep going back to a series? Or, tell me whether you’re a reader who isn’t afraid to jump in wherever in a series or if you are compelled to read the previous books first.

Cela knows how to be good. She’s had a lifetime of practice. But on the night of her college graduation, she decides she’s earned one wild night before she has to move back home to her overprotective family. So when the hot neighbor she’s been quietly fantasizing about for a year suggests a game of Never Have I Ever, she’s ready. But what starts out as a simple game takes an unexpected turn. Because Ian Foster doesn’t play games he can’t win.
Foster knows his desires aren’t for the faint of heart, especially not for someone as sweet and innocent as his pretty neighbor. But when Cela shows up at his door with an invitation that surprises him, he can’t resist indulging. Cela has no idea what she’s in for. The secret dark side of this man’s need will both intrigue and terrify her. But Cela has a secret of her own—and a new game to see just how far they’re both willing to go, and how much they’re willing to risk by crossing every boundary of desire.


“Andre, this isn’t a good time. Can I call you back?”
​I did my best not to let my cell phone slip from between my ear and shoulder. Just don’t drop the tequila. I adjusted the enormous bottle my friend, Bailey, had given me as a graduation present from my right hand to beneath my left arm and tried to dig my keys out of my purse so I could open the main door to my apartment building.
​“I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to make it, Cela,” my older brother said, his guilt obviously trumping my request to call him later. “I got caught at an investigation site this morning. I thought I’d be able to get there in time, but we had a witness wanting to talk and….”
​I cursed silently as my keys hit the pavement. I crouched down, doing my best not to flash my underwear to anyone who may be passing by. “Really, it’s fine. They called my name. I walked across the stage and got a piece of paper and a sash for being summa cum laude. Papá yelled my name like he was at a baseball game instead of a ceremony. Mamá cried. We all went to lunch at Rosario’s and then the two of them headed back to the airport. Not that interesting.”
​My brother’s heavy sigh said everything. I almost felt guilty that he felt so guilty. “Before you move back home next month, we’re getting together to celebrate. My baby sister, the doctor. I’m so proud I could burst.”
​I smiled. I did like the sound of that. Dr. Marcela Medina, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Seven years of exams and studying and clinics, but it was finally done. Now it was time to leave Dallas and head back home to Verde Pass and take up the slack in my dad’s practice.
​That last part had my smile faltering a bit. I hooked my key ring with my finger and wobbled back to a stand. “That’s sounds great. But I really have to get going. I have my hands full and need to get through the door.”
​“Cela, you know better than to carry too much. Parking lots at night are one of the most dangerous places for women. Are you holding your mace?” he asked, his voice going into that bossy cop tone I was all too familiar with.
​“It’s in my hand,” I lied, trying to remember where I’d stowed the last little canister he’d given me—probably in my junk drawer. “But I don’t have a free hand to pull the door open.”
​“All right,” he said, placated. “Congratulations again. I love you.”
​“Love you, too.”
​The phone call ended but I didn’t have a way to take the phone off my ear, so I just shuffled forward in a sideways hunch, trying to juggle everything I was holding to get my key into the door. After two attempts, I got the lock turned and pressed my back against the glass door to push my way into the lobby.
​As soon as I’d cleared the entrance and turned toward the stairs, male voices sounded behind me. Of course someone would show up right after I didn’t need help anymore. I peeked back to see who it was, Andre’s danger warnings still echoing in my head, but found something more distracting than criminals—my neighbors, Foster and Pike.
​Foster stepped through the main door first and glanced my way. As usual, everything went melty inside me, his smile like a zap of heat to my system. Ridiculous. “Need some help, neighbor?”
​I straightened, but forgot about my phone in the process. My brand new I-
Phone went sliding off my shoulder.
​“Crap!” I lurched forward, trying to save it from its imminent demise, and accidentally dropped my plastic bag of Chinese takeout on the way.
​“Whoa, there.” Pike, Foster’s roommate, was at my side in a second. His hand caught my elbow, saving me from losing the ginormous bottle of liquor along with my balance. But my phone clattered to the ground, the harsh sound mixing with the splat of my noodles hitting tile.
​I winced, anticipating a broken screen. “Dammit.”
​Foster bent down, his tie brushing the ground as he swept my phone off the floor. He peered at the screen, dark brows lowering over pale eyes, then he turned the phone toward me—the happy puppy screensaver staring back at me in tact. “All is well. Luckily, these things are built to take a licking.”
​My brain got snagged on the work lick, and the back of my neck went hot. My lips parted, but words failed me. Great, imitate a gaping goldfish--that’s cute.
​Pike cleared his throat, easing the tequila from my arms, and then crouched down near the open bag at my feet. He grabbed a noodle from the spilled box of Chinese food, tipped his head back and dropped it into his mouth, his eyes watching mine. “The lo mein’s a loss, though.”
​ I swallowed hard, his gaze even more bad boy than the tattoos peeking out from his open collar. His pierced tongue snaked around the noodle. Look away. I forced my face upward, but then ended up focusing on Foster again. Say something. God, I was standing there like an idiot. This was why I always avoided these two like they were contagious. They made me go stupid.
​Foster held out my phone, and I managed to take it, the slight brush of his fingers against mine hitting the reset button in my brain. I managed a feeble, “Thank you.”
​Foster glanced at the mess on the floor. “I’m really sorry I said anything. I didn’t mean to distract you from your intricate juggling act.”
