Friday, 10 May 2013

Review: "Naked" by Raine Miller

So, still in New York and after a very heavy night on the booze, I was up early with time to kill. Unfortunately my husband was still out for the count so I thought I'd do a bit of reading. I had downloaded Raine Miller's "Naked" before I had left for our trip to the big apple and the cover was awesome so I got stuck in. I knew this book was short but I had it started and finished by the time said husband had opened his eyes.  Yes it took just under two hours to finish but I could have done with another couple of hours to read the sequel because you guessed it.... There was a cliff hanger. Lucky for us, book two in the trilogy is already out so once I have finished writing this review, my flight home will be mostly taken up with reading "All In".

So what's the book all about?
Brynne Bennett is an American post grad student at the university of London working as a part time photographic model to make ends meet. Her life hasn’t always been easy. Brynne moved to England to escape a past she was desperate to forget. It was a fresh start at life and through discipline and hard work, she is determined to succeed in her chosen career as an art conservationist. Brynne doesn’t need any distractions and that includes those of the male variety. In fact she doesn’t really do relationships, not the serious sort anyway. Those are the dangerous variety that do nothing but remind her of the nightmare she left behind:

I felt myself grow sleepy in the warm bed with him. I knew it was a bad idea.
Rules are rules and I was breaking them. “I shouldn’t stay the
night Ethan; I really need to go….”

Well, rules are meant to be broken and that’s exactly what happens when Ethan Blackstone walks into Brynne’s life. Is this a chance encounter or does Ethan have an ulterior motive? Either way, his sights have been set on her  and come hell or high water, he’s going to get his girl… she just doesn’t know it yet:

That picture changed everything. I was not the same after I saw it, and I couldn't go back to the man
 I'd been before seeing it either. Not after we met that night on the street. My whole world altered
 because of a photograph. A photograph of  my beautiful American girl.

When Ethan Blackstone wants something, he gets it and despite Brynne’s best (or worst) efforts to reject his advances, she is drawn to him. Unfortunately Ethan harbours his own dark secrets which have left both mental and physical scars. Will the ghosts that haunt them both bring them closer together or tear them apart?
Okay, so despite being a very quick read, this book was still well written with a story that was easy to follow. I was gripped from the start and desperately wanted to see them together (I’m such a sucker for a HEA)!!!. But there were so many obstacles in their way. If it wasn’t their past, it was her father, if not her father, then Ethan’s need to control.
Ethan was the epitome of drop dead gorgeous (at six foot three, wavy dark hair and piercing blue eyes) who wouldn’t fall at his feet? He was very much an alpha male who liked to dominate in all aspects of his life, whether that was at work or the bedroom. I loved his character because he wasn’t afraid to say what he wanted or how he felt. If he messed up, he was right there ready to apologise and this came with hearts and flowers (well a tie and flowers anyway!!!)lol

“You told me what you needed and I ignored you. I pushed too hard,
 too fast. I broke your trust, and that’s what I regret the most.
I’m deeply sorry- you have no idea how much.”

There was a softer side to Ethan too. One the public didn’t see. He was kind, caring, comforting and compassionate and that just made me like him even more. Despite Brynne having a history, he never pushed her to reveal the secrets that haunted her. He took her unconditionally and that was deal breaker for me. I think I fell in love again (I’m turning into such a book whore!!!!)
There were many sides to Brynne’s personality. She was intelligent, strong, and even feisty at times. But I also saw a more fragile, vulnerable side to her that just broke my heart. I wanted her to have a relationship with Ethan but she saw him as her Achilles heel:

My reaction to Ethan was a weakness. I’d known all along, even if only imaginary at first
 understanding. The real thing was devastating.

As much as I liked both characters, I really wanted to see more of an emotional connection between them. You couldn’t deny the physical attraction and the sex was off the charts but because the book was quite short, I found there wasn’t enough depth in terms of the emotional development of their relationship.
I truly believe that “Naked” is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Brynne and Ethan. This book may have been more about their physical relationship but I have a sneaky suspicion that “All In” is going to be homing in on their emotional connection. Will it be a bed of roses or will their pasts continue to destroy their future?
I have rated this book 4 Hearts.
Yes it was a quick read but I can’t wait to see what happens in book two. The cliff hanger left me desperate for more.

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