Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Stay for Me by Carlene Love Flores Blog Tour

One night to finally make it right before it all gets torn apart…

Two years ago, best friends Emma Chester and Sam Jason tried being intimate.
Due to Sam’s massive size, it didn’t work. Embarrassed, they did their best to move on. Now the day has come where Emma must suspend Sam as a dancer at the club they work at, awakening the buried pain of that one night.

Sam has seen this day coming but is shocked when Emma asks him to strip for her just once before he leaves the club. Allowing himself to feel for her again is too dangerous but she’s clearly not in her right mind and needs him.

Can he maintain his restraint and help her? When she hands him his uniform to strip out of, is she handing him her heart? Or is it too tattered to ever belong to him again?

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Book 1
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There was something about this room she hated.

And very little else to do inside besides be together. Which he was sure she also must hate after the way he’d hurt her before.

He had one word for her and feared like a little girl that saying it would be the one thing to push her away for good. But he had to say it.


This wasn’t a place to enter on the premise that you trusted a person. You either went in here not caring a damn about what might happen, like most of the show patrons he’d brought, or fully aware and in control of yourself. No in between. Sam had watched her toe the line throughout their entire conversation.

“I won’t take you in there. You’re not ready. Don’t be stubborn and ask me how I know that. I just do.”

“It’s not up to you right now.” Her lips stopped speaking and it was clear that was the last thing she would say until he either followed her in or left her in the hallway, alone.

Like fire that realized it was on dry ground and free to burn, the thought of being in there with her jolted his body awake. Years old, buried and desperate desire, came out of hiding. He would put himself through hell to be able to have her and not hurt her. But standing directly behind Emma as she unlocked and opened the black door, he saw how he still engulfed her.

From her petite shoulders came a giant heave as she took the first step inside.

In that instant, he knew she was wrong. He could and should choose not to go inside, but he did have something to show her. That she was safe when they were together. He couldn’t believe that was what this had turned into but found some small ground to stand on and be thankful. He wouldn’t piss this opportunity away. A man took responsibility for his actions, no matter how far in the past they’d happened and how much time he’d spent racking up distance, hiding. Sam would be the ambassador of control and restraint once they were on the other side of this door.

He had to prod her forward the next step. And the next, which set off a mile-long trail of red flags.

He waited and let her be the one to turn and close the door.

As soon as he heard it click, he slid his hands inside the tight pants pockets and held them there.

The room was dark and chilly; her breathing echoed in his ears. He went in search of the light switch. The low bulb setting purposely only lit the room one shade lighter but it was enough to see the shadow dampening her pretty face.

“Okay,” she said out loud, like she was her own coach. “Okay.”

“We’re out of here, Emma. Now.”

She held up her small hand and he’d have latched onto it had his hands been available. “No. We’re not leaving. I’m fine. I just needed a second,” she said. That wasn’t her “I’ve got this” voice. She was acting and not doing a very bang-up job of it.

Sam had no choice but to touch.

He fumbled around and found her other hand and took it into his, receiving an instantaneous jolt of comfort. He hoped he affected her the same way but couldn’t be sure. She was awfully still.

Emma looked at the neon hands of the wall clock. “We have one hour before the second show lets out,” she said.

“I’m assuming you have some plan, Emma.” God, please tell him she had a plan. Because the only one he had was to let go and keep his hands to himself, no matter what.

She stared through him and scanned the near nothingness of the room. “I do. I do have one. I want you to strip for me, Sam.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Emma and Sam have been friends for a long time, best friends. They tried to be more once but it didn't work out so the sex department. He is working as a stripper at Club Mantasy, while she manages the dancers. They are constantly together and her feelings have never lessened for him, she still wants Sam but can they make it work physically between them?

I liked the premise of the story, the execution was a little off for me. I understand the best friend aspect but the S room thing threw me off and Gabe what was his purpose? It was a weird interaction/situation I tried but couldn't get into the story. It was missing that chemistry for me. The best friends want to be lovers but there wasn't a whole lot between them as far as sparks go. Not a bad quick read just not the sexy steamy I think the author was after.

