NAKED – Raine Miller
The Blackstone Affair , Part 1
Atria Books
ISBN-13: 978-1-4767-3624-5
May 2013
Erotic Romance

London England – 2012

Ethan Blackstone's security company is busy working security for the London Olympics when he gets an email and phone call from an old friend of his from the States.  His friend is worried about his daughter's safety while going to college in London, for good reason.  Ethan is just about to recommend him to another security company when his friend emails him her picture.  Now nothing will stop him from meeting his beautiful American girl.

Brynne Bennett is attending the University of London on scholarship to be an art restorer, and for extra money poses for nude pictures.  Nothing slutty or pornographic…covered in all the important places.  She is at her great friend Benny's latest photographic show featuring her nude picture lying on her back with her legs in the air when a man's eyes seem to burn right through her.  When Benny tells her the mysterious man has bought her picture she is intrigued, but can tell just by looking at him that such a handsome, rich looking man isn't in her league, so she decides discretion is the better part of valor and leaves the show.  While trying to decide whether to catch a cab (nearly impossible with the Games almost here) or walk to the underground in her good-looking but uncomfortable shoes, the mysterious man, Ethan Blackstone, offers to drive her home.

Ethan meets Brynne and he is like a wolf on the prowl.  He can tell she is attracted to him and immediately does everything he can to ramp the heat up to sizzling.  When Brynne spends the night with him, she wakes up screaming from a nightmare and he doesn't handle it well.  He can feel the separation between them growing and is at a loss to figure out how to get her trust again.  They seem to go back and forth before something happens that totally destroys her faith and confidence in him.

Raine Miller has started a racy and fascinating series that begins with NAKED.  Here we barely scratch the surface of Brynne and Ethan's relationship.  Told mostly from Brynne's point of view, we learn both she and Ethan have secrets they are not willing to share.  Brynne often wakes up screaming from the nightmares she frequently endures.  Ethan was in the Special Forces and has unexplained scars all over his back.  Their tentative relationship will be hard to continue if they can't reveal their inner selves to each other.

Secondary characters are mainly just Benny, her best friend in London, and her father.  He is divorced from her mother and the parent she feels closest to. Her father's request to Ethan will determine many things in their relationship.

NAKED is a powerful and passionate story with just hints of Ethan being more dominant that he shows.  Though this was a quick read and I finished it in one sitting, I still felt a little as though I didn't know either of them very well.  Perhaps that is when ALL IN: The Blackstone Affair Part 2 will provide the missing information concerning their secrets and if they can share them and move on.  If you appreciate slightly powerful and strong characters, NAKED is the book for you.

Cece Johns