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No Regrets #2

The Thrill of It

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A new adult story of Love. Sex. Addiction. Blackmail. And Power...

Some say love can be an addiction. Others say it's the thing that makes life worth living. Let me tell you everything I know about love...Love isn't patient, love isn't kind. Love is a game, a chase. A thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman must fight for themselves. At least that's how it was for me. A high-priced virgin call girl by the time I started college, I was addicted to love and to sex. Even though I've never had either. I controlled love, played it, and held the world in the palm of my hands. Then I fell down from those highs, and I'm being blackmailed for all my mistakes, forced to keep secrets from everyone, except the only guy I don't regret.

Trey...

With all the other women, I knew what they were. They were temporary. They were pills, they were bottles, they took away all the pain, and numbed the awful memories that wore down my ragged, wasted heart. Until I met Harley. She's the only girl I ever missed when she walked away. But now she's back in my life, every day, and there are no guarantees for us, especially since I don't know how to tell her my secrets. What happened to my family. All I know is she's the closest I've ever come to something real, and I want to feel every second of it.

How can you love with no regrets when regret is all you know?

282 pages, Paperback

First published November 21, 2013

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About the author

Lauren Blakely

217 books19.1k followers
A #1 New York Times Bestselling, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and #1 Audible Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's sweet, sexy and witty. Her heroines are strong and smart and her heroes have hearts of gold and fantastic funny bones. She'd love to give you a free book today! Check out her web site to grab your free read: https://laurenblakely.com/one-free-book/

Connect with Lauren here

➜ WEBSITE: laurenblakely.com
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 542 reviews
Profile Image for Candace.
1,174 reviews4,127 followers
April 28, 2017
I have to say that this book had some pretty different story elements. For starters, the main characters are both sex/love addicts on the road to recovery. I haven't ran across that in a book before...and I read a lot!

The hero, Trey, was the stereotypical manwhore. He was the favorite boy-toy of every cougar in his parent's upscale apartment building. He masked his pain with sex, until an encounter with one angry husband had him reconsidering the ramifications of his coping mechanism.

Harley was a teenaged call girl...and a virgin. She never had sex with a client, but craved the control she had when working. When masquerading as "Layla" she feels powerful, until her secret life makes her the target of blackmail for another woman scorned.

From the start, I enjoyed the uniqueness of this story. This was a slow-building romance, due to the hands-off nature of Trey and Harley's recovery process. However, the chemistry was undeniable. They were great together, even when they were bad for each other.

I found myself wanting to see these two main characters get their HEA. Harley, in particular, had been dealt a bad hand. Who would've imagined that her pimp would've been more emotionally supportive than her mother? I certainly didn't see that coming! I don't even know where to start with Harley's mother.

All things considered, this was a nice, sweet and entertaining story. I really liked the main characters and the story as a whole. The ending seemed to come quickly and everything tied up nicely in the end...maybe too nicely.

I thought it was a good audiobook also. I don't have any complaints about the narration on the Audible version. Everything was "good". This isn't a story that I would reread, but it was a nice one-timer.
Profile Image for Kristen.
829 reviews4,700 followers
April 13, 2019
3 to 3 1/2 Stars

This was an interesting read for me. I can honestly say I did like this book. In fact, I couldn’t put it down but some things just didn’t fully work for me either. For instance, Harley being a “Call Girl” and a “virgin” had me scratching my head a bit. I understand the trauma her mother put her though growing up, it was awful, but the fact it was tied to her becoming a call girl that stayed a virgin and only kissed the men she was with (they had other fetishes) was a little too farfetched for me. Plus, something was just missing for me. I had a difficult time staying fully connected to the characters and their issues. That said, I did adore Trey. He was a bit of an enigma for me but his story did break my heart and I did understand his issues. Overall, The Thrill of It was a good read and by the end I did fall in love with the characters and their love story. I look forward to the conclusion of Trey and Harley’s journey.
Profile Image for Monica Murphy.
Author 93 books12.4k followers
December 29, 2013
So I've only read the first 40 pages but that's enough to tell me that I love this book. It's dark and sexy and twisted and slightly uncomfortable and it gives you all the feels you could ever, ever want.

I think Lauren is amazing (and fine she's my friend but this BOOK people *sighs*). Add it to your shelf. You won't regret it.
Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,803 followers
December 14, 2013




Title: The Thrill of It
Author Lauren Blakely
Series: No Regrets #1
Release Date: ovember 21st, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Cliffhanger: ? hard to say
HEA:








Love can be the ugly beautiful



The Thrill of It totally wasn't what I expected it to be and this misunderstanding made me quickly fell in love with this deliciously unique and beautiful storyline about tortured characters, that made my heart bleed. I felt glued to the pages, because this enticing, absolutely sexy and beautifully written story about addiction, mistakes and love is fast paced, realistic and so, so hot!

Harley is former call girl and a virgin. She’s addicted to power that comes from sex and she has no idea how to stop thinking about prostituting herself. To get some help she goes to SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) meetings. That’s where she sees Trey, tattoo artist, that she almost spend the night with.



Trey also is addicted to sex. From the time he was teenager he had constant sex with cougars. Women older and more experienced than him. Harley is the only ‘young’ girl he felt attracted to.
SLAA rules say they can’t have sex or be in any kind of relationship in the first year of recovery. Can they say no to their demons?

At the beginning, I wasn’t sure what to think as the first 15% were a little bit confusing. I couldn’t relate to characters well and quite honestly I was on the verge of hating them, but after few more pages, I found myslef hooked on the story. I can’t say I’ve read something so realistic and gut wrenching in a while.



Also, the writing was beautiful. Lauren Blakely mesmerized me. There were moments where the words were stunning and brilliant, and I just floated around with them somewhere far away from reality.
„In an instant, I’m back on earth. I’m no longer floating, removed. I’m here, next to her, and my chest is cracked open, and I’ve given her my bleeding, beating heart, and she’s holding it in her hands, and she’s not crushing it, she’s not destroying it. She’s doing the opposite. She’s getting me. She’s understanding, she’s burrowing her way so far under my skin, into my head, and around my heart that I am dangerously close to joining her in the tears department.”


There were also moments when I laughed really hard.

“I mean, we’re sitting here, and your dick is in my hand, and I’m asking you for tips, and you’re giving me advice for my first blow job, and I’m laughing, and you’re laughing, and it’s kind of awesome.”



Overall, The Thrill of it is simply heartbreaking story. The sexual chemistry is explosive, plot full of angst, nothing feels rushed and there isn’t a thing I would add, because Lauren Blakely created very good novel.


More reviews on Smokin' Hot Book Blog and my Facebook Page


Profile Image for ~ Becs ~.
709 reviews2,100 followers
December 22, 2013
I am nineteen years old, I have kissed twenty-four guys, and my mother thinks I’m a whore.


Whoa!!

This book wowed me!! I haven’t read Lauren Blakely before and I didn’t really read the synopsis very carefully before I began so I kind of went into this blind, not knowing what to expect and I will confess that I found it hard to connect with the story and the characters during the first 10% but then Milasy from The Rock Stars of Romance told me just how much she loved this book and so I persevered and I’m so glad I did. Milasy, you truly are a Rock Star!

It’s a reviewer’s well worn cliché to say that a ‘book owned me’ but this one truly did. After my initial difficulties, I found a strong gravitational pull between me and this book and its mixed up, fucked up characters. As I closed down my Kindle to do other things, I desperately wanted to go straight back to it and counted down the hours and minutes until I could.

We meet Trey and Harley after they spend one night together as almost anonymous strangers but are thrown together unexpectedly the very next day at SLAA – sex and love addicts anonymous. Their night together was, for both of them, meant to be a last fling before embarking on the road to recovery. They forge a beautiful friendship and, because of their addictions, it can go no further despite the deep and overwhelmingly intense feelings they have for one another. They both have secrets in their past that have forced them onto the destructive paths both have followed and these are revealed slowly as the story progresses.

The past is alluring. It puts on rose-colored glasses and seduces us. But if you return, you’ll only need more of the drug. You’ll need a bigger dose. You’ll need more to take the pain away. Remember, the pain is the arrow coming out, not the arrow going in.


I think the cover, beautiful as it is, is slightly misleading. I think it hints that the book is a hot and heavy erotic romance and, while you do get that, there’s far more depth, far greater character development going on here. It’s a thoughtful, thought-provoking, deeply soulful and enthralling story of two damaged souls finding one another and together shedding that emotional Kevlar to reveal the festering, gaping open wounds beneath, to give them the air that they desperately need and to allow them to heal and embark on the road to recovery together. The events of the past, the absent love that should have been there to guide them has led them both to embark on wholly destructive behaviour patterns that do absolutely nothing to ease the pain of the past.

