When Raine Miller sent me the ARC of All In (The Blackstone Affair #2), I kind of freaked. I mean this week had some of the best releases ever, but I really wanted to read this and get the review up by release day. Yet I felt like I had to re-read Naked (The Blackstone Affair #1) first. I needed to get back in the zone, you know? In this case, because the first book was fairly short, it was kind of easy to do, except for all the times I had to stop (during both books) for this:
I’ll tell you this, I loved Naked just as much, if not more, the second time around. All In begins where Naked ends, but this time it is told in Ethan’s voice. It begins a little differently than the preview in Naked, and you will see why. It was an interesting choice on Raine’s part to write the entire novel from the guys POV. As much as we always love to read that, I must say, I kind of enjoy Brynne’s voice more, because I connect more to her as a female. I mean it was interesting to get inside a man’s head, because we all know what’s in there:
I kept wondering how much research Raine did on how guys think. Did she have help? Is this really how men think? Is that why my husband does that? Sometimes my questions took me out of the story a bit, but maybe because I didn’t feel as ALL IN it as the first book. BUT, that being said, I still loved the crap out of it and can’t wait for the next book. Ideally to me, it will have BOTH points of view, and that would make for a great, unique series.
When All In begins, Brynne has just left Ethan in his office after finding out they didn’t meet by accident. It is clear Ethan is a mess and totally in love with Brynne. He will do anything to get her back. When they finally talk, Brynne spills the details of what happened to her in the past, which was different than what I expected, and worse in many ways. She thinks Ethan won’t want her anymore if he knows, but this guy is in it for the long haul:
“If you come with me, you’re signing on for all of me, Brynne. I don’t know any other way to be with you. It’s All In for me. And I want it to be All In for you too.”
Ethan is surprised at the depth of his feelings. He is over the top jealous, possessive and controlling, but he reigns it in for her sake. Some of the thoughts through his head were funny though:
“I am sure I cut the side of my tongue from gritting my teeth together. The urge to reply back was something I want to do so badly I could taste it next to the tang of blood in my mouth–along the lines of: Sod off, you idiot tosser. She’s taken and her man will cut off your balls if you so much as think about her naked. -Ethan w/the big knife.”
It was clear throughout the story that Ethan needed Brynn’s reassurance that she wouldn’t run away again. She’s done it twice, and he can’t get over the fear that she’ll be gone. Couple that with the fear that someone may be after her, he is swamped with the Olympics, someone may be threatening his cousin, he has a business to run and can’t keep his mind off Brynne, and you have a stressed out guy. But one who is clearly crazy about his girl and will do anything for her.
And really, would you mind that?
- The male POV made it a unique and interesting read.
- It was longer than the first book.
- The sex scenes were still hot as hell.
- The Homage to Fifty Shades made me crack up.
- Ethan’s dirty talk (and mind).
- I would have liked to see a little of Brynne’s POV.
- Though I liked that it was longer, parts in the middle seemed a bit stretched.
- I would like to hear more about Ethan’s past.
- This one seemed a little more reminiscent of other popular series out there especially with the mention of Dom/sub.
- There was a consistency problem with his smokes, one minute he is smoking more than ever, and one minute he cut back because of Brynne. Since these ciggies were mentioned a lot, I had to bring this up.
- Since Ethan is British, he used words I wasn’t familiar with, and I had to lose my momentum to look them up (plus the word spunk is yuck). But the accent I picture is HOT!
Rating: 4.5 stars, 5 for Heat
This is definitely a second book of three. It gets us solid with the characters, gets over the first main conflict, and moves us to the final installment. I like the way Brynne settled into the relationship and doesn’t seem ready to run. She seems ready to forge a healthy relationship. Though it is clear that Ethan is dominant, as soon as he acknowledged that he was a Dom it made the book feel a little too much like all the others. He can be a controlling alpha without the Dom title.
All in all (see what I did there?) I really enjoyed this book. It was refreshing to read a man’s POV, but I missed Brynne a little. Even though this was still essentially her story through Ethan’s eyes, I missed her. I really loved her character in both books, and I can’t wait for more of this couple!
Look for the final book in the series Eyes Wide Open, in the Spring of 2013 and The Rothvale Legacy about Ivan next year.
*Book was provided by Raine Miller in exchange for a fair review
- My Favorite Books of 2012
- Review: Naked (The Blackstone Affair #1) by Raine Miller
- The Blackstone Affair Series Order
- Top 10 books for Sept/Oct 2012
- What to read after Fifty Shades of Grey
- Favorite Dom/Sub or BDSM Romance Books and Series