Promo, Review and Giveaway: Eyes Wide Open: Raine Miller

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The third part in The Blackstone Affair series: A love on the brink of being destroyed. The fight of a lifetime to keep it alive.

Big surprises are on the horizon for Ethan and Brynne as they struggle to adjust to what life has thrown at them. Demons from the past are threatening to destroy the passionate bond they’ve forged despite their vow that nothing will ever keep them apart. A truly devastating loss coupled with the promise of a new hope opens their eyes to what is most important, but is it possible for the lovers to move on from the painful histories that continue to haunt them? A stalker is still lurking in the shadows, plotting evil amidst the distraction of the 2012 Olympic games in London. Brynne and Ethan are on the cusp of losing everything as the stakes rise. Will they yield to circumstances beyond their control or will they give every ounce of fight they have left to save each other and win the ultimate prize of a life together?

Eyes Wide Open is a passion-wrought story that shows us what pure love can achieve when tested and what the heart can accomplish despite danger and adversity.

Read chapter one of Eyes Wide Open

See Kim's reviews of Naked and All In

All in: Goodreads/Amazon/B&N
“Th—thank you for coming to f—f—find me,” she chattered, her lips looking more blue than anything. She was chilled and shivering so I took off my shirt and put it on over hers hoping the extra layer would warm her a little.

She was compliant, allowing me to take charge and that was a massive relief. Taking care of her was something I could do. I didn’t need much, just the assurance she wanted my help. Wanted me.

“I’ll always find you.” I picked her up and started walking down the long drive of Stonewell Court to where I’d parked outside of the gate. She closed her eyes and put her palm on my chest.

Right over my heart.

It always amazed me at how easy it was to carry her. I knew why. It was because she carried my heart with her wherever she went. My heart was in her hands, and carrying her was some form of self-preservation maybe. Holding her, holding me up.

I couldn’t explain it, but I understood it. Made perfect sense to me.

I said it again. “I’ll always find you, Brynne.”

Ethan - Eyes Wide Open

It seems I have been waiting for this book for so long!  I could not wait to get back into Ethan and Brynne's story. And I was enthralled by the this book right from the first page as it starts up right where ALL IN left off. I swear I fall in love with Ethan Blackstone a little more each book. He is the man that likes to be in control, yet can lose control so easily around Brynne. He understands Brynne's triggers and he supports her and is so protective and loving. But his physical need for her is so great(and it is mutual) that they are often out of control together.  Their chemistry is still explosive, their need for each other is intense, and they have grown so close that they can barely stand to be apart. They have perfect sexual chemistry and compatibility with him being more dominant and her willing to submit. But their passion is just an extension of the true love they share.  Ethan knows exactly what he wants for them and does not waver in his devotion to Brynne. She is more skittish and scared of change and commitent. It takes her longer to come to terms with actually being in a real relationship  and what that means. She loves Ethan, but sometimes it is all just a little too much for her to handle. But Ethan is becoming a master at handling Brynne. 

I'd let someone in. The hard shell around my heart had been compromised, and very thoroughly too. Ethan had done it. He'd worked on me, and pushed me and demanded my attention. He never gave up on me and loved me in spite of my cavern of emotional issues. Ethan did all that for me. And Now I could revel in the fact that I was loved by a man whom I loved in return. 

I didn't care about her past, It changed nothing in my feelings for her. She was the one--the one person I  needed to be with. Now it was just a matter of convincing her of this fact. And I will...because I love her. 

They face changes in their dynamic in the relationship, surprises, new challenges, a significant threat, tragedy and insecurities. But they face them together. And Ethan is steadfast throughout it all. But he still has secrets in his own pasts and demons to bear, and Brynne is only aware of some of them. And even though Brynne still struggles with her past, her fears and her insecurities, she is becoming stronger and more confident. I loved seeing their personal changes and the progression of their feelings over the course of the books.

"They are looking at you, but my eyes have really only been opened since you came into my world. you gave me everything. You made me really want to see what was around me, for the first time in my adult life. You made me want you. You made me want...a life. You were my greatest gift of all, Ethan James Blackstone." 

She was the first person to really see inside me. Only her eyes seemed even capable of doing it. Only my Brynne's eyes.

