Friday, May 24, 2013

Review: Eyes Wide Open by Raine Miller


The third part in The Blackstone Affair series: A love on the brink of being destroyed. The fight of a lifetime to keep it alive.

Big surprises are on the horizon for Ethan and Brynne as they struggle to adjust to what life has thrown at them. Demons from the past are threatening to destroy the passionate bond they’ve forged despite their vow that nothing will ever keep them apart. A truly devastating loss coupled with the promise of a new hope opens their eyes to what is most important, but is it possible for the lovers to move on from the painful histories that continue to haunt them? A stalker is still lurking in the shadows, plotting evil amidst the distraction of the 2012 Olympic games in London. Brynne and Ethan are on the cusp of losing everything as the stakes rise. Will they yield to circumstances beyond their control or will they give every ounce of fight they have left to save each other and win the ultimate prize of a life together?

Eyes Wide Open is a passion-wrought story that shows us what pure love can achieve when tested and what the heart can accomplish despite danger and adversity.

Once again, I finished a book in this series and have mixed feelings about it. Eyes Wide Open picks up where All In ended, with Ethan and Brynne on their way out of town after there is another threat to Brynne’s life.  This subplot is then moved to the background while Ethan and Brynne work out some personal issues, setting the stage for an ending that brings it all together.

What I do like about this series is that Raine Miller has created two interesting characters.  They are not perfect, and for me, that’s part of their charm.  Ethan is a step away from being obsessed by Brynne, and at times, got on my nerves with his need to use sex to possess and overwhelm her, but it also made him vulnerable. In some ways, Brynne is farther along on her quest to get over the legacy of her past. I love that she keeps pushing at Ethan to share with her, and in the process, enhances their relationship.  It’s their personal struggles and how they work them out that keep me coming back to this series.

I was happy (at first) to see this book was longer than the first two in the series.  It starts with a prologue that promises more surprises but then I was disappointed that the first half of this book was spent dealing with Brynne’s illness, and not the contents of that prologue.  It really slowed the pacing of this story for me and I did find myself skimming a little bit. Maybe shorter is better with this author.

Things heat up when the threats start coming in again, and when Brynne’s stalker finds a way under Ethan’s radar (which was not easy) the pace picks up. The storyline was resolved rather quickly though, but left some questions that I hope will be addressed in the next book.  

This is a solid 3-flame book and series for me.  The characters are interesting, the storylines have promise, but overall it just doesn’t hit the mark for me.  It will be Ethan and Brynne that bring me back to reading the fourth book in this series.

Thanks to Atria Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title in exchange for an honest review. 

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