Author: M. Never
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Blurb: “I may have had more lovers than you, and I may take my clothes off for countless women, but you are the only one who can strip me bare.”
Do you ever stop loving someone just because they’re gone?
Five years ago, Ryan Pierce disappeared from Alana Remington’s life without a trace. He was the one she gave her heart to, her soul to — and her virginity to. So, imagine her surprise when she finds him dancing at one of NYC’s hottest male revues as ‘Jack the Stripper.’
Ryan never stopped loving Alana, and now that she has serendipitously dropped back into his life, he’s vowed never to lose her again. But being together has its costs, and challenges Alana isn’t sure she can handle. She finally has Ryan back. But how in the world is she supposed to share the love of her life with half of the women in New York City?
Strip Me Bare is a second chance, standalone romance. It contains angst, heat, humor, heartbreak, and one seductive male stripper who will not only have you handing over your panties, but also your heart.
You’ve been warned.
Favorite quotes: “No. I am not f@%&ing okay! I spent the last five years wondering what the hell happened to you, and when I finally find you, you’re, you’re…” I can barely breathe out the words. “Jack the f@%&ing Stripper?”
“Alana, I’m going to take back what’s mine. No matter how long it takes. A day, a month, or a year, I won’t let you walk away from me.”
“It’s my job to sell attractiveness and fantasy, and I do it well. But that’s all it is, fantasy, and I know it. When I’m with you, that’s my real.”
Thoughts: This is one of those books that I was a bit hesitant to pick up, maybe because the lead was a stripper. Only because typically in the romance books I’ve read it never ends well or winds up ending very unrealistically. I admit, I finished the book feeling rather conflicted – there were many things I liked about the book, but also some things that I didn’t. This is the same with the characters. While these are two characters that are strong enough to fight through some crazy (and somewhat unbelievable) circumstances, they manage to stick together which is more than another couple may do faced with similar circumstances. I’ll admit Ryan would not make my top list of favorite male leads for many reasons. While he comes across as desperate to convince Alana to give him a chance and take him back – which should be a good thing – for some reason he starts tilting the scales more in an obsessive stalker-ish way for me. I didn’t care for his obsessive ‘family is everything’ outlook, when said family only uses and abuses him. I didn’t like how he expects Alana to just accept his job as a stripper and give absolute trust to him – when this would be difficult and challenging for any relationship – and then immediately start harping on her when she has issues or insecure moments. Alana, on the other hand, irritated me with her outlook and ‘princess’ mentality, refusing to take a stand and stop letting her daddy control her life just so he’ll keep paying for college for her. And let’s not even get into the whole guy sleeping with multiple woman, yet the female has no other lovers aspect of it.
On the plus side, not only did the author take a difficult romantic angle and make it work, but she wasn’t afraid to take a stand – she didn’t just cave and tie up the ending with a few neat little bows and an easy way out. No, this author stuck through with the hard parts. While the ending is still a happily-ever-after, it’s a messy happily-ever-after. I have nothing but praise for the author for that alone.
While I complained in my beginning of this review about Ryan’s tendency on the obsessive in regards to his ‘family is everything outlook’, I enjoyed how this angle eventually played out in the end and also in a realistic way and not one which is fairly seen in romance novels. Again, nothing but praise for the author on that score.
Now, while this may not have been my ideal book (or ‘book boyfriend’), largely because I’m not sure I could be as accepting of Ryan’s stripping career – I’m just not that type of person. I’m a little too possessive for that…LOL But I would recommend it to other readers, and I would definitely be willing to pick up other novels by this particular author! Overall, a strong B for me…:)
BUY LINK(S): Amazon