Sunday, January 20, 2013

VBT: Guest Post, Review and Giveaway ~ Test Shot (Hot Shots #1) by Cari Quinn

Cari Quinn is guest posting for me today. Thank you Cari! :D

The magic of music

Thank you for having me here today at Crazy Four Books! :-)

Music is a huge part of my life and it has been since I was a child. A lot of people don’t know that my original dream was to be a singer. My happiest moments were on stage, losing myself in a song. Now I lose myself in books—often others stories, sometimes my own. And one thing that helps facilitate that for me is putting together just the right accompaniment of songs for my story.

TEST SHOT was one of the most difficult books I’ve ever written, as well as one of the easiest. Sawyer came to me with no trouble. I “got” him and he was easy to write about. Layla, I could understand as well. Aidan was harder for me, because his closed-off nature on the page extended to when I was trying to peel back his layers and figure out what had shaped him into the man he’s become.

There were a lot of separate threads running through the book: Layla’s desire to grow as a person and face her fears, Sawyer’s need to remain honest despite the consequences, and Aidan’s fight to maintain the status quo, And then there were the relationship conflicts and connections…and man, you can see where I needed music to assist me with my persnickety characters!

There are two songs in particular that I associate with TEST SHOT. The first, A THOUSAND YEARS by Christina Perri, I had on repeat continuously during a big scene between Layla and Sawyer near the climax of the book and it literally brought me to tears because it so perfectly echoed their emotions. Even now, months after I wrote that scene, that song makes me teary. I know, I know, author sap in the house.

The second song is WANTED by Hunter Hayes. In TEST SHOT, Sawyer is on a one-man mission to show Layla all the amazing things he sees in her. This song is pretty much Sawyer’s theme.

If it seems like I’m leaving out Aidan, not to worry, he’ll be getting his own book. He needs a full novel to explore what’s going on with him—and for the really hot sex he’ll be having, lucky guy. Which TEST SHOT also has plenty of, in case I neglected to mention that!

Now it’s your turn! How much does music influence you? Do you have a favorite artist?


Layla Palmer is starting over in New York City with a new job at Hot Shots, an agency that specializes in hiring talent for jobs with an erotic bent. Happily engaged, she writes off the changes in her relationship with her fiancé, Aidan, as growing pains. But that all comes into question when her beloved fiancé comes up with a startling suggestion: he wants to watch her have sex with another man.

Aidan's a man on the edge, fighting demons he won't name in fear of losing the woman he loves forever. But the game he's playing can only continue for so long, especially when the man they decide to invite into their bed turns out to be Layla’s newest prospective model, Sawyer Blake.

Passion explodes between them, threatening to spill over and burn them all. Soon Aidan and Layla's already incendiary relationship hits the boiling point. Now she's fighting her own battles, including the conflicted feelings of lust and love she harbors for both men. But how can she figure out who to trust when everything she ever knew is changing, including herself?


“TEST SHOT will lead you down a road of passion and heart break almost at the same time it takes you from the ultimate highs to the lowest of lows. You'll enjoy the roller coaster of human emotions and probably miss these characters when you reach the last page.”--5 Stars, Sizzling Hot Books

“This book is outstanding. It played with my emotions, tore strips off my heart and left me reeling. I didn’t expect this book to hook me the way that it did and didn’t predict the way the plot turns would leave me ignoring life in general to keep reading right up until the end.”--5 Stars, Scorching Book Reviews

“Man oh man, oh man! I love when I “discover” a new author who immediately engages me and makes me want to neglect everything in my house so I can finish her book from cover to cover. Cari Quinn has done that with her first book in the Hot Shots series, Test Shot. Besides an amazing cast of characters she has managed to write a brilliant story with a plot line quite unlike anything I’ve read before.”--A True Gem, 4.5 Stars, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Title: Test Shot (Hot Shots #1)

Author: Cari Quinn

Published by Loose ID

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance (M/F/M)

Heat Level: Sizzling

Word Count: 80,000

Purchase: Amazon / B&N / ARe / Loose Id

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Cari Quinn wrote her first story—a bible parable—in 2nd grade, much to the delight of the nuns at her Catholic school. Once she saw the warm reception that first tale garnered, she was hooked. She attempted her first romance in junior high, long before she'd ever read one. Writing what she knew always took a backseat to what she wanted to know, and that still holds true today.

