At last, one of the most hotly anticipated sequels of the year is finally here and it's another sexy read, probably about twice as long as Naked and, interestingly, told entirely from Ethan's POV.
We pick up exactly where we left them at the end of Naked with Brynne running from Ethan and Ethan losing his head in rage and grief and regret. He's a broken man at the beginning of this one, a wretched creature without Brynne. His exile from her has forced him into utter desolation.
He does, of course, manage to win her back and most of the novel is dedicated to the progression of their relationship told from his very possessive and protective POV. It's very intriguing to get inside the head of an alpha-male like this, to see what makes him tick and what motivates him. Ethan is a man obsessed, his every waking minute and some of his dreams are consumed by Brynne and his fears for her safety and he can't imagine life without her now. She is his Aphrodite and he her Eros. Ethan and his American Beauty.
" I don't know any other way to be with you. It's all in for me. And I want it to be all in for you too."
We get to learn the secret that has tortured Brynne for so long and it's a real shocker. I could only feel profound sadness for what she's had to endure. Ethan's past is also revealed and the poor man has really suffered but he still isn't at the point where he can share all of that with Brynne.
It's a very erotic tale as their passion burns white hot and they light up the pages of this novel with their frequent lovemaking scenes. Ethan maybe filthy between the sheets but he's also a real gentleman with Brynne and I had a real thing for the way he kept kissing her hand. Le sigh!
I did feel, after their reconciliation, that their story began to lack direction and I didn't fully see the threat to Brynne or where Raine Miller intends to take the story next. There's no cliffhanger at the end of this one but certain elements of the story are left unresolved and things unsaid.
I had to have a giggle at the dig Ethan makes against the Fifty Shades books. Sure, they're not mentioned by name but it's obvious what Brynne and Gabrielle are cooing over.
I mean, who reads this crap? Who has time? Why even read about sex in a book when you can have it instead? I don't get that. And billionaires in their twenties? I mentally shook my head and pretended to care. I'm such a bastard.
So, this book is mostly just an erotic romance, the rest of the plot doesn't really move much further in this one. I developed a real fondness for Muriel, the toothy newspaper hag who, when she spoke, kind of reminded of an extra from My Fair Lady with her exaggerated cockney! There's obviously going to be a connection between Ivan and Gabrielle - perhaps they will get their own story eventually.