Kat Snark's Reviews > Laid Bare

Laid Bare by Lauren Dane
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bookshelves: erotica, romance, bdsm, menage, contemporary, second-chance-romance

3 disappointed stars

Okay. So a bit of a disclaimer, I read the fifth book in this series first, Never Enough by Lauren Dane. It was very meh, only two stars, but everyone said the earlier (especially first) book in the series was better. So I tried it.

Once I read the blurb, I was so excited!! There was a sneak peak to this three-way relationship in Never Enough, where Todd and Ben were caught making out heavily, and I knew this book would be steamy !! and it was.

Ten years ago, Erin was in a band with brother Adrian and they were trying to make it big. She had a give-no-shits attitude, wore badass clothes and knew who she was. She also had the hots for cop neighbor Todd, a mad set on ignoring his instincts and committed to the straight-laced lifestyle. Well Erin tested those boundaries and when she broke up with him because of them, it sent him running to the white-picket-fence life he thought he wanted in another state.

Fast-forward ten years, Todd is back and knows who he wants. Better: he accepts what he wants. But Erin isn't the same girl she was ten years ago. She'd made it big, and then her life imploded, sending her reeling and making her a shell of who she was. Thus Todd starts his slow courtship to win her back to him, and to herself.

The sex was very exciting in this one - but I couldn't help but feel that it was even sexier when there were just two of them. It was kinkier, teasing and great!

Which brings to me to the first problem I had with this story. The first half was great - the second-chance romance between Erin and Todd was sweet and hot and working! And Ben was a great supporting character. But then the brought him into the relationship and everything floundered for me.

I am not against poly-amorous relationships, and actually quite enjoy reading about them! But this one just fell flat. First of all, Ben hit this relationship running. Their first time accepting him into their arms (after a very brief "hey let's share" and the next day "okay" (paraphrased), and he's already at optimum boyfriend level. They all love each other equally as much, despite the fact that he'd only been "with" them for about a day.

Even when Todd and Erin got married, Ben told his mother that he considered Erin his wife, too. Just the wife of his heart, and not by law. Which is very sweet, but he'd still only been in the relationship a week. He hadn't known Erin ten years ago like Ben had.

The book spent almost half of itself building this amazing relationship with Erin and Todd, and then threw Ben in the middle last-minute, and it sent me reeling. Where's the slow-burn? Where're the questions? Was nobody worried about losing the friendship? What if it didn't work out? WAS THERE ANY THOUGHT AT ALL PUT INTO THIS DECISION.

Secondly (or fourthly, I lost track), Todd had been scared off the first time because he was so morally skeeved by anything other than missionary. Acceptance of his own inclinations or not, he was the one who initiated any Ben-on-Todd action that happened without hesitation, which just doesn't seem accurate. You can't just flip on a dime, and even non-bisexual kinky straight men have at least a hesitation before doing *stuff* with their own gender.

Overall, it was a perfectly good story line with great writing and very hot sex. But I can't help but feel that this one would have been better if they'd kept the relationship closed, and maybe added Ben in for some occasional sexy times. The story s t r e t c h e d on and on, and I found myself skimming a few times. Although it was in part a wholesome family story, which Erin's amazing relationship with her brothers, there was just so. much. sex!
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Reading Progress

January 17, 2019 – Started Reading
January 17, 2019 – Shelved
January 17, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
January 17, 2019 – Shelved as: erotica
January 17, 2019 – Shelved as: romance
January 17, 2019 – Shelved as: bdsm
January 17, 2019 – Shelved as: menage
January 17, 2019 – Shelved as: contemporary
January 17, 2019 – Shelved as: second-chance-romance
January 17, 2019 – Finished Reading

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