Inside Out

Lauren Dane
Inside Out
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Publisher
Berkely
Release Date
November 2010
ISBN
0425236889
Series
Book 3 of Brown Siblings
Genre
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

SUMMARY
Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she's spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she's needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn't been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn't mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn't quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He's known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she'd been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he's had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella's sure he's just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out.

Book Review by Michelle R
Nov 05, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
190 people found the following review helpful
A beautiful masterpiece. Every word was a gift.

The chills are still on my arms from loving this book so much. Inside Out is the third book in the Brown Sibling series. I do believe it can stand alone with ease. That being said, I am glad that I could experience this book as the treasure it is to those following this extended family.

Ella Tipton was introduced in book one as Erin Brown's friend and employee at Erin's café. Ella was nearly beaten to death by her abusive ex-boy friend and over the last two books, Ella has faced demons large and small to regain her independence and self confidence.

Andrew Copeland, Erin's brother in-law, has been waiting. Waiting for the time when he and Ella could have their try at love. He is a gorgeous man with no lack for female companionship, but none of them has been the one he really wants. Ella is the one with his heart.

Now, it is finally time. Time for these two to dive in and either sink or swim.

Although Ella and Cope are the focal point of this story, all of the previous major characters' stories are advanced. Erin is at the end of her pregnancy and her health is at risk. One of her husbands, Ben, still has significant issues with his father over his lifestyle choice. Erin's brother Brody is getting married to Elise. And her rock star brother, Adrian, dreams of being with his family rather than the road. So, it's not just the story of Andy and Ella. It's the story of a family.

The first half of this story I wept. It was such a romantic story, it read like a love letter. I just cried and cried for Ella as she was swept off her feet by Cope. I blushed and grinned during all the lusty sex-filled scenes. And then the tension came. More than once I wanted to chuck my kindle at the wall because of frustrating choices. The tension got so thick I am sure the fingernail imprints in my leather cover are now permanent.

Ms. Dane wrote such a multi-dimensional world that I fell right into the story and felt each joy, each stomach clench, each shiver, each sigh. I love when an author can do that. I love to be unable to put my kindle down.

Inside Out is a fast-paced story of love, family and friends who are all survivors in one way or another. Their love shines off the page and permeates every moment. Enjoy!
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BOOK INTERVIEW on December 2010
Q: What prompted the idea for the Brown Siblings' series?

Originally I'd planned to write a book with three interconnected novellas, one for each sibling. But when I started writing Erin's novella (Book 1 in the series, LAID BARE), I knew her story would be too big to do justice to in 30K words.

I'd always planned to give each sibling a story, I wanted that Seattle connection. I love it here, love the art and music scene and I wanted to try to capture that flavor in this series. And then Ella just needed her HEA and who better to give it to her than Cope?

Q: In INSIDE OUT, I noticed that once again the heroine is a survivor. And this time, it's someone fans of the Brown Sibling series will recognize—Ella. What drew you to using females who had survived different forms of harm at the hands of men?

First and foremost, each woman in the series is a survivor. They've been through some rough times, rougher than many can imagine, but they all came back from it and refused to let life beat them. For Elise (heroine of Book 2, COMING UNDONE), it was her child and her need to give Rennie a better life. Rennie was her reason for getting up every day until she could make it about herself. For Erin, it was her family, and for Ella, it was her way of thumbing her nose at her ex.

I love the strength of each woman in the series and that's really the core of their character. I didn't write them to have issues, it's just that everyone has issues in one way or another and these ladies have been dealt a far bigger challenge than most. All kinds of people deserve a HEA!

Q: Cope, the hero, has been the background playboy up until now. What prompted his change?

Without a doubt, it's Ella. She sees him straight to the bone. He can't NOT be Andrew with her because she wouldn't allow anything else. He loves that, appreciates that. In time he begins to crave the way she understands him. Love like that can change anyone.

Q: Why are Cope and Ella perfect for each other?

As I said above, it's really that each of them sees the other so clearly. With Ella, Cope can be romantic and artistic and be accepted and loved. With Cope, Ella can be safe and cherished, but also have her independence intact. They understand each other, accept each other and really in the end, that a person who gets you the way no one else can is glorious.

Q: I loved how Cope and Ella sent each other special packages. Was there something specific that inspired this idea for the couple?

My husband used to send me these little packages and letters. Filled with flotsam and jetsam from his day to day life. Getting a handwritten letter these days is even more special than it used to be. In the age of cell phones, texting, DM and the internet, getting a letter or a package like the ones Cope and Ella sent to each other means that person took just a little extra time for you. It felt very romantic to me, a way to woo and connect that was not the usual, but could also show quite intimately, just how they were falling for the other.

Q: How is it that Cope is so close with his friends and family and yet, they fail to notice his hobbies and passions?

I think it's quite easy to take your family and friends for granted. They're in your life every day and they fill a certain spot in a group. It's not that they don't love him, or don't care about Cope, but he's the kind of person who shows his love and caring by making things easy for other people. He spent his life letting other people be the special one, or the smart one, whatever. It just took him a while to find his footing and for Ella to believe in him.

Q: Cope's brother, Ben, is in a polyamorous marriage with Erin Brown (who is also Ella's boss) and Todd, Ben's long-time best friend. Why have some people been quick to accept their unconventional situation and others are still quite upset?

