{Review + Event Giveaway} FAR TOO TEMPTING by Lauren Blakely

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

  I'VE HEARD ENOUGH MUSIC TO know that the best songs and albums come from broken hearts. Maybe there just isn't anything to say when you're swooning, falling, floating, chasing. Maybe when you're deliriously happy, nobody wants to hear about it. But if your heart's been stomped on, your emotions shattered, your feelings maddeningly unrequited, then you stand a much better chance of writing an opus.
  If anyone disagrees, I'll just say "Layla." And then for emphasis, I'll give you Bob Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks." And once more just to prove my point, I'll mention Adele's "Someone Like You" for this generation and Smokey Robinson's "Tracks of My Tears" for days gone by.
  If you still doubt me, may I now present Jane Black's newest album, Crushed? It is the essential breakup album for the modern age.
-Matthew Harrigan, Beat, August 14

  There's more to Matthew Harrigan's review of my fourth album, but I've memorized it all by now. I memorized it the very day it came out. It was the first review I read for Crushed, while standing on the corner of Thirty-Fourth Street and Lexington Avenue on a hot August morning. I'd raced down the street to buy a copy as garbage men clanged and newsstands opened. I didn't care about the sun beating down. I didn't smell the garbage being hoisted into the nearby trucks. All I could feel was the rush, the thrill, the absolute, unadulterated bliss of being anointed a success by the music industry's most powerful magazine, whose reviews run on the home page of iTunes.
  Finally, it had come, after years of clutching the faint remnants of the hope that I would be a rock singer, for a living, for real. I'd come so close to giving in, giving up, moving on, because I just wasn't making it at all. Then I was kicked to the curb by my husband, the father of my child, the love of my freaking life. Who would have thought--it never occurred to me at the time, at a mere twenty-eight--that I'd wind up writing the essential breakup album for the modern age?
(Page 1, US e-book edition)

It's a well-kept secret that is now made public in online biographies: Lauren Blakely also writes as YA author Daisy Whitney. I've read, loved, and reviewed several of Whitney's novels. I remember being on Twitter when she announced a publication deal for her first adult novel, THE BREAK-UP ALBUM. A break-up album? Interesting! I found out it was going to be written under a pen name and never spilled the beans...until now, when it's no longer a spill. ^.~ As Blakely, Lauren has gone on to write several adult novels that have hit various best sellers lists. THE BREAK-UP ALBUM has also undergone change, and is now called FAR TOO TEMPTING. 

 Jane Black has always wanted to be a rock star. After three middling albums that never went anywhere, Jane is thinking about giving up.  Then, her husband comes out of the closet and leaves her heartbroken. She fuels all of that raw pain into her music, and the result is a runaway bestselling album. She's finally beginning to heal, but she's got an extreme case of writer's block. She agrees to do an in-depth interview feature story with Matthew Harrigan, a reporter from Beat magazine. Matt is gorgeous and has a heart-melting British accent. Jane is wildly attracted to him, but she's still sporting gaping battle scars from her broken marriage. Focusing on her work may let Jane finally heal and move on...but only if she can unlock her protected heart. 

When I think about Jane Black's music and her heart-on-her-sleeve album Crushed, I think about Adele's bestselling CD 21. The way both artists dig into their emotions and release their anger through music that, over time, heals their soul, is powerful.
Going behind the scenes and looking at the blood, sweat, and tears that go into creating an album was an enlightening experience. Jane is under intense pressure from her studio, her fans, her critics. Eyes are on her and her next move. Not only that, everyone wants to rehash the pain she's still living rather than allow her to bury it.  Jane's journey is sad, but also uplifting. You really sympathize with her and root for her to succeed as she finally begins stitching herself back together again. Anyone who's ever been through the breakup wringer can commiserate. Be prepared to take virtual shots with Jane, first to forget, and later to celebrate. 

If you previously read (or downloaded it with the intention to read it) FAR TOO TEMPTING when it first came out (as I did), re-download your digital copy. With the new cover, there are also new extended bonus scenes that go forward in time and return you to Jane's current life. I always love seeing her mentioned in Blakey's other novels by various characters and keeping tabs on her career. I've been sitting next to Jane on her journey and watching her struggle; now, I'm ready to see her succeed and rise triumphant as she conquers the world through music.

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: R ( sexual situations )
Language: R ( language )
Violence: --
Other:  --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I like this cover so much better than the original! To me, it's more intriguing. Rather than the obligatory kissing couple, it has a girl and her guitar. It captures a moment. Her expression also captures the emotion of hurt and being alone, which is exactly what caused Jane to write Crushed in the first place.

I really prefer the new cover and was pleasantly surprised to see it had changed when I went to review it, since my nook still features the old cover.
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Lauren Blakely
Release Date: Oct. 21, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Edge
Received: Purchased

Jane Black has written the breakup album of the century, earning her a Grammy, a huge legion of new fans, and the pressure to repeat her success. Sure, the heartbreak from her husband’s unconventional abandonment might have been her inspiration, but it hasn’t done her any favors in the dating department. So when Matthew Harrigan, the toughest music journalist out there, asks for an interview, Jane agrees—as long as her personal life is completely off-limits.

British, gorgeous, and way too tempting, Matthew’s the first guy Jane’s been attracted to since her husband. As she spends more time with him and their relationship heats up, though, so does her writer’s block. How can the queen of the break up pen the perfect follow-up when she’s seriously in love?


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