Both of them have sad tales to tell, Trey especially and when his story is finally told, I shed big fat ugly tears right along with Harley as she listened. I just adored Trey. His loyal, fastidious support of Harley really is a thing of beauty. He only wavered once and I understood why he said the things he did. He’s young, he’s hot, he’s got a thing for cougars but that’s all been about the oblivion of a physical connection. With Harley, things are completely different. She connects with him soul-deep and reawakens feelings within him that he’s long considered lost and gone forever. He’s the best thing that has ever happened to her and she is the best thing that has ever happened to him but circumstances dictate that they can’t be together now. He was just all kinds of wonderful It’s easy to fall in love with Trey and I most definitely did. Pretty darned hard! I love how the pain of his past is actually mapped out in the ink on his body. It’s so hot and so personal.

She brings her hand to her chest, and her shoulders are shaking. The tears fall like a fucking rainstorm now, unleashed, and it’s so strange to watch someone else’s reaction. I’ve been living my own reaction for years, inside of me and locked up in my head, and now this story that’s only been told in hieroglyphics on my body is someone else’s to own, to process, to feel. It’s as if I’ve given her a piece of my heart, and said there, do with it what you will.I’m frozen in time, waiting, to see if she’ll kick my heart away.

“I can’t believe you kept that all inside, Trey,” she says in between sobs. “I can’t believe that’s your history, and your family, and you never said a word.”


Harley’s story, when you understand it fully, is completely different from Trey’s. Very different things have set her on the path of a teenage call girl and sex addict and she’s now stuck in a vicious cycle of blackmail, trying to do the right thing, trying to ignore the siren call of her past and trying to do right by Trey, her mother and herself. She’s actually a really big sweetheart and she desperately needs someone to love her rather than use her for their own advantage – she needs someone to see her for herself and love her for it and Trey does that. In droves. He means everything to her – a light at the end of a dark emotional tunnel and he represents salvation for her, redemption from her ugly past.

Their journey together is so touching, so soulful and a deeply emotional story that will grip you by the heart and won’t let go. I found myself fully beguiled by them and the obstacles in their way together.

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When Lauren sent this book to me for review, she told me that it was different from her previous contemporary romances but I’ve not actually read her books before so I can’t really comment on that but I will say that the writing style is intelligent, accomplished, the pacing is beautiful with lots of time for us and the characters to absorb and react to the events in the story and Lauren treats us readers like the educated adults we are and I absolutely couldn’t fault the way this is written. It’s eerily atmospheric and, as it takes place in Manhattan, Lauren does a fantastic job of bringing the dusty, noisy city vividly to life. I will say that there’s a huge-ass cliffhanger at the end that I was so not expecting. I thought we were cruising towards a perfect ending and I turned the page and found this…….



To be continued….

Stay tuned for book 2 in the No Regrets series, EVERY SECOND WITH YOU, releasing in winter 2014.


I howled. Very loudly. Now we have a whole freaking year to wait for part two and I kind of need it now. Lauren – are you listening? Write faster, K? I actually emailed the author and ranted at her and it turns out book 2 will be releasing in early 2014 at the end of winter. I am calmer now!!

There’s another character here I’d like to mention – Cam. He should be a villain, he’s a pimp after all but I found him really rather charming – just the way he sat at the bar reading Bridget Jones to be on hand to keep Harley safe had me warming up to him. I sincerely hope to see a little more of him in a Lauren Blakely novel coming to a Kindle near you some time in the future!

So, if you like a thoughtful, soulful, sensual romance, I think The Thrill Of It will work for you – just watch out for the nasty cliffy waiting to bite you right at the end!

4.5 tense edgy stars

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Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews13.8k followers
Want to read
December 26, 2014
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FREE on Amazon US today (12/12/2014)

BLURB:
A new adult story of Love. Sex. Addiction. Blackmail. And Power...

Some say love can be an addiction. Others say it's the thing that makes life worth living. Let me tell you everything I know about love...Love isn't patient, love isn't kind. Love is a game, a chase. A thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman must fight for themselves. At least that's how it was for me. A high-priced virgin call girl by the time I started college, I was addicted to love and to sex. Even though I've never had either. I controlled love, played it, and held the world in the palm of my hands. Then I fell down from those highs, and I'm being blackmailed for all my mistakes, forced to keep secrets from everyone, except the only guy I don't regret.

Trey...

With all the other women, I knew what they were. They were temporary. They were pills, they were bottles, they took away all the pain, and numbed the awful memories that wore down my ragged, wasted heart. Until I met Harley. She's the only girl I ever missed when she walked away. But now she's back in my life, every day, and there are no guarantees for us, especially since I don't know how to tell her my secrets. What happened to my family. All I know is she's the closest I've ever come to something real, and I want to feel every second of it.

How can you love with no regrets when regret is all you know?


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F...
December 19, 2015

Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews

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10 Tragic Sweet Sizzling Stars

5 Sexy Sweet Sizzling Hearts for HEAT!!


I CAN NOT GIVE THIS BOOK ENOUGH STARS!!!
See complete review here
Nichole's Sizzling Review: The Thrill of it by Lauren Blakely

Reread 2015
Still loved it.
Safe with exception.
Both have pasts that are triggers for some. But from the moment they meet they aren't intimate with anyone. Try was a manwhore. Harley a call girl that didn't have sex. So skip on by if those themes bother you. The first six months of their platonic friendship .. They are in sex addicts anonymous and battle temptation but it's only thoughts of how easy it would be to go back to doing those things not like either wanted someone else. Trey is the most awesome guy ever. He adores Harley so this was totally safe for me.
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,082 reviews861 followers
July 20, 2014
3.5 Stars.



"I'm a sex addict and a virgin.
I know everything about sex and I've never done it, though I came close last night.
I know nothing about love.
I know men.
I can size up a guy in seconds."


Harley is trying to leave Layla behind her. A part of who she is that screams that dangerous mixture of innocence and sex appeal. You see, Layla is her working name. The name she uses when it comes to the men who buy her. But she's not a whore, she's a high class call girl, oh yeah and she's just nineteen. She finds safety in the game, in the thrill. It's the one thing in her life she can control. But Layla has to be let go and somehow Harley needs to survive.

Trey is battling with his own addiction. Drowning the ghosts of his past with older women. For years Trey has sought the emptiness by bedding the numerous trophy wives that lived in the upscale building he grew up in. But the last one was a wake up call.

Now both Harley & Trey are working towards ridding themselves of the addiction. One special night shared before they both come face to face at the first Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous meeting. The one rule, no relationships while in recovery. But that doesn't mean they can't try to just be friends.

As they both spend the weeks and months together they are forced to expose the scars of their past and face their greatest fears head on. Not just the fears of what they are walking away from, but what lies ahead.

My thoughts on this one are sort of up in the air. I enjoyed the story (although that cliff at the end was pushing it) and loved the premise for the story. When it came to Trey's pov I was completely enraptured but there were parts where Harley's pov was overwhelming. It doesn't seem logical, but there were parts when it just felt too wordy and my attention was drifting.

I was not sure of my thoughts on Cam. As the pimp that was taking on an underage girl I wanted to dislike him. I felt the slickness of him, but he just didn't come across as a bad guy. I wonder if he will stay put as we move forward with the story or if he'll be pulled in as the story line with the mother continues. There are so many ways this story can play out and we are left just having to wait and figure out just what is in store come mid December.

I will however continue to read this series to see what becomes of Trey & Harley. Will what they found in such a short time be enough to keep them from falling back into old habits?
Profile Image for Jenny - TotallybookedBlog.
1,777 reviews2,010 followers
November 28, 2013
Jointly reviewed for: http://totallybookedblog.com/


description

Jenny: 4.0 Stars
Gitte: 2.5 Stars


There’s a first for for everything!!! It’s not very often we disagree on a book, but it happened with The Thrill of It. Here is our review for The Thrill of It with two different opinions

Jenny: Well, the synopsis of this one certainly piqued my interest from the get go. I mean, how can you be a sex addict and a virgin? I was intrigued by that statement and had to find out what this was all about. The first chapter pulled me in and so begun the story of Trey, a sex addict with a penchant for cougars, and cougars with a penchant for Trey. And Harley, a girl with so many walls built up over an unorthodox past wandering aimlessly through life pleasing others at the expense of herself, addicted to the control her situation brings to her and not specifically the sex. Both imperfectly perfect in each other’s eyes, yet so totally unworthy and broken in their own eyes.

