Reviews & author blog tour roundup: BDSM romance TAKING THE LEAD

taking_the_lead_tame_200x300Reviews are coming in for my new book TAKING THE LEAD! It’s been out for one week so far. Before launch I was super-happy to have gotten great reviews in both Publishers Weekly and RT Book Reviews, but now that the book has officially launched, a slew of review sites and bloggers have posted this week! Here are some excerpts and links to the full posts:


“What set this book apart, for me, are the love/sex/kink scenes. Ms. Tan’s descriptions of Axel’s and Ricki’s encounters are more than just incredibly arousing. They’re full of insight, emotional nuances, truths to which I can vouch from personal experience. Ms. Tan understands how power exchange works and she brings that knowledge to the page. She also manages to communicate how dominance and submission can offer not just incandescent pleasure but soul-deep healing. Ricki requires the surrender Axel coaxes from her, to balance the warring factions in her personality and claim the strength to manage her complicated life.”
Beyond Romance, Lisabet Sarai
“I really enjoyed this sexy rockstar romance – it’s a nice easy read that kept me gripped from start to finish. …Axel is a fabulous character, he is very sexy. His bad boy image hides a soft heart and a good man. I also love his relationships and banter with his band mates and friends. Ricki and Axel had great chemistry, they were so hot together. The storyline was interesting, the characters were likable and the sex was steamy – five stars.” —JJ’s Kinky Books
“So that’s what sets Taking The Lead apart, for me at least: It’s more than just another steamy, erotic romance. It’s an emotional and psychological examination of being a feminist with also being sexually submissive.”
Only One More Page

“Told in dual points of view, Taking the Lead was a fast and hot read that contained mild BDSM. In actuality, it seemed as though both main characters had to give up and lose control in order to find each other.”
Escape N Books
“A hot erotic romance that has more to the story than just sex. There are interwoven story lines, including sexism in the film industry, personal and family growth, and some really good friendships.”
Libromancer’s Apprentice
“Lots of steamy sex, a beautifully accurate representation of a D/S relationship, and a passionate love story all wrapped up into one perfect package. I recommend this wholeheartedly to people who have an interest in BDSM, in hot steamy romance, and in gentle kink.”
Ramblings of an Avid Reader
“TAKING THE LEAD by Cecilia Tan is an exceptionally sensual and arousing erotic romance. Every sexual encounter has meaning and progresses the plot and romance. … It is hot as hell how Axel commands and dominates Ricki with his voice or the look in his eyes and how Ricki’s obedience and submission enrapture him. The closer she gets to him the deeper he falls in love. It’s easy for Axel to dominate her sexually, but he doesn’t have the power to acquire her emotional surrender. It has to be her choice.”
Unquietly Me
“This book was sexy, intense, passionate, erotic, fun, sweet, and had an edginess to it that kept me on my edge of my seat.”
Renee Entress


I also did a heap of interviews. Here are some so far:
Happily Ever After:
“I do sometimes want my characters to do something I haven’t done — and if it’s something like parachuting I’ll just research it because I’m not going to jump out of a perfectly good airplane! But if it’s a BDSM thing I usually try to get some firsthand experience. You want to be accurate, right?”
Romance Beat:
“My editor and I were talking about how in the wake of “50 Shades” everyone knows about BDSM now. But if there’s no shame in BDSM anymore, why don’t we know any famous celebrities who are into it? Lots of people are out about being gay or lesbian, but Dave Navarro is the only celebrity I can think of who is “out” about BDSM.”
Butt Kicking Women:
“After Slow Surrender was so popular, my editor at Hachette said she wanted more rock stars, but this time wanted a series with a new hero in each book. I told her, ‘I can write rock stars all day long.’ And she said, ‘Bring it.’ So I did.”
Those Crazy Book Chicks
“One theme in TAKING THE LEAD that’s going to carry forward into the other books in the series is about identity, about finding “the real you.” There is so much in both Ricki and Axel’s worlds that requires them to put on masks, essentially. Axel has a public image as a “bad boy” but the truth behind that image is something more complicated. For both of them success is built on an image. But in BDSM where there is role playing, where you uncover deep, unspoken desires, there are layers of truth you can dig down to.”
Bawdy Bookworm
“Why can’t the woman be the billionaire for once? Or the sub? It isn’t money that makes someone a dom. I also wanted to write a heroine who didn’t need her hero for anything EXCEPT love. Ricki has money, power, an entire staff to support her. It was freeing to have the only reason she keeps thinking about Axel be the erotic and romantic connection between them. I loved that.”

Guest Posts

Joyfully Reviewed: “My Love Affair With Writing”
“Looking back at my earliest writings–which I’ve kept, in three ring binders and composition books from my elementary school days–it’s obvious to me that who was getting together with whom was always one of the things I was highly concerned with. ”
Night Owl Reviews: “Cracking an Icy Heart”
“It’s not only about the seduction, about getting to yes. Once Axel does break through Ricki’s walls of ice, it’s up to him to make the sex itself so good that Ricki will think twice before putting up those walls again. Ultimately that’s why sex has to come before love: love can’t blossom until the ice melts.”
Under the Covers Book Blog: “Last Book That Kept You Up All Night?”
“What’s funny is that I’m such a night owl — as those who follow me on Twitter know — it’s not unusual for me to stay up all night writing. So my own books keep me up all the time! But a couple of weeks ago I had a cold and had several days where I got so into the two books I was reading that I couldn’t even tell if it was night or day. Every time the cold meds wore off I woke up and started reading again. Every waking hour.”
Fresh Fiction: “Sex Has to Mean Something”
“When we see our characters making love, we shouldn’t just see a jumble of generic body parts. How our characters love, the choices they make, their preferences and likes–those are as important to getting to know them as they are to getting to know a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Do we see a side of them in the bedroom that’s hidden at other times? Or does their everyday personality come through in some unique way? A fade to black would hide those details.”
Ever After Romance: “Leading a Double Life”
“Society judges women by a brutal double standard: we’re expected to be sexy at all times but heaven forbid your co-workers or students or boss finds out that you might like to get freaky in bed. Fear of being judged not only pushes women to hide their sexuality, it may prevent them from exploring it in the first place. Put simply: THAT SUCKS. Some women fear being judged so much that they will even hide their romance novels!”
Book Lovin Mommas: “My Favorite Sidekick”
“To tell you who my favorite sidekick is we have to go waaaaay back in time in pop culture, to the days when the original Batman TV show was in reruns in my childhood. My favorite villain was Catwoman. I was only five or six years old but I was entranced by Catwoman. Yes, I was showing my interest in BDSM (and romance!) all the way back then.”
Guest blogs still to come: Fiction Vixen, Guilty Pleasures, Kimberly Faye Reads, The Book Cellar, Heroes & Heartbreakers, and a few more, I think!

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