​I shook my head. “No, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have been trying to carry everything at once. It’s been a long day, and I was hoping to save myself a second trip up the stairs.”
​“The joys of a walk-up.” Pike grabbed a few napkins and started cleaning up the noodles at my feet like it was his mess to worry about.
​“Oh, you don’t have to do that.” I lowered down to my knees. “I’ll take care of it.”
​He grinned over at me, the mirror opposite of his roommate. Ian Foster was all suits and dark looks—a man who preferred to be called by his surname. Whereas, Pike didn't seem to even have a last name. He was a drummer in some popular local band—jeans, a sex-on-the-mind-smile, and spiked, bleached hair his usual uniform. Not that I had studied either of them. Or listened to their escapades through the wall I shared with them. Not at all.
​Keep telling yourself that, Cela.
​Despite my protest, Pike helped me finish picking up the mess. “So what’s the big ass bottle of tequila for? No one could’ve had that bad of a day.”
​I glanced over at the bottle I’d set on the floor, debating whether I could be trusted to have normal conversation with these two without sounding like I had a speech impediment. “I, uh, graduated today. It was a gift.”
​“Oh, right on.”
​“Congratulations, Cela,” Foster said. Just the sound of him saying my name in that smooth, dark voice had my stomach clenching. He was all southern refinement, but I didn't miss the glimmer of a drawl underneath it all.
​Ay dios mio. My body clamored to attention like an eager Labrador ready to be petted. Down, girl. These guys were way above my pay grade. I wasn't dumb or delusional. I’d seen/spied on/secretly hated the women who’d passed through their apartment door—women who looked like they’d earned their doctorates in the art of seduction.
​I hadn’t even reached the kindergarten level in that particular department.
​“Thank you.”​
​“You were going to vet school at Dallas U, right?” Foster had tucked his hands in the pockets of his slacks, and though the question was casual, I had the distinct impression he was tense beneath that suit jacket.
​Pike handed me a napkin for my hands and stood to toss the food into a nearby trash can.
​I wiped off my hands and pushed myself to my feet, trying to do it as gracefully as possible in my restrictive skirt. “Yes, how’d you know that?”
​“The scrubs you wear have the school insignia on them,” Foster said, as if it was totally normal that he’d looked at me that closely.
​“Observant.” Especially considering I usually only managed a head-down, mumbled hey-how-are-ya exchange when we passed each other in the hallway. Secretly listening to one of your hot neighbors having sex had a way of making eye contact a bit uncomfortable the next day—particularly if said eavesdropper had used the soundtrack to fuel her own interlude with her battery-operated boyfriend.
​Not that I had. Several times. Whatever.
​Pike sidled up next to Foster—a motley pair if there ever was one. “So, doc, now that you’ve got no dinner and clearly too much liquor on your hands, why don’t you join us? We already have pizza on the way, and we can play a drinking game with the tequila. Do college kids still play Never Have I Ever? I was always good at that one.”
​Kid? Is that what they saw me as? Neither of them could be that much older than I was. Though in terms of life experience, I had no doubt they trumped me a few times over.
​“Oh, no, that’s okay.” The refusal was automatic, long practiced. How many times had I turned down such offers—from guys, from friends? My parents had been so strict when I was younger that I almost didn’t know how to say yes even after living on my own the last few years. Studies first. Fun later. Yet, there never seemed to be any time for fun after the first one was finished.
​“You sure? I don’t want you going to bed with no dinner because of us,” Foster said, frown lines marring that perfect mouth of his.
​Going to bed and us was about all I heard. My father’s stern voice whispered in my ear. You don’t know these men. You’ll be all alone in their apartment. Medina women have more respect for themselves than that.
​“Really, I’m fine. I had a big lunch,” I said, my smile brief, plastic. “But thanks.”
​“Oh, come on,” Pike said, his tone cajoling. “We’ve been neighbors for what, two years? We should at least get to know a little about each other.”
​Get to know each other? I knew that Foster was loud when he came—even if he was alone. Knew that Pike liked to laugh during sex. Knew the two men shared women. And the other sounds I’d heard over the last two years…the smacks, the commands, the erotic screams. My face went as hot as if I’d stuck my head in an oven.
​“Y’all just want me for my tequila,” I said, attempting to deflect my derailing thoughts.
​The corner of Pike’s mouth lifted. “Of course that’s not all we want you for.”​
​"Uh…" Oh, hell. Pictures flashed across my brain. Dirty, delicious pictures. I almost dropped my phone again. I had no idea what to do with my hands, my expression.
​Foster put a hand on Pike’s shoulder. “The lady said no. I think we should let her go celebrate her graduation however she wants.”
​“All right.” Pike’s face turned hang dog, but he handed me the tequila bottle. “If you change your mind, we’ve got big plans. Supreme pizza and a Star-Wars-themed porn marathon. The Empire Sucks C—”
​Foster smacked the back of Pike’s head, and Pike ducked and laughed.
​“Kidding. I mean, a Jane Austen marathon,” Pike corrected, his green-gold eyes solemn. “Pride and Pu—”
​Foster was behind Pike, his hand clamping over his friend’s mouth in a flash. “I seriously can’t take him out. He’s like an untrained puppy. Maybe you can lend me a shock collar or something.”
​Pike waggled his eyebrows, all playful wickedness.
​I laughed, putting my hand to my too hot forehead, and turning toward the stairs. “Yeah, so, I’m going to go now.”
​“Cela,” Foster said as I put my foot onto the first step.
​I glanced back. “Yeah?”
​His ice melt eyes flicked downward, his gaze alighting along the length of me before tracing their way upward again in a slow, unashamed perusal. “Promise you won’t go to bed hungry.”
​I wet my lips, my skin suddenly feeling too tight to accommodate the blood pumping beneath it, and nodded.
​But it was a lie.
​I always went to bed hungry.
​And it had nothing to do with a spilled dinner.

