Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Play Your Heart Out by Crystal Kaswell ♥ Book Blitz & GIVEAWAY ♥ (New Adult Romance)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Play Your Heart Out by Crystal Kaswell ♥ Book Blitz & GIVEAWAY ♥ (New Adult Romance)

Four Months Playing a Rock Star’s Girlfriend? Easy peasy.
Doing it without falling in love with him… Not as easy.

Jess James is starting a new life in Los Angeles, three thousand miles away from everyone expects her to cover up their bad behavior with white lies. She’s devoted to two things: law school and honesty. Only she hasn’t got the money to pay her tuition.

Sinful Serenade bassist Pete Steele has a reputation to maintain. The rock star is known as a devoted boyfriend. Doesn’t matter that his ex-girlfriend tore his heart out by sleeping with his best friend. Screwing his way through Los Angeles is getting him the wrong kind of attention. He needs to clean up his newly acquired bad boy image and Jess is just the woman for the job.

Their arrangement is simple: she plays his girlfriend, he pays her tuition. It’s four months, no strings attached. They’ll lie to the world, but not to each other. Especially not when they’re alone, in his bed, him figuring out exactly which buttons to push to get her groaning his name.

Jess is used to keeping up appearances. She can play the tall, dark, handsome rock star’s girlfriend no problem. But can she really do it without falling in love with him?

Pete leads me through the lush lobby. The restaurant is off to the left. Its gold signs make it look expensive.
He nods to a guarded pool to the right. "Should we crash?"
"We can't."
He slides his arm around my waist, pulling my body into his. "Want to bet?"
"No. I'm sure you can figure something out."
He leans in to whisper in my ear. "Too bad. Was gonna make my prize eating you out."
My cheeks flush. He really said those words. It shouldn't surprise me at this point, but I'm still tingly with anticipation.
He chuckles. "That a problem?"
"No. Just… is that really what you'd want for a prize?"
"Uh…" It's impossible to think.
He presses his palm against my lower back. "Don't fucking tell me you don't like it. Been thinking about tasting your cunt for two days straight."
I clear my throat. Okay. I need to get my senses back.
I pull back enough to look into his eyes. They're earnest. Hell, they're wide with desire.
"Jess, don't fucking tell me you don't like it." He stares back into my eyes. "I don't do oral with random hookups and I've been going fucking crazy thinking about feeling you come on my face."
"No. I like it."
"Good." His eyes pass over me. "What the fuck are we doing talking then? Let's go."
"Yeah." He nods to a single-stall bathroom in the corner of the lobby.
I'm not ready for public bathroom sex. I take a step backwards so I won't give into temptation. "You really want to do it?"
"What about I've been going fucking crazy thinking about feeling you come on my face was unclear?"
He pulls me into a kiss. It's a hell of a kiss. When he releases me, my heart is thudding against my chest. I'm practically dizzy.
There's no way that's for show.
Enough talking. I can't ignore my body's demands any longer.
I want to come on his face.
I bring my lips to his ear. "I want to… I want you to go down on me."
His lips curl into a smile. He motions to the bathroom.
I'm not ready for that. Yet. I stare into his gorgeous brown eyes with as much confidence as I can muster. "This is a hotel, isn't it?"
He nods.
"We can get a room."
He chuckles. "And do what?"
"Don't tease me, Steele. You fell asleep on me last night."
His eyes meet mine. "I'll get a room, but I'm gonna tease you. Gonna tease you until you're begging."

Can you sum up Play Your Heart Out in two sentences?
Girl accepts offer from rock star to play his girlfriend in return for him paying her law school tuition. Feelings and sexual awakening ensue.

How does this book fit into the Sinful Serenade series?
It's the fourth book in the series, but it can be read on its own. Each book follows a different couple-- one of the guys in Sinful Serenade and his heroine. Pete is the bassist and sometimes lyricist of Sinful Serenade. He's also the brother of Tom, the drummer slash de facto manager. I must warn-- this book is filled with spoilers for the three previous books plus spoilers for Mockingjay and The Force Awakens-- so I really, really recommend starting with book one, Sing Your Heart Out, and reading the series in order. It's a lot of fun seeing new layers to the characters as they grow and let down the walls around their hearts.

But this book is a standalone.You can jump in to Play Your Heart Out without any background and you'll still understand the plot and the characters.

How is Pete different than the other guys in the band?
All of the guys in the band are fun-loving, passionate about music, and fantastic between the sheets. A lot of people have described them as bad boys with hearts of gold and I think that's accurate. They sleep around, they curse like sailors, they have tattoos, and they DGAF about what other people think. Pete is more of a straight shooter than the other guys. He's willing to admit he's been hurt. He's more intense and mysterious. He's also a dirty-talking tease ;)

Pete has a long distance girlfriend in the first three books. What is the deal with her? Why did he stay with her for so long?
I write a lot of first love stories. I really enjoy those, but I wanted to do something a little different with Pete's character. I wanted him to have been through a messy relationship that he grew out of. He started dating Cindy in high school. They were long distance for a long time before they finally broke up (in Rock Your Heart Out, book three). I think a lot of us have the experience of growing apart from our high school friends or lovers. There's a part of us that wants to stay together or stay in touch because we aren't ready to let go. There's a lot to be said for inertia. We don't change unless something forces us to change. I think Pete does a great job explaining why he stayed in that relationship in his book, so I won't speak for him.

