Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Tour for Naked Choke by Vanessa Dare (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Readers who enjoy romances with more seasoned characters will find this a charming read with its former MMA Golden Boy and the shy nurse practitioner who catches his eye.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Naked Choke by Vanessa Dare, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  To celebrate this release make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win an e-copy of this book too!

Trapped at the bar during her best friend's engagement party, Emory finds herself with Mr. Dud and his obnoxious pick-up lines. That is, until sexy Grayson Green steps in to rescue her. She's been out of the game so long that she's practically a dating virgin. With her son off to college and her husband now an ex, Emory is learning how to be not a wife, not a mom, but a single woman. What she doesn't anticipate is falling—hard and fast—for a dominate, alpha male.
Grayson Green's an MMA champion, used to working hard and playing harder. He spent years in the limelight where fast times and fast women were easy to come by. Women just want to screw him and men want to be friends with the infamous Green Machine. The appeal is gone and he steps out of the ring to make some changes and get control of his life. He runs his own gym and is a trainer for the next champ. All the training in the world can't save him from the one-two punch of meeting Emory. She's different. She has no idea who he is...and she wants him anyway. She's everything he never knew he ever wanted and he's going to do whatever it takes to keep her.
Gray convinces Emory that there are no games with him, that he wants to take care of her, protect her, and pleasure her until she can't see straight. But not everything from his past are championship belts and sponsorship deals. He'll have to protect her from the one thing he can't control. Gray will do anything to keep Emory because he knows that winning in the cage is nothing compared to winning her heart.


“Which one is he?” He popped the lid on his drink.
One team wore black-and-white striped T-shirts like a bunch of convicts, the other wore dark green ones with a yellow collar. As I scanned the men, I realized Faith would have enjoyed this. Watching sweaty, fit men run around and tackle each other, showing off their caveman qualities would spike any woman’s libido. When I finally glimpsed Gray on the field, my heart stuttered. The other night wasn’t a fluke. He did something to me. This guy, why this guy? Was I insane? There was one way to find out.
“There.” I pointed.
“The blond?"
I shook my head, took a sip of soda to cool myself down. Gray looked…God, amazing. Manly. He was wearing one of the ridiculous convict shirts, the neckline stretched out by someone’s rough grab. Sweat dripped down his forehead and he had a streak of dirt on his arm that blended in with the tattoo. With his arm exposed, I could see it was large enough to creep up his forearm and over his biceps. Although he was dark complected and tan, it stood out in stark contrast. I hadn’t been wild about tattoos in general before, but on Gray…it totally melted my butter. I had to wonder if he had any others, and if so, where?
“No, the one with the dark close-cropped hair."
Simon looked where I pointed, his brows going up. “Holy shit, Em. That’s the guy?”



Readers who enjoy couples that are more seasoned will find themselves charmed by the sweet and sensual burgeoning relationship between the shy Emory, with her low self-esteem issues, and the strong-willed and protective Gray, who's bored with superficial encounters based on his fame.  Theirs is a slow moving relationship in which through every word and deed Gray reminds Emory of her innate sensuality while she shows him her love for the man he is instead of the persona he created.  Throw in some outside interferences due to his abusive father and her newfound mafia neighbors and you end up with a story juggling elements that don't always fit seamlessly together but ends up delivering a HEA in the end.

Emory met and married quickly during her college years so hasn't had much experience with sex beyond the husband who recently left her for someone younger while making her feel inadequate.  Her self-esteem is at an all-time low due to his belittling words which leaves her with little desire to be with anyone expect for what's in her bedside table.  For so long she saw herself as only a mom with her son being her main concern, but with his leaving home she can now find a life of her own...and perhaps a new love if she can just be brave and bold enough to grab on to the sweet and sexy former MMA champ who rushes to her rescue at a wedding.  Emory's a likable woman but her self-esteem issues lead to awkward talk and her rushing to believe the worst.  It takes a lot of gentle handling from Gray to put her at ease but once she finally takes the plunge she finds out what she'd been missing throughout her boring marriage. With her sexual liberation I had hoped she would've also found strength at protecting herself instead of cowering and letting others defend her.  She's sweet and honest though, with every one of her emotions easily seen, which is exactly what Gray needs after years of being liked for his fame instead of who he is inside.

Gray had a harsh childhood of abuse at the hands of a vile man who was left untouched by the law despite his numerous crimes.  All the blood and bruises though led him to fame in the MMA and becoming more than his father could ever hope to be.  His father's hatred never stopped as he constantly picks apart his son's self-esteem every chance he gets, dirtying up the life Gray has made for himself.  After years of superficiality with his partners he's shocked by how powerful his feelings are for the shy and demure Emory as he's never had to work so hard to get the attention of a woman before.  He may feel unworthy of her but he relishes being her hero and getting to introduce her to the delights of the bedroom as he takes his time getting there which proves that all good things come to those who wait. Gray is sexy and rugged with strong Alpha tendencies that don't seem to bother Emory as he's the one she counts on whenever she's afraid.  The pain his father inflicted on him was awful and I hated him still letting his father affect his life after all he's accomplished.

This was a story that moved a bit slowly at times despite my being charmed by the sweetness of Gray and Emory's relationship.  I could understand Gray moving slowly with Emory as her self-esteem issues ran deep but it still made for a lot of frustration as it felt like a glacial pace at times.  Once they finally culminated their relationship though it resulted in some scorching encounters that showed him to be a champ not only in the ring but in the bedroom too. Gray's issues with his father would've been more than enough angst to make the HEA rewarding as it was a heartbreaking situation.  That's why I was equally frustrated by the author's inclusion of the mafia theme as it felt so out of place as did the reason behind the danger to Emory.  This element was jarring to the story and unnecessary in my opinion.  Ultimately though it's Gray who kept me fully invested in this story as I liked the gruff fighter and his care and concern for the gentle soul he's brought into his world.

My rating for this is a B-/C+

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


Vanessa Dare does it all: Urban contemporary to time traveling to Scotland and everything in between. Her bestselling alter ego, Vanessa Vale, sticks with steamy Wild West romps.  Vanessa loves to hear from fans.

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