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Naked [Paperback]

Megan Hart
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Spice; Original edition (Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373605463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373605460
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.6 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,210,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Irritating 10 Feb 2013
By dutnan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had read Dirty, which was great, but I found this one lacking. I couldn't identify with the characters and found them a bit irritating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional fiction 10 July 2012
By Chloe M
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is my first Megan Hart title and it won't be the last. It's an intriguing mult-layered read, full of complex, well realised characters. Olivia is the mixed race, adopted daughter of a Jewish mother and a Catholic father. Her college sweetheart breaks off their engagement 2 weeks before the wedding when he comes out as gay. Years later she meets Alex at a party given by her ex and their attraction is instant, it's obvious that Olivia likes 'a little gay in her man' but does a relationship with bi-sexual Alex have a future?

Megan Hart confronts the issues of race, religion and sexuality in a way that is unusual in romantic fiction but the book is never preachy. I believe that this title is part of a sequence that begins with, Tempted but it can be enjoyed independently.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  116 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute keeper! 23 July 2010
By SusiSunshine - Published on
Warning: This will be an ode to the awesomeness that is Megan Hart so expect to read the words love and adore often in this review.

I admit this is the first book I read twice before I started to review it. First time I was too enthralled to make any notes and the only thing I could say about it afterwards was WOW. That would have been a really short review so I started it again and forced myself to take breaks and write down what I thought. Long list and now I'm trying to get the things in order for you.

Naked is finally Alex Kennedy's book but that's by far not the only reason I loved it. I waited so long for his HEA and I knew the moment I had the ebook that I couldn't wait any second longer to start it. And I loved every word written in it. It's hard to explain but this book was for me one big OMG-So-Good-Moment. I couldn't stop and I wanted more at the end. I enjoyed reading it twice and today Caroline told me she started it and I thought: "You have to read it again." That's how much I loved it.

Naked is written out of Olivia Mackey's POV. She is a woman with a past. Olivia got burned by a man in the past. She was hurt but still couldn't cut all the emotional strings attaching her to him. She knows she should but you know how that can go- it can be hard to let go. But when she meets Alex she sees the potential even if she's still cautious about the danger he represents. She decides to grab her chance for happiness. She developed a method to avoid being hurt: just don't ask about the uncomfortable things. She is still insecure but which girl wouldn't be after that last relationship. Olivia is strong at heart and she works hard to get what she wants. She still tries to find her way in life and sometimes she feels a bit lost in the middle of everything.

Alex is still Mr. Mysterious but he shows more of his vulnerabilities in this novel (we met him for the first time in Tempted). He tries hard to be seen as more than a world travelling gay guy. He wants to be seen as the character he is, as a person who deserves the complete focus, love and adoration of someone- no sharing for him anymore. He is such a caring and loving character- sure he has his quirks from time to time too but most of his actions are based on his yearning for acceptance, appreciation and love. He's says the sweetest things and he totally melted my heart to a puddle of goo. I love him and I know I want an Alex of my own. *dreams*

Besides our couple Naked is full of other great characters. I adore Sarah, Olivia's BFF. She's one of the funniest persons ever and she made me laugh so hard that I had tears in my eyes. I just say Cunnilingus Phone Survey. We also meet some characters from former novels again and I'm always squeeing when I read about those. They all found a place in my heart and it makes me smile to see them happy or on the way to get there. ;)

The story focuses on family, homosexuality and religion- and how they influenced Olivia. All can be touchy topics but Mrs. Hart handles them great. I loved how she explained Olivia's way of finding her own religion. She showed how hard it is to find what fits you best. Being agnostic, or whatever it's called, myself I usually don't appreciate much religious talk but she never ventured into the preaching site of it- she just told about experience and not about how to convert someone. She also included some rather sensitive family problems. She made me think about myself and my life again and that's one of the main reasons why I love her books so much. And she has those wonderful Star Trek and Douglas Adams references I adore so much.

Naked is a very sexy thought provoking novel. The writing is outstanding and the characters will draw you in from the start. Naked made me laugh, think and cry and I loved every second of it. When you want a book that will touch you deep inside and entertain you the whole time this is the book for you. I'm sure it will be at the top of my Best Reads in 2010 list. An absolute Keeper and I'm sure I will talk about this book for a long time to come.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another bold, emotional novel by Megan Hart 16 July 2010
By tmsmith - Published on
4 1/2 Stars! Megan Hart remains true to her style with another bold, emotional novel that deals with real-world issues, and believable flawed characters. Her voice pulls you in and does not let you go, almost as if you are having a conversation with the main character.

Alex, who is a returning character from a previous Hart novel, meets Olivia at a party of her former ex-fiancé. They are nearly immediately comfortable with each other, yet through the space of the novel, continue to fight their respective history's roaring up to backlash at them.

I thoroughly enjoyed their story. I appreciated the bluntness that Hart provides, not ceding to soft words, or glossing over what may be offensive. My only problem, which I can handle, is that the story ended, in my opinion, rather abruptly. I would have liked to see a bit more of Olivia's ending thoughts.

