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text 2017-02-26 07:03
Book Blitz - Worth Any Cost

Worth Any Cost
Brenna Aubrey
(Gaming the System #6)
Publication date: February 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

You are cordially invited to the wedding of the decade.

Adam Drake and Emilia Kimberly Strong have chosen a date to solidify their love in the bonds of matrimony.

Join them on their exotic destination wedding. Visit with their friends and loved ones. But hold the champagne toast. Fate has a few last tests for our couple on their way to the altar.

Natural 20 or natural disaster?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

EXCERPT:

 

Satisfied with my results, I settled on the bed, all snug and dry in my robe. Pressing a stack of clean washcloths to my mouth to muffle the laughter, I heard the water turn off. After a few seconds’ hesitation, he called from inside the bathroom.

 

“Hey. Where are all the towels?”

 

I didn’t answer, just laughed some more and smothered my giggles.

 

The slap of his wet feet on the bare floor sounded as he crossed the bathroom toward the door. He poked his dripping head out of the doorway. “What did you do?” His dark eyebrow arched, hair soaked and plastered to his forehead. A puddle quickly formed around his feet.

 

I held up one of the tiny washcloths. “You want this, don’t you? The hate is swelling in you now.”

 

His mouth quirked. “Something’s swelling, but it isn’t hate.” He pushed the hair away from his forehead and cleared the water that had dripped into his eyes. “Somehow I thought getting away with that was too easy.”

 

I smirked. “You should know me better by now. As for drying off…you could always use your dirty underpants.”

 

“Underpants? What am I, five?” He clenched his jaw and then grinned. “Don’t underestimate the power of the dark side, young Jedi.”

 

I rolled my eyes. “So you’re going to try to one-up me? So predictable. I’m shaking in my boots.”

 

His dark eyes gleamed as he came closer. Rivulets of water had collected on his tasty abs. It was fascinating to behold.

 

“And you should know me better, too.” He grinned evilly. “I don’t one-up. I one-hundred-up.” Then he shook his head inches from my face. Droplets of water sprayed everywhere. I let out a screech and pulled back. “You are looking too dry over there, little girl. Let me help you with that.”

 

And he promptly pinned me, dripping wet, to the bed and started rubbing his drenched face in mine. “You’re gonna soak the bed!” I screeched.

 

“Collateral damage,” he replied. He reached down and pulled the belt on my robe, opening it. Then he shifted, sandwiching me between his wet body and the bed.

I squirmed and wiggled, and he only seemed to like it more. He shook his head again.

 

My hand smacked his hard chest. “You’re such a boy.”

 

He grinned. “I’m all boy,” he said, pressing his erection against me.

 

“I won’t take this lying down,” I muttered.

 

“You don’t have to take it lying down.” He laughed. “There’s always up against the door or the shower wall. Or you can take it bent over the back of the couch or a dozen other different ways. Whatever way you take it…you are taking it.”

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

Brenna Aubrey is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture.

She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover's heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. She's also a mom, teacher, geek girl, Francophile, unabashed video-game addict & eBook hoarder.

She currently resides on the west coast of the US with her husband, two children, and two adorable golden retriever pups.

 

Sign up for Brenna's email list for release updates, and free content (deleted scenes, bonus stories, etc.) please copy & paste this link into your browser:
http://BrennaAubrey.net/newsletter-signup

 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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review 2015-09-17 12:26
At Any Price (Gaming the System #1)
At Any Price - Brenna Aubrey

This is really more of a 3.5 star read for me, but since Goodreads can't do half stars like BookLikes can, I had to round down, since I really can't justify a 4 star rating.

The premise is rather unique in the romance world, a book about gamers. That alone made me eager to read it, being a former gamer myself. However, the execution fell rather flat for me.

Mia was too easily manipulated and too influenced by her past for my tastes. She listened too much to everyone else and not enough to herself or even Adam. She also tried way too hard to be independent, and had problems accepting help from others.

Adam, on the other hand, was too controlling in my eyes, wanting everything his way and not discussing anything with Mia. He was very deceptive, long past the time of reveals, especially in light of his feelings for Mia. He would also step in and act in what he thought Mia's best interests were, not letting her work things out for herself. He rubbed me the wrong way for much of the book.

The story ends on a happy note, but is done in such a way that it is abundantly clear that this is part of a serial series, something I despise in recent publications. While all parts of the serial are now out, I'm not certain I enjoyed this enough to continue it.

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review 2015-09-16 00:00
At Any Price
At Any Price - Brenna Aubrey This is really more of a 3.5 star read for me, but since Goodreads can't do half stars like BookLikes can, I had to round down, since I really can't justify a 4 star rating.

The premise is rather unique in the romance world, a book about gamers. That alone made me eager to read it, being a former gamer myself. However, the execution fell rather flat for me.

Mia was too easily manipulated and too influenced by her past for my tastes. She listened too much to everyone else and not enough to herself or even Adam. She also tried way too hard to be independent, and had problems accepting help from others.

Adam, on the other hand, was too controlling in my eyes, wanting everything his way and not discussing anything with Mia. He was very deceptive, long past the time of reveals, especially in light of his feelings for Mia. He would also step in and act in what he thought Mia's best interests were, not letting her work things out for herself. He rubbed me the wrong way for much of the book.

The story ends on a happy note, but is done in such a way that it is abundantly clear that this is part of a serial series, something I despise in recent publications. While all parts of the serial are now out, I'm not certain I enjoyed this enough to continue it.
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review 2015-08-06 18:53
At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey
At Any Price - Brenna Aubrey

photo da3b031d345be1fa23a11bdd86be7717_zps5qkubftf.png
Items ticked off: 18

If you are (unlike me) looking for your next Fifty Shades of Greyfix, At Any Price will be right up your alley. Well, if you like you FSoG with less kink. And that instead of not signing the contract, they aren't having sex (they still have sexy times, so don't worry). At Any Price is a lot like FSoG, albeit better in some regards. The writing is much better. It isn't as disturbing as FSoG, but nevertheless, it's far from great either.

