Thursday, June 28, 2018

Release Blitz: Auctioned by Cara Dee (Excerpt+Reviews)

Auctioned by Cara Dee

Title: Auctioned
Genre: Gay Romance
Pairing: Crime/Suspense

Amazon US  |  Amazon CAN  |  Amazon AUS  |  Amazon DE   |  Amazon UK


Gray Nolan’s biggest problem in life was the torch he carried for his closeted coach. He was just another happy-go-lucky dude, a college student and hockey player, when his ordinary existence was interrupted, and he became a human trafficking statistic.

He and seven other young men were taken aboard a luxurious yacht where they were to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Gray was beaten, shattered, and almost defeated by the time his buyer stepped out of the shadows in a swirl of his own cigarette smoke.
He was Gray’s new owner.

Darius Quinn had vowed never again to find himself in a situation like this. His days as a private military contractor were over. No more missions, no more risks, no more personal attachments. Yet, here he was, after weeks of searching, face-to-face with his broken prize.
It was time to get the knucklehead back to his family.

Quick and easy was Darius’s plan.

Then everything went sideways. 


They were saving Gray for last.
With each guy they hauled out of the room, he grew more despondent and withdrawn. He’d managed to get on his feet again, but he could barely move without an explosion of hurt unfurling inside him. So he stood silent, face impassive and smeared with blood, eyes unseeing, as another guy was up.
The worst part was when they screamed wherever they were. Gray guessed a deck or two above him.

Were they getting raped yet?

He knew it was coming.

He stiffened as the door opened once more, and this time, it was Cole’s turn. His features were set; he’d braced himself for whatever was to come. Or so Gray hoped. He couldn’t imagine any of them had a clue what they were in for.

Least of all Gray. Were they gonna kill him? He’d watched enough movies to know what “make an example of someone” usually meant.

Milo was next, and he looked pleadingly at Gray. “Please do something,” he whimpered. “I’ve never—I can’t—please, Gray. P-please!”

Gray clenched his jaw and said nothing, because what the fuck could he do? The door was shut, leaving him alone. He listened. He couldn’t not listen. Compelled and beating himself up, he strained his ears to hear every torturous plea.

It was quiet for some time, and then…then the screaming began. It mingled with muffled sobs and sharp, choking sounds. And low rumbles of laughter. There was even applause. Gray’s stomach revolted and tightened. Nausea crept higher and higher. Milo was being abused, and low-life perverts found that funny.

The world became a dark place for Gray. Hope had dwindled enough that he couldn’t see it anymore. He lost faith in humanity and sent a glance skyward as his eyes welled up. Mom, I love you. Gage, Gideon, Gabriel, Aiden, Isla, the little niece or nephew I never got to meet…I love you, and I’m sorry.

When the door was opened a final time, Gray was resigned. Benny stood there with sinister glee in his eyes, and of course, the brute wanted his fun, too. Gray accepted two fists to his face before he fell back against the wall, pain spreading like wildfire. Memories from better times that had been rolling past slowly gained speed as if he somehow knew time was running out.

Two men had to support Gray’s weight on the way out of the cabin. His head hung, flickers of memories battling against fatigue and hurt. He couldn’t see where they were going, and when they encountered a set of stairs, he stumbled and lurched. He focused on the faces of his family. Mostly, Mom and his three brothers. The recent additions were his stepdad—Aiden—his daughter Isla, and Isla’s fiancé, Jack. Gray loved the expansion of their family. The day he’d learned Isla was pregnant, he’d been so fucking thrilled. Now he’d never get to spoil his niece or nephew. 

Something warm trickled down his face. He didn’t know if it was blood or tears. Maybe a combination of both.

Gray was shoved into a large room, and the first glance with blurry vision made it look empty. Then he blinked and noticed there were booths along the far wall. The lighting was poor and focused on the middle, shadows cast everywhere. And he didn’t care anymore. He gave up registering things.

“Your toy, sir,” Benny said gruffly.

Vanya approached from the sidelines with a playful little smile, and the meatheads dropped Gray in the middle of the floor. He swallowed hard, his bleary gaze getting stuck on spots of red on the gray carpet. Once he saw a couple splatters, he noticed more. They were all over the center of the floor. Blood, then blotches of darker gray—maybe tears, sweat. Semen. The room reeked of it. A long silk robe came into view, the red fabric dancing around Vanya’s feet. He squatted next to Gray and patted his head.

