Other reviewers have more or less laid the plot out - so I won't do it again. I quite enjoyed this: I have found LD's sex scenes to be slightly overwritten and mechanical in places (especially in Undercover, the first of this series) - so I really liked the emotional connection between the two main characters and the underplaying of the sex. Yes, Carina is bossy and princess-like, yes Daniel is an easy push-over for her bossiness - BUT, they worked for me. I have to say I expected more suspicion of him from her - after all, she doesn't know him from Adam - and I expected more suspicion of her from him - she could be a mole or spy. In this book, LD has written a good almost sci-fi novel, with a good romance at the core of it. If you didn't have the romance it might well have been an interesting read anyway (simply as background for Undercover and Relentless) - but combined, it makes for a good fast-paced read.
review "Insatiable" by Lauren Dane is the perfect addition to the fantastic Federation Chronicles series.
Daniel Haws, member of the secret Phantom Corps, is on a special and very important mission. He has to make sure that vital imformation is brought to the Federation and that Carina Fardelle, who's carrying the info, will survive the trip. Carina's father is planning something dangerous and she might be the only one who can stop his cruel plans. From the first moment Daniel meets Carina he realizes that she is no pampered princess and that there is something between them. Soon he admires her strong-willed and caring nature. Although Daniel can't deny the strong attraction between them, he tries to stay professional (at first). Carina isn't shy of showing Daniel exactly what she wants from him so staying away from her gets harder and harder. However before they can have a real chance for a future together Daniel and Carina have to survive the daring escape from her brutal father and his ruthless men.
I pretty much enjoyed everything about "Insatiable". I enjoyed getting to know the Phantom Corps group and what they are doing. I also enjoyed learning more about the extraordinary and ruthless world Lauren Dane has created. And I loved the main characters. Daniel is a very strong man who's loyalty and love for his family is breathtaking. He's merciless in his job because he knows that's the only way. Carina is his perfect match. She's strong-willed and knows what she wants. She's also caring and always excited to learn something new. I loved the scenes when she left Daniel speechless with her witty remarks and her love for him. Carina accepts him completly and understands the dark parts of his job. All of their scenes together were a joy to read and made me happy. There are a lot of very sexy scenes between them and I enjoyed that Carina is an equal partner to Daniel when it comes to sex. I also enjoyed the sensual and sweet moments between them, for example when he is braiding her hair and she is washing him. It was also nice to meet Abbie and Roman again (from "Relentless"). I loved reading about their relationship and the changes that happened. I also enjoyed meeting new characters like Phantom Corps member Andrei (who will be the hero in "Mesmerized", the fourth book in the series!).
final appraisal "Insatiable" left me with a feeling of utter content. I especially enjoyed reading about the two extraordinary main characters and the fascinating world Lauren Dane created. The dialogs between Daniel and Carina, their sexy and sensual scenes and especially their love for each other captivated me completly. And of course the breathtakingly sexy cover added another positive aspect.
I read book 1 of the series, a 5* permanent menage tale, but skipped book 2 as the blurb did not really appeal, and I kind of wish that I'd done the same as with the latter with this one...as it was a bit tame.
Simple enough story - Carina is the sweet, caring daughter of an evil dictator, who is prepared to sacrifice her happiness and endanger her life in order to travel outside of his clutches to reveal his dastardly plans. With the help of her mother, who is also good, but a bit of a doormat due to her status and position, the plans are embedded under Carina's skin, in a capsule, so that she has a bargaining chip - to read the data, the other side must keep her alive.
The other side send in Daniel Haws, leader of the Phantom Corps, to spring Carina and escort her to safety, where she can have the capsule removed, but they don't entirely trust her and vice-versa. That's pretty much it in terms of the storyline, other than that it's not all plain sailing and Daniel and Carina are forced to go on the run in a series of disguises and confined spaces.
It's not that I was disappointed with the tale, as when the leads did get together, it was fairly hot and steamy, but pretty much the 'vanilla-ish' side of erotic romance i.e. sensual sexc, rather than the 'harder' stuff that LD is known for. Perhaps this was due to Carina having been secluded and protected all of her life, but in fact, she seemed more 'up for it' than Daniel did, though similarly, this could be because he felt that he had to protect her at all times.
