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Series: Brown Siblings #1
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: 8/4/09
Rating: 4.5 stars
It's been ten years since clean-cut, sexy-as-hell police officer Todd Keenan had a white-hot fling with Erin Brown, the provocative, wild rocker chick next door. Their power exchange in the bedroom got under his skin. But love wasn't in the cards just yet...
Now, life has thrown the pair back together. But picking up where they left off is tough, in light of a painful event from Erin's past. As Todd struggles to earn her trust, their relationship takes an unexpected and exciting turn when Todd's best friend, Ben, ends up in their bed--and all three are quite satisfied in this relationship without a name. As the passion they share transforms Erin, will it be enough to help her face the evil she thought she had left behind?
Laid Bare is an intensely thoughtful and sexy story. Lauren Dane has taken the naughty and "forbidden" ménage and created a story that was full of love and acceptance. It made me think and it made me feel.
A few months ago I took a chance on jumping into the Brown Siblings series. Honestly, I didn't know much about the series, but I follow Dane on social media, and love how she challenges outdated thoughts on gender and sexuality. Plus, she's very witty. Taking that chance paid off, because I adored Drawn Together. The hero Jonah was very Alpha, and very loving; completely dedicated to making his lady happy and whole. Raven was a tough and loving heroine who also possessed a hard exterior. I love that Raven made no apology for who she was, and even when she submitted to Jonah in the bedroom, she was never portrayed as weak. It was an excellent book, and looking back on it, I wish I'd given it five stars instead of four (which I am changing).
It would seem that Dane is consistent with her strong heroines, because we have another in Laid Bare's Erin Brown. Another consistency I found was the dominant and loving hero in Todd Keenan. These were characters who I found myself drawn to for many reasons. They were sexy and strong, loving and gentle when needed. Their story begins ten years prior, with Erin completely self-possessed and Todd struggling with his wants and desires. This leads them to drift apart, only to run into one another ten years later. Erin's world was destroyed, with her struggling every day to heal. Todd is now ready for Erin, but must prove himself worthy of her love and submission.
As the relationship progresses and strengthens, the two form a strong bond with Todd's best friend, Ben. This relationship spins into a unique new formation, with Erin falling in love with Ben and Todd equally, and them both loving her. Ben also loves Todd, and as time passes, Todd finds himself learning that his love for Ben has formed in new ways as well. On the outside, this relationship is unconventional, but for these three strong and loving partners, it's beautiful and it works.
Personally, I feel that I would have a most difficult time of sharing with a third person. I am selfish that way. Laid Bare made me think a lot about the dynamics-good and bad- of a triad relationship. I love books that challenge me in that way. In the end, it's not for me to put myself in the situation, but to enjoy the experience of reading. And I did, so much. Dane's writing is gorgeous, the prose makes my brain happy and drunk on her words.
Laid Bare solidified what I suspected, I am a sure fan of Lauren Dane. I look forward to continuing the Brown Sibling series with Coming Undone.
She opened her eyes and looked up at him, her lips swollen and wet. "Tell me. What do you want, Todd?"
He panted as the words threatened to break through. He wanted to say them, but the darkness in them wasn't something he was used to letting free.
"Don't run from me. I'll come for you. I want you and you want me. Let yourself have it."
To Erin, D/s wasn't about one person being worthy of a capital letter and the other not. It wasn't about unequal worth; it was about two equals sharing power, sharing sex and emotion. She didn't submit to him because she wanted to be debased or harmed, because she needed to be lesser than anyone. She was aware that some people got off on that, and hey, whatever floats your boat. But when he dominated her, she felt cherished and adored, cosseted in those perfect moments between them--in a way she never achieved with anyone else.
The Brown Siblings Series
(covers lead to GoodReads page)
Purchase Laid Bare
Purchase Coming Undone