“All I hope is that you can someday know that love doesn’t have to be a brutal, bitter, power game. Love can be the ugly beautiful.”

Harley and Trey’s story was certainly different, I found the story somewhat refreshing and I couldn’t stop reading it. I needed to know what brought them to the point where we pick up their story. What could have set these two on such a self-destructive path? Yep, there was so much I needed to know and I was drawn in immediately. But…..we didn’t agree on this one though did we G?

Gitte: So, now for something completely different guys! Jenny and I can count on one hand the amount of times over the last two years where we have disagreed on a book. We are book soul mates. This will be the first review we’ve done since starting the blog where we’ve disagreed on how we felt over a book. Hmmm, this could be interesting.

Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed this story to a point, it was very well written and flawless in execution, however, the storyline didn’t wow me. I have to say I found the storyline extremely dubious, a virgin who’s never been touched – anywhere, who’s a ‘sex addict’ and a ‘love addict’. Seeing that this is the crux of our heroine’s story I looked the term up and read several articles on this very much disputed concept. Having been interested in the psychology of human behaviour since my degree from university I have to say I just didn’t get it. I understood her patterns of behaviour to a degree, after all it stems from a misplaced sense of control, but I found the storyline grasping at straws to be unique, the straws being very farfetched. Our heroine is a ‘love’ addict, yet she has never really loved anyone nor does she want or understand love, which she states on numerous occasions. Hmmm……

‘Love isn’t a quilt, love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase, a thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman for himself.’ – Harley

Now, yes you can argue that this is fiction so why am I being so harsh? Well, I guess for me when the topic of which a story line is based on is so specific, it needs to be handled with some authenticity and woven into the fictional tale. This is where it fell short for me.

‘I’m a sex addict and a virgin. I know everything about sex and I’ve never done it. I know nothing about love.’ – Harley

I will re-iterate again, I did enjoy it as I needed to see where it went and I love the writing style of this Author, the emotion is definitely there and well executed!!

Jenny: I can absolutely understand where you’re coming from Gitte because as you know, I’m naturally inquisitive and I did wonder if this was an actual disorder and did question the authenticity of it all. However, I let the story lead me and by the time I questioned it I had become well and truly invested in Trey and Harley’s story.

First we have Harley. Gitte, if I could get hold of her mother I’d give her a bloody good slapping. Just what was this woman thinking!! What Harley had to cope with! Wow, no child should ever have to witness that! It made me shudder. Could you think of anything worse? Yuk! Harley needed love, affection and and nurturing. What she got was a poor excuse for a friend. One who would disregard her daughter for her own gain. Harley had very little stability in her life and it was testament to her character she was as beautiful inside as she was outside.

“I am gross. I am disgusting. Miranda is right. I don’t deserve redemption.’ – Harley

Trey gave her a reason to be. He offered her comfort, love and passion. Something this girl never thought she’d receive and I adored watching their relationship develop. Did you want to bitch slap that mother too?

Gitte: I absolutely felt for Harley Jenny, what a life she’s had and she’s only twenty years old. No parent role model, no holds barred at home in regards to morality, respect and discipline, as in there was none.

No Mother or Father figure to aspire to or look up to. You can’t blame the girl for being confused. I was confused. Her mother had a split personality in respect to her career and her life outside it. She was two completely different people. Everyone was so emotionally stunted their behaviour and rationality was skewered and hampered.

‘There is no such thing as real love. There is only agenda. There are only expectations. And if you can remove the sticky mess of feelings from the equation, you’re better off.’ – Harley

Jenny: Her mother was a self absorbed nutjob!
Then we have Trey. What was his story? The tattoos? The secrecy? The sex and why older women? What sent him on this self-destructive and self-loathing path? As Trey’s story evolved you really felt for him.

“She’s a girl. And I only know women, and I only know sex. I don’t know what to do with someone who’s not a game, a conquest, a way to numb the pain. With her, I’d have to be myself, to be honest, and truthful, and let her all the way in.” – Trey

Poor Harley and Trey had been dealt a shitty hand as far as parents and role models go. They needed love, understanding and guidance, yet instead received apathy and cold hearts. My heart went out to Trey and Harley. Their chemistry sizzled on the pages and the sex between these two was HOT! But it was the emotion felt between two people suffering and hurting and finding that healing balm with one another that won me over.

Gitte: Now Trey was an enigma too. We got snap shots into his broken soul and I understood why he needed an escape. His story broke my heart, it was so devastating and he too was needing that control and outlet for his buried emotions. But why is sleeping with ‘cougars’ such a bad thing? HA!

‘It’s as if I’ve given her a piece of my heart, and said there, do with it what you will.’ – Trey

Jenny: Haha! No, sleeping with cougars is NOT a bad thing! There should be more of it I say :) This story had me stumped and I couldn’t fathom how this was going to play out. How were these two damaged souls, so destroyed by sex and emotional walls ever going to come out the other end? How were they going to break down those walls? This story was told with passion, emotion, humor and compassion.

“Maybe it’s what you need then. To feel it again. To go through that pain. To know you can say it and you’ll survive.” – Harley

Two beautiful characters who together made two halves a whole.

“He knows me. I know him. I am flawed and I made mistakes….” – Harley

One thing I will commend Lauren Blakely on with this story, among other things, was how she handled the first sexual encounter with Harley and Trey. The scenes felt quite realistic and you could feel the timidness and uncertaintly between them and it helped you connect with them even more. All too often we are faced with the Magical Virginal Vagina in these story. You know the one…..where our virgin has sex for the first time, comes on demand, it’s the most amazing sex EVER for the guy and she then becomes a seasoned pro when giving her first BJ. All that becomes an eye roll moment for the reader instead of emotional connection between the characters. But Lauren gave us this moment between them where love blossomed, sex was new and exciting, where these characters learned to trust and broke down emotional walls.

‘It’s weird that one person can know your before and your wish for after.’ – Harley

I enjoyed this one…..and that ending……gah!!! Way to leave us hanging Lauren Blakely. LOL. I know you loved Falling For You by this author G and I bet it’s hard for you to admit you didn’t love this one but we always respect each others honesty and opinions, so final thought on The Thrill of It for you?

Gitte: Right, so this review breaks my heart because I loved the previous book I read by this Author and I love her, but I have to be honest. It wasn’t for me. I think the brilliant writing style, the raw emotion and the grittiness kept me reading, but the characters and storyline just didn’t work for me, though I have to say that I did like how the characters got strong and stood up for themselves as they went on the path to repair themselves emotionally.

In my opinion The Thrill of It was trying too hard to be unique but there were too many under-developed branches of storyline and not enough ‘reality to the fiction’. It felt confused on what it wanted to be which in turn made this reader confused and unsure!

*runs to hide from onslaught of tomatoes*


ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bec.
355 reviews21 followers
November 29, 2013
This book is over dramatized to the point of ridiculous. Call me naive but if this girl is a sex addict then I must have serious problems. And I am a self proclaimed retired whorebag, so I'm pretty sure I'd know...Sure Harley is co-dependent on her pimp, but that aside, nope not seeing it. Her mother who is supposed to be this great ground-breaking investigative journalist is actually a self involved moron, so yeah, not buying that either and the way it was portrayed about Trey's Mum losing the babies - yep, calling soap opera BS on that too. I spent majority of the time rolling my eyes at the antics and idiots on the pages and the rest of the time I was wondering how much longer it would take me to finish or should I even finish it. But like the weirdo masochist that I am, I pushed my way through and finished it, but only so I could write this review.
Profile Image for Akanksha❤ Søren♰.
654 reviews2,617 followers
December 21, 2015
The prequel gave such a false hope, I can't read such shitty books.. where everything is happening in the persons head... I mean are you a loon to talk so much to yourself? SPEAK IT OUT. I need dialogues.
Profile Image for Gitte TotallyBookedBlog.
1,931 reviews939 followers
November 22, 2013
Jointly Reviewed on: http://totallybookedblog.com/2013/11/...

description

Jenny: 4.0 Stars
Gitte: 2.5 Stars

There’s a first for for everything!!!
It’s not very often we disagree on a book, but it happened with The Thrill of It. Here is our review for The Thrill of It with two different opinions

Jenny:
Well, the synopsis of this one certainly piqued my interest from the get go. I mean, how can you be a sex addict and a virgin? I was intrigued by that statement and had to find out what this was all about. The first chapter pulled me in and so begun the story of Trey, a sex addict with a penchant for cougars, and cougars with a penchant for Trey. And Harley, a girl with so many walls built up over an unorthodox past wandering aimlessly through life pleasing others at the expense of herself, addicted to the control her situation brings to her and not specifically the sex. Both imperfectly perfect in each other’s eyes, yet so totally unworthy and broken in their own eyes.

