Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway: Good Karma by Donya Lynne

Bashful Karma Mason has never embraced her sexuality. Bullied as a child, she hides behind an unflattering wardrobe and relegates herself to the shadows, never drawing attention. But when her best friend convinces her to attend a charity benefit in Chicago wearing a red dress that catches the eye of every man in the room, she discovers a surprising side to her personality. One that adores the spotlight but has no idea how to handle the attention.

Six years after being jilted and finding his fiancé with another man, wealthy Chicago businessman, Mark Strong, refuses to fall in love. He rejects commitment, contenting himself with an ongoing string of short-term affairs, dedicated to guarding his heart. He would rather be single the rest of his life than risk that kind of pain again. But when he sees Karma sitting alone, fidgeting in her provocative dress, his innate curiosity and desire to tame the unknown gets the better of him.

What starts out as just another casual fling soon takes a series of surprising turns as Mark and Karma embark on a journey destined by fate. Mark is driven to know Karma, understand her…educate her, and Karma is his willing student, eager to experience the pleasure he promises. But when the student becomes the teacher, Mark has to make a choice between taking another chance on love and a future alone. Sometimes not even love is enough to overcome the crippling fears of the past. 

Pitch line: Commitment-phobic Mark grows conflicted about his feelings for naïve Karma while guiding her through a journey of sexual self-discovery.

Good Karma tells the story of quiet and reserved Karma and the seriously hot Mark.  After a chance meeting in Chicago, the last thing Karma expects is to see Mark at her office in the small town of Clover, Indiana.  When Mark is brought in as a consultant for the company she works for, Karma knows she should ignore the sparks that fly when they're together.  Mark's invitation to spend his time in Clover with Karma is too difficult to resist.  The one stipulation is this:  Mark is monogamous in his trysts, but he doesn't do love or commitments.

I wanted to love this book.  I really did.  I had a lot of little issues with the book that ultimately led me to the rating I chose.  My first issue was the main character.  Her name is Karma, not that common of a name, right?  I figured there'd be some explanation at some point in the book.  Maybe her parents were hippies and gave their kids cosmic names.  Until we meet her brother.... yea that shot that theory out the door, traditional name.  Then we're introduced to her parents.  Normal as far as I can tell.  

I had an issue with the dynamic between Karma and Mark.  Mark, a modern day Cassanova, has a lot of experience in the bedroom.  Karma.... yea not so much.  For me, there was way too much talk of Mark's headboard notches.  As a woman, I certainly don't want to hear that much about my man's past.  I just need to know that he knows what he's doing.  For a woman as reserved as Karma, I would think that she would have more of an issue with it.

Over all, I felt the book didn't have enough oomph!  The build up for the hot scenes between Karma and Mark were indeed hot, but I felt short changed when all was said and done.  I think there was a lot of filler.  Everything was just too drawn out.  Good Karma is not a stand alone, there is no HEA.  I don't see how there's enough material to warrant book 2.  

