Saturday 18 January 2014

Spiral of Bliss Series - #reviews of Arouse, Allure and Awaken

"Sometimes you have to go through the crap to find the good stuff, you know?  Shit makes the flowers grow." - Awaken by Nina Lane
Arouse (Spiral of Bliss #1)

"One day I'm going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me," he said.

And he did.

Struggling with a tormented past, undergraduate Olivia Winter once led a practical but isolated life. Then she met Professor Dean West, a brilliant scholar of medieval history who melted Liv's inhibitions and taught her the meaning of both love and erotic pleasure.

But after three years of a blissful, lusty marriage, Liv and Dean now face a crisis that threatens everything they believe about each other as dark secrets and temptations rise to the surface.

Source: eARC for Honest Review from Author
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica

My Review...

Arouse is a book that captures the rawness and beauty of a relationship but still full of passion and erotic sensual chemistry. 

It's a story about the love and struggles of Olivia and Dean. Whom meet by chance and quickly fall in love and become each others everything.  This story goes back and forth from present to past. 

While Dean is a successful Professor Olivia tries to find her place in the world on her own two feet.  She needs this independence to overcome her past.  With Olivia and Dean they have their own corner of happiness until a potential pregnancy rocks them off their axis and past secrets and fears come out.  With other outside issues causing more doubts and fears their relationship starts to crumble.

 As Olivia tries to find her own path, Dean pulls away forcing her to turn to her new cooking class teacher Tyler The more Dean pulls away the more Olivia needs attention and support. Once she gives into a lapse of judgement she comes clean only to find out that their foundation may now be unrepairable.  Things aren't looking good for Olivia and Dean but when she needs him, she calls and Dean drops everything for Olivia. Once they start to fix things another bomb is dropped leaving a wee bit of a cliffhanger. 
"Come Here, beauty." he says. "You need to be kissed."

5 Beautiful Thumbs up!
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Allure (Spiral of Bliss #2)

BOOK TWO IN NINA LANE'S BESTSELLING SPIRAL OF BLISS SERIES "We both want this so badly. I can feel it resonating between us like the hot pull of our first attraction, tangible and intense."

After lies and betrayal almost destroy their marriage, Dean and Olivia West reignite their blissful passion. The medieval history professor and his cherished wife are determined to fix their mistakes and fall madly in love all over again.

Then a family crisis forces Dean back into a feud with his parents and siblings, dredging up guilt over a painful family secret. Liv and Dean have battled obstacles together before, but with bitter family conflicts now endangering their fragile intimacy, they soon must struggle with events that could damage them in ways they had never imagined.

Source: eARC for Honest Review from Author
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica

My Review...

Allure picks up immediately after Arouse & Olivia's new declaration and it quickly heats up into naughty things in a coat closet. 

Things seem to be honky dory for this couple well at least it was for awhile until Dean's dad has a heart attack and he and Olivia head to his childhood home where the past makes rears it ugly head and then private devastation that causes another crack in their foundation. 

This story is a not just about the struggles of their relationship but their own personal journeys along the way.  
"I can't look at anyone but you, Liv. I can't see anyone but you. I...I'm so fucking crazy about you that it's scaring the shit out of me."

For Dean he is dealing with his past haunts and demons and has never fully recovered. For Liv she is becoming her own without the help of anyone.

After another personal tragedy and Maggie the bitch from hell who starts more trouble for Dean he turns to Helen (whom I'm not a big fan of by the way) instead of Liv. Dean doesn't know to fix things.

"You have to let me fail, Dean, and you have to believe I can get back up on my own."

 For Dean who is always wanting things he thinks he is doing the right thing but by not telling Liv things in the end he keeps hurting her more and more.

For Liv she knows Dean has to finally heal and move forward. She also realizes the truth and solidarity of her love for Dean so she does the thing that they both need and she encourages Dean to go and further his career alone.

"But you need to heal, and the only way you can start is to get away..."

Gah! This story just keeps getting better and better. There is just something so profound and beautiful about their journeys.  I love the realness of Liv and Dean in all their dorkable glory with their string games and drawings.  Even though we are left with another mini hanger I can not wait to read Awaken and find out how Liv and Dean figure things out.

Silence falls, pulsing with the truth of what I've learned and what Dean has yet to acknowledge. Our relationship, our love, cannot and will never be perfect. It will, however, always, belong only to us in all its flawed, intense beauty. Perfect in its very imperfection. 

5 Breathtaking Thumbs up! 
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Awaken (Spiral of Bliss #3)

“I love that you love me, professor.”
“I love loving you, beauty.”

Since their intense, passionate beginning, Professor Dean West and his wife Olivia have fought dark secrets and betrayal in order to save their marriage. Now reeling in the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Liv and Dean are driven further apart by a vindictive threat to Dean’s career.

Struggling to stand on her own for the first time in years, Liv is determined to defend her husband and prove herself. Then an unexpected letter dredges up old insecurities and endangers Liv’s newfound independence. As Dean fights for his professional life, he is forced to confront his worst fear when he discovers that he can’t protect his beloved wife from her own painful past.

Source: eARC for Honest Review from Author
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica

My Review...
Gah! This book was so sensual, so raw and so breathtaking. I friggin' LOVED IT! This is by far my favorite of the series. 

This book picks up where Allure left off with Dean away.  While Dean is away Liv is building up her own personal foundation with the new friends and a new business.  At the same time Dean is enjoying the research but they miss each other so much. 

This time apart only strengthens their love for one another.  It increases their intimacy and their bond.  The courting is adorable and sweet, the phone sex and dreams mad me blush blushing and once they finally get to see each other once again. 'Yowza' the chemistry is through the roof. 

"You belong with me. I'm not doing this anymore. I'm not staying away from you. I need you, dammit,"  
"Oh, Dean." Liv's breath escapes on a rush. "Whatever you need from me, you know I'll give it to you. I'll do anything for you you." 

While their love is strengthening, the outside world is not kind with the threat of Maggie the bitch from hell and the return of Liv's mom.  Dean is scared that all these stresses are going to break Liv but in this journey he finally realizes how truly strong Liv is. 
"And I promise you, putting down roots doesn't mean you're trapped or stifled or even...ordinary. It just means that you've finally figured out where home is."
For Dean he always feels like he needs to fix everything and protect Liv, but with his time away he starts to heal and starts to realize that he doesn't have to fix and control everything and sometimes you just have to let fate intervene.
"But if we look hard enough, we can always find a reason to say no. We can always find a reason to be afraid. So maybe it's time to stop looking and see what finds us instead."

For Liv and Dean this series was such a beautiful and trying yet cathartic journey for them. 
"I understand now, for the first time ever.  Love is both so complicated and so simple because it's all the emotions in the universe distilled into one."
I think Nina Lane is a mastermind in her writing.  She has a gift for capturing the realness and angst of a relationship and at the same time creating such beauty with the sensuality and intimacy of Liv and Dean. 

I absolutely LOVE this series from beginning to end.  It is a must read series.  

5 +++ Awakening Thumbs up!
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