Double Review, Excerpt, and Sweepstakes: Dark Room and Viewing Room (Books #1 and #2: Society X Series) by L.P. Dover and Heidi McLaughlin

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The Dark Room

Title: Dark Room Series: Book #1: Society X Authors: Heidi McLaughlin and L.P. Dover Format: eBook, 211 pages Published: January 23, 2016 by Books by L.P. Dover, LLC

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The rules of Society X are simple . . . break them and you’re out.  Rule #1 – No names
It doesn’t matter if you want to know, it’s forbidden.  Rule #2 – No exchanging numbers.  It doesn’t matter if you want to call, it’s forbidden.  Rule #3 – Everything is to remain strictly anonymous.  It doesn’t matter if you want to tell, it’s forbidden.
The Dark Room is the only place you can live out your fantasies and no one will ever know it’s you.  For Parker, what started out as a business transaction has turned into an addiction.  For Mia, it’s been a chance to discover who she truly is.
What happens in the dark will have you begging for more . . .

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review:

Society X is well known to nearly everyone in Portland.  Bachelor and bachelorette parties are regular occurrences and the dancers, male and female alike always bring home a ton of cash while working in an upscale environment.  That’s the very public face of Society X.  Behind a series of locked and alarmed doors is the much-rumored about and known to only a select few, sex rooms. 

The Dark Room, the Viewing Room, and the Bondage Room allow select and highly vetted patrons the opportunity to live out their sexual fantasies in total and complete anonymity.  For Parker, the Dark Room is just the place for him.  He is a high profile businessman with little time to date and no interest in a real relationship unless it’s with his best friend’s totally off-limits sister, Mia.   Since that’s never going to happen, Parker has nothing to lose by partaking of what Society X has to offer.  As with everything else in his life, Parker goes into the Dark Room with total and complete confidence.  When he emerges from the Dark Room, Parker’s life is radically altered and he wants nothing more than to break all the Society X rules and know the woman who changed his life.

 Mia isn’t quite where she wants to be in life.  After a disastrous relationship and even worse break up, Mia finds herself single and working as a trainer at her brother’s gym.  Yeah, it’s not exactly the life she envisioned for herself and as her best friend has told her, it’s time to get back out in the world and get back to Mia.  The first step of that journey is a trip to Society X where Mia finds herself being selected for membership which brings with it, access to the exclusive sex rooms.  Her first experience is all kinds of phenomenal and made all the more so when a mysterious benefactor pays her membership fees.  It’s not exactly what she expected but the Dark Room is erotic and her partner seems to enjoy the experience just as much as she does. 

Back in the real world, Parker and Mia’s regular lives often cross paths as they are friends and now colleagues.  Parker has a business opportunity that requires specialized training that Mia can bring to the table.  Without a second thought, Parker brings Mia on board and in a flash, it seems as if both their lives are heading in the right direction.  It’s only when their real lives and their fantasy lives intersect that things become all kinds of sticky and awkward. 

The Bottom Line:  I like approximately two-thirds of this read which is how I got to a mere three-star rating.  I like the whole exclusive sex club where anonymity rules backdrop, I like the book’s focus on just one of the super-secret rooms, but I don’t like the terribly clichéd romance between Parker and Mia.  Parker and Mia are both good and likeable characters who got stuck with a storyline that is quite simply overused.  Had Parker and Mia gotten a bit better of a background story, it certainly would have rounded out this read for me and elevated the star rating considerably.

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The Viewing Room

Title: Viewing Room Series: Book #2: Society X Authors: Heidi McLaughlin and L.P. Dover Published: September 6, 2016 by Smashwords

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Viewing Room Rules:  The rules of Society X are simple . . . break them and you’re out.  Rule #1 – No names.  It doesn’t matter if you want to know, it’s forbidden.  Rule #2 – No exchanging numbers.  It doesn’t matter if you want to call, it’s forbidden.  Rule #3 – Everything is to remain strictly anonymous.  It doesn’t matter if you want to tell, it’s forbidden.  Whatever your desire.  Whatever your fantasy.  The Viewing Room will make it happen.  For Kennedy Vaughn, it’s an escape.  For Hunter Miles, entering the Viewing Room means he’s been selected.  What you witness in the viewing room will have you asking for more . . .

Source: Author

My Rating: 4½/5 stars

My Review:

Well, well, well.  Isn’t round two of Society X a cat of a different color? 

Kennedy Vaughn spent the entirety of her marriage building her career which is probably why she is now divorced.  Her best friend and business partner is bound and determined to see her have some fun and that means a trip to Society X.

