Fans of Abbi Glines will adore Violetta Rand’s novels about strong-willed women who must fight to survive—and the men who love them. Welcome to the Devil’s Den, a Texas strip club where the air is heavy with desire . . . and sometimes dreams come true.
Ever since her mother kicked her out, twenty-year-old Robyn Gonzalez has been working the poles at the Devil’s Den, saving up to finish college and travel the world. With only her wits and her gorgeous body to rely on, Robyn has learned to be independent—fiercely independent. She’s never been tempted to let a man distract her from her dreams . . . until she meets the dead-sexy Garrick Dempsey.
The club’s new head of security, Garrick had walked away from a career as a mechanical engineer to return to his roots in Corpus Christi. He hadn’t planned on getting to know someone like Robyn, with her sinfully sweet combination of vulnerability and strength, at the Devil’s Den. She acts tough, but only because she’s been hurt. Soon Garrick knows he will do anything to win Robyn’s trust. And if that means surrendering to the red-hot chemistry between them, all the better.
Praise for Surrender
“Surrender is a new adult romance for those who like their romance on the down-and-dirty side, with their heroines still surprisingly innocent and their heroes as knights in slightly tarnished armor.”—Library Journal
“Edgy and kick-ass, Surrender is a sizzling romance that you’ll be hard pressed to put down!”—Stacey Kennedy, USA Today bestselling author of the Club Sin series
“Surrender is a wonderful journey of passion, pleasure, and the true meaning of love. You know a book is great when you’re still turning the pages at three in the morning to read ‘one more chapter.’ I will confess right up front, Garrick is my new book boyfriend. The man is hot, hot, hot!”—USA Today bestselling author Sandra Owens
“A gritty, well-paced, enthralling read, Surrender hooked me from the start.”—Bestselling author Kathryn le Veque
“The chemistry between these two was delicious. Garrick and Robyn were perfectly flawed and made for a wonderful romance tale not soon to be forgotten!”—BTS Book Reviews
“New Adult readers will definitely enjoy this debut, not too dark, not too angsty, and just the right amount of naked Garrick.”—A Tasty Read
“Wow, what an emotional, suspenseful and steamy read!”—Lustful Literature
“Surrender sizzles off the pages. . . . The romance that develops between Garrick and Robyn is wonderfully portrayed, but more importantly, gripping and real. Violetta [Rand] takes you deep into their heads, their emotions, and you can't help but feel for both of them.”—Blue Rose Romance
“This book was very suspenseful and I loved the chemistry between Robyn and Garrick! . . . Definitely an awesome read!”—Sweet Yet Naughty (five stars)
“I fell in love with Garrick right off, and I loved this book.”—A Crazy Vermonter’s Book Reviews
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
The Devil's Den contemporary series launch brings spectacularly hot chemistry to a cast of unsympathetic characters with nobody to cheer for. Robyn Gonzalez is a virginal sweetheart fleeing her abusive family. She needs to pay for college, so she becomes a stripper at a sleazy club in Corpus Christie, Tex. After she encounters a Mexican drug dealer who's a walking clich , her common sense and dignity vanish, and she runs into the arms of Garrick Dempsey, the club's possessive, manipulative bouncer. As Robyn feebly protests that she wants to maintain her independence, Garrick issues edicts about what kinds of work Robyn can do, lays out rules and boundaries, and educates her on why women need men to protect them. Texan readers who pick this up for the setting may be dismayed to see it used to excuse an abundance of misogyny and sexual violence. Only the frequent, genuinely hot sex scenes provide any redemption for an unpleasant story.
Good start to the series
3.5 to 4 stars (first half of the book, 3.5 by about 60% in I changed to 4 stars)
Robyn’s Gonzalez’s mother kicked her out of the house in a drunken rage when she was a teenager. Lost and heartbroken she struggled to keep from ending up a statistic. She lies about her age and gets a job as a stripper at Devil’s Den. She begins a life of her own and goes to college setting up goals for herself that she intends to achieve. One night she gets herself into a bit of trouble and is saved by a handsome sexy as sin man. Garrick is everything she could ever want in a man, but her past and her sense of abandonment stop her from trusting that he won’t push her away like her own family did.
