Saturday, February 21, 2015

REVIEW: A Desperate Man Vol. 2 by Brooke Blaine and Ella Frank//Q&Awith Brooke and Ella

A Desperate Man: Volume 2
Ella Frank Brooke Blaine

Illusions — we all create them.
For some it’s to project an impressive image to a prospective employer; for others it’s to attract the eye of another.
My illusion is a bit more...complicated.
Years in the making, my secret has the potential to bite me in the ass. And not in the way I typically enjoy.
As women, we’re judged for reveling in the same carnal pleasures that men do, but I’ve never been shy about my voracious appetite.
Now, I’m under no illusions that I’ll find love with any of my one night stands.
After all, I have one rule — no repeats — but it’s a rule that’s becoming harder to follow since Evan James came back into my life.
Did I say back into my life?
My name is Reagan Spencer, and you may think you know me, but...
How well do we really know anyone?

Shel: You know what? I was thinking about Ella and Brooke today as I was pondering how to write this review; I was thinking about how seamlessly they've written these characters--it's nearly impossible to tell where one writer ends and the other begins. I wondered how they go about doing this--I'm very interested in how they wrote this---who wrote what and how do they make decisions about the characters (and on and on and on..I'm very curious). But that's not what you care about, right? You want to know if you should read it and why.




Court: Alright. Take Two. I had a wonderful brilliance (not really) already here, but it didn't save! Damn you blogger! So, where was I. Oh yes. I, like Shel, couldn't tell where one author wrote, at all...their styles blend together so effortlessly...and not only that, but they turned us on our head to give us Reagan's point of view as flawlessly as we got Evan's. And you should definitely read it. This series so far has been fun, engaging, lots of plot, even more heat...I recommend it highly! 

Shel: This book is Reagan's book and we get to know a bit more about her in this installment. Here's what I can tell you: she's every bit as fierce and interesting as I wanted her to be. She makes no apologies for who she is or what she likes (or who she likes to do it with or how often she likes to do it). Another interesting thing to know is that the more you get to know more Reagan, the more you find out about Evan; I wasn't quite expecting the plot to go the way it did and it was a very pleasant surprise (that now has me even more curious than before). As with the first installment of this series, this one leaves you wanting more but never fear, the next book will be out before you know it! Court: She is fierce, and independent, and sexy...she is a career woman who has (until she was shifted a bit by this very mysterious man) made her own way and makes no apologies to anyone. I love the new elements to the story we got...and holy crap...the scene is definitely the pinnacle of this installment and you won't want to wait to read it either!!! Evan in this one has made some strides into being even better than I already thought he was. Even better!!! 

Shel: Some final thoughts--I imagine that writing the middle book in a series must be challenging because you don't want it to drag but you can't put the ending in it either, right? I can assure you that this book did not feel like fluff or a drag--I was very engaged in learning more about Reagan and Evan and I think you will be too. I also love that for such a short read I did not feel short changed at all--it really doesn't read like a novella at all; there are lots of details and the characters are fleshed out. Court: Yes. There are times in a series when one might worry about the middle...we know the beginning, and we don't know the end, so what will be there in the middle. This was just as engaging as the first, and I feel like we know them better. I love these characters, and the writing is beautiful. Thanks Ella and Brooke for a great series! 

Shel: I cannot wait for the next book!

Happy reading~~


Unbeknownst to Court (Hi Court!), I messaged Brooke and Ella about their process in creating this series (I was very curious). They were so kind to humor me and here's what they had to say:

1) Do you both write BOTH characters or do you have a specific character you write? (that goes for the secondary characters too)

Brooke: 100% we write everything together. Instead of splitting chapters or characters, we just tag off every few sentences or whenever inspiration stops. And when I say we write together, we can even see each other typing as we go (google docs is AWESOME) and then we’re constantly chatting as well. It makes me so happy that people say the writing is seamless. We’ve got different styles for sure, but they mesh so well, and I think a lot of it is because we’re such great friends. I’ve worked with Ella for a couple of years now on her books, and a lot of the time I know what she’s gonna write before she writes it. And vice versa.

Ella: We both write BOTH (or should I say ALL) the characters together. Yeah, imagine that, right? That’s a lot of voices for one persons head, that’s why we combine ours. I can’t imagine this is the same for every co-authored duo out there, but for Brooke and I, it works best when we are on the same page with each and every thing our people are doing or saying. That way we don’t have any major disagreements or re-writes to work out later.  

2) Did you decide plot twists and the ending ahead of time or is this happening more organically?

