Naked by Raine Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Brynne Bennett is an American completing her graduate studies in London. She poses for artistic nude photographs taken by her artist friend as a way to makes some extra money. Ethan Blackstone is a charismatic and successful man who purchases one of her nude portraits, and is quickly drawn to the woman behind the photograph. Their initial meeting is full of sexual chemistry and tension, and they find themselves falling swiftly into a pretty intense relationship.
In the beginning I was a little frustrated by the insta-love situation between Brynne and Ethan. The whole "after a lengthy period of loneliness I meet my hot soul mate and spectacular sex solves all my problems" bit is one that I get a little tired of in other books in this genre. That feeling faded pretty quickly for me as I got a little further into the story. I was also nervous at first that Ethan was going to turn out to be a typical blend of the currently hip Christian Grey/Gideon Cross character. This too was a pleasant surprise, because although Brynne had some of the same thoughts and used some of the same words to describe Ethan as other characters have used to describe the previously mentioned alpha guys, Ethan turned out to have a different flavor and feel to him. He does have that alpha protectiveness, but some of that feels different because of his line of work (he owns a super high-end security company). He also shows a lot of respect for Brynne and her autonomy even through his strong desire to keep her safe and the sometimes extreme measures he takes to do so. He is sexually dominant, but less so outside the bedroom than I expected. I personally found the slightly softer edge to his alpha behavior very attractive.
We the readers know that something is up based on the prologue, but not everything is clear. We also know that both Brynne and Ethan have some dark and traumatic experiences in their respective pasts that make their strong connection to one another something unique for both of them. What we suspect we might know from the prologue presents itself in a pretty dramatic way at the end of this book. The author does a good job of making sure the reader is hooked, and will want to continue on with the story. I know I'll be continuing on to learn more about Brynne and Ethan's pasts and to see if or how they are able to work their way through the chaos and save their budding relationship. The sexy stuff is very sexy, and the mysterious stuff is quite intriguing. I look forward to continuing on with this series.
A digital review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
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