Title: Allure (#2 Spiral of Bliss)
Author: Nina Lane
Genre: Erotic Romance
Published: May 14, 2013
Rating: 5+ out of 5 Stars
After reading Arouse, which was absolutely fantastic, I anxiously and impatiently waited for Allure to release. I must admit, I was a little nervous because I had such high expectations. I am thrilled to say that Nina Lane does not disappoint. In fact, she completely amazes!
“Our relationship, our love, cannot and will never be perfect. It will, however, always belong to us in all its flawed, intense beauty. Perfect in its very imperfection.”
Allure picks up seamlessly where Arouse ended. It is the continuing story of Dean and Olivia West, a married couple, trying to work through their struggles and put their marriage back on track. Nina’s writing is so captivating; I am immediately and completely drawn into their world. The problems they face are so real and relatable. Dean and Olivia are working on rebuilding trust and trying to understand what they want/need from each other, all with the added stress of an unplanned pregnancy. However, taking care of Liv and the baby becomes Dean’s focus.
“I’ll take care of you, Liv. Whatever you need, whatever you want, I’ll do it. We’re going to be fine.”
Things seem to be slowly heading in the right direction, when a family emergency forces Dean to return to his family home in California. Liv wants to go with him. Reluctantly, Dean agrees to let her come because she gives him no choice. He still desperately wants to shield her from anything that may cause her pain, including his family and the past. This need to protect her was once something Liv craved; now, it has become a source of tension. There is a shift in Liv’s character. She goes through a sort of awakening. She no longer wants to be protected from their life. She wants to be an active, equal partner. Her love for Dean is true and strong. However, Liv is coming into her own. She begins to write Liv’s Manifesto, complete with life affirmations. Liv wants to be more independent. She is frustrated that she let her past get in the way of her future.
“Without my husband, I have so little of my own. I don’t know how I let that happen.”
Did I mention that this book is also insanely hot and erotic? We are treated to more of the steamy, sexy scenes that only Nina can write. I love the way she expresses their love, desire, and attraction for each other. Whoever said marriage is the end of hot sex, clearly hasn’t read this book. Dean and Liv are so passionate about each other.
“I need to touch you.” I needed her to touch me, too. “You have no idea what I want to do to you.”
One of the things I love about Allure is the fluid transition from past to present within each character’s POV. I thoroughly enjoyed being inside Liv and Dean’s minds. By writing this way, the reader gets to truly experience the emotions the characters feel. We learn so much more about their past, how they met, Liv’s troubled childhood, and the trauma she experienced, which brought out Dean’s protective side, their insecurities, his feelings of failing her, and fear of losing her. His love for her is so deep and all encompassing. Every time Dean calls her beauty, my heart skips a beat.
“You have me at your feet, Olivia Rose. You know that, don’t you?”
Together, Dean and Liv take us on their incredible journey. Their story is emotional; and just when you think things are going to get better, they are slammed with devastating events that are beyond their control. However, this time, they try to find the strength they need in each other.
“You and me, Beauty, “ he reminds me. “You and me, professor.”
I absolutely loved this novel. It is honest, realistic, and moving. I admit to crying and cheering for Dean and Liv. It is a story about love and personal growth, dealing with the past and finding a way to move forward. I cannot wait for the third book, Awaken, and to see what’s in store for Liv and Dean.
Read the exclusive deleted scene from Allure here!
Read Yesi’s 5-Star Review of Arouse