Sultry book. It played out on the flip side. Instead of a woman stripping for money... have mercy it's a man! It was an interesting point of view, and the execution was poor. Instead of hot sex scenes… we got wordy paragraphs. Sam and Emma tried out the sexual relationship but apparently Sam’s large penis size made it hard on Emma. The idea was cute but needed more erotica for the topic. Overall entertainment is three stars.

This had promise, but for some reason didn't just quite hit the spot for me. I liked the idea, even the plot, but somehow the leads were not sufficiently real in my mind. Although they had history, I wasn't convinced of the chemistry. Interesting read due to the spotlight being turned on a male stripper, female manager.

Mary Jo☆☆☆
I really enjoyed the premise of this book, but I felt that it didn't quite deliver. The chemistry between Emma and Sam just wasn't there for me.

The heat factor in this book is there but not off the charts.

Stay for Me was an enjoyable read about two friends overcoming emotional and physical obstacles so that they could take that final step to move past friendship into more. Because Ms. Flores made it clear that Sam and Emma had been the closest of friends for over a decade and having spent a lot of the time living together as Emma’s parents took Sam in when he was 13, their history was built into the story so that the reader isn’t left with a feeling of insta-love between the two. In fact, their thoughts about one another make it quite clear that there is a significant depth of love between the two. It is because of their connection that Sam can read Emma so well when she makes a proposal for the night’s events. But because he’s unaware of certain events, he mistakenly assumes that his size and their previous botched attempt an intimacy are the cause of her discomfort. When Emma is finally able to explain to Sam why it is that the S room bothers her so much, he agrees to do as she asks and help her replace the bad memories with good one, with someone she loves and trusts completely.

I have two main issues with Stay for Me, one of which kept it from being a 4-star read and the other did not. The latter issue being that this is a book that suffers from a bad blurb. It’s not so much that the blurb is badly written, but rather that it shortchanges the book by suggesting that it’s about a single night of passion between two friends when it is so much more. The blurb undercuts the significance of the emotional journey Sam and Emma experience during that night and relegates it to the depths of erotica. My other issue – the one that kept it from getting that fourth or possibly fifth star – is that the author jumps from one scene to the next with little warning, leaving the reader to fill in the blank as to how Sam and Emma moved from point A to point C. Based on the characters’ statements, the majority of the book takes place over a just a few hours (maybe three to five) and while I do not need every single detail of the night, there were a couple of times when one chapter ended and the next began that I felt like I had missed some pages – one that comes to mind is when Sam asks her to stay for him and the next thing we know, Emma is on her knees getting ready to embark on her first attempt to please Sam orally. I did page flips back and forth trying to figure out what I missed, and it wasn’t anything I missed but rather a lack of transition.

Shoving those two complaints aside, Stay for Me is a well-written book that I enjoyed spending my time reading. My advice – if you’re looking for erotica, you’re probably not going to find what you’re looking for in Stay for Me. However, if you’re looking for a friends-to-lovers romance where the focus is on the emotional transition, then you may want to check it out. It’s hard for me to say the sex is hot because this was more about two people learning to adjust for a huge size difference so that they could make love – but Ms. Flores does write one seriously hot scene in the final chapter that demonstrates her ability to bring the heat. Stay for Me was a good book and left me looking forward to the next in the series.

Carlene Love Flores is a big fan of the stars (especially Orion), honest music (especially Depeche Mode), and her traveling family (no favorites there-she loves them all). These things inspire her intimate style of romance writing. She feels honored to be a member of Washington DC Romance Writers (WRWDC) and RWA San Diego (RWASD). Carlene currently lives in the San Diego area where she can often be found listening to live music and looking up at the sky on clear nights.  If she could touch someone’s heart with her writing the way others have done for her, she’d say truly there never lived a luckier girl.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Stay for Me (These Three Words #1) by Carlene Love Flores to read and review for this tour.


  1. Good morning :) I just wanted to say how much I truly appreciate the time you all took to read Sam and Emma's story and how much your thoughts mean to me. And thank you so much for sharing it here today. :)

  2. i really enjoy reading all the friends to lovers books


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