Your heroines are all ambitious women. Was this a conscious choice?
Yes. I don't think there are enough examples in popular culture of women who are both career-oriented and loving. In most TV, movies, and even books, women are either ambitious or loving but not both. A lot of romance heroines start off ambitious but end up giving up on their dreams so the hero can pursue his. This is especially true in rock star romance. Tons of the heroines end up quitting their jobs to follow their boyfriends/husbands around on tour. I don't think there's anything wrong with a woman putting family first, but I don't like that it's the default. I want to remind women that their feelings, thoughts, needs, goals and ambitions matter. I don't think women hear that enough.

Which Sinful Serenade character are you most like?
I think I'm most like Miles. I know how to present myself as being collected and aloof, and I only reveal myself once I really feel like I can trust someone. It might be my fantasies of being a lyricist and having thousands of being analyzing my words and wondering what they mean talking. When I described Ophelia (Tom and Pete's mother) to my husband, he said “oh, so she's like you, only older and a lesbian?”

Which of the Sinful Serenade guys would you date if you could only choose one?

Tom has a c**k piercing. I have to give that a shot.

What inspired you to start writing about rock stars?

It's something that always appealed to me. Rock stars are passionate, sexy, confident, and successful. They have a dash of bad boy in that they're tattooed and they think for themselves rather than doing what is expected of them, but they're also focused and ambitious. I relate to ambitious, passionate characters, because I am incredibly ambitious and passionate about my writing.

Oh, the tattoos. I get weak in the knees over a fit guy with sexy tattoos—especially a chest piece poking out from under his v-neck. Yummy.

Is Sinful Serenade based on any real band? Are there any bands or albums that inspired you?

Sinful Serenade is definitely its own thing. I don't see them as being like any particular band. But there were a few albums that got me hooked to music. In high school, I got really into emo/pop-punk music. I love analyzing the lyrics and thinking of the lyricist and what he or she was like.

The two albums I was most obsessed with were Deja Entendu by Brand New and From Under the Cork Tree by Fall Out Boy. If I'm being totally honest, it's 90% From Under the Cork Tree. I think I've listened to that album a thousand times. Maybe more. Both albums present really interesting characters in terms of “the character of the narrator.”

Jesse Lacey, the lyricist/singer of Brand New, writes songs that are open and vulnerable. He lays his pain out in his words. It's actually hurts, listening to that album, because you can feel how much he hurts. Their first album, Your Favorite Weapon, has some of that hiding behind cleverness I can't admit you hurt me vibe, but their second album, Deja Entendu does not. His defenses are down. He invites you into his head and his heart. You just want to hold him and whisper it's going to be okay and take all his pain away.

Now, Pete Wentz, the lyricist/bassist of Fall Out Boy, is a different story. His (well, the character of the narrator) defenses are up high. There's a real push and pull to From Under the Cork Tree– some of the songs push you away and some pull you in. It opens with this tongue-in-cheek cleverness (“the ribbon on my wrist says do not open before Christmas”) that invites you in and pushes you away at the same time. It's a really compelling dynamic. The more the album goes on, the more the defenses drop, the more the narrator lets you in.

That impulse, that desire to know someone, is a big theme in my books. My characters are usually damaged. They are still processing something, still unsure of whether or not they can really be in a relationship. They aren't ready to open their hearts to breaking, or they don't believe they deserve love, or they feel they'll end up a burden.

The characters in Play Your Heart Out are named Jess and Pete. Any relation?

Yes. I started naming my characters after my fictional characters and famous people a while back—I hate thinking up names. My characters are not in any way based on the people they are named after. It's just that it's more fun to go hmm, I have an awesome woman in her 50s. Who's an awesome woman in her 50s? I know, Meryl Streep, and to name a character Meryl than to look at the most popular names from a relevant year.

When I started writing Sinful Serenade, it only seemed right to name my bassist Pete. When I got to this book, I realized I had to name my heroine after the other man who inspired my rock star obsession.

What's next?

I'm writing a fifth Sinful Serenade book, Sinful Ever After. It's going to be a collection of novella sequels—one for each couple. I want to check in on them in six months or a year to see how they are doing.

That will be the last Sinful Serenade book but it won't be the last of the Sinful Serenade guys. They'll appear in my next series, Dangerous Noise. That name might sound familiar to regular readers. Dangerous Noise is the band Drew left to join Sinful Serenade. You'll meet Ethan, Dangerous Noise's new guitarist in Play Your Heart Out.

 ♥ Click on the image to learn more ♥

Crystal Kaswell writes steamy new adult and erotic romance books. She loves when flawed characters fall head over heels for each other. Especially if they fall into bed first. She loves police procedurals, tea, and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.


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  1. Question to the author: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

  2. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

  3. I liked the excerpt, and I am looking forward to reading this story.

  4. Sounds like a really good book. Love romance books. Thanks.

  5. Sounds like a great read for the beach this summer.

  6. Looking forward to this summer read Rosanne

  7. Thanks for the synopsis and excerpt and, of course, the giveaway.

  8. I am adding this book to my summer reading list!

  9. Thank you for the excerpt and giveaway...hope you have a lovely holiday weekend

  10. Thanks for the giveaway ^__^
    Nice website. Good luck to everyone (:

  11. Sounds like something I would love! Thanks for the chance.

  12. WOuld like to read this!

  13. Sounds like a really good book.

  14. I really appreciate all the reviews and giveaways. It often introduces me to authors I have never read.


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