Ok. I loved this book. And I love Ethan Blackstone. A lot.
This book starts off exactly the moment after book #1, Naked, ends and continues the story from Ethan’s point of view.
As a quick recap/intro, Ethan is the head of a high end security firm hired to protect Brynne, an American student studying in London. When they meet, they have an undeniable connection and so begins their story…
“She was different from the beginning. Special. My beautiful American girl…. it became so much more for me than just a job.”
This is a spoiler-free review.
All In is a sexy, fast-paced story of two flawed but functional characters… If you’re looking for a book with a possessive, protective and swoon-worthy Alpha hero, this series will deliver.
Raine Miller just nailed Ethan’s voice. Unlike book #1, this entire book is told from Ethan’s perspective and I just couldn’t get enough of it! I guess I felt that after reading Naked I had a pretty good handle on what was going on inside Brynne’s mind, but getting inside Ethan’s head really helped round out the story. Everything about it just made me either laugh or swoon – his jealousies, how crazy in love with her he was, his protective instincts (and the reason behind them)… all of it was just so addictive and we really got to see all sides of his character! haha, not to mention the hilarious part about him dealing with a PMSing girlfriend:
“Then I drove over to get my snake-haired, sharp-tongued, unpredictable, and very perplexing girlfriend, like the besotted sap that I very much was.
Women… frightening creatures.”
One thing I love about Ethan is that he has no problem admitting that he fucked up. It takes a real man to do that and I appreciated the raw honesty it gave the story where when mistakes were made, the characters would admit to them and then try to move on functionally. And I loved that Brynne was understanding about it all too. She certainly had good reason to be upset at times but she came around in a timely fashion that made me feel sympathetic and understanding towards her. I also felt like all the mistakes that were made in this book were certainly forgivable ones. No stupidity here! It was refreshing and welcome to not have to deal with any frustrating character traits.
“I was drawn to you from the first moment I saw your portrait. I had to know you. And then to be with you. To have you look at me and really see me. I know now that I fell in love. I fell in love with a beautiful American girl. You, Brynne.
… And even if you hate me for what I did, I’ll still love you. If you won’t see me, I’ll still love you. I’ll still love you because you are mine. Mine, Brynne. In my heart you are, and nobody can take that away from me. Not even you.”
That being said, neither Ethan nor Brynne were “perfect” characters. They certainly had their ups and downs and they were both flawed, but in a way that made you want to know more about them and sympathize with what they were going through.
In this book, we learn more about both Ethan and Brynne’s rather painful back stories and get to understand what haunts their dreams.
“You have your dark place and I have mine. I understand.”
It was really wonderful to read about a couple who supported each other through their problems and both genuinely wanted to just make things work.
“If you come with me you’re signing on for all of me, Brynne. I don’t know any other way to be with you. It’s all in for me. And I want it to be all in for you too.”
I seriously can’t get enough of Ethan’s POV. He was just so adorably Alpha. I was always smiling to myself while I was reading at seeing him be all growly and protective of her. Totally endearing!
I’m not sure why but before I started, I kind of thought this was a BDSM series. Not a clue what gave me that idea but for record, it’s not. That said, it’s still hot, steamy and erotic. Possessive Alpha male hero, remember? 😉
This was one of those books where the pages flew by. It’s longer than the first one, but at about 250 pages it’s still a quick, fast-paced read.
The story kind of just ends, but thankfully, there was no relationship cliffhanger. There are still bad guys out there who need to be caught and a whole mess of things to sort out, but at least we are left off with them strong as a couple. **whew**
I can’t wait for book #3. I’ll be devouring it the moment it gets released on May 14, 2013.
*** SERIES READING ORDER ***