That's life. It's why I rarely write ménages in a contemporary setting because while we are a forward thinking group in so many ways, sexuality is still an area people have trouble with. It is absolutely unrealistic of me to think that in situation like Ben, Todd and Erin's that someone's family isn't going to have trouble accepting and dealing with it. For Ben's mom, it's about putting aside her own judgment to see how happy her son is. For his dad, that's not possible. I don't think he's alone and I didn't think it would be very good world building of me to ignore the realities like that.

It's not so much a "message" as it is, what I consider to be basic writing – it's part of the contemporary world so I included it. Family isn't perfect. Love isn't perfect. We need to work to be the best we can be to the people who matter to us and sometimes that means putting aside our own ego to simply realize your children are your children, even if they have a lifestyle you don't agree with.

Q: The whole series seems very family-oriented. How do Cope and Ella's families play a role in their lives?

Family is important. Your connections to other people, people who've seen you at your very worst and love you anyway, love you for your flaws as well as your perfections, is a huge part of what makes you whole, at least IMO.

There's really no better way to see a character than through the eyes of people they love the most and who love them.

Ella's family loved and supported her through her tough times, but she's afraid she's disappointed them by no longer being the person she was before she was attacked. But they're still her safe harbor, much like Erin and her group of friends are.

Cope, well he's got this large community of friends he's made into his chosen family, but he's also close to his brother (and gets closer to in the book) and his parents. He desperately wants his father to see what he's missing by being estranged from his children.

Family, whether it's the family of your choice like this group of friends, or the one you're born with can be a huge source of comfort and love, of judgment when you need a kick in the pants and understanding. This is what Cope and Ella find in each other as well.

Q: Rock star Adrian Brown, Erin and Brody's brother, is still such a mystery to me. What motivates Adrian these days? What is it his heart really desires?

Adrian is a driven guy in his own way. He wanted to make it in the music industry and he did. Then Erin lost Adele and things sent them all reeling for a while. He built back up and has never been more successful than he is now. He's the baby of the siblings. He's taken care of his brother and sister in many ways over his life, but he knows finding his own woman will be a totally new challenge. He loves his family and his friends and he wants his own happy ever after.

He has never been in love. Not really. When it happens, and it will, he's going to be knocked for a loop because love is a whole new thing for him. He's going to have to work in ways he's never imagined and it's really fun to write it, I have to admit.

Q: Elise and Brody, the main characters in the second book COMING UNDONE, get married in this book. What do the ballerina and tattoo artist dance to?

Kings of Leon, The Face – I listened to a lot of Kings of Leon when I wrote COMING UNDONE, they're a band who really communicates the sort of smoke and emotion I associate with how Brody feels about Elise. The Face is off their most recent CD, I can totally see them dancing to it, under the starry sky, with eyes only for each other.

Q: Raven, Brody and Erin's friend (when she is in the mood), is such an enigma. I have to admit, I don't care for her too much and I think people let her get away with more than they should. Why does Raven act as non-politically correct as possible?

Raven is always Erin's friend, it's not about mood, it's simply the truth. Raven is a really complicated person, but there's no doubt that she was there when Erin and Brody needed her. She gave up over a year of her life to take over at the tattoo shop when Erin was dealing the hospital and then the trial of the man who killed her child. She is loyal in a way few people are.

At the same time, she does not have filters. It's not about political correctness at all, she's just, well she's sort of feral in a lot of ways. She's impulsive and doesn't tend to use manners, which is why many don't like her. She can be sullen and bitchy and generally unpleasant, LOL. She was never really "civilized" like most people are when they're raised.

She's got an immensely dark and twisted back story and I very much want to tell it because it's not possible to really understand why she is the way she is unless you know her history.

Q: Raven pops in and out of town at will, stirring stuff up or surprising me with a sensitive, kind gesture. Does Raven actually have a home of her own somewhere or is she flitting around the country driving women all over crazy?

She has some home bases – Seattle, Los Angeles, Nashville and sometimes Boston. She's got apartments in Seattle and Los Angeles because that's where she's at most of the year, and in other cities, she house sits or stays with friends.

Q: I have to say, I love how you have managed to move all the characters' story lines forward while at the same time having a very full, rich story for Ella and Cope. How do you do each plot justice and keep the book at such a reasonable length?

I consider this series to be my own spin on the family saga (obviously it's not multi-generational, but it does follow the story of this group/family as a whole as they all find love, create family, etc, over the course of many years). Each book is really at heart about the love story of the main characters, but they have context in a larger sense and that is most definitely their friends and family and what is going on in their lives.

It's just a matter of finding the balance and making sure the heart of the love story is given the right weight in comparison to other story threads.

This group of people, they're so connected that it's easy enough for me to have them be a real presence in each others' lives, but at the same time, that means I need to keep my focus on the journey the heroine and hero take, too.

Q: For a fun question, if Brody gave you a tattoo, what would it be?

An infinity symbol with my anniversary date and my children's birthdays all scrolled into it.

Q: What can we expect next in this series?

NEVER ENOUGH is the final book in the series and it's out in September 2011. It's Adrian's book and you can see the full blurb for it at my website! After that, I'm starting a new contemporary erotic romance series with Heat that will spin off from Adrian and Gillian's book!


Lauren Dane is giving away a copy of any book in her backlist, including INSIDE OUT!

Mechanics of the contest:


You can do either or both of the following to enter the drawing:

1.Post a comment or question to Lauren in the comment box below (2 chances to win) from now to December 31, 2010; AND/OR
2. Check out our contest page for the book INSIDE OUT from December 15 to 17 to enter your email address (1 chance to win).

The winner will be announced in the comment box on January 2.
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