ALL IN – Raine Miller
The Blackstone Affair , Part 2
Erotic Contemporary Romance
London, England – 2012
Ethan made the biggest blunder of his life after keeping secrets from Brynne. Brynne's father in America asked Ethan to protect her, and after meeting and sleeping with her, she became the focus of his life. Ethan also has secrets in his life from the torture he endured in Afghanistan that he refuses to share with Brynne, including the part that his craving for clove cigarettes figures in his life. Brynne's father shared with him about the sexual assault she endured years ago, and how the father of one of the men involved is now running for Vice President and will do anything he can to keep the gossip of his son's past under covers, but after another of the assailants was just killed, Brynne's father is afraid everyone involved is being eliminated.
Brynne is in London to study art restoration, and she brought her past along with her in the form of nightmares of being raped and having it recorded and spread all over her high school. Now the father of the boy who raped her is running for Vice President, and it is believed he will do anything to quell any mention in the press of what happened. Brynne's father hired Ethan to protect her, and that led to his instant attraction to her. After finding out Ethan already knew about her past and hadn't told her, the feelings of shame almost makes Brynne break it off completely with him, but when she lays down the rules that he share everything else with her, no matter how bad, she lets him back into her life.
Ethan wants to keep Brynne safe at all costs, but with school, modeling, and restoring her art pieces, she is having none of Ethan lying to her or keeping important information from her. As their relationship grows deeper, they each must deal with the devils of their pasts. Ethan is busy with security for the Olympics, but his constant worry about her must be kept under wraps because she won't put up with his bossiness in this area. In other areas, she loves his dominance, but not regarding her life.
This is the second story in The Blackstone Affair , and with a very different technique, Raine Miller changes the point of view from mostly Brynne's in NAKED, the first story (see its review in the May issue of RRT), to Ethan's point of view here. We find out how Brynne was scarred when she was seventeen when the video of her assault while drunk was spread all over her town and she had to leave school. It was only years later, after a suicide attempt, that she finally finished school and transferred to London for college to be an art restorer. We get a glimpse of what is behind Ethan, who also sometimes has nightmares of the torture he suffered while in the military in Afghanistan, and explains his love of clove cigarettes, almost an obsession. Ethan tries to control his dominant tendencies with Brynne, as she has let him know in no uncertain terms that she deserves to know everything about the people who might be after her.
Secondary characters are gradually adding up in this new story. There's Brynne's roommate Gabrielle; her Aunt Marie; Ethan's father; and Ethan's cousin Ivan. The photographers who take the nude pictures of Brynne test Ethan's patience and bring out his baser, jealous side.
I believe ALL IN, the second in The Blackstone Affair series, is even better than the first, as we are able to delve more deeply into Ethan's and Brynne's lives and how they got to where they are today. In late August, EYES WIDE OPEN will conclude this enjoyable and intriguing series that gets better with each book. So far each book could be read alone, but you will want to read them in order and watch the progression of Ethan and Brynne's affair and the intensity they each bring to their lives. Grab up The Blackstone Affair stories and enjoy hours of reading excellence.