Allure (Spiral of Bliss, Book 2) by Nina Lane ~ Review

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Title: Allure (Spiral of Bliss #2)allure-cover-pic

Author:  Nina Lane

Genre: Contemporary Romance with a very sexy married couple.

Publication Date:  May 13, 2013

Event organized by: Literati Literature Lovers  

 

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My Review:
If you are able to read Arouse and Allure together, this would be my suggestion, and as you proceed with my review, do so with caution because there be spoilers in them there words below!
It’s so very nice to read a book about two grown and sexy people who are married and there’s no game playing or series of events contrived to get them together. Apparently, in Arouse  the first book, Liv and Dean’s marriage is stretched almost to the breaking point by real conflict that many couples face. The first book ended in somewhat of a cliffhanger because you just know from Dean’s reaction to the previous “pregnancy scare”  the news Liv shared might not be welcome.
Allure is author Nina Lane’s sophomore offering, which is constructed a bit differently than the first book with alternate points of view, sandwiched between flashbacks, much like book one. While writing books preach against the flashback, somehow, I found this worked largely do to the construct of the story. There were only a couple times that flashbacks interrupted something current which I thought could probably have waited for a more opportune time.
The relationship between these two is much stronger than they each agonize over in their heads, and like most stories where you as the reader knows more than the characters, I often found myself muttering to the characters to talk to each other about their fears, their concerns, their hurts real and perceived, for goodness’ sake!
Allure picks up where Arouse left off. Liv has shared with Dean that she is, in fact, pregnant despite the scare they experienced previously and they pulled away from each other emotionally. Liv from Dean because she misinterprets his reaction to the pregnancy scare and seeks friendship, solace–something in the friendship with her cooking instructor. Dean draws from his work as a Medieval History expert and Professor at King’s College. The pregnancy, even as a happy event, exacerbates the pressure that has already been brought to bear on their relationship.
After a steamy opening scene between the couple, Judge Robert West, Dean’s father has a heart attack, necessitating an impromptu visit to Dean’s childhood home in California. The dysfunctional lot which is Dean’s family give Liv either the cold shoulder or indifference.
As they work to heal the rift in their marriage from events that occurred in book one, they dive headlong into family and work drama unlike anything they endured in book one. Liv’s pregnancy and her new resolve to make herself into someone who is more respected than loved by her husband, she reveals to Dean a woman who isn’t as fragile as he originally believed.  Dean’s attempts to temper his protectiveness and assuage his guilt, continue to cause problems, and a new problem on Dean’s job tests them both in ways they could never have imagined. There’s no dangling cliffhanger at the end, but the reader still comes away wanting to read the next book, because you realize they still have some issues they need to resolve.
As is Nina’s style, the writing is crisp, intelligent, and very sexy.  As only an erotic romance can be, it is equal parts entertaining and titillating.
I give Allure four out of five stars!
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Book Description

 

“We both want this so badly. I can feel it resonating between us like the hot pull of our first attraction, tangible and intense.”

After lies and betrayal almost destroy their marriage, Dean and Olivia West reignite their blissful passion. The medieval history professor and his lovely wife are determined to fix their mistakes, and Liv’s unexpected pregnancy intensifies their desire to fall madly in love all over again.

Then a family crisis forces Dean back into a feud with his parents and siblings, dredging up guilt over a painful family secret. Dean fights to shield Liv from the hostility, but for the first time, Liv resists her white knight’s defense. Her newfound resolve clashes with Dean’s desperate need to protect her.

Liv and Dean have battled obstacles together before, but bitter family conflicts now endanger their fragile intimacy. And when Dean’s career is suddenly threatened, he and Liv must struggle with events that could damage them in ways they had never imagined.

About the Author

 NinaLane

Nina Lane is a multi-published author of elegant, romantic and often raunchy erotica. Her recent release AROUSE is the first book in the Spiral of Bliss series, and her novel THE EROTIC DARK is a #1 Amazon erotica bestseller.

Nina used to write novels under the name Natasha Rostova and has published stories in anthologies such as “Best Women’s Erotica” and “Erotic Travel Tales.” Her work has been translated into both German and Japanese. In addition to writing, she’s an avid reader who loves popcorn and has recently joined a workout boot-camp that is kicking her rear end.


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Don’t Hate The Player Blog Tour ~ Featuring Katie Ashley!

