Naked (Blackstone Affair #1) & All In (Blackstone Affair #2)
Author: Raine Miller
Publisher: Atria Books
I received the final Blackstone Affair book, Eyes Wide Open, from NetGalley and decided I should read the first 2 books first. I was captivated and swept through both books quickly last week. Instead of doing 2 separate posts, I decided to do a dual review post. Enjoy!
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 a problem on his hands. He’s broken Brynne’s trust and she’s left him. He’s unwilling to live without her and isn’t giving up—he’s dead-set on getting his beautiful American girl back. The passion between them was explosive, but the secrets they hid from each other are dark and chilling and are powerful enough to destroy their shot at a life together. With political threats now directed at Brynne, Ethan is running out of time and he’ll need to gather all his strength and agility to protect her from the dangers that could take her away from him forever. Will Ethan be able to save Brynne from a past that keeps her locked in fear? Will he ever feel the warmth of her touch, the solidity of her trust again? This is a love-struck man who is willing to do whatever it takes to possess the heart of the woman he loves. He’ll go to any lengths to protect her. He’ll go all in.
These are some naughty, naughty books but I loved them. The plot was very interesting and the characters were well developed. This book had exceptional writing and a well developed storyline.
Brynne is a woman who has been through a lot in her life and she has a hard time trusting men and giving away her heart. She is a smart and beautiful woman who made mistakes when she was younger and she has worked very hard to make something of herself. She has become stronger and self-sufficient. Ethan comes along and breaks through her barriers.
Ethan is a successful business man who has some secrets and scars from the past of his own. He meets Brynne and is immediately enamored with her. He is a man who knows what he wants and takes; he wants Brynne. He is domineering and a little bit controlling but it is obvious that he really cares about Brynne. He will do anything to protect her and can be a little overbearing.
"And in a way that was becoming very familiar whenever I was in Ethan's presence, I accepted that he'd completely taken charge again. He'd established control over everything, and had me right where he wanted."
In Naked, Brynne and Ethan begin to develop a relationship but things are tricky because she is still jaded from her past and she is afraid of how Ethan will react if he finds out about it. This causes strife in their relationship because Ethan has a need to control and be in control and Brynne won't fully let him in. Ethan isn't exactly honest with Brynne and when she finds out, Ethan is left in despair.
All In picks up right where Naked left off and Ethan is in love with Brynne, despite the short time they have known each other. He will do anything to show her and prove it. She reveals her past to him and he proves to her that he loves her no matter what. However, that past is coming back to haunt Brynne and Ethan must protect her.
"When I reached for my girl and showed her how much I did indeed need her, and told her with words too, I knew then that the best gamble of my life had been not the cards I'd played but that one night on a London street, when a beautiful American girl tried to walk out in the dark, and I played the most important hand I'd ever been dealt and went... all in."
Around the plot involving the build up of their relationship and the secrets of their past, there is a lot of sexual chemistry between them. Raine Miller really knows how to write some steamy sex scenes. Ethan is very domineering in bed but it is totally hot. I wouldn't think that I would like that, but it actually worked really well. I didn't care much for his controlling side outside of the bedroom though. He only wanted to protect Brynne and he likes to be in control but I hate being told what to do and when to do it so that got on my nerves a little. However, he was always sweet and loving to her and would do anything to protect her and keep her safe, so I got over it. Naked is in Brynne's POV and All In is in Ethan's and I loved that switch up. It was fun to get inside each of their heads to really understand them.
Overall, I really enjoyed both books and found all the elements including plot writing and character development to be satisfactory in this book. I look forward to reading the final book and seeing how it all ends.
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