“All I hope is that you can someday know that love doesn’t have to be a brutal, bitter, power game. Love can be the ugly beautiful.”

Harley and Trey’s story was certainly different, I found the story somewhat refreshing and I couldn’t stop reading it. I needed to know what brought them to the point where we pick up their story. What could have set these two on such a self-destructive path? Yep, there was so much I needed to know and I was drawn in immediately. But…..we didn’t agree on this one though did we G?

Gitte: So, now for something completely different guys! Jenny and I can count on one hand the amount of times over the last two years where we have disagreed on a book. We are book soul mates. This will be the first review we’ve done since starting the blog where we’ve disagreed on how we felt over a book. Hmmm, this could be interesting.

Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed this story to a point, it was very well written and flawless in execution, however, the storyline didn’t wow me. I have to say I found the storyline extremely dubious, a virgin who’s never been touched – anywhere, who’s a ‘sex addict’ and a ‘love addict’. Seeing that this is the crux of our heroine’s story I looked the term up and read several articles on this very much disputed concept. Having been interested in the psychology of human behaviour since my degree from university I have to say I just didn’t get it. I understood her patterns of behaviour to a degree, after all it stems from a misplaced sense of control, but I found the storyline grasping at straws to be unique, the straws being very farfetched. Our heroine is a ‘love’ addict, yet she has never really loved anyone nor does she want or understand love, which she states on numerous occasions. Hmmm……

‘Love isn’t a quilt, love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase, a thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman for himself.’ – Harley

Now, yes you can argue that this is fiction so why am I being so harsh? Well, I guess for me when the topic of which a story line is based on is so specific, it needs to be handled with some authenticity and woven into the fictional tale. This is where it fell short for me.

‘I’m a sex addict and a virgin. I know everything about sex and I’ve never done it. I know nothing about love.’ – Harley

I will re-iterate again, I did enjoy it as I needed to see where it went and I love the writing style of this Author, the emotion is definitely there and well executed!!

Jenny: I can absolutely understand where you’re coming from Gitte because as you know, I’m naturally inquisitive and I did wonder if this was an actual disorder and did question the authenticity of it all. However, I let the story lead me and by the time I questioned it I had become well and truly invested in Trey and Harley’s story.

First we have Harley. Gitte, if I could get hold of her mother I’d give her a bloody good slapping. Just what was this woman thinking!! What Harley had to cope with! Wow, no child should ever have to witness that! It made me shudder. Could you think of anything worse? Yuk! Harley needed love, affection and and nurturing. What she got was a poor excuse for a friend. One who would disregard her daughter for her own gain. Harley had very little stability in her life and it was testament to her character she was as beautiful inside as she was outside.

“I am gross. I am disgusting. Miranda is right. I don’t deserve redemption.’ – Harley

Trey gave her a reason to be. He offered her comfort, love and passion. Something this girl never thought she’d receive and I adored watching their relationship develop. Did you want to bitch slap that mother too?

Gitte: I absolutely felt for Harley Jenny, what a life she’s had and she’s only twenty years old. No parent role model, no holds barred at home in regards to morality, respect and discipline, as in there was none.

No Mother or Father figure to aspire to or look up to. You can’t blame the girl for being confused. I was confused. Her mother had a split personality in respect to her career and her life outside it. She was two completely different people. Everyone was so emotionally stunted their behaviour and rationality was skewered and hampered.

‘There is no such thing as real love. There is only agenda. There are only expectations. And if you can remove the sticky mess of feelings from the equation, you’re better off.’ – Harley

Jenny:
Her mother was a nutjob! Then we have Trey. What was his story? The tattoos? The secrecy? The sex and why older women? What sent him on this self-destructive and self-loathing path? As Trey’s story evolved you really felt for him.

“She’s a girl. And I only know women, and I only know sex. I don’t know what to do with someone who’s not a game, a conquest, a way to numb the pain. With her, I’d have to be myself, to be honest, and truthful, and let her all the way in.” – Trey

Poor Harley and Trey had been dealt a shitty hand as far as parents and role models go. They needed love, understanding and guidance, yet instead received apathy and cold hearts. My heart went out to Trey and Harley. Their chemistry sizzled on the pages and the sex between these two was HOT! But it was the emotion felt between two people suffering and hurting and finding that healing balm with one another that won me over.

Gitte: Now Trey was an enigma too. We got snap shots into his broken soul and I understood why he needed an escape. His story broke my heart, it was so devastating and he too was needing that control and outlet for his buried emotions. But why is sleeping with ‘cougars’ such a bad thing? HA!

‘It’s as if I’ve given her a piece of my heart, and said there, do with it what you will.’ – Trey

Jenny:
Haha! No, sleeping with cougars is NOT a bad thing! There should be more of it I say :) This story had me stumped and I couldn’t fathom how this was going to play out. How were these two damaged souls, so destroyed by sex and emotional walls ever going to come out the other end? How were they going to break down those walls? This story was told with passion, emotion, humor and compassion.

“Maybe it’s what you need then. To feel it again. To go through that pain. To know you can say it and you’ll survive.” – Harley

Two beautiful characters who together made two halves a whole.

“He knows me. I know him. I am flawed and I made mistakes….” – Harley

One thing I will commend Lauren Blakely on with this story, among other things, was how she handled the first sexual encounter with Harley and Trey. The scenes felt quite realistic and you could feel the timidness and uncertaintly between them and it helped you connect with them even more. All too often we are faced with the Magical Virginal Vagina in these story. You know the one…..where our virgin has sex for the first time, comes on demand, it’s the most amazing sex EVER for the guy and she then becomes a seasoned pro when giving her first BJ. All that becomes an eye roll moment for the reader instead of emotional connection between the characters. But Lauren gave us a wonderful moment between Harley and Trey, where love blossomed, sex was new and exciting and where these characters learned to trust and give, and break down their emotional walls.

‘It’s weird that one person can know your before and your wish for after.’ – Harley

I really did enjoy this one. That ending though……gah!!! Way to leave us hanging Lauren Blakely. LOL. I will be hanging out for book two that’s for sure! Dying to see how that one plays out!

I know you loved Falling For You by this author G and I bet it’s hard for you to admit you didn’t love this one but we always respect each others honesty and opinions, so final thought on The Thrill of It for you?

Gitte: Right, so this review breaks my heart because I loved the previous book I read by this Author and I love her, but I have to be honest. It wasn’t for me. I think the brilliant writing style, the raw emotion and the grittiness kept me reading, but the characters and storyline just didn’t work for me, though I have to say that I did like how the characters got strong and stood up for themselves as they went on the path to repair themselves emotionally.

In my opinion The Thrill of It was trying too hard to be unique but there were too many under-developed branches of storyline and not enough ‘reality to the fiction’. It felt confused on what it wanted to be which in turn made this reader confused and unsure!

*runs to hide from onslaught of tomatoes*

J&G:
So there you have it. TB history was made today. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Reading is subjective and many things come into play which can affect what we experience from a story.

We are both always so in sync with our reading and often pick the same quotes and highlight the same things as each other – so much so it’s actually quite spooky and this review goes to show that everyone will garner a different reading experience, even book soul mates. Yet everyone should be entitled to express their opinion without fear of reprisal.
We all have an opinion and that opinion should always be respected regardless of whether the book worked for us or not. It would be a boring world if we all loved the same thing!

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Victoria S..
64 reviews25 followers
November 20, 2013
4.5 Thrillingly Captivating Stars

A call girl who is a virgin, that can't be right, right? WRONG Meet Harley or Layla, her call girl name.

Harley aka Layla

Harley was exposed to sex very early on in her adolescence. Raised by a woman (that’s right I cannot bring myself to refer to her as a mother) Barb, whose sole focus after her failed marriage with Harley’s father, became bedding men as a means of inflating her self-confidence. Instead of a mother Harley, had sister who emphasized the importance of beauty to use to get what one wants. Yup, worst mother award goes too Barb.

Harley was a pawn for Barb to flaunt and set up as she saw fit, Harley had no control over her life; thus, when Cam, aka her pimp, entered her life Good-Bye Perfect Daughter Role and Hello Call Girl Life. Cam offered Harley a new life as Layla, girl who held the power to bring men to their knees, which brought them pleasure without even having sex.