Though she also fires up her computer as a graphic designer, proofreader and editor, she can’t resist the lure of disappearing into a world of her own creation. Now she gets to pen sexy romances for a living and routinely counts her lucky stars. The only thing she loves more than writing is hearing from readers! Visit Cari at

Blog / Website / Facebook / Twitter


My Thoughts:

This is not my usual type of book. Test Shot should be read by open minded adults only! I'm not sure that I am open minded enough but what can I say? I really liked the ending. Not because it was over but because of the way Cari Quinn resolved the triangle. Although, at the beginning of the book I was hoping for an alternative. The whole book was a series of surprises and secrets. It was a hot, steamy book with some scenes that involved a threesome.   

I was expecting more of a love triangle story. While there was a triangle it wasn't quite the way I was expecting it. I was uncomfortable with some of the parts in the book. I also felt angst, anger, hurt on Sawyer and Layla's behalf, sad, and happy. I was on emotion overload.

I received a copy of this book from CBLS in exchange for my honest opinion.

Question: How would you feel if your significant other wanted to bring another person into your intimate relations?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'd love to know what you're thinking. Please leave a comment!


  1. +JMJ+

    Wow. This is the hardest one to comment on, so far! LOL!

    My answer to your question is that I would feel really shocked, saddened, and even turned off to the point of wanting to end the relationship. =( That Layla even considers it raises my eyebrows. If she were a real person, I'd want her to flee that relationship, at least until Aiden can get his act together and stop taking out his demons on the woman who is soon to be his wife. But since she is a fictional character, I feel a bit more emotional distance and would be willing to see how the author gets her (and the other guys) out of this. I'd prefer, however, for a story like this not to be Erotica. The eroticising of really dark feelings seems exploitative, even if it's an honest portayal of what is going on.

    1. I had some issues with certain parts but I think the erotic scenes enhance the story in this case. It makes it more complex at the very least.

      I agree, I would be hurt beyond reparation if my hubby wanted to include someone else and our relationship would never be the same.

  2. I think i would be furious because i would be hurt. For me a relationship is between 2 persons at leat in real life and i'm not likely to agree or even accepting to think about sharing

    either i'm enough for him or he goes away. ( i will probably be feeling guilty like i did something wrong, wasn't good enough etc but still if it's me it's no one else he doesn't get the choice and i would perhaps even be furious if he choose me because he still would have thought about it)


    1. I agree completely Miki!

      I was hurt on Layla's behalf and even walked away from the book for a little while until I could calm down. Sometimes books affect me so strongly.

    2. i understand... i had to do this too sometimes ( and if you saw in which state i was while reading " a mermaid's kiss"...^^;; i was more than a wreck, hyperventilating and crying without stopping

    3. I hear you Miki. My husband always says what's wrong and when he finds out I'm crying because of something I read, He wants to know why I read if it makes me sad. I can't make him understand.

  3. I do not think I could do anything involving another man with my husband.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    1. I know that I could never do anything like that. It hurts my heart to even think about it.

  4. I wouldnt be able to do it. It would really make me question the relationship to the point that I would end up ending it. It would really make me question my partner and it just wouldnt be healthy for me.

  5. Music is a Huge influence on me. I always like or dislike songs because of the lyrics and the message they send.

    I don't have a favorite artist. I listen to all types of music.

