Blog Tour and Giveaway: Rare and Precious Things: Raine Miller

(The Blackstone Affair Book 4)
hosted by: The Book Avenue

The fourth part in the New York Times bestselling series, The Blackstone Affair: A bright beginning for two damaged souls fighting for their hard-won love, and the promise of a new hope to secure their happily ever after.

Fresh from an idyllic honeymoon along the Italian coast, the Blackstones prepare for the birth of their precious baby and the challenges of settling into a new home. But things get complicated when specters from the past reappear to threaten the very foundation of their relationship. Ethan and Brynne will have to fight harder than ever for each other. Rare and Precious Things is the story of two people who both need the other in order to be complete, but learn just how "rare" their brand of love is when they have to risk everything in order to hold onto it.

1. When you are in the process of writing, do you have your storyline mapped out and you do your research of people, places, buildings, scenery, etc. based on that or have you ever written a scene in any of the books based solely on an image or picture you've come across and that image/picture spoke to you so profoundly that you incorporated a storyline into a book based on it?

I’ve written whole scenes because of a picture I’ve seen. An example of this is when a fan sent me a picture of a man with angel wings tattooed on his back and his baby sleeping on top. I loved it, so you will see that scene in Rare in Precious Things with Ethan and his _______. I do it all the time. In fact, the whole inspiration for the first book, NAKED, was because I found the image on Shutterstock one night and the idea for the story came into my head. Images are huge in giving me inspiration to write. I make Pinterest boards now for books while I am writing.

2. How long from concept to publishing?

Ten Months. I knew as I was finishing Eyes Wide Open that I really needed to do a fourth book in order to give Ethan and Brynne the complete resolution to their life together.

3. When you first knew of David Gandy and have you ever met him?

I knew of him over three years ago, and no, I have never met him. He did chat me a little and send me a birthday wish last year though. He is my muse for Ethan, and was from the first page I wrote about Mr. Blackstone.

4. Out of all your books, which one has been the most challenging to write?

That would be Rare and Precious Things. It was a challenge because when you are at the end of a story arc, everything must be resolved and tied together. You have to have reasons for the character’s behaviors and actions, their motivations have to make sense. Another difficulty is to give page time to all of the side characters that have been introduced into the story and the tangled web gets very big.

5. Living in the UK myself, made this book easier to read, envisioning the places, characters, Olympics etc, Why choose this place at this time for the books to be set in?

I am a certifiable Anglophile and I always have been. I really liked the idea of having an American heroine and a British hero, so the idea of setting up the story in that way appealed to me. I found out it appealed to many other women readers too!!! LOL Talking dirty in an English accent is pretty smokin’ hot I guess.

6. If you could be a character in any fictional book, who would you want to be and why?

Jane Whitcomb. Because she is loved by Vishous. Read Lover Unbound, by JR Ward if you have no idea what I am talking about.

7. When you started writing the books, did you have the idea for the historicals first or Naked?

I wrote the historicals first and knew the world in which they were set. So when I began writing Naked and Brynne was an art conservationist, I just used my fictional artist I had already created in my historical novel The Muse, which has yet to be published. I had so much fun doing the connections I continued to do it in every book, and will probably do it for every book I write from here on.

Making Brynne happy made me happy. End of story. We'd both done the second and third shifts manning the check-in desk at Heartbreak Hotel in the last months, and anything that could ease some of that suffering, was long overdue. 

We reconnect with Ethan and Brynne on their wedding night. I fell right back into rhythm with this couple: their passion, their love for each other, and excitement for their upcoming addition. Ethan never fails to bring the hot sex factor into play. He is still delicious, and even more so now that he is totally committed and owned by Brynne. And she is the same with him. They truly helped each other heal the parts of themselves that were broken.

This book gives us happy times for both Ethan and Brynne and Neil and Elaina (Cherry Girl) as we celebrate with them and share their joys. We see how their lives continue to progress and their connections deepen. 

I loved seeing Ethan's protective side, not only of Brynne, but for the baby. He is desperate to make sure everything is perfect for them and they are safe and happy. Ethan has come a long way from the emotionally stunted man we first met. His whole outlook on life and love has changed. And Brynne has really come into her own and is handling all of the changes in stride. They found each other at a time when they both needed something to awaken them and give them something to live for. 

Brynne's love was something rare--a gift. A precius gift I'd been given, by some divine twist of fate that had brought her into my world...and changed everything about me. About how I saw things, about what I dreamed for the future and my capacity to move beyond the shadows of my past. Brynne's love changed absolutely everything.

...I'd learned to love. But most importantly, I'd allowed myself to be loved. I don't think any of what happened to me in the past year would have occured if not for Ethan. I believe that with all of my heart. Nobody could have done for me what he did. Only Ethan's love could have found its way into my desolate heart. Only him.

But of course, they still have some difficult situations ahead of them. Issues from the past continue to rear their ugly head and challenge their well being. They both still have unresolved pain from the past that must be addressed in order to continue to move forward and let go of things they cannot change and truly heal.  It requires them to face the issues themselves, bring the pain back into the forefront, and learn to share the parts they have kept hidden. 

We'd never quite been in this position before in our relationship. Both of us standing our ground on silent issues that had shaped so much of how we were made.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I fell more in love with Ethan Blackstone...all of him from his broken parts to his healed parts. His love and devotion for Brynne is beautiful. And Brynne's strength and love for him is equally so. Her ability to overcome her own past and take on such a domineering, strong, complicated man is admirable. And together they truly do soothe each other's battered souls and lessen their demons.

There were some unexpected twists and drama that had me holding my breath and holding back tears. There were moments of pure bliss and wonder, but also of fear, pain, and tension. This book brings them full circle, gives closure and answers, and  shows us the future for Ethan and Brynne as well as Neil and Elaina. It leaves us open for his cousin, Ivan and her best friend, Gaby to continue their story in Priceless. And introduced us to a couple of other men (Dillon and Lance) that I could see as leads. 

This was everything I hoped this book would be. It was an engaging, revealing, romantic, steamy (yes, Ethan Blackstone is still a sex machine), heartwarming, poignant conclusion to this series. It was well paced, flowed seemlessly, and had me enthralled the entire time. It was told in both Ethan and Brynne's points of view allowing us to see their deepest fears and insecurities, as well as see the positive effects of their relationship and how fortunate they feel to have found one another. And it also allows us to see what a profound effect Baby Blackstone has had on their lives since conception.  I am sad to see their story end, but glad that I came along for the beautiful, memorable journey. I laughed, sighed, squirmed, teared up, swooned, and smiled. I am sure we will see them all again  in Ivan and Gaby's spin-off  Priceless (The Rothvale Legacy) and I am looking forward to it. There will also be a historical component to the Rothvale Legacy entitled The Muse. Raine Miller also just released The Passion of Darius. We learned a bit of the history of Darius and Marianne in this book, so this is a historical prequel. 

Thanks to Raine Miller for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

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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