Review by Jenny & Gitte
Gitte: Dean West brought me to my knees yet again. More over; Nina Lane did just that. Her writing is exceptional, brilliant, classy….amazing; actually there are not enough words or accolades I can throw at her to explain just how I feel.
Every book lover needs to pick up this series and I urge everyone to do just that. Nina Lane has done it again with Allure. I didn’t think I could love the gorgeous professor any more than I already did, but I was wrong. He is in a class of his own; Nina Lane hit gold with him– the jackpot even. However, it is not only about the luscious fiercely protective and passionate Dean; it’s also about the sweet, strong and admirable Liv. Their story continues as they tread the rocky path in a continuation of Arouse.
“You became my world the minute I saw you, Olivia Rose.” – Dean
Their past is woven intricately into the present and Nina Lane nailed not only that but also the two POV’s with fluidity, relevance, emotion and connection. I was in book heaven yet again, but then again I knew I would be.
“Thanks for waiting,” I whispered.
“My beauty,” he said, “I’d wait for you forever.”
Book #1, Arouse, was still fresh in my mind as, even though it’s been a while, I haven’t stopped thinking about them since, they’ll always have a special place in my heart and I know without a doubt they’ll always be with me. The day I can hold book #3 in my hands just cannot come quick enough.
Nina Lane wrote two characters whose journey will have you so emotionally involved all else fades into the background. They have this stunning beauty and raw sensuality with a bit of silliness thrown in. They are so real you believe every word, every emotion; you get caught up in their passion and their struggles.
“I Love you…” – Liv
“I’m really glad to hear that, beauty…Because I love you too.” – Dean
The path of love and marriage is not always easy nor is it always beautiful and comforting, it’s not always a care-free walk in the park. Love can be amazing, passionate and leave you breathless, absolutely, but it can also be devastatingly painful, destructive and challenge all hope. It is how you grow and nurture your love and marriage that will either make or break you.
“Why was I suddenly not enough for you? What if I fail you again?” – Dean
No question; Liv and Dean are without doubt one of my favourite book couples. I absolutely love them with all my heart.
“You and me, beauty,” he reminds me, his eyes gentle.
“You and me, professor.”
I defy any reader not to shed a tear or a hundred. Me? Well I may still be crying….
Jenny:……. “Give me a kiss, beauty“…. And with those words I was back. When Dean West calls Liv “beauty” I melt. I am at his mercy because nobody expresses how they feel with this one word the way Dean West does. The way he says it…..wow, you feel it, you feel it in your soul that he desperately means it and how that one simple word conveys so much. Yes, this man has me melting alright and the love he feels for Liv has my heart expanding. This man, this woman, this book and this author are beyond words. As an avid, passionate reader Allure and Arouse remind me of why I love reading and of why it is such a huge part of my life.
We’ve talked about “book love” many a time… well this book personifies that for me. For a book to evoke such emotions, to have me forget everything around me, to become so completely at one with the characters and the story – to have these characters constantly in my thoughts long after finishing…. That is it for me! Book love at its best and Allure delivered everything and more in this sequel to Arouse.
“Did you think about us?”
The rawness, the intensity , the realness as these two lay their souls bare – it’s all there and so much more. Nina Lane has written a story so vivid and so masterful that I feel almost like a voyeur watching a real life married couple painfully working through their issues, rather than merely reading about two book characters.
“We want our marriage to be a haven of warmth and pleasure again. We want our pure lustiness back, untainted by fear and mistrust. We want the unending spirals of bliss we can create only with each other. We want to shut the rest of the world out while locking ourselves in together”
We hear from both Dean and Liv in Allure, and the alternate POV’s, together with the back and forth composition and transition is done so effortlessly, so smoothly, the reader never misses a beat, never misses an emotion and never misses a moment of feeling….and you really, truly, deeply feel the hurt, the desperation and the conflict Dean and Liv experience in this book.
“I just wish I knew where to start” I whispered
“Right here, beauty” And he presses his lips to mine
These two love each other without exception. These two imperfect people, who try so hard to get it right, yet so often human frailty shows through when indecision’s and bad decisions are made and sometimes they end up getting it so wrong. Making their marriage work is an effort and you are with them every sensual, passionate, heartbreaking and moving step of the way.
“He is imprinted in my bones, my soul. He has marked me in ways more permanent than time”
Gitte: In a way I think the emphasis was placed on Dean; where he came from, what he’s faced in the past; the consequences of this and of course the consequences of the current struggles they face in their marriage. Dean wants to protect Liv, to the point of obsessive protection. He is always there for her and if he can he will take away anything that may cause her trouble or hurt should it land at her feet. His love and protection. His want. He gave it all to Liv. He is her knight and we all know already that he slays her dragons.
