Monday, June 15, 2015

What Do You #CRAVE? Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ Crave ~ Jennifer Dawson

Welcome to my stop on the What Do You #Crave Blog Tour for the first book in Jennifer Dawson's Undone series, Crave. My stop includes all the details for the book, my review, and a giveaway. 


Undone #1
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy, as part of the blog tour, in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ B&N ~ Kobo ~ iTunes

I vow. I crave. I give in.

I used to be a nice, normal girl.  I had dreams.  Good, happy dreams of white picket fences, 2.5 kids, and a fairytale love that lasts forever.  Nobody warned me the prince dies three weeks before the wedding.  

Like any addict, I swear this time is the last…. 

Now, I go through my days, a shadow of my former self. I pretend I’m okay, and the people in my life pretend to believe me.  But, sometimes, when I can no longer stand the craving my dead fiancĂ©e left behind, I roam an underground sex club looking for my next hit.  It’s dirty and wrong, but I can’t stop, and my only line of defense between them and me, is the rules I’ve designed to keep me safe. With free, no-strings attached sex; men always abide by my rules. Until I meet him.  

And, like any addict, I’m wrong.

I don’t question the instincts that tell me to run. One look at him, standing there, power radiating off him in waves, tells me all I need to know. He will make me forget. And that’s not an option.

The desire to give him what he wants fills me like an ever expanding balloon. I grow tight with the needto burst. I close my eyes, breathing into the phone. If I answer, I instinctively know all bets are off. Acknowledging without words my rules no longer matter. That I’m in this, and he has power over me.

Crave is a beautifully rendered, sometimes shocking, aching, and yet ultimately heartwarming story. It's a story of one woman's journey back to life after suffering unspeakable trauma. Her journey is fraught with emotion but awe-inspiring in her eventual choice to live.

Layla has spent the last 18 months barely existing - punishing herself for events outside er control, drowning in grief. The night she meets Michael, all her carefully composed rules and constructs begin to crumble. It's not insta-love, but Layla and Michael recognize something in each other -- something they both need, something Layla craves.

You may be thinking this sounds familiar, but Crave has a very different feel. I can't put my finger on the why -- but it does. you're thinking -- this sounds familiar. But Crave has a very different feel. This isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea since it does deal in D/s but it's not a story spent on scenes in clubs or dungeons. There are no toys for props. Dawson does an incredible job in conveying the dynamics in a D/s relationship -- explaining the inexplicable need and freedom found for people who are wired this way. At it's heart, it's a story of a woman finding her way through her grief and getting a second chance at love. We see all the inner turmoil Layla experiences as she rebels against the idea of getting a second chance. We witness her struggle with feelings of betrayal. And we see the beauty of the inner strength she has which enables her to fight for acceptance of who she is, forgiveness for what she perceives as her fault, understanding, maybe even redemption, and the realization that
"Life is risk. Unless you want to go off by yourself and live in the woods, disassociated from all your loved ones, you will experience loss and sorrow again. Grief is inescapable."
"Michael loves you." 
"I know." 
"And you love him." 
I nod. 
She takes a deep breath. "Sometimes it's really that simple."
Obviously Crave affected me. It's deeply emotional and intense. Dawson's writing is well paced and she even uses some of Layla's emotion as plot devices because just as I was agreeing with Michael's observation that Layla was wallowing and finding it annoying, Layla annoys herself. Michael is a generous and compassionate man. Yes, he's dominant, but he's patient with Layla and really does give her what she needs.

This was my first read from Dawson and it definitely won't be the last. In fact, I'm rather eager for the second novel in the Undone series, due out in August. 

1 US Winner will receive gift basket that contains a signed copy of CRAVE

Prize package contains:
Decorative reusable storage trunk
Signed copy of CRAVE
$25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
4 Premium Chocolate Truffles
Argan Oil Sugar Scrub w/shower scrunchie
Pink & black Pillar Candle
Black & Pink Chalk Board Flower Pot
Hanging chalk board
Candle Holder with pink sparkly battery votive

3 INT/US winners will receive an e-Copy of CRAVE

Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degreein psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later they’re married living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog. 

Despite going through a light FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is history. 

These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband.

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  1. WOW, Brandee! Crave sounds fantastic. I need to add it to Mt. TBR ASAP ;)

    I always crave more books, as if I'd ever run out of books... That would never happen, but I still crave more and more and more. I also crave hanging out with readers / bloggers and authors again. And chatting with you :p

    Have a fantastic week my dear! Happy reading. *BIG HUGS*

  2. I avoid BDSM stories like the plague, but it looks like a good novel in spite of that... Glad you loved it and thanks for sharing :)

  3. Great review Brandee! I liked how this book touched on the D/s relationship but didn't get heavy. I just loved Michael! He knew what Layla needed and was careful with her.

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  4. Ahh so this is BDSM. Well I'd read it and since you say it's different, all the more that I'm curious to see/experience for myself this complex love story.

  5. I don't read this type of book, but I am glad it was such a great read for you :)

  6. Amy Pollard WoolardJune 16, 2015 at 9:08 AM

    I crave books like this one!! I cannot get enough of them!!

  7. Not my cup of tea, but I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, Brandee. It's not often that we come upon books that truly speak to us on a personal level, and it's an experience that should be cherished :) So, happy for you <3

  8. I am not sure if this is a book for me as I find it hard to read about books with gried where the main characters significant other died. Although you do make me curious about this book and I read a great interview on another blog recently as well. It sounds like an emotional and well written book. Great review Brandee!


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??