Selling Out

Amber Lin
Selling Out
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Loose Id
Release Date
February 2013
Book 2 of The Lost Girls
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Shelly Laurent escapes her life as a high-class escort, but against her better judgment she takes the scared young Ella with her. In retaliation, her pimp and his dirty cops frame them both for murder. On the run, Shelly turns to the one man who could be her salvation: Detective Luke Cameron. She doesn't know if she can trust him or if he's just a mirage, but she needs his help to free them all.

With a heart forged in fire and irreverence born of necessity, Shelly fights Ella's demons—and faces her own. She throws light on the shadows of Chicago's underworld, challenging everything she knew and the man she's come to love. Together, a prostitute and a cop fight for truth stronger than secrets, hope deeper than deception, and a bond more enduring than betrayal.

Book Review by Rho (reviewer)
Mar 25, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
276 people found the following review helpful
SELLING OUT is the latest book out by the amazing author Amber Lin. This book was raw, dirty, uncomfortable, and at times sickening...and I loved every single minute of it!

Shelly is a hooker, plain and simple. For her own reasons, she's been selling her body for money for the last several years, but now she wants out of the business. Going straight isn't easy however and she's tapped by her pimp to do another job for him, servicing a bunch of businessmen for the night. While there, she meets an underage girl who's out of her element that Shelly names Ella. In a spur of the moment decision, Shelly takes Ella out of the situation, so they run out on the men they are supposed to be entertaining.

In retaliation, Shelly's pimp kills the men and frames Shelly and Ella for the murders. Desperate and in need of help, Shelly runs to the only person she can think of to help her—Luke, a police detective and the only man Shelly wants and cannot have.

But Luke has secrets of his own, one of which is the fact that he wants Shelly as much as she wants him. However, it's more than their professions that are keeping them apart. And as he and Shelly fight to clear her name, they will have to fight to stay alive but will have to fight harder to stay together.

Oh wow. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time. Shelly's story was gut-wrenching. She was just so utterly screwed up, I ached for her. But then I got more of Luke's story and I was just blown away. When I met him before, I didn't particularly care for him because he seemed to act superior to Shelly but that wasn't the case at all. The two of them. Man, they shouldn't have worked, but they just did.

SELLING OUT had this twisting plot that I could get parts of but there was no way I could have figured everything out. I was floored by the end simply because of all the intricacies that Amber Lin had to weave in in order to make it all work. It was simply astounding.

My only, ONLY, complaint about SELLING OUT, and the reason I couldn't give five stars was because I felt like Shelly and Luke were robbed! Robbed, I say. I just didn't feel like they got the romance they both deserved after all their struggle. I wanted to see more of that. I really did!

Still, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. SELLING OUT is the second in the Lost Girl series, but it could be easily read as a standalone. However, if you haven't read the first book, Giving It Up, you should check it out because it was amazing.

And even though I didn't quite love SELLING OUT as much as Giving It Up, I cried, cringed, laughed a little, but mostly I just read in awe of the complete awesomeness that is Amber Lin. She's an amazing writer and she's definitely found a devoted fan in me.
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BOOK INTERVIEW on April 2013
Interview by Rho

Hi Amber! I'm so excited you're here again. I loved talking with you last time. And I'm even more excited to discuss your new book, SELLING OUT.

Hi, Rho! Thanks for having me back.

Q: Let me just get this out of the way: how does it feel to be an ole' pro as a writer? The last time you were here, you were talking about your first published work. Now your second full length novel is published.

I'm not sure I'm a pro yet, but truthfully it blows my mind to have my books published. Doing something that I love, getting to share my characters with my readers, creating something out of nothing—being an author is a trip, that's for sure : )

Q: Once again you've given some unlikely characters their happily ever after. What draws you to the non-traditional types of characters?

A call girl is not de rigueur for a romance heroine, but I feel she deserves love too. The hero Luke is a straight-laced cop, which is more of a standard fare profession, but as his secrets are revealed, he might be one of my most unconventional characters.

What draws me to them… I think the more messed up a character is, the more I want to see them find redemption. The more they've suffered in their pasts, the more I want to give them solace. And the more they believe there's no hope for them, the more I want them to find their happy ending.

Q: SELLING OUT was intense! It was hard for me to read at times. Both Shelly and Luke had some pretty horrific pasts. What types of difficulties did you have, if any, getting their story out?

Thank you! And I'm sorry : )

Even knowing that it will be a dark story going in, I sometimes have to face the temptation to pull my punches. But I fight that, because the Lost Girls series is about the real, the gritty, the raw. Plus every painful moment makes the HEA sweeter!

One of the things that helped was writing a different, much more light-hearted book in between Giving It Up and Selling Out. More on that later…

Q: You've said before you have a soft spot for Shelly, the heroine of SELLING OUT. Why is that?

When I was writing Shelly's character in Giving It Up, I enjoyed every moment she was on the page. I hoped writing her story would be awesome all the way through—and it was! She's so irreverent, so I had a lot of fun exploring her perspective, both her thoughts about the dark underworld and also her warped and almost perversely innocent view on ordinary things. In some ways her experiences give her permission to behave a bit outrageously, but she's such a fierce and loyal friend. I like her lots : )

Q: Tell us more about Luke. What makes him a worthy hero for Shelly?

A hero for Shelly needs to be able to withstand her seduction. While Luke wants her—and badly—his indomitable self-control keeps him in check. Well, mostly. He can't hold her past against her, and while at first she worries that he does, the truth is he accepts her for who she is, not what she's had to do to survive. But I think most of all, he loves her almost beyond bearing. Very important in a world where sacrifices are the price of entry.

