Series: Brown Family Book #6
Author: Lauren Dane
Blurb: Beauty is more than skin-deep…
Tattoo artist Raven Smith is blunt and hard, broken and jaded, dark and beautiful. While she doesn’t hide her painful past, she does keep a wall around her heart. She’s free sexually—but no one gets to the real Raven beneath the prickly exterior.
With a voice like smoke, Jonah Warner is a smooth-talking, highly successful attorney, with a body that should never be hidden by a suit. He’s the kind of man who never takes no for an answer and always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Raven. She’s a survivor, and he finds that incredibly alluring.
Jonah gets under her skin in a way Raven has never experienced. He makes her break all her rules—including her no-monogamy rule.
But when a figure from Raven’s past shows up at the tattoo parlor and drops a bomb into her life, their relationship will face the ultimate challenge…
Thoughts: This is only the second novel that I have read from Lauren Dane. I read Laid Bare awhile back, and while it was okay for me, it didn’t really leave me panting for more. It was good, but not captivating. The blurb was what caught me into and pulled me to the story but the book didn’t live up to it for me. I don’t really know why….all the elements of a good story were there….it was original, it had a whole new take on things, the characters were interesting, etc. But somehow I just failed to fall in love with that book. So, when I came across this one, my first question to myself was – did I want to chance reading another one?
I decided to take another chance here and hoped for the best….and in this case I was not disappointed. The story itself didn’t stand out for me – but the characters did. And boy, did they stand out! I absolutely LOVE Raven….she’s strong, honest, blunt, and loyal. I loved her remark, “My goodness, I already let you see my boobies.” So funny, so real, so Raven! She’s just such an amazing character. She’s been through the fires of hell and is stronger for it. She’s tough on the outside, yet a sweet marshmallow underneath. And if you take the time to get to know her, making your way past her gruff exterior, you’ll have a friend for life. She’s been hurt in the past and she’s messed up in alot of ways because of it….but she doesn’t let it rule her life. And Jonah was a perfect match for her. He was determined yet patient, loving yet willing to push her when she needed it, and most of all he was always there for Raven when she needed it. These two will stand out in my mind for a long time to come.
I loved how Dane captured the essence of these characters. I loved the ‘realness’ of their actions and responses…and the ‘realness’ of Raven’s fears. Beyond her gruffness, she was a character that was vulnerable in many ways. And the way Jonah helped her work through some things was simply heartbreaking.
My only complaint was the mention of numerous characters from previous books. For someone not an avid follower of her books, it was a bit distracting from the story itself. I thought many of the names and characters could have been left out, as they really didn’t pertain to the story at all. Some of them actually contributed to the character building and/or the plot, but many were unnecessary. I particularly enjoyed watching Erin rip into Jonah and his brother to protect her friend. It was a wonderful scene. I want a friend like that!…:)
Bottom line – the characters are what makes this book. This book has made me do a complete about-face when it comes to other books by this author. I’ll be doing some back reading after this!