Saturday, March 30, 2013

All In: The Blackstone Affair, II

All In: The Blackstone Affair, II
by Raine Miller
Published by Atria
256 pages
Thanks to NetGalley and edelweiss for the preview
4 / 5 cupcakes

When we left off with Brynne and Ethan, our happy couple was left torn asunder, Brynne having run off due to Ethan's "lies." But were they lies? Really? Or just certain omissions? See, Ethan was hired by Brynne's father, an American politician,  to protect her, only Ethan wound up "protecting her" with his penis.

If you know what I mean.

So, anyway. Ethan, Brynne, broken up. But do we think that will last? Seriously? How can you have a series if they stay broken up?

The lovebirds reunite, as we could predict, only love does not present an easy path. Naturally, there are complications a plenty. And, naturally, Ethan screws up as much as he possibly can.

The first book in the series, Naked, was told from Brynne's point of view, which perhaps is what made it feel so hackneyed. This one is told from Ethan's, and Ethan - well, in addition to being seriously smokin' hot - brings an element of freshness to could be a trite, predictable plot.

Brynne is at risk, or continues to be at risk, because I'm not sure that situation has changed much from the first book. Having a politician for a father undoubtedly makes her safety unstable, at best, and Ethan is determined to protect her.

There is some plot advancement in this one, but in terms of action, you'll find that most of that occurs between the sheets. Or up against walls. Or in other locations.

The one place where Brynne and Ethan connect, free from any outside stress or worries, is in the metaphorical bedroom. When they have sex, they open themselves to each other, and their mutual trust is clarified. Ethan is a Dominant, and he enjoys having Brynne as his submissive. Brynne happily acquiesces, which is a smart move on her part, because Ethan is HOT. He's intelligent, successful, protective, loving, and he knows how to please a woman. You will find yourself searching for real-life Ethans. (If you find one, please let me know. I'm convinced that none exist.)

As with its predecessor, this one ends with a cliffhanger. We now know more about Brynne's Issues, and a little more about Ethan's. Even though the story is told through Ethan's eyes, however, the focus here is squarely on Brynne: what has happened to get her in these precarious straits and what has happened that makes her trust waver as far as Ethan is concerned.

This is a better, stronger book than Naked. Like I said, perhaps that is due to it being told through Ethan's eyes. Or perhaps it's due to Raine Miller settling in with her characters. Either way, I look forward to the third book. I want Ethan to be happy, and if happiness is with Brynne, then so be it.

And I'd also, uh, like more of that headboard rockin'.

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