March 20, 2013

Review: Selling Out by Amber Lin

Series: Lost Girls 2
Format: ARC
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Publisher: Loose ID
Source: Author
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tour Organizer: Author's Angels
Purchase: Amazon | Loose ID
Shelly Laurent escapes her life as a high-class escort, but against her better judgment she takes the scared young Ella with her. Framed for murder by her pimp and his dirty cops in retaliation, Shelly turns to the one man who could be her salvation: Detective Luke Cameron. She doesn’t know if she can trust him or if he’s just a mirage, but it's time for her to take a stand. Just one shot, make it count, she’ll fight Ella’s demons—and face her own.

Shelly throws light on the shadows of Chicago’s underworld, challenging everything she knew and the man she’s come to love. Together, a prostitute and a cop fight for truth stronger than secrets, hope deeper than deception, and a bond more enduring than betrayal.
After reading Lost Girls 1, Giving It Up, I have to admit I wasn't really looking forward to SELLING OUT because the first one didn't work for me real well. For some reason I found it hard to sympathize and connect with Allie, Shelly's bestfriend. To be fair, Amber Lin does write some messed up characters that will challenge contemporary romance conformity and for that I applaud ALin for sticking to her own "formula". Her heroines are broken, troubled and a little hard to "redeem" and Shelley Laurent is no different.

So as the blurb says, Shelly is an escort on the brink of breaking free from the clutches of her pimp. But we all know that it's easier said than done because her pimp, the infamous Henri, isn't ready to let go one of his prized escort. So it became this cat and mouse chase that unearthed a lot of secrets and revelations not only about Shelly and her past, but about Henri, Shelly's father and her boyfriend cop, Luke Cameron. SELLING OUT is one intricate web of lies that will have your head spinning. 

I find Shelly more likeable than Allie however I still didn't connect much with her character either... I know something is really wrong with me... anyway I just found it hard to join her pity party because it's not like she was thrown to prostitution. She went to it with eyes wide open and though I applaud her desire to start fresh, Shelly easily gave up after her application for a cashier position in a mini-mart was turned down. Really? Just one shot and that's it? The only thing I liked about her is her attitude, she might feel defeated but Shelly's far from fallen. Her need for a new life is admirable and she stayed focused despite the shit that paved the road to her personal redemption.
One of these day, I'm going to take you. And then I'm going to keep you.
Luke Cameron is a wonderful hero and if not for him, I might not have liked SELLING OUT as much. He loves Shelly unconditionally and sees her for who she is and not what she does for a living. Luke has a tragic past that connects him to Shelly and even if it's a sad backstory, this little piece of history made him a little more tolerant and accepting of Shelly and her lifestyle. When they're together, it feels so sincere and heartfelt, it's very touching how he practically worships Shelly and her body (literally). Those steamy scenes will surely fog up your windows or in my case, my ereader's screen.

SELLING OUT might not be my idea of a knee-buckling, touching and tender love story but it IS a love story. It's gritty, lusty, dirty, honest and at times shameless. It's about a woman's struggle to make a future out of her past and find forgiveness and acceptance in her heart for everyone who hurt her including herself. It's about a man trying to find justice and closure. It's about a father's greed, unconditional friendship and second chances. It may not be my favorite but I'm sure some of you will love the "darkness" of the story and Amber Lin's anti-heroes and their pursuit for that elusive HEA.


  1. I love to see really honest reviews. You admitted not being able to connect with the main character but at the same time made me still want to pick it up and find out exactly why. Thanks for the insight, I think I'll put it on my TBR list.

  2. Even though I usually go for lighter fare, this does sound like it'll be really engaging!



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