October 4, 2013

Book Review: The Blackstone Affair Trilogy by Raine Miller

I have had this series on my TBR list for a long time, and was super excited to finally have time in my schedule to read it. I have to say that I started out a little bit disappointed with the series. I guess based on all of the hype that I had heard about them several months ago, I was expecting to be totally blown away. Well, that didn't happen. However, I can tell you that by the time I put down book three, my opinion had changed. I still will not say that this is the most amazing series that I have ever read, but it was definitely worth my time in reading it. And while Books One and Two were just okay for me, Book Three was amazing. So, my advice to you would be this: if you do decide to pick up this series, don't put it down after the first or second book. Keep reading to the end. It will be worth it, I promise!!

Title: Naked (The Blackstone Affair, Book One)
Author: Raine Miller
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica 

Purchase Links:
Amazon 
Barnes and Noble 

Synopsis:
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…


Naked (The Blackstone Affair, #1)Naked by Raine Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It seems like I have been waiting for forever to finally have time to begin this series. Maybe because of the anticipation, I set some really crazy high standards for this book. And it sort of lived up to them in some areas. For instance, I wasn't disappointed by Ethan Blackstone one little bit. He is every bit as dominating, controlling, sexy and hot as you could want a male character to be. He is also sweet, passionate, tender and loving in all the right places. Brynne was a little disappointing because she is just so damn flawed. And maybe it's because Raine Miller decided to not share Brynne's background in this story, but I became annoyed with Brynne early on. Maybe once I know what happened to her in the past to make her the way she is now, I'll be more understanding.

I read another review that talked about the pacing problem in this book, and I have to say I agree. It seemed rushed and forced, and like we were only hitting the high points of the story. I think that Brynne and Ethan's relationship needed more time to develop naturally before the s**t hit the fan, so that I was more able to believe that they would fight for each other. Since everything happened so fast, I had a hard time believing that they were "in love" enough to work things out. It wasn't exactly insta-love between the two of them, but it was close enough that I was disappointed.

The positives that I loved about this book were the excellent writing, the complex characters (just needed more time to develop), the intriguing and secretive plot lines, and the very hot sex scenes. The story ended very abruptly with a ginormous cliffhanger, so I can definitely say that I will be picking up book two immediately to see what happens next. I can only hope that Miller took a little more time with book two and didn't rush right through it.

Title:  All In (The Blackstone Affair, Book Two)
Author:  Raine Miller
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Synopsis:
The second part in The Blackstone Affair series! Looming danger. A love worth fighting for. A man who’ll go all in.

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.

Here is the fiery story of what happens when two people surrender to a love so great it can heal the scars of the past and give way to a life of pure, rapturous ecstasy.


All In (The Blackstone Affair, #2)All In by Raine Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was definitely better for me than book one. Usually it's the exact opposite when you read a trilogy. Book one blows you away and leaves you desperate for book two, and then book two inevitably falls short and lets you down. This series, for me, is the opposite. Book one, Naked, was really hard for me to get in to. I think that most of the reason I continued reading was because there has been so much hype about this series and how great it is. I still don't necessarily agree - I think that it's an okay series - but book two WAS definitely better than book one.

All In picks up immediately where Naked ended. However, this book is told from Ethan's POV. And I loved it! Raine Miller did a fantastic job of letting us all fall a little bit more in love with Ethan Blackstone. There is nothing more sexy than being inside the head of a possessive, dominating, totally alpha male, and hearing all of his sweet and tender thoughts about the girl he loves. Plus, we get to really start to understand Ethan's dark past and the demons that he carries around with him. We also finally get to hear the heartbreaking details about what happened to Brynne in the past, and I can now say that I definitely understand her more. In my review of book one I was pretty hard on her - she was annoying and I really didn't like all of her emotional insecurities and baggage that she had. But now that I know the reason for all of it, I sympathize with her a lot more.

The story line didn't really move forward much in this book. Ethan and Brynne's relationship grows and becomes stronger, but as far as the plot surrounding the Senator and whether or not Brynne's life is in danger, very little was done in advancement of that.

No cliffhanger in this book really, just an expectation of more of the same in book three. However, maybe we'll finally be able to get into more of the threat to Brynne and resolving that.

Overall, I've enjoyed this series so far. It hasn't blown me away, but it has kept me captivated enough to keep me reaching for the next book.

Title: Eyes Wide Open (The Blackstone Affair, Book Three)
Author: Raine Miller
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica

Purchase Links:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Synpsis:
The third part in The Blackstone Affair series: A love on the brink of being destroyed. The fight of a lifetime to keep it alive.
Big surprises are on the horizon for Ethan and Brynne as they struggle to adjust to what life has thrown at them. Demons from the past are threatening to destroy the passionate bond they’ve forged despite their vow that nothing will ever keep them apart. A truly devastating loss coupled with the promise of a new hope opens their eyes to what is most important, but is it possible for the lovers to move on from the painful histories that continue to haunt them? A stalker is still lurking in the shadows, plotting evil amidst the distraction of the 2012 Olympic games in London. Brynne and Ethan are on the cusp of losing everything as the stakes rise. Will they yield to circumstances beyond their control or will they give every ounce of fight they have left to save each other and win the ultimate prize of a life together?

Eyes Wide Open is a passion-wrought story that shows us what pure love can achieve when tested and what the heart can accomplish despite danger and adversity.



Eyes Wide Open  (The Blackstone Affair, #3)Eyes Wide Open by Raine Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can say without a doubt that Eyes Wide Open was definitely the best book in the Blackstone Affair trilogy. The pacing of the book was perfect, we finally were able to fully understand the emotional baggage that both Ethan and Brynne carry around, an old plot line was finally tied up, and a new one introduced. It was all around amazing!

Brynne and Ethan are finally secure enough in their relationship to begin moving forward. They bring their families together and seek approval from the ones that mean the most to them. But then tragedy strikes with the death of someone very close to them, and Ethan is convinced that it is linked to Brynne's past and a very real threat in her present. Ethan is stretching himself to the point of breaking with trying to protect Brynne 24/7 and trying to keep everything in line for the Olympics. Brynne is still struggling with Ethan's possessive and jealous personality, and has a hard time taking his safety precautions as seriously as she should. That is really the main point of tension in their relationship - until they discover certain life changing news.

Brynne and Ethan really do learn to trust each other in this book. They both show their vulnerabilities and their desires to be their for the other. I really do love the relationship that they were able to build during the course of this trilogy. It is something real and strong and passionate. I'm going to miss reading about them (especially Ethan, lol).

I loved the ending of the book and the resolution of the plot line involving the threat to Brynne. I did not predict who the bad guy was going to be until immediately before it was revealed, so I thought it was well played.

Overall, I loved this book and it redeemed the entire series for me. I definitely recommend this trilogy if you are looking for an intense love story with a bit of action and suspense thrown in.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

Thank you so much for your comment! I read each and every one of them, I swear. :)

 
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