Saturday, March 30, 2013

Naked: The Blackstone Affair, Part I

Naked:  The Blackstone Affair - Book 1
by Raine Miller
Published by Atria
192 pages
Genre: erotica, mild BDSM
Thanks to NetGalley and edelweiss for the preview
3 / 5 cupcakes

Do you ever read a book that you know, deep down, is not all that good, but yet you can't put it down? What does that say about us? I know when I read Twilight and Fifty Shades, I felt dirty and ashamed. But I couldn't stop reading either, which made me feel even more ashamed.

Enter Naked, the first in The Blackstone Affair series. While not as awful as either of the aforementioned literary train wrecks, this book certainly is nothing you'd be proud to be seen reading.

Yet again, we have our sweet damsel, Brynne, a part-time lingerie model with a Scandal in her Past. Bless her heart. Our hero, Ethan, is one of those corporate titan-types who buys one of Brynne's portraits and becomes obsessed. He must have her, dammit. HE MUST.

And of course he does.

And it takes him less than a week to do so.

Brynne doesn't put up much of a fight. Her handwringing would be precious if it wasn't so far-fetched. Yes, she's running from some horrible secret that makes her fragile and scared. Unlike others in its family tree, however, this book does not have a scarred hero, at least not a terribly scarred one. Ethan has it reasonably together, insofar as he's a romantic hero in an erotica novel. I mean, he has issues, but more attention is given to hers. He falls completely for Brynne; he's all in, and he wants her all in too, even if it means dragging her in with him.

In Shades of Christian Grey, Ethan fancies himself a bit of a Dominant, although his practice doesn't seem to get as heavy as Christian's. Not yet, anyway. There are more books to come in this series. These two do have some good, hot, sticky sex, and those scenes are pretty well written. Nothing out of the ordinary, especially BDSM-wise. Nothing we haven't seen before.

And yet ... heaven help me, I couldn't put the damn book down. I think it's Ethan. Yeah, he's imperfect, and yeah, he's somewhat predictable, but he's also so freaking likable that I can't help but be drawn to him. I can see why Brynne agrees so readily to be his. I would too, Brynne.

Sadly, the book ends on a predictable note, but it's enough of one that you will pick up the next one.

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