photo (1) Yesterday was my 40th Birthday. I have reached my 4th decade. If this was my wedding anniversary it would be my ruby year. Since it is only my birthday year I will be open to accepting sapphires. No need to be greedy.

For my big year I woke up with a killer headache on a day that just so happened to be one where I was going to see my neurologist about my migraines. Received a birthday gift of a shot of Toradol to kick it’s ass and then bought myself a Thai massage before coming home and spending the day with my husband watching Netflix and playing World of Warcraft. We had actually had bigger plans but crappy weather in SoCal is unusual and when it happens it sort of stops things in their tracks. It rained all yesterday and we nested.

This weekend we are having a “brown out” where we aren’t using any electronic equipment and are spending the weekend doing things together. We have paperback copies of The Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card to read when we aren’t out of the house going to the zoo and having my birthday dinner. We haven’t really had a weekend like this since we were in college. This all being the case… I have to do my Weekend Pick Me Up early since David is taking tomorrow off to start our our vacation early. I’ll whip this out now so you can start yours early too!

This weeks recommendation is a romantic suspense by Ella James called Selling Scarlett. I found this book on Amazon on a search for free Amazon books. It is the first in her new Love Inc. series about a seedy underworld pleasure brothel in the Nevada desert that caters to the affluently jaded and infamously bored.

selling scarlettHunter West, unrepentant famous bad boy poker player and heir to family owned West Bourbon Empire, is tired of the never-ending parties with socialites and try-hards who come in and out of his life. He barely registers interest in the comings and goings of his own actions, much less those of those he encounters these days. Still he has a hard time turning down his longtime friend when he summons him to his brothel, Love Inc., to entertain porn star Priscilla Heat who Marchant Radcliffe has long desired. This leads to a horribly disturbing relationship between Priscilla and Hunter that becomes increasingly complicated and unhealthy throughout the book. What begins with Hunter trying to stick close to Priscilla to solve the riddle of a few missing hours of a night spent in her company devolves into a twisted physical power exchange which has him questioning his own alarming response to his more deviant proclivities.

Enter Elizabeth DeVille, who has longed since a tender teen to catch Hunter’s eye. She is the heiress of the DeVille Water Empire (how is that for juxtaposition?) and lives in turmoil as her father pretty much holds her families money in a tight fist because her mother is pretty much the biggest black hole screw-up there is. Elizabeth has her own conflicting situations and difficult relationships. Often plagued by more than her fair share of guilt Elizabeth seeks to find a way to care for her friend Cross when it becomes clear to her that his own family won’t. This desire is near impossible in light of the fact that she is living on the charity of her best friend Suri. Faced with having nothing to offer as collateral to acquire a loan, Elizabeth turns to a more desperate means and sells her innocence when she becomes aware that in the shady underbelly world of the sex market her v-card is worth more than any thing she might be able to put up in a more traditional means.

During a fateful few days the stars align–Hunter’s playmate for the evening goes missing, Elizabeth (Lizzy/Libby) has an encounter with Hunter that she has fantasized about forever and Cross is in a terrible accident leaving him in a coma. From there the main plot takes off and the real story begins and the twisty turvy braiding of interwoven stories begin to shape into a very well put together mystery that leaves you battling a fairly consistent WTF? throughout the majority of the book.

There were a few parts that I didn’t feel ever got clarification. At one part Cross is in the hospital and Lizzy arrives just after another visitor and the nurse tells her that someone named Sari had just been there and I never was sure if it was Lizzy’s friend Suri or the missing Sarabelle. Also it was never explained why Hunter had such a tight relationship with Lovelace. Maybe that will be clarified in Lovelace’s story, should she have one. It just felt a whole lot like a loose string to me.

Overall I really enjoyed this novel. I had never read an Ella James book before and I had been attracted to the idea of Elizabeth selling her virginity at March’s brothel. I didn’t go into that so much in this review because even though the title of the book suggests that her auctioning of her purity is the focus of the novel it really honestly is not as important as many of the other things that take place.

I will read more of the Love Inc. books. I really am more interested in reading about reading about the people at the brothel than I am Cross who is the hero of the second book, Taming Cross, which was released in August. I really didn’t like him to be fair, he rubbed me wrong. I’d like to see where Ella James goes with her characters and it will be nice to see how she develops new suspenseful situations.

I also am really interested in reading her Stained series which is a YA paranormal book about a young girl pulled into the world of demons and angels after the death of her family.

Ella James’ Web Tracks:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Pinterest

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Ella James on All The Things Inbetween:

Any Day That Ends In YA – Trapped by Ella James

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Ella James’ Books:

Taming CrossTaming Cross Synopsis:

For twenty-three years, Cross Carlson was a playboy. You know the type. Tall, dark, and wealthy. Blue-eyed. Charming. He seemed to have it all so easy. But Cross was harboring a terrible secret – one that helped ruin the life of an innocent girl and almost ended his own.

Finally out of the hospital, Cross is flailing, scarred in both body and mind and stifled by the weight of the secret he still keeps. The only way to absolution lies in a Mexican convent, and going there could cost him everything.

If there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to screw up big time, it’s Meredith Kinsey. Just a few years ago, Merri was an ordinary girl with a job at her college newspaper and white picket fence kind of dreams. Now she’s holed up in a Mexican convent, hiding from a drug lord who thinks he owns her.

What happens when the only way out of hell is with the son of the man who put you there? They say love conquers all, but does it really?

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Purchase Taming Cross:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

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If you are an Indie author and you would like to be part of the All The Things Inbetween Weekly Indie Word Slinger Project 2014 I’d love to hear from you! Contact me via email after reading the requirements and details on the Just The Facts, Ma’am post. All dates are scheduled on a first collected, first claimed basis. Get your packet into me early to claim your slot to be a Word Slinger!

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All The Things Ali Web Tracks: Google+ | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Shelfari | Goodreads | Last.fm | Stumbleupon | LinkedIn | Camp NaNoWriMo 2014 …And I am always looking for new friends on Bingo Blitz, everyone but kittens need apply.

Reader, writer, gamer, nerd, and kpop lover; Ms. Ali Cat lives deep in her own imagination within the grand city limits of San Diego, CA. A proponent of afternoon naps, kitten cuddles, and hashtags, she will be voting: #COFFEFFORPOSITIVECHANGE in the next presidential election.
Weekend Pick Me Up – Selling Scarlett by Ella James

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