Drawn Together by Lauren Dane
Series: Brown Family #6
Also in this series: Inside Out
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: October 1st 2013
Genres: Fiction, Erotica
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Beauty is more than skin-deep…
Tattoo artist Raven Smith is blunt and hard, broken and jaded, dark and beautiful. While she doesn’t hide her painful past, she does keep a wall around her heart. She’s free sexually—but no one gets to the real Raven beneath the prickly exterior.
With a voice like smoke, Jonah Warner is a smooth-talking, highly successful attorney, with a body that should never be hidden by a suit. He’s the kind of man who never takes no for an answer and always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Raven. She’s a survivor, and he finds that incredibly alluring.
Jonah gets under her skin in a way Raven has never experienced. He makes her break all her rules—including her no-monogamy rule.
But when a figure from Raven’s past shows up at the tattoo parlor and drops a bomb into her life, their relationship will face the ultimate challenge…
Jonah sees Raven at an engagement party and wants her. He approaches her about getting a tattoo and – correctly – reads the invitation she extends for more. He decides to take her up on both. What he didn’t expect was to want more from her than a good time in bed and some ink. He wants to uncover all her secrets, break all her rules and watch her submit to him. Not so much because he wants to dominate her, but because he wants to see her let herself go.
Raven has never met anyone she wanted to break her personal rules for..until Jonah. He touches something inside her she didn’t even realize was there. Something soft and tender. She finds herself agreeing to be in a monogamous relationship with him – something she’s never done before. Ever. If that isn’t bad enough, she also finds herself coming to care for him. To looking forward to seeing him each day. To craving him on a level much deeper than the sexual. It scares her, no doubt, but she isn’t able to walk away.
Jonah comes from old money. His brother, and closest friend, is dating a woman their family deemed unacceptable at first. Raven worries she won’t fit into his world, but she’s willing to make an effort. Though she has a hard time curbing her tongue and tries to avoid his social scene as much as possible. There were some great scenes that came out of her attempts to behave herself.
My reaction to this book was wholly unexpected. Dane hasn’t disappointed me yet, but I didn’t think I’d love Raven as much as I did. I also didn’t think Brody could be topped as my favorite hero of this series, but I think Jonah managed it.
Raven has been a regular character in this series from the beginning. She wasn’t easy to like in the earlier books, as her blunt, sometimes fierce attitude rubbed the wrong way. As the series progressed, however, I found myself becoming more and more intrigued with her. What saved her for me was how real she was. Yes, she was blunt and honest – sometimes brutally so. But she never pretended to be anything but what she was. You have to respect that in a person, whether you agree with their actions or not.
Here we were given more of Raven. Not just more of her past, but glimpses inside the person she is. Her likes and dislikes, her fears and insecurities, her strength and independence. She became so much more than a smartass who was protective of her friends. I was curious to find out more about her guarded past. She’s hiding secrets and I wanted to see them uncovered. I didn’t expect to come to have major respect for her along the way, or for my admiration to grow into caring. She’s prickly and stubborn, but I think Dane did a credible job of showing another side of Raven. Her vulnerable underbelly was exposed, but not in a way that took from what she was before.
Jonah was an unexpected presence for both Raven and me. He kind of moved into her life unexpectedly. Before she realized it he was already under her defenses. I didn’t expect Dane to take Raven the direction she did, and I can say the same about Jonah. His brother Levi was somewhat domineering and I expected Jonah to be worse. He wasn’t, though. He was very definite in his likes and dislikes, but he didn’t treat Raven as anything but an equal. His need to care for her came through as just that, caring. He didn’t want to smother her or make her something she wasn’t. He just wanted her to feel loved and cherished.
This was a tender, sexy, emotionally compelling novel that really opened up both characters. I don’t know what to say about this novel except it was absolutely fabulous. Dane at her best.
4.75 out of 5
This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.