The Pimp--Cam

However, a client’s wife threatens to expose Harley’s other life, an unraveling that would embarrass/pose harm to her mother’s career. Why does Harley care what happens to Barb? Well that is the type of kindred soul Harley has, with a tad brainwashing she has herself convinced Barb raised her the best she could and the way she was raised was appropriate. Due to Harley’s kind heart/guilty conscious, she accepts the blackmailing, forcing herself to attend Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA). In addition she must write and reveal all her sexcapade encounters (or there lack of) as a teenage call girl—“Memoirs of a Teenage Sex Addict” Although, still a virgin, the blackmail, the SLAA meetings have Harley convinced she is nothing more than a whore and love is dirty.

The Thrill of It

A chance encounter during an act of rebellion on Harley’s part, getting a tattoo, she meets a yummy tattoo artist, Trey Westin, at No Regrets tattoo shop (fitting name don’t you think?). Chemistry ignites between these two off the bat leading to a steam filled night with kissing and touching but no sex. Then fate plays a card of hearts throwing these two together at same SLAA meeting. Trey chooses to attend this meeting unlike Harley who is forced. He holds his emotional baggage, but through his tattoos offers glimpses into the pain that is pent up inside.

"With Trey, a tattoo is never just a tattoo. It's a symbol, it's a message, it's the way he expresses the things he won't say."

A man as broken and flawed as Harley, but whose charisma etched personality as well as seductive physical features attracts you pulls you in like strong tide until you are taken under and sink deep for him.

Trey

Both souls have been molded by tribulations in their dysfunctional family lives. Trey craved an escape from his internal demons through sex. Harley thrived on having the control to bring men pleasure rather than being another puppet.

Neither is proud of their pasts and battle on daily basis with their guilt. Yet, together they set out to help keep one another on track to recovery. Trey has an extra bit of help from his kick ass therapist who gives it to him straight no bullshit, and pushes Trey to open up to Harley about his demons; to allow her to decide if she accepts him, not him deciding for them both. The understanding Harley has for Trey and vice versa opens one another’s eyes to their self-worth and opens themselves to the idea of being loved.

“I’ve given her my bleeding, beating heart, and she’s holding it in her hands, and she’s not crushing it, she’s not destroying it. She’s doing the opposite. She’s getting me. She’s understanding, she’s burrowing her way so far under my skin, into my head, and around my heart”

Trey and Harley grow so much as individuals and together, but the road to happiness is not straight, they have not reached their destination; their journey is not over. The ending will have you on the edge of your seat shouting at Ms.Blakely to give you more Trey and Harley NOW! I am beyond anxious for Every Second With You to release.

Ms. Blakely has outdone herself tenfold with this story. It is completely different than her other books, but in such a good way. She offers you—Love, Sex, Addiction, Blackmail--thrills from every angle are thrown at you and trust me you will not want to swerve out of the way. You are captivated from the first page of the prologue. The issues discussed are edgy tinted with darkness, the storyline itself is unique draws you in then Harley and Trey further entice you with their personalities and brokenness. Their pain, guilt, heartache pours off the pages just like their sexual tension, steam fills up your kindle screen. Well done Lauren Blakely please be nice and don’t make us wait too long you have exposed me to a new addiction—Trey Westin only you can curb my cravings and Im in need of a fix!

*I received an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review*


Profile Image for Kim.
2,430 reviews149 followers
October 21, 2013
One meaningful night.
Two seemingly opposite people who are more alike than they realized.


This is the story of Harley and Trey, who are two lost people trying to move on from their troubled pasts, trying to recover from their addictions, and ended up finding kindred spirits in each other. They came together one night. It was unexpected, but significant. They both have their family dynamics issues and past demons that have shaped their lives and continue to haunt them. They are not proud of their pasts and are finding that recovery can only be taken one day at a time. They have wants and needs that they cannot act on. They are plagued by fears, insecurities, and shame. And no matter how hard they try to put the past behind them, it seems to continue to be part of their present.

The past can chase you if you let it. You can spend your life trying to outrun it or you can stop running, turn around and look it in the face.

We get both Harley and Trey's points of view. We see into their thought processes, innermost fears and desires. They were both really trying hard to make better choices and be supportive of each other during their transition and recovery. I could feel their pain, longing, connection and need. It was not just physical but also emotional. They had a deep bond that continued to develop and evolve despite the issues bearing down on them. She could open up to Trey and show him the real Harley...the one who she hid from almost everyone else in her life. And he could be honest with her...except for one topic that he struggled so hard with.

Their previous lives and coping strategies gave them a rush, a thrill, and a high. It was hard to live without it. They had to find new ways to engage in life and cope. Their pain, secrets, and circumstances are gradually revealed throughout the book in various ways. And the build up off their secrets and past was in intriguing part of the story, so I will not go into detail on their history and problems.

It's hard to stay away from the fix. Because the fix feels good. The fix takes away the pain. the fix mends the hole in the heart.

Together they are both compatible and complicated. It's push and pull, fight and flight, and disappointment and relief. Their relationship is deep and meaningful, and almost as addictive as the lure of their past. But it was also challenging and riddled with issues. This is a story about two people facing their past, coming to terms with their present, and trying to move on to a brighter future. It shows how significant relationships can both hurt and heal.

"All I hope is that you can someday know that love doesn't have to be a brutal, bitter, power game. Love can be the ugly beautiful."

This was edgier and darker than the typical Lauren Blakely humorous romance read. It was a powerful, emotional, and intriguing story of damaged people trying to change their lives. It was not an easy process and they both walked a fine line between moving on and getting sucked back into old habits. They had trust issues, made mistakes, and had set backs.. They fought themselves, their feelings, and each other at times. But their connection was intense and became so important that they did not want to ruin it. I was frustrated, annoyed, and disappointed at some of their choices. But also proud of them and rooting for them with others. It was a difficult uphill battle for these two as they fought to break free of the chains of their past and avoid the inevitable pitfalls.

This is love. It's not a game. It's not a razor's edge. It's not a transaction. The poets are right. The dreamers are right. The lovers are right. This isn't nothing. This is everything.

Trey and Harley were damaged, multifaceted characters that did not always make good choices, but they were still likable. My heart broke for them at times and I was invested in their recovery. The side characters of Cam, her mother, and her room mate Kristen were well developed with interesting back stories and complicated lives. I also liked his friend Jordan and how he fit in with them. There were a few people who were good antagonists that made me angry. And some that had their bad moments and I wanted to hate them, but at the same time had characteristics that made it difficult to completely dislike them. Cam was a perfect example: I kept thinking he should be the bad guy, but he had good qualities, could be sweet, and had his own set off issues. There were a couple of fun cross overs. We got to spend time with a character related to one of the male leads in another of Lauren's books. I also enjoyed references to other characters from that book, and even a shout out to a band from a Sawyer Bennett's Off Course.

This book was definitely unique and interesting. The issues that these characters had were not typical and have not been overdone in the NA genre. It draws you in and slowly gives you the finer details of their past lives and keeps you completely intrigued and engaged. It had me immersed in their pain, shame, and darkness. It dug deep into the psyche and emotions of these complex, broken characters. It made me hope for their recovery and rejoice in the small steps toward progress. It was truly "ugly beautiful" and inspiring.

Although these two people did grow and change significantly both personally and together, their story is not quite over yet. And I am looking forward to more with this couple and their friends in Every Second With You.

Thanks to Lauren Blakely for providing me with an arc copy in exchange for an honest review. I was also a beta reader for this book. Quotes are based on arc copy and subject to change in final draft. Will be posted at Reviews by Tammy and Kim.
Profile Image for Tee loves Kyle Jacobson.
2,471 reviews169 followers
November 29, 2013
Lauren Blakely has done it again! She has written another winner that will knock you off your feet. She has this amazing ability to hook you right in and keep you there reading until the end where you are screaming at your e-reader because you need and want more!

The Thrill Of It is one roller coaster of a ride. It is told in a dual POV and we get to see Trey's side and Harley's side. I love when I read a book in dual POV because you get each persons in monologue and you get to see the pain or the happiness they are feeling right at that moment and for me I love it as a reader because there are times when I am reading and I am like what is that person thinking.... but Lauren she has rocked the house with this one and I need book two like I need air to breathe.

Harley is a great female lead. She has it all but at the same time what she really wants she does not have until she meets him. Harley is a high priced call girl who is a virgin. Yes folks I said it she is a virgin and she loves her job. She loves the adrenaline rush the excitement and the rush of power she gets when she is with these men. But see Harley has secrets and she is being black mailed by this wench and Harley is trying hard like hell to keep her secrets. Her mother is always harping on her and her childhood sucked so Harley is trying to make a name for herself and move on in life and that is better said then done because her black mailer is determined to take her down.