Brooke: This is where we differ—she is a pantser and I’m a plotter. Because this is a joint effort and we have to be on the same page about the characters and what will happen, we do brainstorming sessions the night before we write a chapter. And of course when we start the book, we’ve got the basics of what we want to happen and the main points to hit. I WISH I could write more like she does—she just sits down and starts typing. I tend to scatter all over the place if I don’t have some organization and outlines.

Ella: Ahhh, usually I’m a total pantser. What is that you may’s a person that has no outline because she can’t stick to something to save her life. But, having said that, with this series we definitely sat down and worked out the plot. we came up with the twists and everything that was going to take place in advance. Obviously, due to the hidden twists and gems within each of the characters lives we needed to know why and how things would happen in advance so the final answer is yes, with these books we mapped them out from the get go .

3) Obviously you have to like each other to be able to do this and do it so well, what do you love about co-writing and what do you find challenging?

Ella: I don’t know...she’s a bit of a PITA. Just kidding! Honestly, I’ve known Brooke for nearly two and a half years now, and ever since the first day we met I knew I’d found a friend for life. Sometimes you just click with someone, and the day she wrote a review stating she liked the fact my MC was a strong b*tch, I knew I had to know her. Ever since then she has tirelessly worked behind the scenes with me on every single one of my books and I knew that when she decided to write, if I got the opportunity, I wanted to write with her.
What do I love about co-authoring?? Hmm, that we get to come up with these people and places together. It’s fun creating new scenarios for make believe people. I mean, even as little girls didn’t we all did that with our barbie dolls, right? Now, we just get to do with characters in books!
What do I find challenging? Keeping my mouth shut when it’s her turn. I’m a talker...shocker I know, and to sit silently for any amount of time is next to impossible for me. So yeah, that’s probably the one thing I find challenging. The rest is just a blast.

Brooke: Um, I can’t imagine not talking to that pain in MY ass all day long. She’s just my best friend on the planet and she straight up told me since the very beginning that we were gonna write together so could I please hurry up and finish my solo book so we could get to it, please and thank you. LOL. She’s so bossy! But in the best way—my own personal motivator. I love everything about writing with her. I’ve worked on almost all of her books doing read throughs, critiques, beta, sometimes editing, brainstorming...we’ve just been very involved with each other’s work, so the transition to writing together was really easy. The most challenging thing is that I’m more...deliberate when I write (and by deliberate, I mean slower). I’m so bad about editing what I say as I type it instead of just getting the words out and going back later, so poor Ella sometimes has to sit in silence and watch me stare at my cursor for half an hour until inspiration hits. But that’s also the good thing about co-writing—if I get stuck or she gets stuck, we say TAG! So it usually flows really well.

4) When you are writing and editing are you in constant contact? And do you write in a 'shared' document--my brain is trying to figure out how the heck you did this!!!

Ella: Google docs is a Godsend. So is FACETIME and all technology that Brooke hates so much. She constantly complains about how technology ruins her life, yet at the same time that is what really allows us to work so seamlessly. While we are writing we are in the same doc and talking on the camera.
In a sense we are in our own office for eight hour days, sometimes more, working. It makes it easier for us to be able to explain ourselves with ‘words’ as opposed to trying to text it and losing the tone and getting frustrated with one another….right Brooke??? Ha!

Brooke: LOL...we are in constant contact even when NOT writing, are you kidding? lol. Her poor husband has a second wife he didn’t sign up for, bless his heart. We do write together in a shared folder, and the best thing about google docs is that not only does it back up your work automatically, but you can also WATCH each other as you’re typing. Best.Invention.Ever. Well, besides facetime, which we also do. It’s like being in the same room together and working on the same computer. It helps to be able to talk things out, and it’s also nice to actually interact with another human being since my cat doesn’t talk back. Writing can be long hours and quite lonely, so I’m lucky to have her.

5) Do you sometimes laugh maniacally at things you know the other person is going to DIE when she reads it? Have you surprised each other?

Ella: Umm...I don’t think we’ve surprised each other, but we have died hysterically when discussing specific words we hate and why (especially for sex scenes). Not to mention technicalities such as: where is his hand? Or where was it a second ago? Did he kneel first or undo his belt buckle? These are all important and technical questions. The other thing that has been interesting with this book is the research. Let’s just say we know a lot more about what boys and men will do to pleasure themselves than we ever imagined we would! Think warm banana peels ←-you’re welcome for THAT visual.
Oh, and I’d like to add as a p.s. that Brooke tries to act all sweet and lay the blame on me, but this time around I promise you I am going to highlight all her naughty lines and Fedex them to her mother to prove I’m not the biggest deviant of the two of us. hehehe.