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The Loving on the Edge series continues to brilliantly and completely entertain in a tale of good girl who finally decides to go a little bad and the men who help her finally experience life.  Cela has always been the dutiful daughter, devoted to studying and her family.  Being away from home she had hoped to spread her wings, but with little time left before she heads home for a life already planned out, she finally decides to explore the fun side of life with her sexy neighbors as her guides.  Cela gets more the she expected though with eye-opening sexual interludes and a complicated relationship that offers more than she ever thought possible.  Cela's an immensely likable woman who's torn between living her life for herself or giving into her parent's expectations.  As she's close to her family she never wants to disappoint them, but the thought of going home is too safe and boring.  Giving into what her neighbor offers both scares her and tempts her as she'll have to embrace a side of herself she never knew existed in the sexy thrill ride within her reach.

Foster appears to be studious and strait laced with his suits but beneath that is a sexually dominant man tired of being alone but bruised from a past relationship.  He's been attracted to Cela since she moved in but he's been afraid to make a move as he doesn't want his true desires to scare her.  One night he gets the opportunity he's been waiting for and though it's a rocky journey to HEA, from both internal struggles and familial interference, being with her changes him irrevocably.  He's finally able to put past fears behind him and find a balance between his desires and the intense feelings he has for Cela.  Foster is immensely sexy and seeing his uncertainty at the start was endearing.  He's a true temptation with his talent for dirty talk and his slowly initiating Cela into the BDSM world heightens the sensuality of a relationship that already crackles.

Adding to Cela's temptation is Foster's roommate, the tattooed drummer Pike, who's charming and playful.  He's the more outgoing of the two and not afraid to say things that will make a girl blush.  He had a rough childhood just barely hinted at but it's made him grasp onto the pleasures of life.  He's a delightful dichotomy and the two roomies make Cela's walk on the wild side memorable.  It's clear though that she's meant for Foster but Pike's there to make sure they reach their HEA despite all the obstacles in their way.  I absolutely fell for Pike and all his rough edges.  I felt sympathetic for all I imagine he went through and can't wait for his whole story to be told.

This was a fast-paced read that pulled me in from the very start.  While it's loosely based in the same world as the other books in the series it can stand on its own.  The connection between the characters crackles with sensuality with each one immensely likable and memorable.  As with the other books Ms. Loren nicely balances character with steamy erotic interludes and light BDSM play that won't offend sensitive readers.  This series continues to be my obsession and I can't recommend it highly enough to readers who want steam with substance!

My rating for this is an A.

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


Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son. 
If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that's it. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat.

WEBSITE:  www.roniloren.com

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/RoniLoren
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/roniloren
GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4877863.Roni_Loren


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