INSIDE OUT Contest Day Three!

Today’s prize is a signed copy of COMING UNDONE – book two in the Brown Siblings series


Brody Brown has always been responsible for others. After his parents’ death, he gave up a promising artistic career to care for his younger brother and sister. Now, with his siblings grown, Brody owns his own business, has a nice house, makes a nice living, and for the first time in years he’s on his own.

Elise Sorenson has come to Seattle with her young daughter to find peace. After years as a world-famous ballerina—(and just as many years in a marriage-gone-bad)—she’s looking for neither love nor attention. But she finds both in the handsome, honest man who befriends her with no strings attached.

More than friends, Brody and Elise discover in each other what they need—wild, physical passion without commitment. But it’ll take a shadow from Elise’s past to make them look beyond what they need—to what they truly desire.

I absolutely loved writing Coming Undone. I wanted the book to be about two people falling in love. I wanted it to be a slow, sweet slide into that HEA and Brody has always been that to me when he showed up on the page. He’s a laid back man except when it comes to his people – those he loves and cares for. Then he’d show his teeth if he needed to. I love that about him. I love that Elise is a survivor and a mom – writing Rennie is a particular joy – each of my children is represented in her, my daughter most especially. I hope some day she reads it and can see how charmed I am by her.

I can’t lie, Brody is in my top three favorite male characters – so I figure I’d put up an excerpt from COMING UNDONE through Elise’s eyes…

Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group

She licked her lips again and little zings of chemistry buffeted between them. He enjoyed the intensity of it, the chemical soup of their connection.

“I’m making spaghetti. It’s not like making it for two instead of four is a problem. I mean . . .” Again the blush as her pale blue eyes met his, cruised down to his lips and then away as she took a deep breath. “If you’re hungry, Rennie and I wouldn’t mind the company. We’re new to Seattle, so it’s nice to get to know our neighbors.”

Rennie scampered up and nuzzled into her mother’s side. Elise’s arm automatically went around her daughter’s shoulder, and it pleased Brody to see the easy affection there.

“Plus, we know you’re not no mad killer or nothing. The lady next door to you, the one with the dog who has all the sweaters, told us you look scary but are sweet as pie,” Rennie said.

Elise’s eyes closed again as she fought a laugh. It wasn’t like Rennie could help it; she was a blurter, much like her grandfather, Elise’s father, was. “A mad killer or anything, darling. If you’re going to insult our neighbor, let’s use proper grammar to do so.”

Brody’s ridiculously big brown eyes danced with amusement.The way his bottom lip slid against the line of his goatee made her sort of tingly. Sort of? That was a joke. The man had torched a freaking thousand-acre wildfire within her. Perhaps if she hadn’t been masturbating to Brody fantasies so much, it wouldn’t have made her all achy to just stand there near him. Pathetic.

“That’s good to hear. Mrs. Cardini, the lady with the little dog—his name is Stoney, by the way—is a good judge of character. I also think Adrian, my brother, would love a home-cooked meal. Neither one of us is much for cooking. If you’ll give me a few minutes, I’ll go grab him and be back. That is, if you’re sure it’s not an imposition.”

“No imposition at all. Go on. I’ll get started. Oh, I guess I should ask if either of you is a vegetarian. I got sausage for the sauce, but I can make it without.”

“Nope, we’re both meat eaters. Be back in a few. And thanks again, Elise.”

She pretended not to watch his ass when he walked across the street, but hello, the way his waist tapered down to such a spectacular behind, the way it all contrasted with the width of his shoulders and the powerful muscles of his thighs. The whole package was pretty stunning in that bad-boy-with-a-Harley sort of way.

Baby Jesus help her, when he pulled up his shirt, her mouth had actually watered. He had tattoos on his side and belly. His very flat and hard belly. What she could see there and on his wrist looked well thought out. Not a bunch of random stuff. What she saw seemed to have a Far Eastern influence. She wondered what he looked like under the clothes, under all of them. And not just for the tattoos either. He emanated power as he moved. Even when he stood still, the power rolled off him in waves of magnetism.

His eyes were wary and watchful, but once Elise had relaxed, he had too, and a light of amusement had come into them. No wedding ring and no women’s names on the tats she could see. And yes, she had totally looked.