Trey is sex on legs! Lord he is so dam fine and perfect but underneath all that is a is a guy looking for something or someone to fill a void he has in his heart. He uses sex as a balm to his ragged heart and he is fine with it because he loves sex. Sex is his drug of choice until he meets her.She is his game changer and he wants her but he does not know how to be in a relationship nor is he sure he really wants that until she gets under his skin. Trey lives everyday with secrets and regrets so he is not sure he wants to bring her into his messed up life.

But what do you do when you know in your heart she is the one and he is the one? Well Trey and Harley will have to fight to be together because nothing good is ever easy and these two are about to feel the thrill of it and have to decide whether or not they can jump together or walk away before they get hurt........
Profile Image for Lisa.
841 reviews1,249 followers
January 3, 2015
*ARC Given to Blog for Honest Review*

4.5 ‘red ribbon’ ‘the arrow’ ‘The ugly beautiful.’ Kisses

Wow…Lauren Blakely just went a little…different on me. And I liked it! A lot. Lauren has absolutely mastered the funny, sweet, hot romances - The Thrill of It is not that kind of book. While it has funny, sweet and hot moments…it’s a relatively deep and intense book, more than normal. It’s a very good and welcome change for me, I’m excited to see this side of Lauren’s writing and I was completely sucked into everything that was Harley and Trey.

Harley Coleman…or is it Layla? It’s hard to see the real Harley behind the mask, the flawless persona that she presents at all times. She’s gorgeous…blond hair, brown eyes, killer body…perfection, always. That’s the way she was raised, the way she was groomed…by her mother who acts more like her sister than a parent. But don’t worry…I’ll talk about her later. Harley is…a mess. Deep down, she is not a bad girl at all, she may not have the straightest of moral compasses, but…that goes back to her mother IMO. She does have a good heart…you just can’t really see it for all the lies and deceit. She plays different roles to so many people, it’s hard to find the real Harley! She’s a completely different person with Barb (her mom), Kristen (her childhood friend), Cam (her pimp)…but one boy does. In one night, he's able to see through everything and truly gets Harley. And for the first time ever, she wants it.



‘Love isn’t a quilt. Love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase, a thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and ever man and woman for himself.
I can play the game.
I can control it.
I need to feel in control. I need to hold the world in the palm of my hands, my world, my life, and be the one who sets it in motion. The only one. I’m not controlled. I control.’

Trey Westin…oh my poor fragile Trey. He is the big, bad, intimidating force that has a huge heart and doesn’t know what to do with the feelings he’s been forced to keep tied up tight for years. Forced to ignore and forget. His past is sad, heartbreaking…and only made more difficult by the way his parents handle it. So what does Trey do…replace the negative feelings with good ones - is there any better way to do that then with sex? Now…that’s kind of where it gets sticky, and he’s got a scar on his right cheek as a permanent reminder of his mistakes and the penance for his actions. But honestly…that scar only makes him sexier, the imperfections that make him so perfect…and Trey is pretty damn sexy to begin with (I just hate how/why he got it). Trey is cautious and guarded, which similar to Harley, is partially due to his parents. He’s never been able to open himself up and feel accepted, so the results shouldn’t be surprising, but it’s definitely painful…because the potential is there, especially when a beautiful blonde girl sees all that he has to offer and brings out the best in him.



‘I gasp quietly as his fingertips reach my bare skin.
“But there’s this other girl and I remember everything about her,” he says, and in an instant, all I see, all I feel are his words. They have their own heartbeat and pulse, a living being, surrounding me.
He traces lazy fingers across my stomach, and I want this feeling to last forever because it’s so out-of-this-world intense. I swear my body is sliding into another plane of existence, some realm of pleasure I’ve never allowed before, as feelings spill over – want, desire, fear all wrapped up in a messy package, without a bow.’

Oh I am such a sucker for the broken souls in this world. And oh boy…Harley and Trey are some fabulously broken souls - I know that sounds weird, but work with me on this. I cannot tell you how perfect they are for each other…both addicts to love in different forms. She’s the virgin call girl and he’s the guy who sleeps with married women. She’s going to SLAA (Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous) because she’s being blackmailed…he’s going because…well, he has to do something to change his life. He does her red ribbon tattoo, the permanent mark to remind Harley why she is making this change…and he can’t stay away from the beautiful blonde that only makes him want to know more – I just can’t explain it but their story captured me. Their connection, their chance meeting – that happened twice, their friendship and bond that they formed and developed…their longing, their desire, their battles. They had so much to deal with personally and so much that they shared together. Harley was so open with Trey and I loved that. I loved that he was the only one she has ever opened up to completely. No one else. Just him. It did frustrate me that Trey didn’t completely return the favor…but I’m glad he got there eventually.



“You. Are. Brave.”
I scoff, then sneer for good measure. “How does that make me brave?”
She grips harder. “You are brave to tell me. You are brave to let me in. You are brave and crazy and you are stupid to think you can handle that all yourself,” she says, laying a gentle hand on my cheek, her smooth skin on my rough stubbled jaw.
“So I’m stupid. Like that’s news.”
“You are stupid brave. And stupid courageous. And stupid amazing. And I won’t let you go through any more of this alone,” she says fiercely, eyes blazing with an intensity I’ve never seen before.’

Okay…let’s address the elephant in the room. The god awful parents that these two people got stuck with. Yes…I am all for saying that as humans, we need to be accountable for our choices in life…but I do think how we are raised and the people who raise us have an incredible impact on those choices. Poor Harley’s dad ran off, so she never had a father figure growing up and her mother…is a train wreck. She treated Harley like a roommate/best friend/sister more than a daughter. There are just certain lines that should never ever ever be crossed between a parent and a child and I’m pretty sure Barb crossed every single one she could. It makes me cringe and it explains so much of Harley’s behavior. It’s also very telling that Harley’s mom is the reason why she got into her career…that’s right folks, Barb introduced Harley to her pimp! Cam…the pimp with a heart of gold (don’t laugh – he might be slimy but he’s very likeable) and sadly…he’s the closest thing to a father this girl has ever seen. Sad, twisted, but true. Then you have poor Trey, whose parents just closed him off. I know guys aren’t supposed to be emotionally and blah blah blah but seriously…when tough shit, bad shit, hard shit, sad shit happens…as humans – we need to express those feelings and emotions, get them out, deal with them. Closing up and pretending like the bad stuff never existed…not such a great way to handle life…especially for a 15 year old boy. I know they were dealing in their own way but seriously…if they only knew the damage they had done to their son. It’s very selfish. Both Harley and Trey deserve so much better from their parents…but then again, their pasts led them to each other.



‘“I am so fucking in love with you,” he says hungrily, and he loops his arms around my neck, tucks his face in my hair, and breathes me in as if I’m his oxygen. I’ve never known what it’s like to be cherished, but I’m starting to get a sense, and it’s a heady feeling. I’m no longer a prize, but a treasure. His treasure.’

I said before that I was happy with this change in Lauren’s style…but even though the subject matter and the story may be a little detour from her usual, the key elements of her writing were 100% there. The connection between the couple, the banter, the ability to still insert humor in a few places so it’s not complete angst and drama 24/7. The sexual chemistry that just sets the pages on fire…holy bejesus…Harley and Trey are combustible – and I’m not even talking about sex here people! (Hello…she’s a virgin and they’re both in SLAA!)…but somehow, leave it to Lauren to create this mind blowing hotness. Honestly though, Trey and Harley made me swoon just by holding hands. *sigh* But I digress! The way TTOI was built was so complete…it was logical and flowed so well, the characters were amazing (even though some were more likeable than others – I still have to say the unlikeable ones were still very well developed), the pace was perfect and the intrigued totally kept me hooked from page one until the end.

‘Now I know. Now I get it. I understand. This is love. It’s not a game. It’s not a razor’s edge. It’s not a transaction.
The poets are right. The dreamers are right. The lovers are right. This isn’t nothing. This is everything.’

Oh and speaking of the end…so, I knew TTOI was a series - SQUEEElove my series books…but damn! Talk about a little bit of a cliff! I was all happy because things were going good…everyone was in a good place and then BAM! So…be prepared. It’s not a major dooms-day cliff, but we are definitely left hanging. I’m excited to see where the story goes from here because the plot has definitely thickened and Harley and Trey have an interesting road ahead…I am anxiously awaiting Every Second With You.


Profile Image for Gretchen.
855 reviews121 followers
December 2, 2013
This was an intense and emotional story full of twists and turns, I was drawn in and mesmerized by these characters.