Garrick Dempsey is about to begin a new chapter in his life. He’s decided to leave his job that takes him away from home for months on end and be the head of security of the Devil’s Den strip club. He never planned on meeting someone but when he meets Robyn her sexy sweetness sets off all his desires. He suddenly finds himself wanting to do anything for her, anything to make her happy and keep her safe. Their chemistry is scorching from the moment they set eyes on each other, but can he convince her it's more than that, that he wants her complete surrender. He wants her heart and soul.
I really liked the overall storyline of this book. The stripper trying to put herself through school and meeting a handsome guy who wants to take her away from it all. Their relationship started off a little shaky for me. Not necessarily believable, but as I read and the characters became more developed I realized I wanted to know where this couple would go. Robyn was young, but had gone through a lot of heartbreak because of her parents in her young life. At times she was a bit stupid doing things to put her life in danger, when she had a strong man waiting to help her. But I could get the feeling that she was scared to trust him. She also had a really smart side to her when she was with Garrick that I really connected with making her a more likable character, especially seeing her through his eyes. Garrick comes off as your typical alpha male right off the bat. Though it did surprise me that he seemed okay that she was a stripper. However, once they started working together and he saw her strip he seemed to sing another tune. Which made sense at that point in the story. I thought the character of Macey as Robyn’s best friends was a really good balance to Robyn’s life. Before Macey and Garrick she had no one. Craig the bouncer playboy of the club who chases Robyn for most of the book was a bit irritating at first and a total jerk, but I am sure that’s how the author wanted us to feel about him. I see the next book is about Craig and Marisela Robyn’s sister, I am intrigued by how that story will play out. So, though this is not the best book I have recently read, it kept my interest, had me invested in wanting to know what happened to the characters and has me wanting to know the stories of the other characters. So good job.
RECEIVED AN ARC FROM NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW
The story was very cute, but it ended abruptly. I had a lot of questions that were never answered. Her mother and father were very cruel to her and she just forgives them at the end. I was very disappointed with the ending and don't plan on reading the rest of the series.
a compelling and intriguing read
I will admit that the premise hit me from the start: a New Adult romance is bound to be angsty and conflicted, full of heat and sexual tensions with characters who are intriguing. Violetta Rand doesn’t fail to deliver on all of those promises, providing a solid story with plenty for readers to wonder about even as they can’t seem to put the book down.
Robyn was tossed out of her home at 15, so her life isn’t all sunshine and roses. But, she’s taken an interesting turn into the strip club, ‘working’ her way through school. OK, so I admit it, Robyn felt a bit stereotyped for me, and I’m not entirely sure that I bought into her character. But it was fun reading and seeing her glaring inconsistencies, expected in a 20 something character – aware that she is in a job she hates, but carrying her “I don’t judge people” straight on through judgments and snark like Judy on the Bench. I expected the snark, you would if you were in a situation that you felt untenable and displeasing, but I didn’t once find a compelling reason for her choice. If, as she states, she was a ‘good girl’ and not laden with issues that are found in 99.9% of all strippers worldwide, and she is possessed of the brains needed to live her dreams in archaeology, the choice and her comfort level with being naked for cash just doesn’t fit.
Then there is Garrick, another character who’s backstory didn’t quite fit with his position as a bouncer at a strip club. Degree holders from MIT have options, lots of them. Bouncing at a club screams ‘none’ to me, or a second job. But we don’t see that. And there is the trouble I had with Garrick’s very base and almost misogynistic interior monologue in reference to women, Robyn in particular, and his attempts to appear in control and alpha in his dealings with her. It was a mix that I couldn’t fully buy into or believe, even as I couldn’t stop reading.
I couldn’t stop reading! I was looking for the ‘what next’ and how they’d reconcile two very different people, and would they develop and grow up any during the journey. Of course, there is attraction and tension: this is a strip club romance after all. And you could see Rand’s use of description, offhanded comments and alternating points of view to flush out those moments and see the world more clearly in the dimmed off-stage lighting, and under brighter scrutiny.
I may not have bought into the characters as they were presented, but I couldn’t look away. They did learn and grow, deciding to trust in one another even as everything around them is screaming no, and despite his often smarmy interior descriptions, Garrick was protective and caring for and about Robyn. Is it something to build a life on? I’m not sure, but it worked for this story and their ability to find happiness for now. And it was a compelling and intriguing read that has me curious where the author will go next.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.