In short, he was fascinatingly sexy in a way she’d never really considered before. Rough edges, but the way his voice changed when he spoke of his siblings told her a lot about what he was like inside. He cared about his brother and sister and they clearly cared for him too. A very good sign of character.

A dinner couldn’t hurt. She did want to make friends, and the neighborhood seemed rather close. And as Rennie had so helpfully pointed out, Mrs. Cardini had given him the thumbs-up after the ambulance had taken him off to the hospital. He’d brought in her groceries and now her trash cans. It was the neighborly thing to do. To thank him for his help. Her mother would want her to.

“He’s kinda cute in his own way,” Rennie observed as the two of them moved around the kitchen, pulling out what they’d need for dinner.

Elise laughed. “Sure. And he seems very nice. Why don’t you set the table, please. Then you can go out in the back to play if you want.”

Rennie finished the table and raced outside with her ball. She’d become obsessed with soccer, so they’d spent the evening before setting up a goal net in the yard.

Elise ran back to her room to freshen up. Just because she wasn’t looking for a boyfriend didn’t mean she couldn’t look nice enough to inspire some wank fantasies for Brody, did it? She touched up with a tiny bit of lip gloss and brushed her hair, only barely resist- ing the urge to change into a sundress or something. He’d have to live with Capri pants and a sleeveless shirt.

Today’s Question: What is the first romance you can really remember reading? One that made an impact good or bad back when you first started reading romances?

I’ll choose a winner tomorrow morning! Good luck everyone.

45 comments to “INSIDE OUT Contest Day Three!”

  1. Rebecca C
    October 28th, 2010 at 3:57 am · Link

    Hi Lauren, I was about 16 when I read my first romance. It was an old Harlequin from the late 1970’s that took place on an Australian sheep ranch. It was pretty tame compared to the Harlequins out now, but it still had great main characters with plenty of spark. It got me hooked on romance novels.

  2. Rachel Riddles
    October 28th, 2010 at 4:18 am · Link

    My first real romance was when I was 18, I was a late bloomer! =) It was For the Roses by Julie Garwood. I absolutely loved it, but I actually did really start reading all of the time until a couple of years ago. It was her book Murder List that sucked me into romance.

  3. Mina Gerhart
    October 28th, 2010 at 5:22 am · Link

    I was rather advanced at reading, in seventh grade I remember reading “Rebecca”. I’ve always been drawn th the Gothic suspense type novels but with a strong heroine. I also remember reading early Harlequins like “Dear Brittania, All At Sea”

    Mindy 🙂

  4. Stacie
    October 28th, 2010 at 6:01 am · Link

    When I was very little I swiped my mom’s copy of The Thorn Birds. I ate up the story of forbidden love.

    I did have a poor experience with erotica that turned me off of it for over a decade. I had always been an Anne Rice fan. Loved the Mayfair witches and Vampire Chronicles. They were steamy and engaging. When I bought her Sleeping Beauty erotica trilogy I was expecting the same. I read the first and got half way thru the second before I gave up. I’m not sure why it didn’t work for me.

    I didn’t read another erotic novel until last October when I read Tempted by Megan Hart. I’m so glad I gave the genre another try. I have read so many lovely, steamy stories since then. Undercover is one of my favorites!

    Good luck with Inside Out. Can’t wait until next week!

  5. Heather U
    October 28th, 2010 at 6:01 am · Link

    I remember reading The Heir by Catherine Coulter way back in 7th grade. Definitely not a late bloomer. I remember my mom and aunt fighting about it too; my aunt couldn’t believe my mom let me read them, and my mom’s opinion was that as long as I read other stuff, it was okay. Guess my amazing SAT scores later in life proved that reading romances was good for the brain 🙂

  6. CrystalGB
    October 28th, 2010 at 7:20 am · Link

    Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I was a preteen when I started reading romance.

  7. Christine
    October 28th, 2010 at 7:33 am · Link

    That’s easy the Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodweis. It’s still one of my all time favorites. I had to replace my original copy of the the book recently b/c it fell apart. I would say that I started when I was about 14 yrs old and I haven’t stopped since then.

