***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***Arouse by Nina Lane
Series: Spiral of Bliss, #1
Published by Self-Published, Snow Queen Publishing on January 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
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"One day I'm going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me," he said.
And he did.
Struggling with a tormented past, undergraduate Olivia Winter once led a practical but isolated life. Then she met Professor Dean West, a brilliant scholar of medieval history who melted Liv's inhibitions and taught her the meaning of both love and pleasure.
But after three years of a blissful, lusty marriage, Liv and Dean now face a crisis that threatens everything they believe about each other. And when dark secrets and temptations rise to the surface, the fallout might break them apart forever.
Rough patches! Who in a marriage or relationship hasn’t ever experienced those two dreaded words? In Arouse, Nina Lane takes the readers on a sensual and heartbreaking journey of the ups and downs of married couple, Olivia and Dean West. The story begins with a flashback snippet of Olivia and Dean when they first met five years ago. In just those short paragraphs Nina pulls me into their story and so begins my heartbreak and joy. Olivia and Dean’s story unfolds before the readers between present day accounting and uses flashbacks to establish the history of their relationship. A pregnancy scare is the catalyst for the roller coaster ride that caused this reader to feel a myriad of emotions. Secrets emerge and “what ifs” come into play.
Olivia grew up with a selfish mother who basically dragged Olivia around all over the place. Her mother would shack up with any guy who’d take her in and let her live freely in exchange basically for sex. With that type of childhood Olivia has major walls up and some pretty screwy views of men. But when she meets Dean, her world changes. There is instant connection and attraction. Dean becomes Olivia’s first everything…first love, first person she lets in and first and only person she’s ever been with. Olivia is it, for Dean. He feels a strong pull towards her too. He has his own hang ups but is quick to step in and fix things for Olivia. She quickly becomes his world.
I’m still reeling from this book. A small part of me hated how this book dredged up some painful emotions for me reading the struggles and questions, that Olivia and Dean face in their marriage. I empathized with Olivia during a lot of her insecurities and confusion. I remembered feeling and having some of those thoughts of “what if”. I hurt for her and was a bit confused at why Dean was shutting her out after the pregnancy scare. Then I wanted to smack her for some of her decisions. LOL!
Let me tell you I read most of this book with this tight achy feeling in my chest. I hated watching them struggle. Nina Lane with her masterful storytelling sucked me into Olivia and Dean’s world. I loved how these two loved each other. They were so passionate, vulnerable and just beautiful. I, as a reader was still able to understand and feel that commitment and passion even through the ups and downs. The sex was scorching and plentiful but it added to the story and fits in with the phases of their relationship. With each caress and each kiss I was sucked in. I wanted these two crazy kids to work out their problem. I was invested. I really enjoyed how the story unfolds using the flashbacks to give me their history. I feel like I was there for every moment and got to watch how they fell in love and came to be married.
I totally have a crush on professor Dean West. He is swoon worthy ladies. Scholarly and alpha at the same time. Deadly combination and had this reader crushing on him big time. Who wouldn’t fall for a guy that says the following:
“Liv,” he said, his voice rough with tenderness, “you don’t have to be afraid.”
“Because I’ll slay monsters for you.”
Totally big girly sigh moment for me reading that line. I loved Kelsey, the best friend. She infused some lighter moments in this book. Arouse does leave you with a cliffhanger. There is definitely more to be revealed about their story, especially the past. Also I can’t wait to see more happy moments. In Arouse there is more heartache then happy moments. I definitely want more details about Olivia’s childhood, especially the mystery North. I also wanted more info on Dean’s family. I want to know what the heck his family did to them at one point of their marriage. Ugly times was hinted at with the family and their relationship.
This book was almost perfect for me but some of Olivia’s actions irked me that it took a bit of my enjoyment away. I still enjoyed this book though. I can’t wait for the next book so I can immerse myself in Dean and Olivia again. I would recommend, Arouse to the readers of this blog. If you are looking for hot sensual loving, an emotionally charged book and has well developed characters, then check out Arouse.
★★ Book was read in May 2013. I own my own personal eBook copy. ★★
Books in this Series:
- Arouse (Spiral of Bliss, #1)
- Allure (Spiral of Bliss, #2)
- Awaken (Spiral of Bliss, #3)
- Break the Sky (Spiral of Bliss spin-off novel)
One lucky reader of the blog can win a digital (EPub or Mobi) copy of Arouse by Nina Lane.
- Giveaway is open to US & International residents.
- Winners will be contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond back to the e-mail. If a response is not received within 48 hours another winner will be chosen.