Q: How did Luke and Shelly first meet? Please give us a sneak peek.

Luke first noticed Shelly when he did surveillance on Philip as part of an investigation. At the time, she was living with Philip as his mistress of sorts. Luke was drawn to her from the first even though she was basically the enemy. He approached her on the premise of questioning, but he couldn't resist her pull, so he persuaded her to become his informant.

For her part, Shelly was attracted to him, his lean body and stern expression, his principles and his persistence, but she had long ago learned that men only wanted to use her, which seems to be confirmed when the only thing he asks for is information about Philip. In that initial meeting, each person represented what the other feared most, so these two had a hard journey to their HEA.

Q: SELLING OUT had so many suspense-filled twists and shocking revelations. What kind of research went into making the story so believable?

I had done some research on prostitution while writing Giving It Up and had formulated Shelly's story. But when I delved deeper into the struggles that escorts faced, in particular the struggles they faced when they tried to get out of the life, I realized that my old plan gave short thrift to Shelly's situation. So I had to rework it, and I think the book is richer for it.

I got my information about the life from books, memoirs, and other first-hand accounts—not personal experience : ) But I did learn how to use a gun because Shelly does in the book, so I wanted to make sure I got it right! The instructor at the shooting range was amused when I told him why I was there.

Q: The most stand out scene for me, without giving anything away, had to be the scene at the end with Shelly and her father. It made me rage, cry, and lastly throw my fist in the air (in my best "The Legend of Billie Jean" fair is fair imitation) when it was over. It was hard to read, difficult to even fathom, but I know it will stay with me for a long while. Certainly not the happiest scene but definitely a stand out. Please share with us one of your most memorable scenes from SELLING OUT.

Oh no, that was a scary part. Not to give too much away, I had a hard time writing her flashback with him as well.

Let's see… as is typical for me, one of my favorite scenes is a sex scene, particularly a forbidden sex scene that takes place when they aren't supposed to even be in that small file room, much less together.

Here's a short excerpt:

"Tell me to stop." Harsh. Guttural.

"No, no." Against the wall, I spread my arms like some sort of sacrifice, letting his hands and his curses crash over me. "Don't stop."

His hands parted my thighs. "You're going to come for me, unless you stop me."

I'll make him want me. Both of us so determined. He would fuck me, and I would come, and then where would we be? Right here. No future, just sex. Broad fingers opened me for his tongue, pumped inside. I pushed back, halfway there.

I discovered that he swore during sex. I clenched every time, and God help me, he noticed, using it to bring me closer. "So fucking wet," he muttered. "This can't be fake. You didn't lube yourself up before coming to see me, did you?"

That gave me pause, but then his finger reached a spot inside me, and I cried out.

"Shh." He stood up, though his fingers stayed inside me, pressing right there, pushing and pulsing and oh Jesus, right there. His hand covered my mouth, muffling my cries and catching a pool of tears on my cheeks.

"Let go, let go," he muttered against my ear, and I didn't understand. I had come. What more did he want? He explained with his hands, massaging my clit through the aftershocks until suddenly lights burst behind my eyes, and I came again weakly against his palm.

Q: Wow, that was good! I loved getting the back story that we got between Shelly, the heroine of SELLING OUT, and Allie, the heroine of your first book GIVING IT UP. I was actually surprised at how their friendship started and how deep it went. Was that planned from the beginning of the series or did that develop as SELLING OUT was being written? Please tell us more!

Their longstanding and deep-running friendship was conceptualized at the beginning of the series. The glimpses we get in Selling Out of how Shelly helped Allie when she got pregnant laid the foundation for the setup the first book, where she lives nearby and has an aunt-like relationship toward Bailey. However, the specific story of them as children was developed while writing Selling Out : )

Q: SELLING OUT is the second book in the Lost Girls series. I've thoroughly enjoyed both books in the series and I'm looking forward getting more of these characters. What's next for the series?

Thank you so much!

I have a novella with Rose, Philip's sister who makes an appearance in Giving It Up. It's sort of The Lost Girls "lite", in that there's more playful sexiness and less darkness… but hopefully still with that emotional punch.

Then the third and final book will be Philip's. Sorry, I should say (considering the name of the series) that the book will be Claire's, but Philip does have a way of stealing the show whenever possible : )

Q: Now, I love that you write about the edgier, grittier side of romance. But if you were to write in any other genre, what would it be? Why is that?

I have a small town contemporary romance coming out this fall and I am working on the sequel to that. Plus I have a romantic suspense in the works (think Pamela Clare). And in fact I'd love to step into historicals at some point, but I have to admit, I think the dark, gritty contemporaries will always have a special place for me.

Q: Please share with us what is next for you. What should we be looking out for?

The novella from The Lost Girls is coming out this summer, and then my small town romance is scheduled to release from Carina Press in late fall. Next will be Philip's book (no release date set for that yet). You can sign up for my Barely There newsletter, so named because I only send out notices when there's something really big like a new release.

Thank you again for having me! If you guys decide to read Selling Out, I'd love to hear your thoughts via amber @ or on twitter.

Amber, thank you so much for being here. I love that we are able to get your thoughts on this amazing book, SELLING OUT. I can't wait to see what's coming next!


Amber Lin married her high school sweetheart, birthed a kid who's smarter than she is, and spends her nights writing down her dirty thoughts. In other words, life is good. Come say hi back on twitter, through goodreads, or by email at amber @ .



Giving It Up

Selling Out


Amber is giving away 1 copy of GIVING IT UP and SELLING OUT (digital) to one lucky winner! Thanks, Amber!


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