“There, there.” Vanya’s voice was still angelic and impossibly sweet. “Maybe we’ll get to play more in another life. Mother said you’re a bit of a moron.”
Jesus, he was deranged.

Red sauntered closer, her thin metal cane ready to be used if needed. She didn’t treat Gray as gently. Fisting his hair, she yanked him up on his knees, to which he hissed through clenched teeth.

They faced the darkened booths.

“Dear guests,” Red purred, “I value my customers more than anything, and I would never lie to you.” She slid the cane under Gray’s chin, lifting it slightly. “This young man is more trouble than he’s worth. Should you make a bid, you need to know you’ll be getting a mouthy, rebellious hellion.” With a sharp rap of the cane against his stomach, she ordered Gray to stand up.

He did so on wobbly legs. He’d reached his limit for torture for the moment and didn’t want another bruise to his name.

“If there are no buyers on this animal,” Red continued, “I’ll offer him up as a treat for anyone and everyone—provided that you don’t take him to your staterooms. He’ll be available here in the central den throughout our journey.” She paused. “Now. Let’s see if there are any takers first. Starting at two hundred thousand, this wild boy could be yours. He’s got gorgeous skin that scars nicely, doesn’t he?” She shifted the cane along Gray’s torso, and he swallowed against the vomit that rose. “As you can see on the menu, he is twenty-one years old and built for hot, sadistic grapples. He’s six feet tall, weighs in at one hundred and eighty-nine pounds, and has the temper of an Irishman. If you keep him chained, he could bring you immense pleasure for years.”

Gray steadied his breathing. Aside from a few barely there sounds of rustling and a throat clearing here and there, he wouldn’t know there were people sitting in the booths.
“Lovely abs…” The whisper came from Vanya. Gray had almost forgotten him. Then the psycho kid from hell was tracing the muscles on his lower stomach. “My last toy called them come gutters.” He giggled in delight.
Gray shuddered.

Someone coughed. “Two hundred.” That someone was British and had a meek voice.
“Ah, we have a bidder.” Red sounded both surprised and pleased. “Two hundred—”


Gray swung his tired gaze to the corner, the first booth there, and tried to see who it was. That man’s voice was like low thunder doused in whiskey.

“Two hundred and seventy-five,” the Brit said impatiently.
“Three hundred.”

“Well, well,” Red purred. “Three hundred for the handsome Mr. B.”

The British man got irritated. “Three hundred and twenty.”


Red ordered Gray to kneel again, and he merely dropped.
There was an insufferable huff coming from the booth where Gray believed the British man sat, but nothing else.

Gray didn’t know what to think. This was his life. His freedom. Yet, two men were bidding on it. It was incomprehensible.

“Going once,” Red said in a teasing tone. After a pause, it was made clear. “Mr. B, the heathen is yours. We hope to enjoy your show.”

Oh fuck. Gray connected the dots. The auction was through, and once his life was no longer his own… It’d happened to the other guys. Eventually, he’d heard most of them scream in terror and agony.

A large man stepped out of the shadows in a swirl of his own cigarette smoke. Gray’s eyes flicked between his briefcase, bespoke suit, and cut jaw. The rest was hazy. He couldn’t focus. A headache was beginning to pull him under, and it was gonna be a big one. Mr. B didn’t speak. Under the low light, his brown hair took on a lighter shade.

A stool appeared, delivered by a goon who quickly backed off. The man who now supposedly owned Gray set his briefcase on the stool and flicked open the lid.
Red and Vanya backed away, too.

Gray had lost all his strength. He remained kneeling on the floor and averted his gaze. This was it.

Mr. B approached and stood before a defeated Gray. There was a grip on his jaw, and Gray was forced to look up. His double vision prevented him from registering anything other than a set of hazel eyes brimming with severity and determination. He swallowed weakly as the man dipped and leaned in close. There was a whisper in Gray’s ear.

“Forgive me.”

A heartbeat later, Gray took a hard blow to the temple that shot his head sideways and knocked him out.

5 stars 

This read was extremely emotional for me. The prologue captured my interest immediately and I could not put this book down until I finished.

