24 December 2009

ARC Review: Lauren Dane - Coming Undone

Website Author

Berkley Heat
Published: 05 January 2010
ISBN: 978-0425232705
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance: Related to Laid Bare
Length: Novel

Cover Summary:
Brody Brown has always been responsible for others. After his parents’ death, he gave up a promising artistic career to care for his younger brother and sister. Now, with his siblings grown, Brody owns his own business, has a nice house, makes a nice living, and for the first time in years he’s on his own.

Elise Sorenson has come to Seattle with her young daughter to find peace. After years as a world-famous ballerina—(and just as many years in a marriage-gone-bad)—she’s looking for neither love nor attention. But she finds both in the handsome, honest man who befriends her with no strings attached.

More than friends, Brody and Elise discover in each other what they need—wild, physical passion without commitment. But it’ll take a shadow from Elise’s past to make them look beyond what they need—to what they truly desire.

My Review; Lauren Dane delivered romance with the capital R in COMING UNDONE! A romance that was saturated in a true-to-life essence, one where there was room for anguish, angst, loss but most of all there was room for the beauty. Beauty in a passion shared between a man and a woman. The beauty of friendship, family and community. The beauty of a love development between a man, a woman and a child that carried a strength which will make you a believer of ‘Love concurs all’. COMING UNDONE has a totally different vibe then its predecessor LAID BARE, but enamored me all the same with larger-than-life characters who have a powerful story to tell.

From chapter one I was ready to sink my teeth in Brody; a bad-boy, a tattoo artist and riding a Harley. While Brody fits this description he is anything but a bad-boy when push comes to shove. He bleeds his personality in to his story with a zest for life, with a virile passion but he’s also a touchstone for his family that made me fall for him. He is flawed with his sometimes ‘take charge’ attitude but in the end the kind of guy any woman would pine for.

The Sorenson ladies exists out of the ex-ballerina Elise, and her daughter Irene a.k.a Rennie. You can’t talk about one without talking about the other. Elise is first and foremost a mother, with all the doubts and fears of a single mother. Coming from a difficult period in their lives Elise wants to pick up the pieces and move forward. She is resilient and strong as a woman can be but there is more to her then being a mother! I watched Elise bloom back to life as the passionate woman in her got attention and a friendship took root between her and Erin. Elise is a mix of determination and vulnerability. At first you get a piece of her determination that she uses to shield herself with but when there is trust she lowers those shield and her vulnerability is there to see.

Next to the more complex adult woman Elise is, there is Rennnie, who is just a likable, talented, exuberant kid you can’t help but love. She brings an innocent charm to the story that I will always enjoy. She is innocent but in her innocence she has a wisdom and an outlook on life that is endearing. Next to that she brings out the tiger in her mother, the overwhelming love a woman can feel for her child and do anything to protect her. Rennie, with her mother Elise and Brody just interconnected together and over the course of this story grew closer together and became this tight knit unit where I knew they were just right for each other.

It is perhaps a homey picture I’m painting but Lauren Dane has got this knack for creating great family dynamics and this is emphasized in COMING UNDONE. It isn’t to say there wasn’t enough sensuality to be found, also one of Dane’s strong suits! There was a moment where she knew how to move me with music, dance and Brody watching Elise. I could feel Elise absorb the music, making it her own and letting her body translate it into dance movements. The music, the dance, Elise and Brody created an erotic vibe that was palpable. Slowly I got to witness that scintillating burning passion between two people develop in to the much stronger emotion of love.

Brody and Elise push each other buttons, both the good and annoying ones. Their romantic development was spread over almost two years which gave it a true feel of growing towards each other, getting to know one another and delving into the painful issues as much as the other would allow. While nothing overly dramatic happened in the present I was encompassed by the way this twosome grew closer as a man and a woman. Brody, Elise and Rennie are the center of this novel but an extensive cast of characters fleshed out the family and community they lived in. Of course Erin, Todd and Ben are a part of this novel and I was over the moon in getting a glimpse of their ongoing relationship. Cope makes a brief appearance and Adrian is getting more interesting by the minute. The parents of Elise, Martine and Paul DuLac provide another support system for their daughter. There is also Mina, BFF of Rennie and her mother Maggie who were among the people that added a nice touch to the story. If there is one secondary character who stood out for me and truly intrigues me in her actions, reactions and attitude it is Raven. She is a sort of anti-heroine and I can’t help it but wanting to know what’s up with her. 

COMING UNDONE is again a title that holds meaning to the story where Lauren Dane shows that she owns this genre with style, depth and class. An erotic passion blends with a deeper meaningful romance and as Brody and Elise are coming undone there is the bond of family and friends that will support you no matter what. I love the characters Lauren Dane breaths to life and the stories they need to tell. I can’t wait for more!

Quote Brody:
Brody pulled up into his driveway a week after that incredible afternoon, and as always, his gaze moved to the house across the street and he caught sight of her through the front window. Hugging a man. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot? (<- and I thought reading this; “Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot”. Huh?...WTF – and I laughed so hard, it was typical Brody!)

Quote Elise:
He also looked hot. Smoking, ridiculously drool-worthy hot. She wasn’t sure how he did it, but he simply emanated sexy effortlessly. Shorts and T-shirt, sexy. Jeans and turtleneck? Holy crap sexy.

Quote Brody:
“Shorty. I’m bossy. I can’t help it. It’s who I am and what I do. I’m pushy and I like to take over. But I’m going to work really hard not to do it too much, and you’re going to try and accept me the way I am. Flaws and all. Because I’m good in bed, and I can carry heavy things and reach high shelves.” (Again a quote I felt was typical Brody)

4 stars

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