“Be with me, Liv,” he said. “Just be with me.” – Dean
As for Liv, she will amaze you; she amazed me. She comes into her own completely; she becomes the strong one, showing courage and resilience but above all she shows unwavering love and understanding a fighting spirit to protect her husband, the love of her life.
“You’re the best thing that’s happened to me in…forever, Liv. The only person who doesn’t expect anything from me. Who doesn’t care that I’m not perfect.” – Dean
Her trust never really falters despite wanting to unearth the rocks from her and Dean’s journey. The most refreshing aspect of that is that never does she challenge Dean’s love for her nor hers for him. She knows what is needed in order to calm her caged warrior. She is so strong, she’s a fighter, Dean does brings her out of herself and away from her path determined by her past but the strength, that is all her.
“There is so much I want to do with you.” – Liv
“Dean, why…why can’t you look at me?” Liv
“I can’t look at anyone but you, Liv. I can’t see anyone but you…” Dean
“You’re the strongest person I’ve ever met, Liv. I don’t think you even know how strong you are…” Dean
Dean’s love is one of the most ‘real’, honest, sensual and all-consuming kinds of love I have ever read about. He’s the geeky and funny professor and he had me smiling and laughing, but his passion and protective streak is off the chart. I literally melt into a puddle on the floor every time this man speaks.
“Right now I want you naked against me. I want to wake up cold because you’ve hogged all the blankets. I want to feel your leg between mine, your hair in my face, your arm flung across my chest. I want to find myself on the edge of the bed in the morning because you’ve sprawled all over the mattress. I want to sleep with you.” – Dean
The marriage of Dean and Liv is flawed, just as they are, however the flaws are real as are the struggles. The honesty of emotions and actions taken are ones you would never hesitate to question. You understand and you suffer alongside them. With them.
Seriously, pick this series up and let the brilliance of Nina Lane amaze you!
“Your husband is quite dashing, but his adventurous spirit is…well it makes him just irresistible.” Too right it does, he had me at “Beauty…
Jenny: Gitte, I can’t even begin to tell you what this book was for me. This author has indeed created a couple who reach into your soul, who you connect with completely. You care about them. You feel for them. You hurt with them. Just how this author can project so much between these two with just a glance, just a touch, just a moment leaves me in awe of her talent. I felt it. I physically felt every word.
“Liv. I liked her too much. Liked the way I didn’t feel cold inside when I was with her , the way I didn’t think about anything except her”
As for Dean West. This man has unequivocally stolen my heart. This man is it for me. There is so much depth to Dean, so much soul, so much sensitivity, so much passion, intelligence, possessiveness, strength and virility….Dean is so male! This book is a discovery of sorts for Dean. We learn so much and peel away layers that has us falling in love with him all over again.
“I need to know you’re mine. That you’re all mine” – Dean
“I am.” Liv
His insecurities, what drives him, his bone deep love for Liv brings him to his knees and seeing this beautiful man so tortured at times, this man who has the best intentions in the world, yet can make mistakes….can make poor choices when all he wants is to be happy with Liv crushed my heart.
“It’s a measure of how much I love my wife that I just agreed to sit through two hours of dancing, singing pirates”
Liv is a mystery to him and his insane desire to protect her from anything and everything consumes him. Making it right is what Dean does best, but trying to always make it right isn’t always the answer.
“Beauty, you’re the only thing I’ve ever been sure of.”
Liv was a revelation. This woman who seemed to need so much, yet really is the strength behind them both. Her tenacity, her sensitivity, her absolute belief in her husband and her love for this man is what drives her. Finding herself, whilst also trying to find Dean. Liv really did come into her own in this book and impressed me with her strength and determination, I admired her and I adored her.
“You’re perfect to me.” I said honestly. “Perfect for me”
“And that’s why I like what we have” he said
Arouse and Allure. Two books I know will stay with me for a long, long time to come. Allure…..what a truly sublime reading experience. I didn’t just read this book. I lived it. I felt it. I hurt, I ached and I loved. Bravo Ms Lane. Roll on Book #3 because I’m ready for more!
Gitte: 5 +++++ Brilliant Stars
Jenny: 5 Stars ++++ Emotional and wonderful stars
Arc provided by author for an honest review.
THE SPIRAL OF BLISS SERIES by NINA LANE
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