  8. Amy Kathryn
    October 28th, 2010 at 7:47 am · Link

    My first was by Kathleen Woodiwiss…I think it was A Rose in Winter. I haven’t stopped since. I love seeing people fall in love and get their HEA.

  9. Melanie S.
    October 28th, 2010 at 7:59 am · Link

    I can’t remember the title, but I do know that it was a book by Susan Elisabeth Phillips and I’ve read it at the age of 14 (I’m not sure)…

  10. Sheri
    October 28th, 2010 at 8:28 am · Link

    Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodwiss. I was 12.

  11. Jolene Allcock
    October 28th, 2010 at 8:53 am · Link

    There are three romances that stand out to me that I read when I was younger. I mostly started out with The Boxcar Children, Summer of the Monkey’s and moved on to Sweet Valley High and then dove into Dean Koontz and Stephen King and V.C. Andrews. The first romance I read was when I was14 or 15 and it was The Thorn Birds. It was a heavy read and I remember thinking “Holy crap, this is a thick book!” The story captivated me and I loved it. From there I read a Summer’s End from Danielle Steele and Bridges of Madison county

  12. Renee
    October 28th, 2010 at 9:52 am · Link

    I have no clue what the name of the book was but I totally remember buying them. I was in a 2nd hand store and they had a box of HQ Presents and they were selling them for a nickel each. I bought a couple just to try them out. I was 12 and I was/ am a fast reader. I went back the next day and bought the whole box of them. I was hooked as a romance reader then and I haven’t quit since.

  13. Fran
    October 28th, 2010 at 9:58 am · Link

    I remember clearly, it was Susan E. Phillips’ Dream A Little Dream

  14. Michelle V.
    October 28th, 2010 at 10:23 am · Link

    I can’t remember what my first one was. I know I didn’t read that many until this year. LOL I was more into suspense novels. I started reading a lot more a few years ago and this year I delved into the romance ones.

  15. Terri
    October 28th, 2010 at 10:45 am · Link

    The first romance book I read was “Sweet Savage Love” by Rosemary Rogers.

  16. Caitlin U
    October 28th, 2010 at 10:49 am · Link

    I have no idea but one of the first series that had some romance in it was Cassandra Clares Mortal Instruements series with the Romance between Clary and Jace.

  17. Cathy MacDonald
    October 28th, 2010 at 11:54 am · Link

    I started off reading historical romances eons ago, and I remember that that first book was Witch of Blackbird Pond.

  18. Linda Henderson
    October 28th, 2010 at 12:34 pm · Link

    That would be The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen Woodwiss.

  19. ShellBell
    October 28th, 2010 at 12:38 pm · Link

    I began reading my mum’s Georgette Heyer books from aged 12 or 13. These Old Shades is still one of my favourite books. From there I stared reading Harlequin/M&B, Johanna Lindsey and Shirley Busbee. One memorable H/M&B story is Margaret Pargeter’s Substitute Bride because I’d love to read it again but lost my copy years ago and haven’t found another copy or seen it rereleased as an eBook.

  20. emmad
    October 28th, 2010 at 12:49 pm · Link

    Hmm the first one that I can actually remember the title would be The Lady by Anne McCaffery

    I was 14ish? and reading anything and everything that was either horsey or scifi/fantasy.

  21. Robin K
    October 28th, 2010 at 1:11 pm · Link

    I believe it was VC Andrews books but I would not have admitted it at the time. More recently it would have been Garwood, Howell or Sands.

  22. Chelsea B.
    October 28th, 2010 at 1:16 pm · Link

    It was a Susan Elizabeth Phillips book….Kiss an Angel I’m pretty sure 😀

  23. Tracey D
    October 28th, 2010 at 1:47 pm · Link

    I can’t recall which book I read first but both Passions in the Sand by Barbara Cartland and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier thrilled me. I read a lot of Barbara Cartland books!