Harley and Trey had such a strong attraction to one another and grew so much. I loved how their journey unraveled. I had so many questions throughout that kept me on the edge of my seat but I feel like they all got answered. Harley and Trey have a great connection and pull on one another, it was wonderful watching their relationship developed and them open up to each other. Fighting for their past, their future, themselves. It was heartbreaking at times. Trey’s story about his past and family really got to me, it was so sad.

There was such longing and want throughout, great sexual tension and chemistry. Excellent build up to the hot scenes, you could feel the anticipation. That main last scene, holy steamy hot is an understatement!!!

I liked how the other characters were written and how they played into the story. Their friends Kristen and Jordan, Miranda (who was a piece of work!), even the pimp Cam. I never thought I could love a pimp but by the end, I pretty much did. I did not like her mother at all. Hated her actually. I don't mean she was poorly written, I mean she was so well written and I could feel Harley's tension and anxiety - I just wanted to slap her.

I’m loving Trey and Harley. Can't wait to see what's next for them. Great ending, there's closure in this book but a bit of a cliffhanger that leaves it open for the next book in the series. I am definitely looking forward to it.

Fantastic read! :-)

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for book bruin.
1,052 reviews277 followers
May 2, 2020
Audiobook Review

Overall 4 stars
Performance 5 stars
Story 3 stars

Lots more delicious angst and drama in this second installment of the No Regrets trilogy. The Thrill of It is the continuation of Trey and Harley's story. It is not a standalone and should only be read/listened to after first enjoying The Start of Us. This is an updated version of the story featuring all new narration.

We get a lot more backstory and history on what life was like before for Trey and Harley. It really gives readers/listeners a lot more insight into why these two made the decisions that they did and why they currently struggle. Trey's past is especially emotional and Harley's had a twist that I did not see coming. I really liked seeing their friendship evolve into more and watching them work to be the people they want and hope to be. There are still bumps and hiccups along the way in this NA romance, but their rash decisions and lack of communication didn't bother me as much given their ages and lack of experience with relationships. I felt like the pacing was a little slow at times and I would have liked to see more resolution to the Miranda story line. Trey and Harley's story concludes in Every Second with You, so readers/listeners should expect a bit of a cliffhanger.

Joe Arden and Vanessa Edwin's performances continue to shine and the little cameos by Erin Mallon and Teddy Hamilton are simply wonderful. At first I thought the character of Cam was too sleazy to be voiced by Teddy Hamilton (LOL), but Cam really surprised me in this book in a good way. I'm excited to see how Trey and Harley's story ends!
Profile Image for Crystal.
Author 68 books423 followers
May 20, 2015
At first I wasn't sure if I could get into the characters but I ended up loving them and rooting for them! It was a great book!
Profile Image for Aly.
2,461 reviews
May 15, 2019
This was another great book by Lauren Blakely!
There were a couple twists in this book, mainly that both main characters were addicted to love and sex. Harley and Trey had hard childhoods with no one to turn to for help. Harley was raised by a mother who exposed her to sex early and encouraged her to use her looks and body to get what she wants. Trey lost family members and his parents pretended like it never happened. Both are ready to stop their harmful behaviors and get help, so now is the worst time for them to be falling for each other. The back and forth narration was great and I loved the narrators on the audio! The voices flowed and I didn't realize I was speeding through this book.
Warning for a cliffhanger ending! I'll be moving to book two now...
Profile Image for Pam Nelson.
3,069 reviews96 followers
April 30, 2020
How did I not see this coming, even after reading this years ago I forgot how it all unfolded.

I have to say I loved that they fight for each other. Yes there are hiccups but in the end as long as your both fighting for the same thing. Well that is kind of everything isn’t it.

Fear is all consuming and I think the end of this book shows that it can make you do things you might not have done if fear wasn’t involved.

I can’t wait to see what is going to happen next.

Again the narration is amazing and gives this book that little something special.
Profile Image for Hetty.
151 reviews13 followers
November 24, 2013
As if we needed further proof how outstanding Lauren Blakely is... She gives us a whole new twist on romance reads. Lauren is extremely versatile and dimensional with her writing. I devoured this book and will have cravings until I meet Trey and Harley again.

OFFICIAL REVIEW:
I am a dedicated Lauren Blakely fan and have been since I read Caught Up In Us last fall. I am constantly blown away after each new release and her talent never ceases to amaze me. Each book is a separate masterpiece and she continues to raise the bar.

As if I needed more proof how spectacular she is, Lauren goes and creates The Thrill of It. You cannot prepare for this type of brilliance. She definitely proves her expansive range of pure talent with this story unlike anything I’ve read. While still a romance, The Thrill of It is gritty, lusty, and tenacious. The aspects of deceit, addiction, and blackmail make it a complete standout in the genre. Lauren’s “ugly beautiful” explanation describes it perfectly.

Harley is beautiful and she has grown up hearing it daily. She finds herself living a shallow, fake life created from years of vain compliments. She gets swept into the world of male desire and couldn’t love it more. Harley has become addicted to the escort role. It allows her to escape reality and slip on the flawless mask craved by everyone… except Trey. Harley stumbles into Trey’s tattoo parlor the night before everything must change. They allow themselves one night to enjoy each other and plan to never see each other again.

He knows everything about me. He’s the only person I’ve ever let in.

As fate would have it, Harley and Trey have more in common than just their mutual attraction. Their addiction to sex and love bring them together at a group meeting where an immediate friendship forms. This pure bond is the only true thing either has and they rely heavily on one another. Both grip the memory of their one physical night together in order to remain grounded. Together they are strong and can make it through the cravings… until the temptation is too delicious to resist.

“I can’t stand to see you dressed like this. I wish you were wearing a t-shirt and jeans right now.”

Harley is a vixen and every woman wishes she had a bit more of her bold traits. Her fear of abandonment cripples her and this weakness gives her addiction strength. Trey is trying to get over his painful past and forget how easy it would be to slip up. He wants to be a man Harley deserves but doesn’t trust enough to make a move. What if he becomes just another fix? A quick hit to soothe the pain? They know each other better than anyone and fear their truth is too much. The subtle and gentle touches they allow are such a tease! I loved every glorious taste of what might be.

I don’t know if we are coming or going. Harley is both my best friend and my biggest fear. I need to put my armor on, protect myself from her. But I don’t know where I left it.

I am crazy about Harley’s memoirs wrapped up within this story. It added another layer to this already mind-blowing plot. These glances into her past were marvelous and brought a steamy, kinky dynamic. The puzzle of a virgin being a call girl is quite complex and these stories will help. I always appreciate the dual point of view and of course, it was fused effortlessly.

The secondary characters need a huge shout-out! Cam plays the ultra-suave layer/pimp that feeds Harley’s cravings by setting up clients. Even though he is her dealer, Cam gave her an outlet for the emotional mess Harley was dealing with at home. Kristen is an amazing best friend that every girl needs. Even though she doesn’t know Harley’s secrets, the support she provides gives Harley the drive to get better. Meredith is a nasty woman hell-bent on ruining Harley’s life. I don’t like her but I do appreciate her influence in removing Harley from the escort lifestyle. And we cannot forget about her mother, Barb. It is shocking that Harley isn’t more messed up with a parent like that raising her. She is sneaky and wicked in such a complex way. Harley has been blinded by her “kindness” for years. Barb provides a whole different puzzle to figure out!

Are you prepared to discover the sex-addict within you? The quality and execution of this novel is immaculate. Each page is dripping with delicious details that will leave your mouth watering. The ending is simply splendid and absolutely divine! Devour this tasty treat today because it is now LIVE!

The Start of Us will be releasing VERY soon so get ready to discover how it all began.

5+ Dreamy, Dirty, Delicious, Delightful Diamonds


340 reviews173 followers
November 20, 2013
The Thrill of It (No Regrets, #1) by Lauren Blakely
Full review on www.TheSubClubbooks.com

If you have any preconceived ideas of what Lauren Blakely's books are going to be like, you can drop kick them out the window now and prepare yourself for something unique and edgy because this isn't a bubble-gum, happy-go-lucky, everyone-loves-each-other-lets-make-babies type of novel. Lauren has created a dramatic, angst-ridden story that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. She spoon feeds us details in a deliciously slow pace, giving us just enough to keep the reader wondering where it’s going. Fair warning, you won't be able to put down The Thrill of It once you've started. It's one of those "OMG I have to know what happens next!" types of books! It totally sucked me in and left me with in physical discomfort. The burning ache in my chest just wouldn't quit. At one point, I could have sworn that Lauren was trying to break my brain with some of the screwed up stuff Harley is subjected to. Trey made my tummy flip-flop in that “holy crap he's sexy but flawed and I don’t even care” kind of way. Harley made me want to hug her and tell her that her mother is a complete whack job and she needs to run far, far away from that disgusting excuse of a parent. I love a first person dual-POV story and Lauren gave us enough from both Harley and Trey that I felt connected and invested in both these characters equally. Harley and Trey are both deeply scarred individuals from childhood traumas, leading them both to a life of addiction to love and sex.



