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The Start of Us

No Regrets Series, Book 0.5
Narrated by: Erin Mallon, Joe Arden
Length: 1 hr and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (211 ratings)
Regular price: $6.95
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Publisher's Summary

A new adult story of first times, last times, connections, and no regrets... 

I only wanted a tattoo. A mark on my body to remind me of who I used to be. Something to hold onto when I started my penance for all the things I'd done wrong, the bad choices I'd made by the time I turned 19. Instead, I found a night of possibility, of truth, of hope for the future. And the most intense physical connection I've ever had. The only one I've ever had, and one I will never forget. 

Trey... 

When she walked into my tattoo shop, I knew she was like me. Harley had secrets. She had a messed up past, and things she wanted to run from, or forget ever happened. I couldn't let her go. So we agreed on one night - to spend it together wandering around the city, getting to know each other, the clock ticking because we knew tomorrow would bring an end to the possibility of an us. Unless tonight was only the start. How can one night be the start of something when tomorrow it has to end?

©2014 Lauren Blakely (P)2018 Lauren Blakely Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DW
  • 07-03-18

Just the right amount of intrigue....

I have read (audibly) every single thing Lauren Blakely's written. If it's been published, I have read it. (heard it, actually) and I was lucky enough to stumble upon this gem of a novella to get me started on Trey and Harley to see what I thought. Normally, a romance with teens is something I might pass by with too much angst and drama and what I feel are silly problems teens and young adults face. Gang, don't pass this series by. Matter of fact, if you are currently reading something else, STOP and start this one. This prequel will set you up for the ride of a lifetime. This entire three book series, days later, is still with me. It's not the usual LB fun and games fluff fun read, trust me. It''s one of the most unique, riveting series I have yet to listen to in many years with Audible. The No Regrets series has this little short 1.5 hour prequel, and then two following books: The Thrill of it and Every Second with You.
We find Harley and Trey meeting, and experiencing a connection that's strange and unique and towards the end, you are made aware this is not the last time their paths will cross. And, you're glad for it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The Start of Us

I somehow didn't realize this was just an intro. That said, it was interesting and well written. Characters pull you in right from the beginning. And, Erin Mallon is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. So, when I saw her name, it was an automatic yes. And, she doesn't disappoint. Joe Arden also does a great job.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic!

Joe Arden and Erin Mallon did an amazing job narrating this book. It made the book really come to life. The Start of Us lets us see how Trey and Harley first met. Their chemistry was flying off the pages. You will definitely want more and will enjoy reading this book either before or after The Thrill of It.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan M
  • Southwest
  • 07-01-18

The Start of Something New!

I love how Harley and Trey first meet at a tattoo parlor.. Lauren Blakely continues to amaze me with her vivid imagery and great writing style. The concept of escaping everything for one night sounds appealing. This book is a great prequel to the No Regret series and the perfect introduction. Erin Mallon and Joe Arden performed the story remarkably with their dual POV performance. I love how they each put so much emotion into the story, I could feel both the hope and the heartbreak. Without giving away spoilers, the ending is a bombshell. I will definitely listen to more books by this author and narrators. I can hardly wait for The Thrill of It and Every Second With You to come out on audio.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Attention getter!

This series has been on my to be listened list for some time, but I am so glad I was able to listen to this novella first. It's a great appetite whetter for Trey and Harley's story. Harley decides to get a tattoo and Trey is the tattoo artist she chooses. Their instant chemistry has them staying together after closing hours and not wanting their night to end. The next day is set to bring them both life changes. Will this only be one night? This account is quick, full of possibility and longing. Setting the stage for No Regrets, it gives us a glimpse into Trey and Harley's past and helps to shed some light on their upcoming story.

Joe Arden and Erin Mallon narrate this short, charged with passion and emotion. A better team could not have brought this to life, making me look for more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enticing introduction to the No Regrets series!

Wow, what an enticing introduction into the No Regrets series! Trey and Harley are so beautifully broken and intriguing. They have instant chemistry when they meet, and they don't want their night together to end. Tomorrow brings huge changes for them both and they never expect to see each other again. We get a peak into what their dark secrets could be and it only makes me want to know more!
Narrators, Erin Mallon, and Joe Arden deliver a flawless performance. They make Trey and Harley come alive and perfectly express all of their emotions.
I can't wait to listen to the rest to Trey and Harley's story!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Prequel Novella to Trey and Harley's Story

Overall 4 stars
Performance 5 stars
Story 3.5 stars

The Start of Us is a short prequel novella to the No Regrets series. It introduces us to Trey and Harley and gives us the details of their first chance meeting. Erin Mallon and Joe Arden were amazing and added the perfect amount of sexy and vulnerability to these two characters. It's clear that both have secrets and demons in their pasts, but for one night, they allow themselves to simply enjoy the moment. Told in dual POV, both Trey and Harley leave the reader/listener with an intriguing little bombshell at the end of this novella. Find out how their story continues in The Thrill of It. Also included with this audiobook is an excerpt from Lauren Blakely's upcoming book, Unbreak My Heart.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Nice lead in -

The start of us, by lauren blakely isn't written like her non stop humors books. Its more real world issues with real people. It provides a good lead up to the first book so you know how Harley and Trey and how they build their foundation of love.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Sweet beginning...

