Shawna's Reviews > Laid Bare

Laid Bare by Lauren Dane
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Mar 01, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: erotic-romance-erotica-romantica, bdsm-kink, menage-multiple-partners-polyamory, author-lauren-dane, 2009-reads, best-top-favorites, contemporary-romance, cop-bodyguard-govop-merc-military, favorites, hero-alpha‎, hero-im-gaga-over, heroine-abused-traumatic-past-rape, heroine-i-adore, i-read-own-faves-keepers, im-a-cover-hottie-ho, made-me-cry, man-man-lovin-mm-romance, hero-mix-of-alpha-beta, hero-stud-mantel-hall-of-fame, hero-abused-scarred-tortured-angst, reunions-are-sweeter-second-chances, tattoos-piercings-body-art, brothers-sisters-cousins-family, favorite-romance-series, series-brown-siblings-delicious, favorite-romance-couple-hh-pairings, hero-expert-skilled-voracious-lover, favorite-beautiful-lush-cool-covers, angsty-dark-heavy-lotsa-drama, hh-musician-rocker-singer-popstar, hero-dom, 5-stars-plus, heartbreaking-gutwrenching-romance, tearjerker-tugs-at-heartstrings, hh-famous-celebrity, hero-brooding, heroine-badgirl-improper-scandalous, friends-to-lovers, enemies-to-lovers-opposites-attract, yowza-hotness, heroine-free-spirit-quirky, hero-starchy-loosen-up-buttons-babe, heroine-tattooed
Recommended for: Fans of erotic contemporary romance with BDSM, ménage, and some mild m/m action; Lauren Dane fans
Read in August, 2009

5+ stars – Contemporary Romance/Erotica/Ménage/BDSM

I loved this book for so many reasons, but mainly for its strong characters, unforgiving honesty, and heartfelt emotion.

Stoic Seattle cop Todd is different in many ways from his free-spirited, rocker chic neighbor Erin, but one place they are totally in sync is in the bedroom. It seems Todd harbors a secret kinky, Dom streak, and lucky for him, Erin is more than willing to indulge his darkest desires, wildest fantasies, and kinky fetishes and to submit to his sexual control. They have a good thing going and are engaging in a hot affair, but Todd panics and isn’t ready to embrace his true self. He comes from a rather normal, straight-laced family and thinks he needs a relationship and future with a ‘nice’ girl with more, shall we say, vanilla appetites, so Todd and Erin sadly part ways.

Now, 10 years later, after a failed marriage and a job related injury in Boston, Todd is back in Seattle to start a private security consulting firm with his best friend Ben and best friend’s brother. When Todd runs into Erin, who’s also back in Seattle after a stint of living the rocker’s dream life for a time in LA with her brother Adrian, and now running her own deli restaurant, the blast from the past comes with strong, overwhelming, and never forgotten feelings. But this time around, Todd is a man who has finally learned to accept his true nature, and he knows exactly who and what he wants, and that’s Erin, back in his heart and his bed where she belongs, forever.

Unfortunately, convincing Erin to open her heart and trust again won’t be so easy because a traumatic event has left her shattered and emotionally scarred, and she’s trying to rebuild her life one step at a time. Although Todd’s Dom nature and protective instincts might be exactly what Erin needs to help her heal, she wants to stand on her own and rebukes his controlling tendencies. Things pick up where they left off, and the two quickly set the sheets on fire once again. What neither of them expected was the positive impact on their relationship or for such strong feelings to emerge by the sudden ease with which Todd’s best friend Ben joins their duo. Todd, Erin, and Ben find themselves becoming a threesome based on friendship, longing, trust, respect, understanding, and of course, love with Erin at the heart and center, and although they might have trouble clearly defining and labeling it, they can’t deny what they’ve found in each other.

Of all the ménage books that I’ve read, Laid Bare is one of the most realistic and honest in it’s depiction of the reasons, emotions, and motives behind people engaging in an alternative relationship, lifestyle. None of them anticipated being in a threesome, and they didn’t enter into it lightly, without thought of the hardships and consequences, or just for kinks and giggles. There’s some rather wild, hot, D/s sex between Todd and Erin, and although heterosexual Todd and bisexual Ben’s friendship develops into something deeper and more intimate, it’s a tentative, gradual progression, especially since those feelings are centered around their sharing in their love for Erin. The emotional nature of the trio’s relationship takes precedence in the story, rather than the carnal, sexual aspects of being in a ménage as the primary focus, which was rather refreshing.