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Title:  “Don’t Hate the Player …Hate the Game”

Author:  Katie Ashley

Genre: Young Adult

Publication Date: April 30, 2013

Event organized by: Literati Literature Lovers

Purchase Links:

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BOOK DESCRIPTION

 

For Noah Sullivan being the best friend to a douchebag and player like Jake Nelson has never been easy. It’s been a rocky road since kindergarten when Jake duct taped Noah to his chair before recess. With just six weeks to high school graduation, Jake accidentally blows his drunken ass up on his grandfather’s tractor, and Noah finds himself immersed not only in a whirlwind of grief, but on a quest to find a mystery girl from Jake’s past.

While cleaning out Jake’s room, Noah and Jake’s dad make a startling discovery. Instead of the obligatory porn collection or pot stash, they find a ring, but not just any ring. Its half a carat of commitment in a platinum setting-proving even man whores have taste. After Jake’s mom pleads with Noah to find the girl who meant so much to Jake, Noah begins a modern day Grail quest to track the girl down.

Since Jake was a notorious player with a legendary collection of trophy panties, Noah finds himself in over his head. There are the usual suspects like Avery, the Ice Princess Jake dated for appearances, or Presley, the school mattress Jake dated for convenience. But the trail begins to point to the most unlikely of suspects: Maddie, the Valedictorian and choir girl who was trying to help the unmotivated jock graduate–the girl who also has surprisingly caught Noah’s eye and meddled with his heart.

Hanging out with Maddie shows Noah a different side of Jake–one that was deeply human and surprisingly douche-free.  And the more he tries to solve the mystery of the ring and of Jake, the more Noah starts to discover about himself and of love.

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MY REVIEW

Don’t Let The Title Fool You

“Don’t Hate The Player . . . Hate The Game,” is titled after one of the most over-used clichés in recent years. However, the depth of the characters, the plot, and a twist you don’t see coming recues the story from cliché land, and quite handily I might add.

Noah Sullivan has languished in the shadow of his best friend Jake Nelson since kindergarten, when Jake’s first act of friendship was a prank he loves to reiterate to anyone who asks how they met. Jake’s rapid descent into further douchebaggery becomes the stuff of legend. As an athlete and a young man who hit the genetic jackpot in the looks department, Nelson lives what his friends consider a charmed life, replete with a laundry list of girls who are willing to give him whatever he wants. However, life for Jake takes an unexpected turn in his final year. Unbeknownst to his friends, he undergoes a transformation that he keeps hidden from them.

A month and half before graduation from high school, Jake perishes in a freak accident after warning Noah cryptically by phone of his most recent screw up, literally. Jake’s death leaves Noah and his circle of friends reeling from the tragedy and catapults Noah into the role of secret sleuth to locate the girl Jake himself identifies posthumously as the one with whom he shares the Willie Nelson classic love song, “You Were Always On My Mind,” and purchased her a half-carat platinum diamond engagement ring. Mrs. Nelson begs Noah to find the girl who meant so much to Jake. Unable to deny Jake’s mother, Noah interviews the most likely of the girls who could possibly fit the bill, and comes up empty-handed.

In the process of looking for Jake’s secret lady love, Noah encounters Maddie, the Pastor’s daughter, who would’ve been invisible to a guy like Jake, but the Valedictorian and choir maven had been Jake’s tutor the bulk of senior year. Noah is attracted to Maddie from day one, and as he learns things from her about Jake that alter his perception of his friend forever, he begins to fall for this girl that his and Jake’s circle of friends considered a pariah.

Some parallel story lines that make this story so rich and interesting include Noah’s struggle to work through his grandfather’s death and his father’s abandonment. Chief among the conflict is his inability to forgive his father, who was essentially the same kind of player Noah befriended. This YA story is chock full of life lessons and inspiration. As Noah gets closer to solving the mystery of Jake’s intentions concerning the mystery girl, his mission becomes compromised by his feelings for Maddie, and everyone is blindsided by a secret that provides an unexpected twist to the story that is both poignant and a testament to how much Jake had truly changed.

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My Blog Giveaway:  (1) Ebook of Don’t Hate the Player (all formats available).  OPEN INTERNATIONALLY.   Click The Image Below To Enter!

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About the Author

Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.

She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.

She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.

Author Links

Twitter https://mobile.twitter.com/KatieAshleyLuv

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katieashleybooks

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6546441.Katie_Ashley

Website:  http://katieashleybooks.blogspot.com/

Grand Prize Tour Giveaway: 5 Winners will be chosen.  MUST RESIDE IN THE USA TO BE ELIGIBLE ~ Audio DVD of The Proposition & The Proposal (one winner gets both), Signed Paperback of Music of the Heart, Signed Paperback of The Proposition, Signed Paperback of The Proposal, Swag Pack.

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