Oh, and by the way, Alex is very, very hot! :-)

Now, to go back and read a few of Megan Hart's books I seemed to have missed....including the one where Alex appears prominently. I highly recommend Naked!
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love Hart - Just Couldn't Love Naked 21 Sep 2010
By Countess Chocula - Published on
Naked traces the developing relationship between Olivia and Alex, as well as tackling a number of larger issues involving self-identification of race, sexuality and religion.

I wanted to love Naked. This is a good erotic novel, although I'm not sure I'd call it an erotic romance. I liked certain aspects of it and I certainly thought parts of it were thought-provoking. Unfortunately what I didn't like ended up being either main character.

Olivia never seemed to know what to make of herself, but she generally did know that people ought to feel sorry for her. As the narrator, it was of course necessary to set the premise of the book up and discuss how her former fiancé Patrick had been cheating on her with every man he could find before bothering to come out to her, but then she martyrs herself by remaining his best friend. She has issues with her family (her mother doesn't like her, understand her or approve of her), her religion (she's not Catholic or Jewish and if she was, she's not Jewish enough) and she's either working, thinking about working, telling someone she has to work or arguing with someone about why she wants to work. Olivia brings up the issue of her being biracial several times and discusses her terrific hair quite a few, but it's generally in the context of "look how different I am." We get it. You're a snowflake.

Alex surprised me, because I started out liking his nearly too good to be true character. Handsome, sexy, charming, sweet, rich enough not to have to work, motivated enough to want to anyway, Alex stumbles into Olivia's life apparently in between relationships. In spite of her issues with Patrick, Olivia didn't seem to have any problems with Alex being bisexual, as long as he was monogamous and he seemed happy to be, because he was head over heels in lust/love with Olivia. Any early issues in their relationship were strictly hers, unless you count passive-aggressiveness as an issue.

I could almost mark the crossover place in the book where my feelings toward each of them changed.

It's weirdly the evolution of Olivia that begins the devolution of Alex; he loves to be loved and the most important thing ever in Olivia's life. When the Mexico trip comes up and she tells him she has to work, he sulks, drinks on the trip, then inappropriately flirts with the guy next to him on the flight back - and tells Olivia about it. Of course, he's suitably sorry about it when he sees he's hurt her, but he's made his point. He wants Olivia to be jealous and is angry when she isn't; he picks fights and sometimes seems to go out of his way to undermine her self-confidence. He seems out of control and by the time he and Olivia take the trip back to his hometown, it's a foregone conclusion that he's hiding something.

Events from an earlier book, Tempted, end up influencing Alex and Olivia's story. There are elements written here that change the entire tone of this couple's romance though, things that may have been true to Tempted that didn't necessarily still have to be true or at least be said here. When added in, they made the ultimate ending feel fragile at best and at worse, false. Alex pledged not to lie to Olivia and at the end of Naked, I'm not sure if he was looking her in the eye still or not.

Told in first person narrative with a very slight amount of m/m content at the beginning.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Naked by Megan Hart 17 Aug 2010
By Fiction Vixen - Published on
Alex Kenney was first introduced in Tempted. Tempted left me very concerned for James and Anne and the future of their marriage. I hurt for Alex, not knowing where life would take him after such an emotional relationship and wondered if his lifelong friendship with James would survive. Tempted is the first Megan Hart novel that left me fairly sure that the characters I came to love may not achieve their happily ever after. While I was eager for Alex to find happiness, I felt a bit of uneasiness as I began to read his story in Naked.

Olivia attends a party thrown by her ex-fiancé Patrick. She is still in love with him, and still maintains a close friendship, however their relationship ended when she found out he was gay. While at the party, Olivia notices the very sexy Alex Kennedy. Patrick quickly warns her off of Alex, telling her Alex is gay and is nothing but trouble. When Olivia stumbles upon Alex and another gentleman engaged in an intimate moment she watches from the shadows. Now, she can't get him out of her mind. She knows she should stay away, once bitten twice shy. And besides, Alex is gay and wouldn't be interested anyway.

Alex is in town for work for a few months and is looking for an apartment to rent. It just so happens that Olivia has a vacant apartment in the building she owns. After meeting the morning after the party and getting to know each other a little, Olivia offers the apartment to Alex and he accepts. Although Olivia was told that Alex doesn't like girls, she soon finds out that Alex likes both boys and girls. And he clearly likes her.

Alex and Olivia at first glance seem like such an unlikely pair. Olivia having been jilted by her gay ex-fiancé should want to avoid falling for another gay man. Alex, supposedly gay, should not be interested in Olivia romantically at all. However, perhaps because they should not, they are drawn together into a emotional love affair that is unlike anything either of them have ever experienced.

Olivia, who is black, was adopted by white parents who are now divorced. Her father is Catholic and her mother is Jewish and both are deeply religious. Both parents want Olivia to commit to their religion. Olivia feels torn between racial and religious worlds and doesn't feel like she fits in anywhere. Although Alex is a successful business man who travels the world, his background is nothing like the life he lives today. His father is an abusive recovering alcoholic who hates anyone of color and gays. Alex has been a self proclaimed ass-hole most of his life, however it's fairly clear he's used his behavior as a means to deflect and avoid the fact that he's always felt like an outsider.

