Whirlpool By: Vivian Arend
Genre: Paranormal, Erotic Romance, Ménage & More
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 08-10-2010
Book Origin: received from author for reviewing purposes.
Soft shoulders and dangerous curves…
Forces of Nature, Book 2
Braden can’t deny he’s always wanted Chelsea, but getting involved wouldn’t be fair. She has college and big dreams ahead of her—he has no desire to leave Jaffrey’s Cove. Plus, there’s the fact merfolk women often take more than one lover. Share her? Not in this lifetime.
When Chelsea’s plans for the future fall apart, the only bright spot remaining is Sheriff Braden Marley. She’s been angling for a shot at the gentle giant’s heart—and the rest of him—for a long time. Except he not only holds her at a maddening arm’s length, he somehow manages to keep other men away, too.
Enter Jamie Powell, a human marine archeologist who’s in town for a cataloging project. His instant chemistry with Chelsea inspires her to try a sexy new tactic: make Braden jealous enough to stop dragging his feet and start leaving his shoes under her bed.
The ensuing storm generates a boatload of complications none of them saw coming. A forbidden attraction no amount of merfolk magic can erase. And the danger that their secrets could be exposed to the outside world…
Seductive shimmering lights, a sexy interlude on the strip club floor, mysterious Spanish lovers, and a trio caught in an eddy of intense sexual attraction. Swim at your own risk.
My Review: I read Tidal Wave and WHIRPOOL back-to-back and that wasn’t a punishment at al. After closing Tidal Wave I couldn’t get back to Jaffrey’s Cove fast enough and this time I met Chelsea, Braden and Jamie. Jamie Powell is in Jaffrey’s Cove for an assessment on Blain Colten’s diving collection where he meets Braden and Chelsea who both are merfolk. The magnetic pull between these three people is instant, yet on various levels, and demands a further exploration. Only Jamie’s curiosity and an accident cause the revealing of secrets the merfolk like to keep under wraps.
I have to say that Vivian Arend nailed it again in the likable and vibrant characters. The cast isn’t extensive but within a novella length story I do not mind it when the focus lies mainly on the lead characters with very few, equally well drawn, supportive friends and family. The story really revolves around the trio, starting with Jamie, who is as focused as he is forgetful at times. His inquisitive nature expands to his sexy side as well, creating not only a delicious friction between him and Chelsea but also between him and Braden. Now Braden is a big hulk of a man, fierce, vigorous, loves to lead, but with a sensitive side as well. He had his eye on Chelsea for a while now but he wants to do the right thing by her. Chelsea is humorous, vivacious and a sultry woman who is not afraid to step in to the unknown. She has one dream; go to college, get her degree and see the world. Braden has in no way the intention to disrupt that dream but circumstances keep Chelsea in Jaffrey’s Cove, allowing these three characters to meet.
There were two minor issues that arose for me during the romantic development of this triangle. One was the fact that Braden wanted to keep his distance of Chelsea because he knows of her desire to go to college. Still there is a sudden turnaround in his restrain towards her that gave me pause in wondering where that instant change came from. Second was the reason behind Chelsea, Braden and Jamie’s first lovemaking that initially did not sit well with me. Of course that was until I read through the scene and ended up with the character in “the morning after” moment and I could only cheer for Jamie. Vivian Arend solved that situation rather adequately for me.
I loved how there were atmospheric under the sea scenes next to the geeky moments of Jamie in assessing worth and origin of various objects. Or how Braden goes all protective yet Chelsea challenges both men to do and want it all with each other. The banter between the three is at times funny, emotion fraught or downright sexy and only signals the incredible attraction humming between them, which I think is another strong point in this authors writing voice. There were some struggles between them which kept the evolving relationship interesting but again the erotic scenes conjured by Vivian Arend’s writing is full blown sensuous and playful. Of course in WHIRPOOL I get an extra bonus in the form of some m/m action between Jamie and Braden, it’s naturally developing, lighthearted of tone but nonetheless very erotic enhancing in some scenes.
The growing love is what drives this story but a small plot also functions smoothly within the erotic romance realizing a rounded story with a beautiful, unique and satisfying ending. Again I’m surprised at how I savored the magic of the merfolk, the spicy eroticism, and the vivid dialogues between these three characters. I didn’t need more, I didn’t want more and I have to applaud Vivian Arend for that because I seem to be a gluttonous reader at times, always wanting more. Add a writing style that speaks of a wonderful, creative and oh so wicked imagination that allows me to close this novella with a deep content sigh.
With WHIRPOOL Vivian Arend writes naughty smut the way naughty smut is intended; romantic, erotic and with a touch of humor.
He released Jamie, draping his arms more gently around his torso. Jamie didn’t try to escape. In fact, he leaned back into Braden and Chelsea’s mouth watered at the sight of the two of them. Long and lean, muscular and handsome. An enticing combination for any woman.