Blog Tour & Giveaway: Arouse: Nina Lane
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"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...and sex might not be enough to save them.
"Maybe Dean needs to see me as more than his ever-faithful wife and 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. Maybe this was meant to happen, this discovery of cracks where now a different, new light can shine through."
Wow, holy hell, I feel like my emotions were just rung through a ringer. The first 40% of this story moved somewhat slowly for me, in all honesty all I kept thinking was what was I reading compared to everyone else who had given it 5+++ stars. I pushed through and hung in there. I am so damn happy I did because around 45-50% I got it, I finally got what everyone else was seeing. It snuck up on me and just hit me. I was connected and invested in Dean and Liv, and I didn't even realize it. Their story was a slow build up as you moved between their past and present. While I watched everything unfold before me, my anxiety kick in, I just knew something big was coming. Nina was building up to that oh my fricken gosh moment where you just sat there shaking your head and wondering how the hell are they ever going to come back from all of this, it was a landslide of turmoil, heartbreak and endlessly making the wrong decisions.
"I fit against him like a puzzle piece locking into place."
Nina did a fantastic job with the way she wrote her character development, chemistry and interaction. His love was so focused on her. His one true love. His everything. There was no doubt in my mind that he would ever look elsewhere. It was the same for Liv, her past was so dark that she never let anyone past her walls. Until Dean. Dean was her first for everything. Our hero and heroine just fit, they completed the other in ways many people never experience. Liv was content and happy in the life they lead together, until one day, when she had a pregnancy scare. Liv starts to think about moving forward, developing their life and marriage with something more, taking the next natural step. This is where both the couple and I broke because Liv & Dean had a special kind of love. A love that makes others envious. Until that scare and Liv's change of thoughts. With that brought secrets, betrayal, uncertainty, trust issues, and lack of emotional or physical interaction. Dean didn't cheat although I was worried about that at first, but his secret nonetheless was still an omission, a betrayal of sorts. As a reader and as a wife, I just couldn't wrap my mind around why he never told Liv about one of the most important pieces of his life. I mean I understood his reasoning in a sense, at the time he met Liv, she was damaged and fragile. He felt the need to protect her, but as the years wore on and she grew as an individual that secret should have been revealed. Their marriage was formed on certain beliefs and he rocked their world when he closed his self off from Liv, and didn't give her everything that was him. That's the thing with secrets they always have a way of sneaking up on you and biting you in the ass.
"Christ, Liv," he whispers. "What the hell are we doing to each other?"
I don't know. I don't know. I don't know."
I bawled big fat tears as I watched them deteriorate individually and as a couple; fumbling to find each other again. You could feel the yearning they felt flowing off the pages for everything to go back to the way it once was. Dean and Liv were a pure mess, every time I thought they had it, finally they were going to get their crap together and fix it; one of them made another huge mistake, and said something else that would be hurtful. It killed me when Liv acted out the way she did, but I totally understood it, could even see it coming. I seriously couldn't find it in me to be judgmental. She was lost, Dean was lost, and it sometimes felt like there was no way they could save what they once had, that their love for one another, the one thing that has kept them on solid ground would not come anywhere close to being enough. Their pain was my pain; I felt each and every emotion on that roller coaster ride and I just wanted them to be ok. I needed to know that love as fragile as it may be is all we need to get past any walls, any mistakes, and obstacles that stand in our way. Love has to win at any expense.
I can truly say I was gutted while I continued on one of the most emotionally intense journeys I have read in a while. It was a different kind of angst. I would say that for me it was a personal kind of angst. Their story was real, it was moving, and it made you realize that love is fragile. Their relationship didn't fall apart over night, no it took time. It fell apart one heart breaking piece at a time. The most innocent action can cause ripples and cracks that will change your life in ways you never imagined and the consequences may never be fixable. This wasn’t about young love, or two people meeting, falling in love, and having their issues along the way. Arouse was emotionally raw and intense story about a married couple who loved each other more than life itself, but lost their way.
Nina Lane is a multi-published author of elegant, romantic and often raunchy erotica. Her recent release AROUSE is the first book in the Spiral of Bliss series, and her novel THE EROTIC DARK is a #1 Amazon erotica bestseller.
Nina used to write novels under the name Natasha Rostova and has published stories in anthologies such as “Best Women’s Erotica” and “Erotic Travel Tales.” Her work has been translated into both German and Japanese. In addition to writing, she's an avid reader who loves popcorn and has recently joined a workout boot-camp that is kicking her rear end.
(1) digital copy (EPub or Mobi) of Arouse by Nina Lane. Open internationally.
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