I give this book 3.5 out of 5

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Excerpt #1
“Talking to you over the past couple of weeks, I’ve learned quite a bit about you.”
She nodded, remembering their encounter in the parking garage and everything else they had discussed. “Yes.”
“We don’t need to go into all of that, but my concern is that…well…it’s been a while since you’ve been with a man. I, uh…” He glanced down and pursed his lips as if choosing his words carefully. “I don’t want to hurt you.” He met her gaze again. “Do you understand?”
It took her a few seconds to catch his drift, but then she drew in her breath. “Ooohh…uumm…” And there went her blush response again.
He cleared his throat and glanced back inside the box, his face red. This was only the second time she had seen him blush, and goose bumps prickled her skin at the reminder that Mark was only human and could be affected by what was happening between them as much as she could. And she certainly received the message he was sending without him having to spell it out. Some men took pride and bragged about the size of their manly parts, but Mark seemed more self-conscious—or maybe self-aware was a better term—as if he knew that size could be a detriment. Too big and, as he’d warned her, it could hurt.
She didn’t want it to hurt with Mark.
“Should I be scared?” She had felt him with the sole of her foot and the palm of her hand, but only through his clothes. She had never actually seen how big he was, so she didn’t exactly know his full length and girth.
He grinned. “No, but we should be careful. And you should prepare.” He lifted a brown leather case from the Cārvāka box and set it on the table. It looked like an oversized jewelry box, like the kind that holds expensive necklaces. “Have you ever heard of dildo training?”
He smoothed his palm over the top of the case. “Well, it’s when a woman uses progressively larger dildos to prepare for intercourse. That way, when she finally has sex, it doesn’t hurt. Do you understand?”
“Uh-huh.” With that explanation, she had a pretty good idea what was inside the case.
He reverently opened it as if he were unveiling a sacred artifact. Inside, nestled in a black, satin-lined pillow, were four glass dildos in graduating sizes. The first was simple and slender, with a small tapered protrusion on one end, a slight bulge about two-thirds down, and with a round handle on the other end. The next was a thicker version of the first, with two bulges and a heart-shaped handle. The third, which was rose colored, was thicker still, with a large egg-shaped tip, a shaft with rounded nodules along the exterior, and two large knobs at the end to use as a handle. The fourth, a deeper shade of rose than the third, was shaped like a penis, slightly curved, with a bulbous head, a thick shaft, and ridges swirled candy cane style at the other end.
“That’s about how big I am,” he said, pointing to the fourth. He smiled sheepishly.
She could see his concern. Brian the wonder stud had been nowhere near that big, and it had still hurt like hell.
He closed the box and placed his hand over hers. “You’ll start with the smallest and work your way up. I’ll help you.”
Exactly what kind of help would he be?
The question must have shown in her expression, because he smiled and held out his hand. She took it and stood.
His arm immediately encircled her waist and pulled her close as his lips brushed over hers.
Heat instantly bloomed between her legs.
He caressed her hips with both hands as he kissed his way down to her neck.
She didn’t know what point he was trying to make, but he could make it all night if he wanted to. He was damn near melting her.
After several more seconds of his persuasive lips on her skin, his tongue peeked out and licked a fiery trail up to her ear. “Are you wet?” he whispered.
She could feel the slippery sensation in her panties. “Y-Yes.”
“That’s how I plan on helping you.” He pressed his lips against the tender place just under her ear. “When you’re aroused, it’s easier to slide the dildos inside you. The same way it makes it easier for a man to slide inside you.” He paused, and his cheek rose as if he were grinning. “I plan on making you very wet.”

Excerpt #2
He frowned and tilted his head curiously to the side. “Haven’t you ever had a vaginal orgasm? Haven’t you ever given yourself one?”
Vaginal orgasm? Was this a third type of orgasm? She had to be the most pathetic, inexperienced, naïve woman on the planet.
He sat down and scooted closer. “A vaginal orgasm is another name for a G-spot orgasm,” he said. “See, there are two types of female orgasm.” He spoke matter-of-factly, as a teacher would to his students. “Clitoral and vaginal, or as some call it, a G-spot orgasm.” He lifted his hands as if they were scales and he was presenting each to her. “Obviously, both feel good, but a vaginal, or G-spot, orgasm is much more intense. Deeper.” He lifted one of his hands higher than the other as if to show that one held the vaginal orgasm. Then he dropped both hands into his lap as he sat forward. “Let me put it this way: A vaginal orgasm is to a clitoral orgasm the way a fresh-from-the-oven, chocolate chunk brownie drizzled in warm caramel and vanilla bean cream is to a piece of Dove milk chocolate. Both are good, but one makes you moan while the other just makes you smile.”
Chocolate chunk brownie versus a square of Dove milk chocolate? There was an analogy she understood. Yes, she would definitely enjoy the brownie the way he described it much more than the milk chocolate, but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t devour a whole bowl of Dove squares if given the chance.
“Have you ever had a chocolate chunk brownie drizzled in warm caramel and vanilla bean sauce, Karma?” Mark took her hand.
She thought about it for a moment, still flushed and feeling deer-in-the-headlights. “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
She hadn’t even known what a G-spot was. How would she know if the thing had given her a chocolate chunk brownie?
“How would I be able to tell?” She self-consciously dropped her gaze.
When she glanced back up, his wicked grin stirred the warmth between her legs back to life. “Trust me. You’d know if you had.”
His thumb caressed the backs of her knuckles.
She took a deep breath. “Obviously, my love life has been pretty pathetic. I think you know that because of what I’ve told you.”
Tender strokes of his fingers lent silent encouragement. “I wouldn’t say pathetic. You’ve just had poor lovers. They didn’t know how to make love to you. I’m going to change that.”
“You’ve got your work cut out for you.” She felt so small.
“Do I look intimidated?” His gaze locked to hers like a promise.

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Donya Lynne is the author of the award winning All the King's Men Series. Making her home in a wooded suburb north of Indianapolis with her husband, Donya has lived in Indiana most of her life and knew at a young age that she was destined to be a writer. She started writing poetry in grade school and won her first short story contest in fourth grade. In junior high, she began writing romantic stories for her friends, and by her sophomore year, they had dubbed her Most Likely to Become a Romance Novelist. In 2012, she made that dream come true by publishing her first two novels and two novellas. Donya has many more novels and novellas planned for years to come.


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