16 January 2015

Intensity Tour Stop!

 What would you do to improve your life?

Twenty-one-year-old Serena Thomas is faced with a tough decision. Unable to get ahead of debt and loneliness since her grandmother’s death she finds a new job, placing the sheltered virgin in an underground escort business. She tells herself it’s just a temporary life choice, but destiny has a different plan. She meets a mysterious and gorgeous man, who happens to be her new boss. Will Serena fit in or will she be left all alone again?

Lincoln (aka: Linc) Jefferson has an unusual life. He established The Lounge, an exclusive escort club for very personal reasons. A place where the women say who, when, and what type of sex they’re willing to have. The escorts possess all the power and the money. It’s a business Linc guards at all costs. Trying to maintain the secrecy is a constant challenge and one that’s tested when he enters into a relationship with Serena. She tempts him unlike any woman, even though he’s surrounded by beauty on a daily basis. The more time they spend together the harder it is for him to keep his secrets. Will Serena stand by his side or will she abandon him?

Sparks and passion fly, taking these two on a journey neither could have expected.
First off, when I signed up to review this book there wasn’t anything stating that it was the first book in the series. Fortunately Ms. Koen has written Intensity without ending it with a cliffhanger, but rather she ended it in such a way that although Serena and Linc’s story is not finished I was left feeling satisfied with this chapter in their lives. The author left me wanting the next book in the series so that I can see how their relationship continues to play out and the unresolved plotlines play out, but without leaving me anxious about an unexpected ending. I enjoy series in which the books play out over years and show how the characters’ lives and relationships develop.

My other issue is that I really don’t understand why Linc is so enamored with Serena. I know that sounds awful, as if to say she’s not good enough for him, but that’s not what I’m saying because I really like Serena’s character. Maybe it’s because the book is told strictly from Serena’s point of view and/or maybe I lapsed into a bit of speed reading, but I don’t recall anything revealed within the book that explains why he is the way he is with her. Unless we’re expected to chalk it up to love at first sight because when Serena first meets Linc at her interview he takes a measuring look at her, makes a move on her – which she rebuffs – then kisses her and declares her exclusive to him. This would leave one to believe that it may be lust at first sight, but we are well past the halfway point of the book before they have sex despite several opportunities previously. All that said, I loved the way that Linc treated Serena – his protectiveness and possessiveness. It’s apparent by his actions that he cherishes her and he clearly comes to love her, but I missed out on the forming of that connection.

Regardless of my seemingly complaint-filled review, I really did enjoy Intensity. I like Ms. Koen’s style of writing as it keeps the flow of the story moving and makes for a quick and easy read. Despite being about an escort club, there is actually very little sex in the book. But there is plenty of sexual tension and a few cat fights that left me cheering for Serena. The author also gives us an unexpected bit of action and adventure that had me on the edge of my seat as I waited to find out how it would play out. As mentioned, this is the first book in the series and Ms. Koen does an excellent job of introducing story threads for the next book but doing it in such a way that I want to know what happens next but I wasn’t left hanging. I am looking forward to the release of Serenity so that I can join Serena and Linc on the next part of their journey. 
I read the blurb for this book and received it long before I decided to read it and I am glad I did because I believe the blurb gives a little too much away.  But whether or not you agree with me on that, this book was amazing.  The characterization is just done so spectacularly you are thrown into the middle of a situation with two people who are extremely independent and honorable.

Lincoln and Serena are two people who are meant for each other and you can tell it from the first time they meet, however, they both have so much emotional baggage and responsibilities holding them back they are not ready to commit to a relationship.  Throughout the book the two have to battle their personal insecurities and the ever escalating drama to find the love they are both looking for.

I loved these two characters and the ending to this book was SO sweet but this is by no means the ending to their story.  I am very excited to read the next book in this series so I can read more of their love story.
C.C. Koen writes contemporary romance with a twist. An avid reader who enjoys mystery and suspense, her stories will never be what you expect. Determined to find adventure in her dreams and life, she enjoys skydiving, sailing and any activity that challenges her. Teacher by day, romance writer at night produce an active imagination that comes to life in her writing. Intensity is her debut novel.
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  1. Thanks for hosting today! And great reviews, ladies! Glad you liked it! :)

  2. Angela & Melissa,
    Thank you for participating in the Intensity tour. I appreciate the time you took to read the story and provide a thoughtful review. I'm so glad you enjoyed Intensity. The sequel, Serenity, will bring Linc and Serena's story to a conclusion. They have a lot to overcome. I can't wait to take readers along for the ride. Serenity will be released in fall 2015. In the meantime, I have another novel, Unlikely Allies (unrelated to Intensity) being released in June. I have information about the stories on my website: www.cckoen.com. I hope you'll read it too.