Published on December 12th, 2012 | by BookCrack9
Review and Giveaway: All In (the Blackstone Affair Part 2) by Raine Miller
It’s a long awaited review, giveaway and Hump day all in one! We’ve been talking about this book for quite a while, but I waited to talk with my fellow BookJunkies to see if my internal compass was on track. Sometimes the smexy hero makes it hard for me to be objective. I Loooooooved Ethan’s gruff and yet still polished British alphaness, hell I even liked his near over the top dominating nature in NAKED.
“Oh, we’re well past you being just a date, my beauty.” He leaned in, his lips at my ear. “When we f*cked in my bed you passed into uncharted territory – trust me on that one.” ~Ethan
Wall sex made everything better in NAKED (review) didn’t it? *Contented sigh* Ethan Blackstone appeals to my baser need for a no-nonsense sexy alpha much like Sylvia Day’s Gideon in REFLECTED IN YOU (review) or Ian Noble in Beth Kery’s BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE novellas (review).The kind of alpha hero that if this were a paranormal romance I’d peg for not just a Were like Alcide (Joe Mangeniello) from True Blood, but Alcide–the pack leader. The kind of man that just plain disengages your brain:
Um, er…was I saying something?
Yeah. Like that.
Except wrapped an expensive, charcoal grey, impeccably tailored suit whispering things like this with that sexy accent of his into your ear as he is forced to let you go:
“Careful baby. You have no idea the depths of what I want to do with you.” His eyes darkened. I let that sensual threat float between us and tried to keep my breathing steady.
Plus, Raine has painted a picture of Ethan Blackstone that very clearly looks just like this:
So, um, yeah…I really enjoyed NAKED. It’s about as close to a Fifty Shades read as I want to get (no similarity in plot just sexy, dominating, successful business man with female ingenue) without making me overly uncomfortable. -That award goes to another upcoming review IN FLIGHT (Up In the Air #1) (mini-review) Just…wow. But I digress. I did grumble that this series appears to run like 32K words each instead of a full novel at 72-100K words AND NAKED left me at a rather gut wrenching, cock blocking CLIFFHANGER before book 2, but I knew what I was in for and couldn’t wait to see how Ethan handled his f*ck up.
It’s not really spoilery when I say he F-d up-royally. Heh.
Best of all, at the end of NAKED and beginning of ALL IN (it starts EXACTLY where NAKED left off) Raine let us find out all about Brynne’s past trauma as she revealed it to Ethan in bits and pieces so we could react with him and we learned Ethan’s big secret in the cliffhanger with Brynne.
That’s the other thing that hooked me on this series. I didn’t conveniently know things that the other partner didn’t. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the sex is smokin’ hot.
What did I think of ALL IN?
While I really fell hard and fast for the demanding, no nonsense Mr. Ethan Blackstone in NAKED The Blackstone Affair #1, I found part 2 ALL IN to be much slower going, but I was SUPPOSED to feel that way. It’s the mid-point of a love story and it’s the point where the shit hits the fan and Ethan and Brynne have to begin the endurance test to see if they are worthy of a HEA. I liked that and the smexy stuff was good, too. No wall sex, just what is it about wall sex anyway, but there are other good scenes and, yes, fond remembrances of it from book 1 NAKED.
Another aspect I liked-Brynne’s not the only one with sweat inducing night terrors. Alpha heroes silently suffering? Bring it!
I think that changing the POV from Brynne to Ethan was risky, very risky for the middle of a book and especially for the middle of a series where you aren’t guaranteed buyers for part 3. It was ballsy and we like that Raine Miller went for it. I especially liked that we got to know a lot more about what makes Ethan tick and all that he’s brought to the table in this relationship going forward. As a former special forces officer stationed and captured in Afghanistan ALL IN makes it clear that Ethan’s endured his own hell prior to this book.
Raine Miller made a good point when I interviewed her a week or so ago, saying that perhaps folks who don’t like Ethan’s POV when he’s airing his jealousy or insecurity are forgetting that while he’s a dom to her submissive side he’s human and that he was thinking those thoughts NOT SAYING them. That kinda eased my grumbling a bit. I like my dominant men with a soft side, which Ethan has, but I had a hard time hearing it.
I liked Brynne’s POV better. You say tomato I say toe-ma-toe.
I still enjoyed the hell out of Ethan and their relationship as his baggage is revealed as well as hers. The story ramped up the drama quite a bit in book 2 and it needed it to round things out story-wise. I like that Ivan and Gabrielle are reintroduced (his cousin, her roommate) especially now that Raine’s announced they will be the feature of her next series.
In the end, I think changing the POV in the midst of a series threw me off a bit; at times it worked for me as a reader and at times it didn’t.
But when it didn’t– I was craving those damn fancy clove cigarettes and Van Gogh vodka (but make mine Goose) and stressing out right along with him.
For me this was 3.75 Smexyness and 3.5 Love it or Leave it for a 3.5-3.75 STAR read
And picturing Gandy as Ethan…kinda tips it toward 4 STARS.
Can not wait for the final book in the series: Eyes Wide Open! Raine says her goal is Dec. 31st 2012 but don’t be surprised if it releases early 2013. Can’t rush a good thing too much
What did you think?
We want to know!
GIVEAWAY: Here’s what’cha gotta do to enter—> like us on Facebook (remember to add us to your interests to get posts) and comment about NAKED or ALL IN below with your email address (so we can contact you if you win) and we’ll choose 2 lucky winners at random this Friday 12/14 @ midnight EST* to win a SWAG pack from Raine Miller and an $5.00 Amazon gift card from the Bc Gals! That’s a FREE SMEXY e-book, baby!
Good luck and be sure to check your email this weekend!
Tina and the Bc Gals xo
*2 random winners will be contacted via email provided and have 24 hours to respond before another random “winner” will be selected. Be sure to check your spam folders too ladies :). ~Tina