  24. Laney4
    October 28th, 2010 at 1:50 pm · Link

    Hi there!
    I’m sorry. I don’t remember the first romance I read. It would have been in either 1973 or 1974, as I was barely in high school. I am lucky if I remember where I left the car keys these days! I DO recall reading a lot of Violet Winspear, Carole Mortimer, Penny Jordan, Charlotte Lamb, Janet Dailey, Anne Mather, and Flora Kidd books, though!
    I must say, though, that since I started to blog last year, I now kept notes about books I have read since then. In fact, I just loved reading MAKING CHASE and that’s why I’d like to win COMING UNDONE. I’m hoping that, like with MAKING CHASE, I’ll enjoy the storyline and relate to the characters. Further, I’m looking forward to your way of speaking (some would call it coarse language), as that is often how I too would speak or think.
    Thanks so much for offering great giveaways for your fans, and I look forward to buying more of your books.

  25. Bet Lantaff
    October 28th, 2010 at 1:54 pm · Link

    I can’t remember the author’s name but the title was Rapture. It was a historical romance and it was one of my older sister’s favorite books. She still has the book to this day on her keeper shelf. I’m sure it has to be falling apart with age by now. LOL.

  26. Serena
    October 28th, 2010 at 2:08 pm · Link

    Kathleen Woodiwiss’s The Flame and the Flower. I was ten at the time and had this horrified fascination with the book. Then I got caught and my mom gave me her entire 150+ collection of Barbara Cartland books. Huge difference, that! Needless to say, I snuck the “good” books when she wasn’t looking. 😉

  27. Jessica
    October 28th, 2010 at 2:20 pm · Link

    Hmmm When was younger I read alot of non-fiction& biographies. It wasn’t until a few years ago I got into fiction(having 4 kids I need an escape LOL). some of my favs are JR Ward, J Frost, Lora Leigh,and of course you. 😉

  28. Jenn
    October 28th, 2010 at 2:23 pm · Link

    I was 13 (back in 1993) when I first read a romance novel. My mom had finished reading it and said that I could try it.

    I don’t remember the title or author, but I do remember the storyline fairly well. the hero and the heroine’s brother were in a rock group together back in the 70s, and they (hero and heroine) had a hot, steamy love affair. But the rock and roll life got in the way, and they broke up, and the band soon after.

    Twenty years later, upon the death of the brother, the two meet up and decide to try again.

    It really introduced me to books with strong emotion, and I began reading Harlequin soon after. Been reading romance ever since!

    I have to say, Coming Undone is one of my favourites!

  29. Kirsten C.
    October 28th, 2010 at 2:28 pm · Link

    So my love for romance began in middle school. (Wow, now I feel old!) A friend and I went to the mall and stumbled upon a used book sale. Amazingly it was fill a paperbag for some ridiculously cheap amount (like $3 or something). We pooled all our change together and bought all we could. And that’s when my addiction began. So the long way to the answer to your question is…I have no idea! I have always been a “book girl” and have loved reading. While I can’t lay a finger on the exact book that started it all, I can give say that my move to the spicier side of life began with books like Long Hard Ride (Miz L. James), Wicked Ties (Shayla Black) and The Seals Series (Lora Leigh). And that’s how I came to find you-thankfully! Thanks for the thought provoking questions (and for reminding me how long my addiction to books has been going on LOL)!

  30. Emily L.
    October 28th, 2010 at 3:02 pm · Link

    My love of romance actually began by accident. My sister had checked out Everlasting by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, not knowing it was that much of a romance novel and thinking it was just historical. Once she realized the romance part though, she was out. I, however, was intrigued. I read the book and REALLY enjoyed it. Woodiwiss is kind of old school, but I read through all her books and have been a goner for romance ever since. My friends mock me mercilessly, but if I enjoy what I’m reading, then who cares? 🙂

  31. Lillie
    October 28th, 2010 at 3:14 pm · Link

    I read a few of my mom’s old Harlequins when I was really young but they didn’t make an impact. The first great romance I read was The Bride by Julie Garwood. I was in middle school and I remember taking it to my mother when I was finished and saying “I want more of this!”

  32. Jessie
    October 28th, 2010 at 3:24 pm · Link

    I can’t remember which one it was but it was something by Sandra Brown

  33. Lisa B
    October 28th, 2010 at 3:45 pm · Link

    I remember reading romance book in highschool. I can’t remember what any of them were called or authors for that matter. I read them alot and had the bad habit of starting one and not setting it down til it was finished which made a lot of late late nights. Like 3 am before i’d finish and get to sleep. Not good when you had to be up at 6:30 am to go to school. After graduation i had almost a 18 yr break in there to do a stint in the Army get married and have 3 kids and i rediscovered reading again about 2 yrs ago and have read almost daily since.