Brooke: We’ve died laughing at things we’ve come up with...does that count? LOL. We write it all together, so there aren’t really any surprises, but sometimes the lines each of us thinks up make us laugh. Ella is filthy and hilarious, so I’m constantly amused. Sometimes she’ll hesitate and say, can I go there? My answer is always YES. YES, GO THERE! It’s fun when our friends try to guess who wrote what. They always think I do the naughtiest lines/actions, but hello, Ella wrote the dirtiest scene ever involving a paint brush in Blind Obsession, so I’m not sure how I got such a bad rap.

Shelley: Thanks so much for humoring me. I've loved this series so far and cannot wait to see what the hell you do next.

Ella: Aww thanks Shelley! So glad you’re enjoying A Desperate Man and that you like us writing together as a duo! There will be plenty more after the conclusion of this series. So buckle in everyone, this team is not going anywhere!!!

Brooke: Thank you so much for reading it and reviewing, Shelley! I’m so happy you’re loving Evan & Reagan, and I hope you enjoy where we take them next. And stay tuned for more from Ella & me in the future...we’ve got some fun surprises up our sleeves.  <3

Enjoy An Excerpt

“Walk with me?” Evan asked.
She gave him a small smile and nodded. “Sure.”
Pushing off the rail, she fell in step with him as they walked along the river’s
“I’d be scared of what you’d see if you looked at me through your lens,” he
“You shouldn’t.”
Evan scoffed and ran his fingers through his hair. “I can’t imagine there’s much
good there…”
“You’d be surprised at what I see.”
That comment had him coming to a standstill. “Would I?”
“Okay,” he said, and started walking again. “Tell me what you see.”
Reagan slid her thumbs down the straps of her camera and cocked her head,
looking him over.
“I see a successful man. One who dresses well, even on a Saturday morning. So
that would indicate to me that he takes pride in his appearance. Maybe cares about what
others think also. The fact that you were leaving a therapist’s office makes me think
you’re a man with some issues, but also a man who is willing to work through them.
Again, that comes back to pride. You seem to be able to swallow yours when need be.”
Evan’s brow furrowed, but he said nothing as she continued.
“You also have a certain…air about you. It’s in the way you move. You’re
confident, but at the same time, when you flash that smile, the arrogance disappears, and
you look like the boy you used to be.”
The smile under discussion appeared, and Evan asked, “How do you know what
kind of boy I used to be?”
“Hey? This is my story,” Reagan reminded him before he continued asking
questions she wasn’t willing to answer.
“Oh, my apologies, I somehow thought it involved me.”
“It does, but you’re on the outside listening, so shh. You asked, remember?”
With a serious face, he nodded. “You would be right.”
“Okay. Now I lost my train of thought.”
Evan chuckled. “Well, it’s probably for the best that you didn’t mention any of
my unappealing attributes.”
“Speaking of…” she said, and turned to walk backward, facing him. “How did the therapy session go today?”
“Really great. There was an orgy, a sampling of sex toys, and a dessert buffet
afterward. Very satisfying.”
He blew out a breath and rubbed the back of his neck. “It was fine. It’s always
fine. Today, Dr. Glover brought up behavior triggers, and it helped to figure out where
this whole mess started.”
Curious, she asked, “And where was that?”
“It wasn’t any one event. It was the high off the power I got from my job, it was
being in an unhealthy relationship…my grandparents passing…the worry about
following in my parents’ footsteps. The further things spiraled out of my control, the
more I craved that control in other parts of my life. Well, a very specific part of my life.”
He glanced over at her before continuing. “Obviously that’s the condensed version, but…I think it helps. Knowing those things and hopefully being able to stop them in the future.”
But the urge isn’t gone?”
The look in his eyes was haunted as he replied, “No. No, it isn’t gone.”

About the Authors

About Brooke
You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas.
Her first solo novel, a romantic comedy, is due out in early 2015, but first, she thought she’d write a raunchy story with her best friend that would scar her conservative southern family for life.
If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.

Brooke’s Links
Brooke Blaine’s Amazon Author Webpage:
Facebook: (Pages) (Personal)
Instagram: @brookeblaine1

About Ella
Ella Frank is a #1 Amazon Bestselling Author. She writes both contemporary and erotic fiction and is best known for her Exquisite Series, and Temptation Series.
The minute she began her love affair with reading, she became and avid supporter of the romance genre and has never looked back.
Ella is Australian born and bred but currently resides in Houston, Texas with her husband.

Ella’s Links
Ella Frank’s Amazon Author Webpage:
Facebook: (Pages) (Personal)
Instagram: @Ellafrank1

Buy Links for A Desperate Man: Volume 1
Amazon US:
iBooks -
Barnes and Noble:
Amazon UK:
Amazon AU:

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