Crave by Jennifer Dawson ~ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the What Do You #Crave tour! This was quite the intense read and I enjoyed every moment of being in this world. Check out mu thoughts and enter the giveaways below!!

Title: Crave
Author: Jennifer Dawson
Series: Undone #1
Genre: Erotic Romance
Published: June 1st 2015

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I vow. I crave. I give in.

I used to be a nice, normal girl. I had dreams. Good, happy dreams of a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, and a fairytale love that lasts forever. Nobody ever warned me that sometimes, the prince dies three weeks before the wedding.

Like any addict, I swear this time is the last….

Now, I go through my days, a shadow of my former self. I pretend I’m okay, and the people in my life pretend to believe me. But, sometimes, when I can no longer stand the craving, I roam an underground sex club looking for my next hit. It’s dirty and wrong, but I can’t stop, and my only line of defense between them and me, is the rules I’ve designed to keep me safe. The men always abide by my rules. Until I meet him.

And, like any addict, I’m wrong.

I don’t question the instincts that tell me to run. One look at him, standing there, power radiating off him in waves, tells me all I need to know. He will make me crave those happy dreams I’ve left behind. And that is not an option.

When I picked up Crave, I expected my emotions to be affected, but I didn’t expect to feel the utter devastation and loss that Layla had to deal with and in doing so, she never recovered. It was a heartbreaking and eye opening read, and I am glad that I was able to see Layla rebuild and recover from the event that shattered her life.

Layla is a shell of the person that she once was and I slowly learned pieces of what happened the night her fiancé was torn from her life. She is struggling to move on and is unable to satisfy her cravings when she visits the sex club. When she locks eyes with Michael, she knows that he is the one she has been looking for, and even though she wants him, she is afraid to let him in.

Michael is the dominant type and I could see that he wanted Layla and knows what she needs. He pushed Layla to do things outside of her comfort zone, but he was gentle in doing so. Just simple things like going on a date and having conversations were hard for her after being alone for so long. I really liked his gentle side, and Michael slowly coaxed details from Layla and slowly she was able to relax.  

Layla and Michael’s relationship grew throughout the story, despite Layla’s hesitations. She was not ready to let go of her fiancĂ© and tried everything to keep Michael away. At times she would fight with Michael and she frustrated me with her arguments, but he was patient and just waited for her to make her own decisions. However, once Michael and Layla took the next step, the sex was intense and there was no doubt about who was in charge! It wasn’t conventional in any way and exactly what Layla needed.

Crave is the first book in Jennifer Dawson’s new Undone series and I think she has done a beautiful job writing this book and piecing all the difficult elements together. The characters have flaws and struggle with their emotions, and they both have great family support around them. There were a few secondary characters that we met that I am keen to see more of, especially Jillian and Leo. Crave is an intense and touches on the world of BDSM, so if you like that kind of read snap this beauty up, you will not be disappointed!   

Complimentary copy provided by the Author in exchange for an honest review.

Chapter One Excerpt:
Eleven P.M.