Cute story, with a cute, sweet beginning. I'm curious to see what happens to these two--especially given the twist at the end!

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Great Series! * Review of entire No Regrets series

I must admit, I passed this series over many times because I felt the synopsis of the book was just absurd or too far-fetched. I mean come on, a virgin call girl sex addict? Sounds ridiculous right? But these books and the story line was so much deeper than the book descriptions let on.

Harley is a 19 year old with deep emotional issues brought on by her father leaving when she was 6 and the way her mother handled the breakup. Harley was exposed to sex very early on in her adolescence (by age 9). Raised by a mother whose sole focus became bedding men as a means of inflating her own self-confidence after her failed marriage with Harley’s father. Instead of a mother, Harley had more of a sister who emphasized the importance of beauty to use to get what one wants. She pushes Harley to grow up way too soon and shows Harley all the wrong ways of love and intimacy. She was a pawn for Barb (her mom) to flaunt and set up as she saw fit, Harley had no control over her life; thus, when Cam, aka her pimp, entered her life Good-Bye Perfect Daughter Role and Hello Call Girl Life. Cam offered Harley a new life as ‘Layla’, a girl who held the power to bring men to their knees, which brought them pleasure without even having sex. In fact, there is usually no intimate touching between them at all. It’s mostly acting as ‘girlfriend’ on high society dates or stroking their ego if they (the man) has self-esteem issues, etc. There are other twists and turns that start the book that I won’t give away, but Harley is basically blackmailed into writing a memoir and going to sex addiction rehab by her blackmailer. The night before she is to start classes she decides to get a tattoo to mark her ‘new beginning’. It is at No Regrets tattoo parlor that she meets Trey.

Trey is 22 years old and battling with his own sex and love addiction; drowning the ghosts of his past with older 30-something women. For years (since he was about 16) Trey has sought the emptiness by bedding the numerous trophy wives that lived in the upscale building he grew up in. But the last one was a wake up call. He has never been attracted to women his age, but the moment he meets Harley he cannot deny the instant attraction he feels toward her, and not just physical.

Both souls have been molded by tribulations in their dysfunctional family lives. Trey craved an escape from his internal demons through sex. Harley thrived on having the control to bring men pleasure rather than being another puppet.

Neither is proud of their pasts and battle on a daily basis with their guilt. Yet, together they set out to help keep one another on track to recovery. Trey has an extra bit of help from his therapist who gives it to him straight and pushes Trey to open up to Harley about his demons; to allow her to decide if she accepts him, not him deciding for them both. The understanding Harley has for Trey and vice versa opens one another eyes to their self-worth and opens themselves to the idea of being loved. Trey and Harley grow so much as individuals and together, but the road to happiness is not straight.

The Beginning of Us is a short introduction into Trey and Harley’s first night together and opens the doors to their story. I really enjoyed this short listen and knowing how they happened into each other’s lives.

The Thrill of It takes you into the building of their friendship and subsequent romantic relationship. It gives you all the details of Harley’s past and her relationship with her mother, her blackmailer and Cam. It gives you all of Trey’s demons and background and will break your heart that someone so young had to endure such heartbreak and with no emotional support from his own family (mother especially).

Every Second with You was emotional, intense and full of turmoil. The last 45 minutes…OMG, I was on the edge of my seat with my heart racing. While Harley experienced a harder time with falling off the wagon and reverting to old habits in The Thrill of It; in this book it is Trey who battles with himself about going back to his old ways. Instead of giving into the pull to revert to his old ways of dealing with his fears, he goes to Harley and takes an intimate situation with her and uses it to numb his pain. I felt this was an honest reaction from a sex addict and showed reality. I thought Harley was strong with the way she handled it and Trey had to grovel very, very hard for her forgiveness. This was such a wonderful story and excellent conclusion. The new people that come into Harley and Trey’s lives are wonderful and I am so happy for their future and how everything turned out.

This series is truly all about coping and trying to become a better person. Both Trey and Harley were broken souls and needed to learn how to cope in healthier ways. I loved their journey, both separately and together. This series has had my emotions all over the place. I laughed at times, I smiled, I of course got pissed, my panties melted a time or two and I loved listening to these two fall in love and make it to the other side of their own ugly beautiful.

As far as narration, I thought Erin Mallon did an excellent job on all 3 books; although I did love that the 1st book had Joe Arden narrating as Trey. I absolutely love his work, but I still think Erin did a great job on her own in books 2 and 3 covering both Harley and Trey.