Drawn Together: Lauren Dane

Drawn Together
Lauren Dane
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Beauty is more than skin-deep…

Tattoo artist Raven Smith is blunt and hard, broken and jaded, dark and beautiful. While she doesn’t hide her painful past, she does keep a wall around her heart. She’s free sexually—but no one gets to the real Raven beneath the prickly exterior.

With a voice like smoke, Jonah Warner is a smooth-talking, highly successful attorney, with a body that should never be hidden by a suit. He’s the kind of man who never takes no for an answer and always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Raven. She’s a survivor, and he finds that incredibly alluring.

Jonah gets under her skin in a way Raven has never experienced. He makes her break all her rules—including her no-monogamy rule.

But when a figure from Raven’s past shows up at the tattoo parlor and drops a bomb into her life, their relationship will face the ultimate challenge...

See the other books in the Brown Siblings series on Goodreads and companion Delicious series

"Everyone's afraid of you. But they don't know that underneath that b**chy exterior is all marshmallow."

We have seen Raven throughout the Brown Siblings series as she is  a tattoo artist, has a past history with Brody, and is still really close with Erin and Brody and part of the group. But not everyone gets to see under her armor like Erin and Brody do. She can be prickly, blunt, set in her ways, and kind of a loner. But she is also loyal, vulnerable, and a bit fragile. Raven had survived a rough past that left her broken and with serious trust issues. She likes control and order and she is not quick to let people in. 

Jonah Warner is Levi's brother who is involved with Daisy(Sway: Delicious#1). He is a lawyer, single Dad, charismatic, and sexy as hell. They meet and their attraction is almost immediate and intense. Their discussions are like tense sexual foreplay and their joining is nothing short of electric.

"You're going to be a handful, aren't you?"

"I'm told it's a flaw. I'll try to be worth it."

This woman was a challenge, yes. But one he had every intention of undertaking. He wanted in. 

They are perfectly matched and bring out just what the other craves. Jonah is all about control. He is bossy, dominant, and possessive. He knows what he wants and he is not afraid to pursue it. He understands Raven's flaws and limitations. He know how far to push and when to pull back. But he refuses to let her push him away.

"Don't be an asshole..."
"You already told me I was one, Don't be a b**ch."
"I already told you I was one as well."
"That must be why we work."

Raven has challenges to deal with including what she feels about her past and herself. But Jonah is the kind of man she really needs. He takes control, he dominates, but he is also patient, kind and accepting. We begin to see under her hard shell and down into her more vulnerable side and heart. Raven has shown a lot of growth since the early books. Her strong ties with the Brown Siblings, their children and their friends have helped open her up to the idea  of love and improved her self worth. But it will still take a strong man to push her over the edge towards longevity, trust and commitment. And there are some factors intruding on their happy little bubble and making their present reality a bit darker and more challenging. 

"I get what I want and I want you. Not to own. Not to harm. But to cherish."

"You fill parts of me I never thought would stop hurting."

I enjoyed seeing all of the character couples from the other books. They truly are a protective pseudo family that stand together. This was an enjoyable installment to this series and a fitting story for Raven. It really made me like her so much more. 

Thanks to Lauren Dane, PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.  Quotes are from advanced ARC and may change in final draft. 

Hmm, I am normally a huge fan of the Brown Siblings, so I was wicked excited for Raven's story. However, I am currently on the fence with Drawn Together. On one hand, I loved Jonah and Raven's characters, but on the other hand, there just felt like something was missing. I can't even nail down what it was. Maybe it was more me as the reader, than anything Lauren did, I honestly don't know.

What I loved:
   * Raven and Jonah were really fun. It was both intriguing and a bit fascinating to see such a strong in your face woman submit to a man such as Jonah. He wasn't anything like the men Raven has previously known or dated. She was so different with him; it was a nice change though to see the sweet side of her along with the outspoken side to her. I have and will always be a fan of Raven. She reminded me a bit of myself; so it was easy enough to relate and connect with her on a more personal basis.
   * Raven's make no apologies spunk and sass. I adored her take no prisoner’s personality. One of my favorite parts of this book is when Raven took on the women of Jonah Warner's life.
   * The complete and utter love she shows for kids. Raven has a HUGE soft spot for her nieces and nephews, it was so delightful watching her interact and melt with them. I think they may be the only people she truly lets her walls all the way down with; as she says in the story, they don't judge her.
   * Sweet and delicious (with a capitol D), as all get out, tatted Jonah Warner. He is the epitome of flirtatious, seductive, and arrogant mixed with a blend of sweetness, charm, and protectiveness. All I can say is, Brody needs to scoot on over because he has some stiff competition. He has always been my favorite Brown Sibling, and I know Jonah isn't a "sibling" per say, but I think he topped my love for Brody (although it is extremely close). Jonah is wicked hot in and out of the bedroom, knowing exactly what he wants and how to take it. He was perfect for Raven; our hero knew exactly how to handle her insecurities and flaws. Jonah wanted her enough to see past her tough exterior to the vulnerable woman she held underneath. In fact, he was totally intrigued and enchanted with her.
   * I love an intense alpha male who is domineering in the bedroom. Raven and I, both, enjoyed his D/s side!
   * Jonah had this way about him that knew the right time and mannerism in which to maneuver Raven. I would describe his personality as determined and steadfast. He never fully took her control away, instead Jonah went with the flow; I don't want to say he ignored her fears, but he didn't let them stand in the way of getting exactly what he wanted...Raven. Being settled with the type of person he is and the life he wanted to lead, Jonah understood and even acknowledged Raven's avoidance tactics, nevertheless he didn't allow her insecurities to get in the way of their progressing relationship. With that said, he also didn't push them off as though they didn't matter either. Between his love, dominance, and tender care Jonah provided Raven with everything she never realized she needed.

What I struggled with: 

   * Jonah’s and Raven's instant love. Especially since Raven has had her mile wide walls up for years. I just found it a bit hard to believe since she never even let Brody in that way and Raven would move heaven and earth when it came to Brody.

    * The women in Jonah's life. Other than his daughter, they were so nasty in spirit along with depressing. This left me me a bit sad for women everywhere since they were all portrayed as major bitches.

Although, I was on the fence with this one, I enjoyed it very much, and I would definitely recommend it.

Thank you, PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, and NetGalley for providing an ARC of Drawn Together in exchange for an honest review.

Lauren Dane Website/Facebook/Twitter

Lauren Dane has been writing stories since she was able to use a pencil, and before that she used to tell them to people. Of course, she still talks nonstop, and through wonderful fate and good fortune, she’s now able to share what she writes with others. It’s a wonderful life!

The basics: Lauren is a mom, a partner, a best friend and a daughter. Living in the rainy but beautiful Pacific Northwest, she spends her late evenings writing like a fiend when she finally wrestles all of her kids to bed.


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