When I first read the book blurb for The Thrill of It, I wondered how Lauren was going to pull off a virgin call girl. She not only pulls it off, she does it in a fantastically believable way. I never once doubted that Harley was really capable of being this virgin call girl. Harley made me feel like she was void inside, like everything her mother had ever done to her had just gutted out her soul and she was this walking, talking puppet trying to find her way back to being human again. Thinking power and pseudo-sex were the answer, she finds herself being being paid for sex which gives her a sense of being in charge, something she’s never had before. Harley’s mother has got to be one of the worst book characters ever imagined. To say I disliked her is an understatement; I wanted to drop kick her across a room and then smack her a few times more just to be sure she knew how I felt about her selfish ass.


Just like Harley, Trey has been damaged by his parents. But in his case, I actually felt some sympathy for Trey’s parents; their situation had to be so difficult to bear. His parents were suffering with such pain, but they dealt with their grief in a completely dysfunctional way, traumatizing Trey and basically leaving a kid to deal with emotions that even adults would have a hard time coming to grips with. They were so cold and shut off, it’s no wonder Trey sought solace with women. Womanizing aside, Trey is my favorite kind of leading male, hot and tattooed! He uses his art to express his pain, and to never forget what his family is trying to sweep under the rug.



Harley and Trey make some horrible decisions as they try to maneuver through their newfound relationship. I appreciated that Lauren let these two characters find each other in their own time, not pushing any kind of “insta-love” on them that would make the story lose its uniqueness. Since this is a dual POV story, we get to watch Harley and Trey work through their pain and insecurities, trying to become whole again, for themselves and each other. One of my favorite parts of this story is the “Memoirs of a Teenage Sex Addict…” entries we get throughout the story. They were so intriguing and I would love Lauren to make a book of just those because they were brilliant and I would read them in a heartbeat! The Thrill of It also contains of the best blow job scenes I’ve ever read. I can't say anymore than that, but trust me, it's not one you'll ever forget!


So basically, what I’m saying is that I love this book, I need the next one like yesterday, and Lauren gets a huge 5 stars from me!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,976 reviews82 followers
November 21, 2013
**ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**

5 Holy Moly Stars!!!!

I have absolutely no idea how to start or even express my feelings about this book. This is my first book by Lauren Blakely. She has said that this book is very different from any of her other books she has written, well I don't know if that's true but I can say this book is totally different from anything I have read. This book was witty, kind of dark, engaging, confusing and just really really good. I think what made this book so good was because of the different storyline. I can honestly say I have never read this type of storyline in any other books. This story had me hooked from the very first line all the way to the very end. I had such a hard time putting this book down that I actually finished this book in less then a day. This review is going to be pretty vague because I can't truly express my thoughts and feelings for this book without giving to much away. What I can say is that this is a story between two very broken souls, who are just trying to make it through each day. This is a great love story but it was so much more then that. This was a story about finding oneself, and learning to move past your past choices and decisions and learning to love not only yourself but others as well.

Harley and Trey are fabulous characters. They were so similar but still so different. Harley….My heart broke for her every time she brought up her past and what she endured living with her mom. No teenager should have to live like that. She did what she did to just be able to cope and get through each day. All Harley was really looking for was someone to really love her and show her some compassion. She thought she found that in Cam, but she finally realizes that she really finds it in Trey. I loved watching her grow into a stronger, better person as the story went on. By the end all I could do was smile at how things turned out for her. Trey was also a very broken soul because something happens in his childhood that was devastating, but the sad part is that his mom and dad refuse to talk about it and to work through their pain. So Trey does the only thing he thinks will help and that was to turn to destructive behavior. That all changes once he meets Harley. I also loved watching him grow and change throughout the story. Harley and Trey's relationship was set at a great pace. They definitely didn't rush anything ( you will understand why once you read the story ) But let me tell you, these two sure know how to bring on the HEAT!!!!! I thought my kindle might start smoking after a couple of the scenes ;)

I also really liked Jordan and Kristen. Even though we don't learn a whole lot about Jordan I still really liked his character and I hope to learn more about him in the next book. Kristen was a great friend to Harley. Once she finds out the whole truth about Harley she was so understanding and supportive. She was the type of friend everyone wants to have in their life. I also hope we see more of her in the next book.

I will fore warn you…..this book does end on a slight cliffhanger, but it is definitely not one that will have you pulling out your hair. Harley and Trey end in a Happy place, but what happens at the end just sets up the next book. I don't think you would need to wait to read this book until the second one comes out, it will just leave you wanting more :)

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. This book will have you sitting on the edge of your seat trying to figure everything out. So if you are looking for a Contemporary Romance book with a great and unique storyline, a wonderful love story, but a story that has some suspense and twist and turns, then this is the book for you!!!!!


For more reviews go to www.bookbitchesblog.com
Profile Image for Michelle Tikal.
460 reviews87 followers
November 10, 2013
“I’m a sex addict and a virgin.”

This is the first sentence of The Thrill of It by Lauren Blakely and probably the greatest first sentence of all first sentences ever. In this simple confession I was immediately captivated and enthralled the entire story. A story about two tragically and beautifully flawed people struggling to overcome some deep seated issues from their pasts.

Harley, or Layla, a virgin teenage call girl, is blackmailed into joining a group for sex and love addicts where she runs into Trey, a gorgeous tattoo artist with a penchant for cougars, after one encounter that brought about feelings in each that neither had experienced before.

“The guy from last night who inked my shoulder, and kissed my body, and who gave me something I’ve never felt before – touch without agenda. A true and real want. He didn’t want anything more from me than me. It was such a foreign feeling, but such a wondrous one.”

Lauren Blakely is a true wordsmith. The writing is eloquent and expressive, stirring and powerful. From the very beginning this story is mysterious and fascinating. It is enchanting, spellbinding, and beautifully woven. There is so much depth to this story; it is like an onion peeling away the layers. First there is living with and overcoming addiction and letting go of the feelings of power, control, denial and distraction it invokes. Then there’s learning and experiencing love. Neither Harley nor Trey knows how to feel or how to love. Harley doesn’t even believe in love at first. The deeper we delve, the more layers are exposed revealing more secrets and the pasts that haunt them.

“…how can I live with being vulnerable, with wanting, with feeling? I don’t know how. I don’t have a clue. Love isn’t a quilt. Love isn’t patient, love isn’t kind. Love is a game, a chase, a thrill. Love is wild and war-like, and every man and woman for himself.”

I loved the dual point of view, seeing into the minds of both Harley and Trey and baring the emotions and motivations of both. I find a dual point of view helps to solidify the connection a reader has to both main characters and the insight into the male’s point of view is intriguing.

“She’s a girl. And I only know women, and I only know sex. I don’t know what to do with someone who’s not a game, a conquest, a way to numb the pain. With her, I’d have to be myself, to be honest, and truthful, and let her all the way in.”

I was 100% in love with this book right up until the last few pages and then there was a completely unexpected and what I felt to be a little unnecessary plot twist. All I could think while reading it was why, oh why? Just as everything was wrapping up and winding down in this intricate story a popular wrench is thrown into the mix where I just didn’t feel any further drama was necessary and made this unique and refreshing story a bit cliché. I guess we will just have to see how this plays out in the sequel I am already eagerly anticipating.

Yes, The Thrill of It is dark and edgy, but it is also beautiful and touching and definitely hot and steamy. It is a unique and remarkable story and by far a 5 star read.

“All I hope is that you can someday know that love doesn’t have to be a brutal, bitter, power game. Love can be the ugly beautiful.”

ARC provided for review on My Daily Romance www.mydailyromance.com
Profile Image for Kat Bastion.
Author 35 books437 followers
November 27, 2013
LOVED. 5 stars and then some. Blakely writes so beautifully and with such realistic emotion I wasn't just pulled into the story, I lived it. Dark and gritty, real and emotional, the heavy subject matter is not my normal type of read. But the story was handled flawlessly and with such grace, I never felt smothered by the topic. Instead it wove in and out with fluidity, and the road to redemption that these two characters travel is nothing short of spectacular. Every single emotion was spot on. Brilliant. This was my first book by Blakely. It will not be my last. I recommend it to everyone who loves to read about deeply broken people who travel through hell to find redemption.
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