Arouse (Spiral of Bliss #1) by Nina Lane

 

arouseSYNOPSIS

Medieval history professor Dean West is brilliant, sexy, strong, and he completely adores his wife. He knows about Carolingian Era politics and medieval poetry as well as baseball stats, foreign films, Russian economics, why Star Trek is better than Star Wars, and how to throw a spiral in football. However, because he is so accomplished, his biggest weakness is his fear of failure, and it’s precisely that fear that almost destroys his marriage.

Olivia West is both lovely and complicated. She’s determined, practical, and has spent much of her life maintaining the image of a good girl…so she’s a very willing student when Dean teaches her just how sexy a good relationship can be. Liv has pulled herself out of the darkness of her past and found a safe haven in the arms of her husband, but is now just beginning to realize that she might be lost in the shadow of Dean’s brilliance.

In writing this trilogy, Liv and Dean and their struggles have become so real to me. I loved writing the journey of a flawed, passionate couple who will do anything for each other, and I hope their story speaks to the romantic in all of us who believes in acceptance, forgiveness, passion, and love.

Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte
5 Breathtaking Stars!

Gitte:  I absolutely loved this book. Can I put my finger on exactly why? Sure can. It was different! Very different to anything I have read recently. It was beautiful, emotional, heart breaking and sexy. The difference? Well, in this story we have a married couple who love each other with all their heart yet both have a past that has marked them and catches up with them emotionally through and because of betrayal, secrets and jealousy influencing their judgement and actions.  I loved this Authors style of writing; it was beautiful and vivid and made for compulsive reading.  Most of all, this story felt REAL! Be ready to feel every single emotion possible. You will feel: desire, love and jealousy, your heart will hurt and you may want to throw your kindle at the wall a couple of times. But you will laugh and smile too and I defy you not to swoon…..a lot!!!

Jenny:   Oh Gitte, I loved this story so much I am going to go as far as to say this is up there as my favorite read this year and I have no doubt in my mind it will end up in my top books for 2013.  I loved everything about it.  It was certainly different to what we’ve rad lately.  It was moving, emotional, warm, tender, funny, sensual, gut wrenching and I became absolutely and completely invested in Liv and Dean.  They stole my heart. Both of them.

You’re so right, the writing is nothing short of beautiful.  Every word, every nuance was so carefully and beautifully crafted that this book became an experience I could relive over and over again.  Book love Gitte, is there anything quite like it?  I definitely had it with this one.

Gitte:  Absolutely Jenny, my favorite too so far this year, no question! Dean and Olivia’s story is told in three parts. Olivia’s which covers both the past and present and Dean’s POV which made such a difference to the story, as hearing his voice tells of intense love and heartbreak and helps the reader understand and connect.

So, undergraduate Olivia Winter meets Professor Dean West, a Professor of medieval history and the chemistry is intense and their attraction to each other immediate.  When we meet them, Dean and Olivia have been together for 5 years, 3 of them as a married couple. The past catches up with them though a breakdown in communication and it snowballs from there. Highlighting just what secrets and betrayal can do to a marriage.

I thought the characters of Dean and Olivia were really well written; essentially deep down they both have issues in their own respective ways so I sympathised with both of them throughout this story.

I fell in love with Dean, not only is he a gorgeous, tall strong alpha male. He is also an intelligent and passionate professor who has no idea of how he affects women. Reason why? Because he is completely in love with his wife and totally devoted to her. He had such immense presence in this story I am still thinking about him days after finishing this story.

“One day I’m going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me.” Dean slid his hand around the back of my neck. “But right now we’re just going to make out.” – Dean

“Since the day we met, I haven’t wanted anyone but you,” 

“Never looked at another woman,” he continues, “Never thought about one. It’s always been you, Olivia.” – Dean

I really felt for Olivia. She has had a really tough childhood yet this beautiful woman is endearingly sweet, slightly naïve, lonely yet so very strong. She hasn’t got much self-confidence and is yet to really find her place in the world.

“Liv,” he said, his voice rough with tenderness, “you don’t have to be afraid.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’ll slay monsters for you.”

I thought this story started off a bit slow but then it kept building and building sweeping the reader along for a rollercoaster ride with every word until the end which has a small but not unbearable cliff-hanger.

“You’re so damn strong, Liv, and you don’t even realize it. I’m the one who’s always had to show people I’m successful, an achiever, the best at everything I did. I’m the one who’s always been a goddamn egotist. A groveler. And you…you’re the first person who’s ever…Christ, Liv, sometimes the way you look at me makes me feel like I can hang the fucking moon.” – Dean

I cannot wait to read Dean and Liv’s sequel .