Two months. Five days. Twenty-one hours.
It’s my new record although I have no sense of accomplishment. No, I’m resigned as I walk down the dark, deserted alley. The heels of my knee-high, black patent boots click against the cracked concrete in echo of my defeat. The distant sounds of the bass thuds in my ears in time to the heavy beat of my heart.
My own personal staccato of failure.
I’m not sure why it’s always a surprise. Maybe because, at first, my conviction is so strong. By now my pattern is long and established—I vow, I crave, I give in.
Rinse. Repeat.
But, like any good addict, I always swear this time is the last.
Of course, I try. My therapist has given me “management tools” to get me through the hard times, and like a good patient, I follow her instructions to a tee—I meditate, do yoga, and write all my crappy feelings in the journal she insists I keep.
Only, it’s backfired and become part of the ritual. When the cycle starts, it’s a matter of time before I end up here.
I’m sure when John brought me to this underground club the first time, he’d never envisioned I’d be back on my own, wandering through the crowds, looking for my next fix. The club reminds me of him, and I wish I could go somewhere else so I wouldn’t be confronted with my betrayal, but I don’t have a choice. There aren’t ads for places like this. Or maybe there are and I don’t know where to look.
Swift and sudden, anger clogs my throat, and for a split second I hate him for changing me so irrevocably, and leaving me so permanently. Fast on the heels of anger, the guilt wells, so powerful it brings a sting of tears to my eyes. In the pockets of my black trench coat, my nails dig crescents into my palms.
I push away the emotions. Exhaling harshly, my breath fogs the air as I spot a hint of the red door that signals both my refuge and my hell. I hear the muffled hum of music that will crescendo once I’m inside to pump through me like a heartbeat.
My pace quickens along with my pulse.
As much as I hate giving in, I can’t deny my relief. Once I step through that door, I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to be normal.
The tension, riding me all day, distracting me in meetings, making me wander off in the middle of conversations, ebbs. A twisted excitement slicks my thighs as the bare skin under my skirt tingles.
I haven’t bothered with panties. It makes things easier, quicker. Less about getting off and more about taking care of business.
I have on my usual club fare: short, black pleated skirt that leaves a stretch of thigh before my stockings start. A sheer, white silk blouse that’s unbuttoned low enough to show the lace of my red demi-bra. My lips are slicked with crimson and my dark chestnut hair is a tumble of shiny waves down my back.
My outfit is carefully orchestrated. I leave as little to chance as possible.
No leather or latex. I’m not into bondage. Chains and rope do nothing but leave me cold. Once upon a time I loved to be restrained by fingers wrapped tight around my wrists, digging into my skin, but now I can’t handle even a hint of being bound.
I reveal plenty of smooth ivory skin, my clue to guys into body modification or knife play to stay away. I like fear, but not that kind. I want my bruises and scars hidden away, not worn like a badge of honor for the world to see.
My wrists and neck are free of jewelry so the Masters don’t confuse me with a slave girl. I tried that scene once, thinking all their hard play and intense scenes would focus my restless energy and make me forget, but there is no longer anything submissive about me.
I don’t want to obey. I want to fight.
Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from

DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later, they’re married and living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog.

Despite going through a light FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is history.

These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer, writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband.

1 US Winner will receive gift basket that contains a signed copy of CRAVE
Prize package contains:

Decorative reusable storage trunk
Signed copy of CRAVE
$25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
4 Premium Chocolate Truffles
Argan Oil Sugar Scrub w/shower scrunchie
Pink & black Pillar Candle
Black & Pink Chalk Board Flower Pot
Hanging chalk board
Candle Holder with pink sparkly battery votive

3 INT/US winners will receive an e-Copy of CRAVE


  1. Thank you for hosting Naomi I am so happy you enjoyed this as well. I cannot wait for Sinful

  2. Not my kind of read these days, but I'm glad you liked it so much ;)

  3. A book that devastates you is always a good thing. With all the reading we do, books like this are becoming more and more rare.

  4. I read some truly wonderful reviews of this one :) And that cover is unforgettable :) So glad you enjoyed, Naomi!

  5. Great Review Naomi! Michael sounds like a character that I would love. The fact that he is so patient and gentle with Layla after what she's been through would win me over! This sounds like an emotional, and was as sexy and passionate read!!!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  6. Books that can draw that emotion are the best.

  7. It sounds like it's heartbreaking. Not into erotica but I am glad you liked the read :)

  8. My pleasure Kimberly! Looking forward to more!

  9. I agree. I like one that can take you by surprise at times!

  10. I did, thanks Ramona. And I love the cover too!

  11. I loved Michael, he was the perfect guy for Layla.... so glad he took his time with her!

  12. They certainly are. They keep you wanting more!

  13. I did enjoy it, these two were great together

  14. Hahaha! Dad's are funny sometimes!
    It was a sexy read, I liked it and am looking forward to more from this world!

  15. Bookworm BrandeeJune 16, 2015 at 2:06 AM

    Of course, I completely agree with your thoughts on Crave, Naomi! ;) I thought Dawson did an incredible job of delivering this story. Layla's been through some tough times and I got irritated with her at one point. I thought it was hilarious that she ended up irritating herself. :) And Michael - yes a dominant but one who was definitely gentle with Layla when she needed it. He really did know how to give her what she needed. I really can't wait for the next book! (oh, and I love it when you and I have read the same book and can talk about it! LOL)

  16. Haha! Yes it is a plus when we read the same books.
    Michael was such a great character. I liked how patient he was and was willing tho take his time with Layla. Looking forward to more from this series!!

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