But I was just waiting for the threat to make itself known. It has been building up since the beginning so it was tense waiting for the bottom to fall out.  Will Ethan be able to do enough to protect her and keep her safe? Or will he face losing her now that she is finally his?

If anything ever happened to her, I'd be finished. This was my truth.

I'd heard others speak about it. I'd read about it in books. Now I understood. The fear that you have when you finally give your heart away to another person. It makes you very vulnerable to loss. If you never love anyone, then you'll never be hurt when they don't love you back or when they leave you. 

This book is erotic, sweet, intense, suspenseful, sad, and exciting. I was totally engaged in it and sorry when I reached the last page. I love that Raine gave us both Ethan and Brynne's alternating points of view. I really enjoyed meeting Ethan's sister, brother in law, niece, and nephew. His little niece Zara was incorrigible and had me giggling. It was fun to see Ethan in a more family oriented setting as well.  I really enjoyed the story and their relationship, but sometimes it gets overshadowed by the sex scenes since these two are so hot and heavy for each other. But this book lived up to my expectations that were set pretty high.   I am looking forward to the 4th installment  of the Blackstone series scheduled for the end of 2013 and also the  spin off Rothvale series

This is what Raine says about the Rothvale Series:  The Rothvale Legacy is coming sometime in 2013 and will belong to two very special couples: Graham and Imogene from 1812, and Ivan and Gabrielle from 2012. The modern portion will overlap into the world where Ethan and Brynne are living their lives which I think will be fun for readers to connect back to Blackstone AffairRothvale Legacy will be two books, both full-length–one taking place in the past, and one contemporary.  The stories are linked around a series of paintings and one very special portrait in particular.  The first book  is called The Muse, taking place in 1812. It will tell the story of Ivan’s ancestor, Graham Everley, and can be considered a 200 year prequel to Ivan and Gabrielle’s story which is why it will come out first, I hope in late summer 2013.

Thanks to Raine Miller and Atria Publishing for providing me with an ARC review copy in exchange for an honest review. Quotes were checked with version purchased on Amazon.

I know I am in the minority here, as all the reviews I have read have raved about Eyes Wide Open, even my blog partner LOVED it. Unfortunately, I am not able to rave. Not sure if it was me, or the book to be honest, all I know is, something was missing and just didn’t work. The plot line just couldn’t hold my interest and the sex…too overwhelming. Quite a few times, I stepped away from this book.

With high hopes, I began reading Eyes Wide open. I was hopeful that the story would be a bit faster in pace (All In didn’t hold my attention to well either) with the mystery and threat lingering over them and I had hoped for less bedroom time. Yes, I know that sounds funky since the genre is labeled erotica/romance. However, I like my read to contain a little bit more plot and character development that occurs outside of the physical interaction. Seriously, there is only so much sex I can read about before it loses its appeal and becomes tedious.

Raine Miller’s characters are fun and I like them well enough, but I couldn't really get a handle on them enough to connect on a deeper level because the time spent outside the bedroom was very limited. It felt like they were having sex every other page, and if they were not actually doing the deed than Ethan was CONSTANTLY thinking about Brynne and sex. I grew bored very quickly and did a lot of skimming those scenes. It felt lacking in their character development; Eyes Wide Shut was no different than All In. Brynne was constantly running, unable to face her feelings or life in general and you had alpha male Ethan begging Brynne to give them a chance. It felt like each time they would take a step forward, life took another turn and they would be right back to where they began, if not even further behind. They didn’t talk these two had sex. It became very frustrating and made it very hard to enjoy the overall story. I am sad to say that by the time I reached the end of the book, I wasn’t really invested in their characters or life, so the mystery was just kind of eh.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with the opportunity to read and review an ARC of Eyes Wide Open in exchange for my honest opinion.

Raine Miller  
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Raine Miller has been reading romance novels since she picked up that first Barbara Cartland book at the tender age of thirteen. And it's a safe bet she'll never stop, because now she writes them too! Granted Raine's stories are edgy enough to turn Ms. Cartland in her grave, but to her way of thinking, a hot, sexy hero never goes out of fashion. A part-time teacher and writer of sexy romance stories every other chance she gets pretty much fills her days. She has a handsome prince of a husband, and two brilliant sons to pull her back into the real world if the writing takes her too far away. Her sons know she likes to write stories, but gratefully have never asked to read any, thank God! Raine loves to hear from readers and to chat about the characters in her books.

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