I wouldn't strictly describe this book as a futuristic erotic romance, but as a futuristic romance - full stop. IM, these days, we expect quite a bit of steamy stuff in standard novels (paranormals, historicals, futuristics, contemps like Harlequin Blaze; the latter are FAR hotter than this book, strangely), and this where the book was lacking. There were not enough scenes and they were not as hot as I'd have expected, so whilst I would certainly read more in this series, I wouldn't buy another book myself. From the glimpses that we got of Daniel's sister and brother-in-law, it made them sound like the more passionate couple whose tale I did not bother with in book 2; a pity.
Still, a decent read if you are new to this author, but not a Keeper for me.
By the time I closed this book I looked at the cover of INSATIABLE and all I wanted to say was; It's me, not you, in why I struggled with your story. The fact remains though that I did struggle with this story and the main irritation for me was Carina. The story begins with the separate introduction of Daniel Haws and Carina Fardelle, and at that moment I had no problems. Daniel came through as a skill-honed Phantom Corp warrior who was preparing himself for a dangerous mission and Carina, in her initial situation, showed resilience. A prim and proper royal woman of her Verse but inside she was screaming for what the rules of her Verse were forcing her in to. The beginning promised a story that I could revel in...that was until Daniel and Carina met and I gradually started to dislike Carina more and more.
It wasn't the body chemistry but the personalities that didn't mesh for me. Carina's actions or thoughts were emotive at times to reel me back in but then, as fast as she got on my good side she would do or say something that would completely aggravate me. Like telling Daniel he has fluff for brains, or that he is silly, or that he has to stop pouting or shushing him in an argument. Carina probably meant it in a different tone but I just didn't pick it up that way. Or the moment she was thinking of his butt - and how she had her hands on that butt while he had her - in the middle of a dangerous fight. In such a situation I would think your mind would be else wise occupied. She just rubbed me the wrong way but then I thought; Okay Daniel she gives you attitude, show her your `in-charge' attitude and give her something to chew on! I mean, a skill honed and high ranked warrior doesn't seem like the man who would pout. Instead I got a man who was endeared by her, almost overpowering, persona and that's where they lost me.
If I would look at Carina through Daniels eyes she is bossy, regal, sassy, hard, smart, serious and innocence wrapped up in a curvaceous package to savor. What he found appaeling or sweet I just found plain annoying and I just never gained his perspective. I felt Daniel was a man who had two sides to him. One who is commanding and a deft warrior, and the other side is caring and hot, but pliable. He is a likable hero but most of the times he couldn't push my buttons.
So here I was, drawn in and pushed out of the story in rapid succession because yes, there were also good things. It was my struggles however with the main couple that created a domino effect to the romance. I read them falling for each other but I wasn't feeling the love or drawn in their romance that made my heart beat a bit faster. The kind of romance I know Lauren Dane can deliver for me! This is also an erotic romance and the carnal desires were more naughty of tone then anything else which included some voyeurism, self love and M/F bed play.
The plot was embedded in a chase where their adversary was an evil man doing diabolical deeds who send his Skorpios men for the chase, but these Skorpios were faceless and very much in the background. The enemies' actions were mentioned more than actually shown and I didn't get the chills and thrills of; will they make it, or won't they? It does have some tension filled moments where they find resistance and the only way through it is via a fight. With the last third of the novel focused on the more political aspect of the plot.
Romance and plot might not have blown me away but Lauren Dane has the writing skills that make the Federation/Imperial world come to life. She effortlessly provides information how this culture lives, rules, and how their world works. Not only does the main couple matter, the supportive cast of family, friends a fellow Phantom Corp member's breath their essence in to this story. I loved the quiet, rock steady Andrei, Wilhelm Ellis mysterious persona who got under my skin since the moment I met him in UNDERCOVER and I was so glad Roman and Abbie got to play a significant role. They flesh out this story, allow the overall plot to become a critical part of the story too, and each of them have their part to play.
With INSATIABLE, Lauren Dane ups the ante with the troubles in the Verses and to add the Phantom Corp to it as a focal point is an intriguing move. It allows many new characters to come in to the picture, joining the strong characters I already met in the previous novels; UNDERCOVER and RELENTLESS. I may have my issues with Daniel and Carina but they still added their own perspective and flavor to the already colorful cast. Daniel loved Carina, and Carina loved Daniel, of that much I was convinced by the end of the story... I'm only bummed I was irked by their personalities rather then excited and couldn't get swept up in their romance enough to be touched by it.