There is so much to say about this book that is so hard to put into words. It was emotional, brutal and left me completely raw. I felt so connected to Gray and I struggled with how dark this book got sometimes. Even so, it was incredible. Very well-written and the depth that this author went with the writing was captivating.

The plot was dark but fascinating. It kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat. I am eager to read more from Gray and Darius and many of the side characters as well. The way the author set up this story and how much detail we got, I am sure the next book will be just as good!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

5 Stars!

Ok, so I don’t even know what to say about this book or where to start to describe how great it was. But every single part of this book fascinated me. I loved every minute of it. I ended up reading the entire book straight through without setting it down because I was so pulled in and invested in what these characters were dealing with. I didn’t want it to end. And I am devastated that I have to wait for book two to still be written in order to get more of Gray’s story with Darius, I just want my hands on it now. This book was Absolutely Amazing overall and the writing, plot, and storyline were outstanding.

This book is not a romance and doesn’t really end with a HEA. It’s more of a happy for now with the idea that they might, just maybe get a happy ending in the future. So if you're looking for that HEA this won’t really be the book for you. And, although this book technically doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, it is very obvious that the story is not finished and there will be one or more books in order to see the full story play out. There are also a few things written in that are a little dark and depraved that may pose as “triggers” for some people. Nothing truly happens on-page but there are some things in this book that were really hard to read and hear, it is all just written in so well, though.

I have a few thoughts and questions running through my head about the background of the story and how Gray initially gets taken. (Like how did they find him and know who he was? And how did they know his name before they even took him?) But I think we just have to wait for the next books to get some resolution on those things. The book starts off with some back and forth between the past leading up to being taken, and the present of already being held captive which I thought was a great way to start the story off. The stuff that happens to the boys Gray meets along the way will just chip away at your heart one piece at a time and leave you horrified and in tears. This book will rip your heart out and leave you hanging, begging for more, because I totally am. I NEED MORE. I cannot wait to see where the next book takes us on the journey with these men. Though I couldn’t help but think while reading this book; what would you do if you were in their position? Would you need to save everyone else, or just save yourself? Omg. And could you make the hard decision to “take someone out” to ease their suffering? God. Idk if I could do what Darius did.. But, that being said I still hope *fingers crossed* that we not only get more of Gray and Darius together, because although Gray ends up with an odd sort of dependent and slightly Stockholm-like relationship with Darius, I still think they would be great together. They need each other. But also hope that we get more info and details on the boys that were held with Gray, that they are able to find the missing ones. And that they take down the whole operation so those bastards get the horrible karma coming to them that they deserve.

Bottom line... I’m really impressed with this book. I loved it and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants something darker and totally out of the norm of traditional type romances. 

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

4 stars

Auctioned is the first book in a new series. It's about Gray Nolan, who is a normal hockey playing college student that gets kidnapped and as the story title implies, is auctioned off, and Darius Quinn, an ex-private military contractor who is sent to save him.

Gray is a headstrong character which I liked. There were moments it seemed like he would break but he didn't, which left me very impressed. I loved his smart mouth and attitude. I was not very fond of Darius at the beginning but he grows on you.

This book was dark. It has rape, torture, human trafficking, and abuse. Definitely not a book for the soft-hearted but overall, a good book. The ending left off on a slight cliffhanger which makes me very anxious for the next part.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***

About Cara:

I'm often stoically silent or, if the topic interests me, a chronic rambler. In other words, I can discuss writing forever and ever. Fiction, in particular. The love story—while a huge draw and constantly present—is secondary for me, because there's so much more to writing romance fiction than just making two (or more) people fall in love and have hot sex. There's a world to build, characters to develop, interests to create, and a topic or two to research thoroughly. Every book is a challenge for me, an opportunity to learn something new, and a puzzle to piece together. I want my characters to come to life, and the only way I know to do that is to give them substance—passions, history, goals, quirks, and strong opinions—and to let them evolve. Additionally, I want my men and women to be relatable. That means allowing room for everyday problems and, for lack of a better word, flaws. My characters will never be perfect.

Wait…this was supposed to be about me, not my writing.

I'm a writey person who loves to write. Always wanderlusting, twitterpating, kinking, and geeking. There's time for hockey and cupcakes, too. But mostly, I just love to write.


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