  6. I honestly do not know how I would react. interesting question

  7. This type of situation, for me personally - I wouldn't be able to go through with it. Too many ways for someone to get emotionally hurt and the trust factor would be too much for me. In a way I think it's more because I would want to feel like me and my significant other should be enough, to mean enough to each other. But I can say I don't think less of anyone that has done this type of thing, it's just not for me.

    1. I agree. I know that others do it and if they can handle it that is between them. I hold no judgement. I just know that for me, it would never, could never happen.I could not handle it.

      I don't mind reading about it though. :D

  8. Hi everyone! Thanks so much to Brenda for hosting me and to all of you for visiting. It's so interesting to hear everyone's viewpoints. Excellent point about exploitation, Enbrethiliel, because I was worried about that very thing. I'd set out to write a certain kind of story, but it turned into something else entirely and I didn't want to exploit my characters or make them caricatures. It's such a fine balance.

    Aidan, in particular, was a character that was hard for me to get to know and I'm hoping by the time I reach his book (book 3 in the Hot Shots series) that he opens up a little! LOL There were parts of this story that made me uncomfortable too, and usually when I want to ease back, that means I need to go further. But it makes me really happy to know my story affected people. As a reader, I'd rather be left crying or angry at the end than without feelings altogether. Hopefully others feel the same.

    Thanks again to everyone...I'm really enjoying the discussion! :)

    1. I definitely felt things! I agree though, most of my favorite books are my favorites for exactly that reason. They make me feel!

      Thank you so much for everything! :D

  9. While the fantasy is great, and I really enjoy reading stories with menages, I don't think I would actually be able to handle the reality of it. I would feel hurt and wonder why he needed someone else. But, I don't think that if he wanted to bring another man into the relationship it would bother me as much as another woman. If it were another woman, I would wonder why he needed someone else, and would constantly compare myself and she, since we would have the same physical equipment. With another man, it would not be so much competition, since we would be so different. Besides, I do think sexy guys together is hot ;)

    1. You've made many valid points.

      I like to read about a lot of things that I would never be able to do in real life. To read a story and have a fantasy is just pretend. It is safe and no one gets hurt. Most people fantasize and dream about things that will never happen or could never happen. That is how we escape reality.

      Luckily there are lots of awesome authors with very vivid imaginations to keep us entertained.

      I agree with you that it would be somewhat easier to accept my hubby wanting another man in our bed than another woman. But I still wouldn't be able to handle it either way.

  10. Well, I might be a bit unique with my answer, but so long as my partner told me and didn't hide it from me I'd be okay. My reasons though are a bit unusual. You see, I'm asexual (look up on Wiki for more info) and that influences me. I want to fall in love and have a family, I enjoy reading romance novels, I just don't want to have sex. And unless I married someone else who was asexual like me, it wouldn't be fair for me to marry someone and say hey, if I don't like sex, you're going without for the rest of your life. That's not cool for me. So, I gave it lots of thought and decided that as long as my partner was still in love with me and cared about me, I'd be okay with bringing a third into our relationship, especially if I liked the third. So, no, I wouldn't mind so long as we talked about it and agreed on it.

  11. I want to answer this question but do not want any backlash from my answer so instead I will just say....Great giveaway and this is going on my tbr list for sure!!!

  12. I think this is an interesting plot line... but in real life no... I would be hurt and feel i wasn't enough for my partner.
    Might have to read this book to see how it all plays out.
    Great post.

    1. It is interesting. I don't want to ruin it by explaining what makes it different.

  13. It's not for us. I wouldn't feel comfortable.. maybe when I was younger, before I had kids... but now, it would bother me because of the way I look as well as I would wonder why I wasn't enough.

    1. I hear you Josette. Most of us agree that we would not be comfortable in that situation.

  14. I have mixed feelings on this. I love reading about menages, & feel that you have to be confident & trusting in your partner for this element to be added to your relationship. While I've thought about this & think that it would be something that I'd like to experience, I'm just not sure if I could follow thru or be comfortable with it. I'm looking forward to reading this book.
    JessieL62 at comcast dot net