Sunday, 19 May 2013

Review: Raine Miller's "Eyes Wide Open."

I was so lucky with the Raine Miller’s Blackstone trilogy because I was able to read all three books in a matter of a couple of weeks. Yes all of the novels  have now been released and I would highly recommend them. As I finished each book, I was desperate to uncover the next chapter in the relationship between Brynne and Ethan. There was still so much left unsaid, so much I didn’t know and the obstacles they faced just kept getting bigger and bigger. Life was definitely like a box of chocolates for this couple. You just didn't know what they would get next!!!

“Eyes Wide Open” starts very much where “All In” finished. The events that take place at the art gallery make Brynne’s safety even more of a priority for Ethan than it was before. He will do everything in his power to ensure “his girl” is  safe and kept out of harm’s way:
“I can make sure you’re always protected. There’s nothing
I wouldn’t do to keep you safe. I love you.”

But even in the final book,  their story isn’t straight forward. Unexpected news leaves Brynne back to square one emotionally  She feels helpless and  scared and feels the world start  to close in on her:
Welcome to Horrorland, please park in lot “You’re Royally Fucked” and make
your way to the main gate, where you’ll be greeted by your worst nightmare.
 Not even Ethan can help her when she uses their safe word “Waterloo.” Ethan is still harbouring secrets that gives him night terrors. Unable to share his experiences of war with Brynne, she is left feeling hurt. And then there is the stalker lurking in the shadows. He wants Brynne and is just waiting to make his move. Will Ethan slip up? Will Brynne’s life be put in danger? Will this couple ever get their “happily ever after?”
"Eyes Wide Open” was just the icing on the cake for “The Blackstone Trilogy”. Although it started off a little slow, the story definitely picked up pace giving me everything I needed to continue my reading frenzy at 6am this morning. I had grown so attached to both characters as a couple and  I was desperately rooting for them. Despite all the adversities life threw at them (and by god there were a few biggies), other than a couple of wobbles, their relationship held strong. They had both become fighters and were determined (that despite the secrets, their past, and coming face to face with life and death), their love would conquer all. And it did. Their physical connection still played a huge part in their relationship (yes the sex was still scorching) but they had moved a step forward and connected emotionally on a whole new level (one we hadn’t seen before).
Ethan’s character remained as hot as ever. Raine Miller definitely got it right with her leading man. He was everything you would want from an ideal partner:
Ethan possessed a skill set that combined hot, bad boy sex god with mannerly,
romantic gentleman; something so rare and captivating,  
I didn’t have a chance of resisting the pull.
But true to life, no one is ever completely perfect and as such, we continued to see the possessive, jealous and at times insecure side to Ethan.  Did this affect how I felt about him? Definitely not. It made him more realistic and helped me connect with his character not just physically (he was damn fine) but also emotionally. It helped me understand his behaviour and justified some of his actions.
Brynne’s character really developed over the course of the three books. She became a lot stronger and although there were still issues, Brynne was no longer hiding from them. Despite the vulnerability still being there, she was becoming more confident in expressing her feelings towards Ethan. I think this is mainly because she had accepted him and had accepted them as a couple:
I belonged to him now, and I was embracing the realisation with open arms. It
had taken me some time to make it, but I’d gotten there. I had accepted Ethan’s
love and offered to him my whole self in return.
There were so many components that made this book brilliant. I had loved the fact that “All In” had been told from Ethan’s perspective because it had really shown another side to him: a funny, sarcastic, witty side that really did make me laugh. So you can imagine my delight when I found out that I would be getting another dose of his humour in this final book. Yes “Eyes Wide Open” was told from both Brynne and Ethan’s perspectives which helped to give the story a balance of both seriousness but also some well needed humour at times.
Some questions come to mind pretty fuckin’ quick. Like how long have you been
standing there watching over me like one of the ill fated Grady
Sisters in The Shining? Scared the living shit out of me..
And Ethan’s niece was just brilliant. A typical five year old who heard everything and had no problem relaying it to those concerned ( more often than not really dropping people in it!!!) But she just added to the story in such a positive way. She was a great addition to the cast.
The final book was well written and easy to follow despite the changing points of views mid way through chapters. This didn’t bother me in the least, in fact it added to my enjoyment of the story.
There was definitely a lot of drama which kept me captivated but I didn’t really feel the suspense element I’d felt in the first two books. I managed to guess much of the plot before it was revealed and I worked out the identity of the stalker which was no real surprise. Was this an issue for me? Not really. I was reading “Eyes Wide Open” because of Brynne and Ethan, everything else was just a bonus.
Despite being predictable, I was still put through the emotional wringer with moments of extreme highs where my heart swelled for the characters to extreme lows where I felt completely and utterly shattered for them and I thank Raine Miller for this because if it hadn’t been for her amazing writing, I don’t think I would have connected with the characters or the story line  the way I did.
 “The Blackstone Affair” trilogy is a series I would whole heartedly recommend.  I have rated the final book 4 Hearts.
Check out my reviews for the first two books by clicking on the book covers below:                       



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