Although the story was told from Olivia's point of view, I had hoped to get into Alex's head a little more since he was the character that carried over from Tempted. I wanted to fully understand what makes him tick and I wanted to know why he wanted Olivia. He was clearly attracted to her but I feel like we never got into the reasons why Olivia made him want to commit to her and change his lifestyle. After reading Naked I feel like there are still so many more layers of Alex Kennedy that have yet to be revealed. Olivia makes headway in the struggle with her duality however all is not wrapped up in a tidy little bow. Adding Alex to the mix by no means completes her and she still has a long way to go.

I so badly wanted Alex to find love and happiness with Olivia. Unfortunately, I'm not convinced he and Olivia will have a smooth ride from here on out. They both have so many issues to deal with so many of their loose ends remained frayed at the end of their story. I was left yet again, concerned for the future of the characters I've come to know. Perhaps we'll see them again in future books but truthfully I think there is more to tell in Olivia and Alex's story and would love it if Ms. Hart decided to write them a follow up novella.

Megan Hart has delivered a sensual, and thought provoking story that deals with topics such as sexuality, religion, and racial identity. Alex and Olivia's story is a bit off the beaten path for the average contemporary romance but I've come to expect that from Ms. Hart and look forward to more stories from her that push my emotional buttons and encourage me to think beyond the romance. Naked has earned it's place on my keeper shelf alongside several other of Ms. Hart's novels.

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Alex Kennedy Tasty Treat 19 July 2010
By Heidi - Published on
I've been looking forward this this book for a while. I fell in love with Alex Kennedy, when he first appeared in Megan Hart's book Tempted. Even though NAKED can be read as a stand alone book, I would really recommend first reading Tempted.

From the beginning, I felt very emotionally attached to the main character, Olivia. She saw the world through the lens of her camera, and I saw her world through her eyes. A world filled with conflicts of religion, sexual orientation, and her own personal demons. All she wants is to make do, is to make a life for herself.

In college, Olivia dated and became in engaged to Patrick, only to find out the secret he was hiding was the fact he was gay. Olivia was left devastated, and made mistakes of her own. She got pregnant after a hook up and gave the child up for adoption. After sometime, Olivia and Patrick decided to give friendship a try.

From the first time Olivia laid eyes on Alex Kennedy, at one of Patrick's parties, she knew she was in trouble, with his nice clothes, pretty boy looks, and hair that looked like he just rolled out of bed. Patrick, being Olivia's best friend, felt that it's his place to tell her to stay away from Alex, because he didn't like girls. A fact that was soon clear, when she accidentally saw Alex in a compromising position with another guy from the party.

When Olivia finds out that Alex is staying in town for a consulting job, she sees no harm in offering Alex her down stairs apartment to rent. Their proximity helped build their relationship with friendly dinners and movie nights on her couch. It didn't take long, before one thing lead to another, and Olivia is smack dab in the middle of a relationship with a man she loves, but doesn't really know. She questioned who she was and what she wanted out of life. She questioned who Alex was and what secrets he was hiding. She questioned whether or not she's going would end up hurt all over again, just like she did with Patrick.

I really enjoyed this book. I've been waiting along time for this. I loved getting another glimpse into the life of Alex Kennedy. In TEMPTED, when James describes Alex he says, "He's like the lake...he's deep. But he's shallow in places, too, when you don't expect it." This is the Alex that Megan Hart gave to the world in TEMPTED, but in NAKED we were able to peel away some of the layers. The reader gets to see why Alex is the way he is, and why he did some of the things he did. I also really liked Olivia's character and the world that she has built for herself. She is really a strong, amazing, giving female character. She has endured a so much in her short life, but seems to have came out the other side a better person. I liked the fact that the book, at least from my stand point, had a very original storyline. It's like nothing I've ever read. Similar to several of Megan Hart's other books, I was sucked into these characters lives, and couldn't wait to see how it turned out. I found myself staying up way into the night reading this book, telling myself, "Just one more chapter then I can go to sleep." I also loved seeing old favorite characters like: Elle and Dan, Sarah and Jack, and most of all Anne and James.

My only issue with this book, had to be the ending. I just felt rushed, or maybe that my ebook was missing key pages or an epilogue. I think it started from the point where Alex and Olivia were visiting James and Anne, through the final confrontation between Olivia and Alex. The fight lasted as long as a fight over who forgot to empty the dishwasher. Then all was forgotten and forgiven. The End. I also felt that there were several plot points left hanging. I'm hoping this was done on purpose, as a set up to other future story lines.

If you also enjoyed this peek into the world of Alex Kennedy, you should check out Megan Hart's Spice Brief, Everything Changes, available July 1, 2010. It is Alex's view on what happened in TEMPTED. If you love Alex Kennedy just like I do, pick it up for sure.
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