Title: Naked and All In
Series: The Blackstone Affair
Author: Raine Miller
Brynne Bennett is living the good life. An American art student at the University of London and part-time photographic model, she’s putting her life back on track with school and lots of hard work. When ultra successful London businessman, Ethan Blackstone, buys her nude portrait, he isn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer. He wants Brynne in his bed and makes plans to keep her there no matter what. His dominant nature captivates and ensnares despite the demons she carries inside her. But there are secrets in this relationship. Huge ones. Can Ethan free Brynne from the past that has marked her? Will Brynne let him or will the specters tormenting her resurface to destroy them both…
Ethan Blackstone has problems. He's broken the trust of the woman he loves and she's left him because of it. Ethan isn't giving up though--he's determined to get his girl back. Their passion together was explosive, but their secrets are even darker and more frightening. With political threats directed at Brynne, Ethan has no choice but to fight for her, to win her love, and to protect her from the very dangers that could take her away from him forever. He’s willing to risk everything to have Brynne and to keep her safe. He’ll go all in…
Over the holiday weekend, I finished reading All In, the second book in the Blackstone Affair series. The first thing I want to say is: Ethan Blackstone...YUM!!! Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can get to the review. (this is a dual review)
The first book in the series, Naked, is from Brynne’s POV. Brynne is an expat living in London, working on her masters in art, and doing nude modeling to help cover the bills. She meets Ethan Blackstone one evening at a (display) of her friend’s photographs (one of which she is the star). Brynne and Ethan have an immediate magnetic attraction. And the book basically progresses through the beginnings of their relationship. Brynne and Ethan both have demons in their closets and neither are really quite willing to open up those closets to the other. Brynne makes the first move towards opening those doors and explains to Ethan bits of her past. At the end of the book, we discover that Ethan in fact knows about Brynne’s secrets - well, the tip of the iceberg, as it were, because her father hired him to protect her from a possible political threat. Brynne, devastated by this (epiphany), leaves Ethan...she feels betrayed by his failure to admit his knowledge and unworthy, as Ethan would have to be unable to care for her knowing what he knows...
All In, the second book in this series, picks up right where Naked left off. However, this book is from Ethan’s POV. And I gotta tell you, being in Ethan’s head is an experience! His love and possessiveness of Brynne is some powerful stuff. Once he and Brynne begin communicating again, they both realize the depth of their feelings for one another. And Brynne is more confident in Ethan’s feelings once she tells him the rest of the story and Ethan makes her believe that the truth changes nothing. Ethan, however, isn’t quite ready to reveal his demons to Brynne...not that he believes it would change her feelings (but maybe he does) but because he doesn’t want to drag her into the darkness of his nightmares. Plus, the threats to Brynne seem to be on the (incline) and more drastic measures must be taken to protect her. This novel takes us along on the continued path of their growing relationship. And seeing everything from Ethan’s POV is fascinating. This one does leave us with a bit more of a cliffhanger...why is Brynne suddenly feeling so ill? Who is behind the texts and the bomb threat? Who was watching Ethan at the gallery (show)?
I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment. And I’ll have some sweet dreams courtesy of Mr. Blackstone. (Thanks, Raine! ;)