Thursday 6 April 2017

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt ~ Stripped Bare (Vegas Billionaire #1) by Heidi McLaughlin

Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Title: Stripped Bare
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Number of Pages: eBook
Publisher: Love Swept

Book Description:

They don’t call it the Strip for nothing. . . .

In this sinfully sexy Las Vegas romance from bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, a man who has it all reunites with a woman who takes it all off.

Living in Sin City, Finn McCormick is no stranger to one-night stands, but the last person he expects to find losing big on the casino floor is a former high school fling. Even though Macey Webster’s clearly down on her luck, she’s still a knockout, and she’s dressed like a stripper—because she is one. Drunk off an unfamiliar cocktail of lust, pity,

and compassion, Finn offers to pay Macey’s debts if she cuddles up to him around town . . . and does whatever he wants between the sheets.

Macey came to Vegas for one reason only: money. She’s got a young daughter to support, and the tips really are bigger in Vegas. But when she blows her earnings on blackjack, her guardian angel is the rich boy who once stole her heart and never called her back. Although Macey would love to turn the tables on Finn, she can’t afford to refuse his proposition—and soon she’s enjoying herself much more than she cares to admit. Macey’s used to baring her flesh, but baring her soul will take far more courage.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“Finn, I do believe you’ve met your match…”

Stripped Bare is a classic take on the film Pretty Woman with the added twist of a second chance romance of sorts, if you count a one night stand ten years prior. This was a cute read with little angst and drama but does contain a hero that needed a good slap in the first instance, but once you got to know him, you couldn’t help but adore him.

Finn McCormick is a self-made millionaire who lives in Vegas. Finn comes from a well-off family but wanted to make it on his own two feet and has worked hard for what he has. Finn owns hotels and casinos and lives the playboy lifestyle with his best friends, he has a revolving door of women, his heart is definitely guarded and he definitely doesn’t do relationships.

Macey comes from Spokane, from the wrong side of the tracks and her life was derailed when she found out she was pregnant while still at school. Her mother was a waste of space when she was growing up and remains the same to this day leaving Macey to work all the hour’s god sends just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Waitress by day and stripper by night, Macey is struggling, desperate to leave the hell hole she calls home and frantically saving so that she and her daughter can leave her mums.

When one of her fellow strippers mentions a gig in Vegas that could solve all her money worries, Macey is hesitant, mainly because she doesn’t want to leave her daughter behind even though it is only a week but also because she doesn’t do a full strip or sleep with patrons. Reassured that you only go as far as you want, Macey heads to Vegas to earn a quick buck to enable her to take the first steps of a life she has dreamed about for over a decade.

“I’m far from jaded. You assume I have a habit of ‘buying’ people. I can assure you that I don’t mess with human trafficking or prostitution. Like I said earlier I’m a busy man and this week I need a woman by my side to do my bidding. No strings attached, we both walk away at the end of the week. If I wanted the phone calls, text messages and the whiney bullshit that comes with dating, you wouldn’t be in my car right now.”

I will say, some of Macey’s decision making does leave a lot to be desired but I understand that sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. The result of one of her foolish mistakes leads her straight into the path of Finn and while he was her ultimate school crush back in the day, to him she was only ever a one night stand.

As I said, this does have that Pretty Woman vibe and if anyone deserved the knight in shining armour it was definitely Macey. While I could see the plot a million miles away, even though I knew what was coming I still loved reading the journey to get there and Heidi McLaughlin did a great job in taming the playboy. Finn’s attitude in the beginning was a little hard to swallow and a lot of his misconceptions could have been avoided if he actually took time to ask questions, but it did make for some hot action between the sheets and one dirty mouthed millionaire.

“Macey, when it comes to you I have a 24/7 hard-on. My dick is addicted to your pussy, my mouth to your tits and my hands to your body.”

Yes, it was predictable, but it was a sweet, cute read that left me with the warm and fuzzies at the end. I was glad that we got to see the real Finn and that he did have the balls to stand up when needed. Overall, a quick, easy read that quenched that insufferable hopeless romantic that resides inside me.

What readers are saying about STRIPPED BARE:

Stripped Bare is one of those stories that you know is going to be great from the first page. It's funny, extremely sexy, emotional and heartbreaking which all combine for a sensational second-chance romance read.

This is a modern day Pretty Woman but so much better! Richard Gere has nothing on Finn McCormick!!

Oh wow. I have been in love with McLaughlin's writing since the start but this one could very much be my favorite book now by her.


Stripped Bare
Text Copyright © 2017 Heidi McLaughlin
All Rights Reserved

Chapter 1
The stench of deep fry emanates from my clothes. I hate the smell and I know the other girls can smell it, but I ignore the looks they’re giving me and hustle through the dressing room to my locker. The older women and the ones that have been stripping here longer always look down on the younger girls and the newbies. I’m somewhere in the middle. I stripped here when I was younger, during my first trimester with my daughter, and then again after she was born when I had my figure back. Actually, stripping helped me tone as a result of all the pole work that I had to do. I took some time off after that, but I always come back because the money is fast and somewhat decent. Each time I leave, though, I say that it’s for good and that was the last time and yet a few months later, I always find myself back again, knocking on Lew’s door, and asking for my spot in the rotation back. Girls come and go around here and in this business you can’t expect to make a lasting connection with anyone.

I strip down and throw my dress, apron and nylons into my bag as quickly as possible before the stench of grease becomes any more noticeable. I change into a thong and bootie shorts, add tassels to my nipples and cover them with a bra before slipping a tank top over my head and stepping into an old pair of cowboy boots that I picked up

at the secondhand store. I have an array of costumes meant to hit the mark on every fantasy a man can have. Cowboys, librarian, naughty schoolgirl . . . you name it I’m doing it. I need the money. More so now than ever. My kid is getting older and she’s seeing things she shouldn’t, like her grandmother being so drunk that she can’t get up to answer the door, or strange men in the house. She’s ten and shouldn’t have to babysit an adult. Nor should she

have to live in the slums, but that’s on me.

Seventeen and pregnant isn’t how I saw my life. I had had enough of living with barely any food, no new clothes and the strange looks, so I swore that I was getting out. I was smart, got good grades in high school, but none of that mattered once I found out I was knocked up and the baby daddy had already left town. I tried to tell his mother, but she took one look at me and shut the door. Back then I didn’t, but I do now. I’d take that money and run right across the tracks, under the bridge and through the fucking blueberry bushes if it meant my kid wasn’t going to be a victim of a drug deal gone wrong or end up with a drinking problem by the time she’s a teen.

Morgan though, she’s a good kid who loves to read and is a whiz at math. She’s all I have in this world and I’ll do anything I have to, to make sure she has food and clothes.

So I strip at night and wait tables during the day. Depending on the day or night, one pays better than the other, but they’re jobs that I need. I have a goal. I want to move Morgan and I into a better neighborhood. One where kids want to play and not sell drugs. I want her to live in a place where she feels safe and doesn’t need to hide in the closet of our bedroom because my mother invited one of her friends over.

My dreams for Morgan are unreachable, I know this, but I try every day to make them happen. I want such a different life for her that sometimes when I look out the window of the city bus I’m on and I see other kids her age walking along the street without a care in the world, I imagine her being one of those kids. If only . . .

Stripped Bare is a work of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

About the Author:

Heidi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

Originally from Portland, Oregon and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with

her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland Westie/Mini Schnauzer, JiLL and her brother, Racicot.

When she isn’t writing one of the many stories planned for release, you’ll find her sitting courtside during either daughter’s basketball games.

Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, is currently in production for a major motion picture.

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