Jenny:  Oh the “slay monsters” quote.  That certainly moved us and had us texting and professing our love for Dean…..that one simple phrase moved me so much.  I loved this story from the outset.  From the very first moment I met Liv and Dean I connected with them and I was drawn into their story and became a part of them. I loved the flashbacks, giving us moments to reflect along with Liv and Dean.  These tender, beautiful moments just captured my heart.  Being with them through their troubles actually made my heart hurt.  These characters came to mean so much to me, that when they hurt, I hurt.  First there’s Dean.  Gitte, I cannot begin to tell you how much I was drawn to this man. I think Liv describes him best:

My husband is a handsome man, built like an athlete rather than a scholar…..he’s tall with hard muscles and broad shoulders, his dark brown hair threaded with a few distinguished strands of gray.  He has beautiful eyes, chocolate-brown and framed with thick lashes that offset the strength of his cheekbones and jaw.  He also has a great sense self-confidence and dignity”

Dean was protective, strong, loving and sexual and what a beautiful soul he was. He definitely made mistakes but his mistakes were borne out of trying to please others and trying to protect Liv…his heart was in the right place. He loved Liv without exception and this love for her was nothing short of breath taking and I was indeed swept along with them.

“Don’t you want to touch me?” I whispered. Liv

“More than I want to breathe”  Dean

Liv was beautiful.  She was tortured in so many ways, but so loving and so giving. Dean came along at a time when Liv was struggling with a tormented past.  Dean was able to break down her walls and become the love of her life and her savior in many ways.  He taught her to love….to love herself and to love Dean.  Theirs is a romance that will capture your heart.

They have a beautiful marriage; they love each other deeply both on a physical and emotional level.  They’re marriage is perfect until one day an issue arises which threatens to break apart their wonderfully constructed lives.  I felt every single argument, every single bit of despair and sadness, I laughed with them, I cried with them and I loved with them.

“A strange calm settles in my heart.  Maybe Dean needs to see me as more than the girl he needs to protect.  And maybe I need to see him as more than my unwavering husband and the man who effortlessly takes care of everything” Liv

Yes Gitte, I’m with you.  This story and these characters will stay with me for a long time to come and hearing the voices of both Dean and Liv took this story to another level for me.  These characters are in my heart and I can’t wait to catch up with them again when they continue their story. I didn’t want this book to end and when it did I wanted to turn back to page one and experience it all over again.

 

THE SPIRAL OF BLISS SERIES by NINA LANE
Our reviews for series here

spiral of bliss

AROUSE – BOOK ONE
AMAZON US AMAZON UK /iBOOKS 

ALLURE BOOK TWO|
AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / iBOOKS 

AWAKEN BOOK THREE
AMAZON US / AMAZON UK / iBOOKS 

9 Comments

Filed under 5 Stars, Nina Lane, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

9 Responses to Arouse (Spiral of Bliss #1) by Nina Lane

  1. Julie Kirby

    OK, i just bought this, cant wait to read, but first to finish In the Air series”!

  2. Rach

    Wow, as you both loved this so much it’s a no brainer…added! 🙂

  3. Dayna

    I am interested in this book… But I cannot find it on my Nook:(

  4. Izzy

    I both started and finished this yesterday. I could not put it down!! It definitely goes with my best books of 2013 and we are only in Feb!!!!!!

  5. Stephanie

    I know what I am reading next. You both love it, so Im sold! Thank you

  6. Bookworm Brandee

    Thank you both for such a lovely and honest review. Heading to amazon straightaway! 🙂

  7. lorraine m

    Again, thanks for your reviews, can’t wait to sink my “eye” teeth into this!

  8. Misha

    This book definetly delivered!! It was amazing! I love everything about and I loved the characters. Thank you for the suggestion. You girls never fail to deliver the best! Now that my expectations are so high I feel like I will be disappointed with whatever I read next. Any suggestions?:-)

  9. Lyne

    I will definitely buy and read Arouse because it looks sooo good (and I trust Gitte’s and Jenny’s reviews), but not until all the books in this series are out. I’m doing the same with a few other series/trilogies now too. I’ve just read one too many books with cliffhangers- and regardless of how good a lot of them are, quite frankly I’m personally so tired of waiting months on end for the next one. Not all authors make us wait that long, but a lot of them do unfortunately. And if a book is especially good (which I’m thinking this one looks like it is), I can’t stand having to wait at all to read the rest of the story. Drives me crazy. So as of a couple months ago, I’ve started/saved a list on my computer of books, like this one, that I definitely want to read. However to save my nerves and my hair from being pulled out in frustration– from now on I shall wait until all the books in a series/trilogy are out and ready to download on my kindle for immediate reading. Some people have patience. Clearly I’m not one of them. 🙂

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