It’s a sexy, touching, thought provoking, and evocative story with characters to fall in love with that tugs the heartstrings, and it brought tears to my eyes a few times. Lauren Dane really knows how to write relatable characters who are survivors of past trauma, and Erin’s emotional pain “laid bare” was palpable and heartbreaking. I think Todd, Erin, and Ben’s relationship is a ménage that has a realistic chance of lasting for the long haul. I just wish there had been more time in the story to see it develop even further. I can’t wait for the sequel Coming Undone that’s about Erin’s older, nurturing, protective tattoo artist, biker brother Brody to come out in Jan’2010 because I adored him in this, so I’m super excited to read his story. Laid Bare is a fantastic read with scorching hot sex, raw emotion, brutal honesty, and lots of heart. Big 5 stars from this reader! (And I also love the beautiful, sexy cover!)
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Quotes Shawna Liked

Lauren Dane
“You’re weird. I thought brothers were supposed to pretend their sisters were sexless.”

“I’m your brother, not an idiot. If he hurts you, I’ll crush him, but I want you to be happy. You want him and that’s enough for me.”
Lauren Dane, Laid Bare

Lauren Dane
“I hope you find a place in your life when you can let go and be happy. But I’m not a dirty secret. I’m not bad and wrong for being comfortable with myself, and I won’t let you make me feel that way.”
Lauren Dane, Laid Bare

Lauren Dane
“Erin, I’d like to know you again. Can we do that?” He brushed the back of his knuckles down her cheek.”
Lauren Dane, Laid Bare

Lauren Dane
“Sleep. I’m here to catch you.”
Lauren Dane, Laid Bare


Reading Progress

08/07/2009 page 1
0.3% "If this is as sexy, cool as the cover, I'm in for a real treat!" 1 comment
08/08/2009 page 322
95.83% "I loved this beautiful, emotionally charged, erotic romance with terrific characters. It's another winner from Dane. Review soon."
02/03/2016 marked as: read
show 1 hidden update…

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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Kris H. Great review. I loved this book too!


Auntee Great review, Shawna! Thanks for the heads up too on Coming Undone!


Shawna Thanks, Kris!


message 4: by Shawna (last edited Oct 02, 2009 05:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shawna Thanks Auntee! I can't wait for Coming Undone to come out because Brody totally made me swoon in this, so I can only imagine what a great romantic lead he'll make! :)


Auntee Didn't he have a girlfriend in "Laid Bare"?


Shawna Yes, her name was Raven, but she wouldn't commit. I think the heroine in Coming Undone is someone else. Should be interesting! :)


Rossy Awesome review, Shawna!
You know i think i'll take a detour on some books i was planning to read and just start this one right now. Thanks!


Rossy Shawna wrote: "Yes, her name was Raven, but she wouldn't commit. I think the heroine in Coming Undone is someone else. Should be interesting! :)"

Yeap, the heroine is Elise for Coming Undone.


Auntee Thanks ladies, that rings a bell.:)


message 10: by Daisiemae (new)

Daisiemae Great review, Shawna:)


message 11: by Matimate (new)

Matimate Great review :)


Shawna Rossy wrote: "Awesome review, Shawna!
You know i think i'll take a detour on some books i was planning to read and just start this one right now. Thanks!"


Thanks, Rossy! I hope you enjoy it too! :)



Shawna Daisiemae wrote: "Great review, Shawna:)"

Thanks, Daisie! :)



Shawna Matimate wrote: "Great review :)"

Thanks, Matimate! :)




message 15: by Shawna (last edited Oct 05, 2009 09:43AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shawna Rossy wrote: "Shawna wrote: "Yes, her name was Raven, but she wouldn't commit. I think the heroine in Coming Undone is someone else. Should be interesting! :)"

"Yeap, the heroine is Elise for Coming Undone."


Thanks for the info Rossy! I can't wait! I hope you enjoy Laid Bare as much as I did! :)


message 16: by Mahlet (new) - added it

Mahlet Great review Shawna! And FYI, on one of Lauren Dane's tweets this morning, she directed her followers to an excerpt of Coming Undone that she just posted: http://www.laurendane.com/blog/

enjoy!


Shawna Mahlet wrote: "Great review Shawna! And FYI, on one of Lauren Dane's tweets this morning, she directed her followers to an excerpt of Coming Undone that she just posted: http://www.laurendane.com/blog/
enjoy! "


Thanks, Mahlet! Ooooh...love early excerpts! :)


message 18: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Yay! Another romance set in my state. :D

Great review Shawna!


Teryl Great review Shawna, I need to get this one.


Shawna Thanks Tammy & Teryl! :)


Stephanie I think you may have just convinced me to buy, I pick it up everytime I go into B&N.


Shawna Stephanie wrote: "I think you may have just convinced me to buy, I pick it up everytime I go into B&N. "

I hope you enjoy it (if you do decide to get it, that is)! :)


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