Kennedy isn’t normally the strip club kind of girl but her friends are insistent.  Though Society X is an upscale establishment, it’s still a strip and sex club and Kennedy is certain she isn’t going to find her happily ever after within the walls of this establishment.  But, she might just find her get off quick and hard right now if the man staring at her from across the room can deliver on the promise of his stare.  Deliver on the promise he does, down and dirty right in the front seat of Kennedy’s car in the club’s parking lot.  WOW!  When Kennedy decides to celebrate a divorce, she really does it right J

Hunter Miles has no intention of being a stripper forever.  In fact, stripping is just a means to an end and that end is a law degree he is within months of earning.  The stripping gig is lucrative and has allowed Hunter to pay all his living expenses as well as his tuition.  His high grades and dedication have earned him an internship at a fine area law firm and as long as things go according to plan, he will be, at least in society’s eyes a fine upstanding citizen who is gainfully employed within the year.  What Hunter didn’t plan for when laying out his life was meeting Kennedy Vaughan.  Kennedy is everything Hunter never knew he wanted and if he can get her past her misconceptions about him and his job, they may just be OK.

Hunter and Kennedy certainly don’t have an easy road to their HEA.  Along with Kennedy’s misconceptions, there is the fact that Hunter’s internship is with her law firm (surprise!) and, she has a nasty divorce case that is threatening everyone’s safety and well-being.  In fact, the case not only involves a client, it involves Society X and Kennedy needs Hunter’s help if she is going to protect her client.  Problem is, Hunter isn’t done with school yet and without the income from Society X he can’t afford the tuition.  The other problem, Hunter wants to help Kennedy and Kennedy wants to help Hunter but that means they each have to go back into Society X and pretend they don’t know one another.  Hunter has to take it all off for other women (and men) and Kennedy has to partake of the benefits of her membership.  The case alone threatens absolutely everything Hunter and Kennedy are trying to build for themselves as a couple and as individuals.

The Bottom Line:  Yeah, I like Viewing Room a whole lot and it doesn’t have anything to do with the naughty bits.  Oh, those are good too but it’s all the other stuff that make the naughty bits the cherry on top.  Hunter is a delight from the moment he makes an appearance and I very much like the not really hidden but not really advertised double life he has to lead for the time being.  Once Hunter helps Kennedy get past her misconceptions and concerns, Kennedy becomes quite the delight as well.  She and Hunter have such a strangely wonderful relationship that is well and truly tested by all the crap they are caught up in.  Most of the crap revolves around Society X but that one place it isn’t all they are about and it is in the moments outside the club that truly define Hunter and Kennedy.  As a final little bit of awesome, the authors drop one last huge surprise in the final moments and it makes the total package pretty perfect.

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Excerpt from Viewing Room (Book #2: Society X Series):

Tomorrow comes awfully fast and the day flies by. Maybe it’s because I’m not exactly thrilled about watching people have sex all by myself. It makes me wonder what kind of things people ask to see when they have requests. All I can say is that I feel like a creeper.

Chris walks into my office and stops when he gets a good look at my face. “Whoa, why are you so red?”

Glancing at the clock, I sigh. “Because in a couple of hours, I have to watch three people have sex in the viewing room.” He knows that I’m doing my own investigative work, but I never told him exactly what I’m doing until now.

He bursts out laughing. “Are you serious? What if it’s not the guy you’re looking for?”

I shrug. “Then I guess I’ll be watching these people have sex.”

“This is classic. I was going to ask you to go to dinner with me, but you’ll be too busy.”

I roll my eyes. “Ha-ha. I’d much rather be getting some dinner. I think I’m just going to stay here until it’s time to go.”

He tries to hide his smile and fails. “Have fun with that. You’ll have to let me know how it went in the morning.” He chuckles the entire time he walks to his office and then out the front door. I’ll never be able to escape him now; he’ll make fun of me for the rest of our lives.

Once everyone leaves, I eat the rest of my turkey sandwich I had left over from lunch while I look over my notes on Chad Bates. Jennifer never texted to tell me if he was going to be at the club or not, so I guess I’ll just have to find out when I get there. I wonder if Hunter’s ever done something like that … had sex with two girls on stage in front of an audience. That’s one of the reasons why I can never get serious about him. How can I when he does that for a living?

My time is running out so I close up the office and head to the club. The parking lot is packed, but I slip on my necklace and get out of the car. I try to ignore the evil looks from everyone standing in line as I walk up to the door. Luckily, Jared is right inside, dressed in his tux and his dark hair perfectly coifed.

           “Good evening,” he says, taking my purse. It’s going to be hard to pin anything on Chad without physical proof. Maybe I can try to sneak in a hidden camera next time. Jared nods for me to follow him and we go through the door that leads to the sex rooms. Placing his hand on the doorknob, he smiles at me. “You ready?”

           I laugh. “I hope so.”

           We walk inside and he points to the purple, velvet couch. It’s the same place my co-workers sat when Hunter and I were on stage. “All you have to do is sit here and watch the show. If for some reason you have to leave, just press that blue button,” he says, pointing to it on the wall. “That way, I’ll know to come in and get you.”

           I nod. “Thanks. I think I got it.”

           He starts toward the door. “Enjoy the show.”

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About the authors and where to find them:

l-p-dover-bioL.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.  Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.  Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written countless novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed & Dangerous series, the Royal Shifters series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.  New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author International Bestselling author.

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heidi-mclaughlin-bioOriginally from 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 West/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 court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.  Heidi’s first novel, Forever My Girl, is currently in production to be a major motion picture.  NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author

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