At Any Price is the story of Mia. A twenty-something young woman that is struggling. She is focused on getting into medical school, but on her free time she's a gamer and blogs about what she plays. A rather big blogger, as well. That, on top of her mother's medical bills and the fear of losing their family home, Mia is in dire need of money. So, naturally, she finds something she can sell: her virginity. She auctions out to the highest bidder and enter does Adam Drake. Multimillionaire, game developer and now owner of a huge company. Adam Drake can pretty much be described as perfect apart from the fact that he works over ten hours per day. But other than that, yup, perfect. He wins the auction. Mia and Adam make up plans to... progress the transaction. Unfortunately, the big even is postponed when other events get in the way. Both of them have secrets though, and as they spend time together they also grow closer.

Some parts of the book, I did like. Mia was a decent character (read: she didn't slut-shame other women) who tried to take charge of her life despite the hand she had to work with. And Adam Drake was all right at times. Not ideal, but who wants perfect anyway? I liked that this book tried to shed light on some gender issues (some in the gaming world as well as other norms in Western Society). However, they weren't great, just okay. The best thing is probably the writing, which was overall quite good.

However, what brings down this book are three things.
1. Its predictability.
2. The Fifty Shades of Grey themes.
3. The treatment of sexuality


Let's take a look at the first one. The twist that is the game changer in this book? I guessed it at 7%. Almost every scene is predictable. A few times I could more or less predict the scenes down to actual lines in the dialogue. Just... predictable. And as I said, I guessed the twist 7 percent(!) into the story. Everything after that was just an endless ride for Mia to get on the fucking train and get what happened. I kept waiting until 80 percent mark until the twist came around. By that time, I was so over it.

The second. Okay, maybe these things aren't solely FSoG themes or scenes or dialogues, but still... Let's make a list:
1. Adam demands Mia to eat. Ring a bell? Remember Christian's obessisve need with Ana to eat her food even when she didn't want to. Yup, Adam does tit too.
2. They sign an NDA. Christian, is that you?
3. Mia/Ana needs to have "vanilla" sex before she is able to try anything that would fall outside the hetero-sex spectrum. This is also a part of the sexuality issue as well. And now is the time when I regret saying Adam Drake was a decent character. Forget I ever mentioned that part.
4. The young hot billionaire CEO. Definitely you, Christian.
5. When the woman declines to sign the contract/continue their relationship, the man stalks her to demand/force her to explain herself. Disturbing.
6. The man is the one to decide when the woman loses her virginity.
7. The hero buys the heroine items (such as a computer) on loan.

I think you catch my drift.

Let's go to the last part. The sexuality. This upset me for so many reasons. I'd like to begin with how the one gay character is presented.

Heath was not obviously gay in any way.

He wasn’t “fabulous” or flamboyant. He was very masculine in his behavior and mannerisms, so he rarely set off people’s gaydar.

But he’s not that kind of gay.


Imagine that first sentence, but instead of gay it said straight. I mean, most people wouldn't comprehend the sentence. Because you'd never say he was obviously straight in any way. That just doesn't happen. And by writing this sentence you're dismissing an entire sexuality. (The second quote is basically a continuation on this theme and I won't go further into the issue.) The last sentence... How about we do another switch. Exchange "gay" for "black" or "Mexican" and some will call it racism. So yeah, this is another way of dismissing and belittle gay people. Not to mention reinforcing the stereotypes. All of this together is reducing gay men and women to static identities who are define solely by their sexuality as if that is what will the define their entire personality.

Moving on to my second issue with the sexuality portrayal.

No fetish. No bondage. Nothing unusual. You’re a virgin for chrissakes, it’s not like you would be into any of that.


So we've established that Mia is a virgin. So, naturally, before she can know what she wants, she must have straight vanilla sex. There's no possibility whatsoever that she might already know what turns her own. Because obviously she can't have fantasies.

“You haven’t lived, my dear. But just wait, once you get a taste, I have a feeling you’ll be wanting all sorts of flavors after this."


As I said, she must have straight vanilla sex. It's forced on the reader that this is the only way to debut as a young woman. But, after you've had that, you can have all the unconventional sex you want. But only after you've tried straight vanilla sex.

Who’d wondered for at least a year if I might be a lesbian because I didn’t find any men I met attractive?


I get the whole "wondering if you're lesbian" theme. Sexuality isn't a simple thing. It's complex. But to put it in these terms, that she's wondering if it might be true because she doesn't find men attractive? If it was a spring of the moment though, fine. But to think about it for an entire year? Hey, it's easy to find out. Do you find women attractive? Do they get your motor running, so to speak? No? Then fine, you're not interested in women in a sexual way. Easy cake.

My main issue with the portrayal of sexuality is how it is presented. The whole "straight vanilla sex" thing bothered me and upset me a great deal. Listen, not every woman will want to do their debut with a man in the missionary position. Some women will already know they have inklings to other kinks (or not kinks). Rant ended on this topic.

Did I enjoy this book? At times. There's some fun dialogue and I truly liked the gamer aspect to it. That's a rare treat in this genre that I'd love to read more of. Unfortunately the similarities to FSoG, the predictability and the portrayal of sexuality didn't suit me at all.

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review 2015-06-16 00:00
For the Win
For the Win - Brenna Aubrey Didn't think coming into the 4th book in the series would work but it totally does. Jordan and April have great chemistry. Definitely want to go back and read the first 3 books.
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