    Loved this excerpt. It really sounds like a sweet falling in love story.

    Lisa B

  34. Donna
    October 28th, 2010 at 3:55 pm · Link

    My first romance type book was Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, read when I was about 12. It was scandalous for its time and a much dog eared and torn copy of the paperback was passed from girl to girl at school, hidden in purses and read with a flashlight under the covers at night. As I remember, the story was really depressing and I suspect that our desire to read the book had more to do with the fact we weren’t suppose to be reading it rather than any really wonderful qualities of the book itself. 😉

  35. Diane Sadler
    October 28th, 2010 at 4:21 pm · Link

    I went to french school, so my first romance was a series of historical romances featuring a woman called Angelique and all the books were centered around her. The author’s name was Anne Golon.

  36. Jeanette Juan
    October 28th, 2010 at 4:56 pm · Link

    I’m not too sure what the first romance I ever read was but I think it was probably Cinderella when I was younger.

  37. Jane
    October 28th, 2010 at 5:22 pm · Link

    My first romance was Julie Garwood’s “The Bride” and I was hooked. I didn’t start reading romance until my senior year in high school.

  38. Joder
    October 28th, 2010 at 5:45 pm · Link

    My first romance book was one by Kathleen Woodiwiss too. The Flame and the Flower was my first book and I loved how emotional it was and how exotic it seemed. I remember being in awe of how dramatic it was and how great it was to have someone love you that deeply. From there on, I knew that although my real life wouldn’t turn out like that, at least everything was rosy in my books.

  39. delitealex
    October 28th, 2010 at 5:47 pm · Link

    The first romance I remember reading is Mixed messages by Linda Lael Miller. I definitely was hooked.

  40. Pamk
    October 28th, 2010 at 6:14 pm · Link

    I was around 13 when I read Shanna by Kathleen Woodriss and for going from harlequins to that. Man that was shocker. So spicy and now with romantica anything goes. I wander what my grandmother would think of them.

  41. Scorpio M.
    October 28th, 2010 at 6:33 pm · Link

    The writer that made me a romance lover was Jo Goodman. Her Marshall Brothers and Dennehy Sister series had me hooked. Passion’s Sweet Revenge is a book I still love very much.

  42. Susan C.
    October 28th, 2010 at 7:27 pm · Link

    I don’t know the name of first romance that I really remember, I think it was maybe a harlequin, but it was about a brain surgeon on a cruise and an sweet innocent young woman that he mistook for a wicked actress in hiding – he treated her badly, but fell in love with her – turned out she had an inoperable brain tumor and maybe a few weeks to live, her time ran out at the end of the cruise, he operated and saved her life, and voila! HEA. no sex, hardly even any kissing! so different from the books I read these days, but oddly enough, I think about that book frequently and have looked for it with no success. no real clue why, maybe because it was such a sweet innocent romance LOL

  43. Cecile
    October 28th, 2010 at 8:54 pm · Link

    The first romance I remember reading that made an impact was Sandra Brown – Breakfast In Bed! And it made an awesome impact! Hook, Line, Sinker!!! I was sold!
    This is an awesome giveaway! Thanks!

  44. kuuipo_228
    October 28th, 2010 at 9:32 pm · Link

    Ok to be honest for the longest time I swore I didn’t like to read i would always say i’m not a reader blah blah blah. So I went to the movies with some girls that I worked with at the time… it was Twilight so after the movie I asked what happens with the rest of the story they wouldn’t tell me they said if you wanna know then read the books there way better then the movies anyway. I broke down and bought book 2 I got all into it read it in a day and a half then i bought 3 and 4. I was going through some bad times and reading was an escape for me a break from reality. Now I’m a reading machine, everyday I read, I don’t leave the house without a book

  45. Sue A.
    October 29th, 2010 at 1:25 am · Link

    I read romances as a preteen. And discovered category romances back then and moved on to pretty much all romances.

    I already have Coming Undone and love it!