Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review: Inside Out by Lauren Dane

From the author's website:
Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she’s spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn’t mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’d been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella’s sure he’s just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out.


I'm a huge fan of this series. Laid Bare is probably my all-time favorite erotic novel. I went into Inside Out thinking it was going to be an erotic read, but for me, it wasn't. It was a love story. It was a story about family and making choices. I loved it!

Ella Tipton is the manager of the coffee shop/cafe owned by Erin Brown in Laid Bare. She was in an abusive relationship and was almost killed by her ex. She's slowly recovering and learning how to live a full life on her own terms again, but she has lifelong scars - both mental and physical. In addition to managing the cafe, she's also finishing up her Master's degree in Social Work and working a job related to that.

Andrew "Cope" Copeland is a "bad boy" who's got a playboy reputation when it comes to the ladies. He's had a crush on Ella for a long time, but first she was in a relationship, then she was attacked and needed to recover, so the time never seemed right for him to make a move. Until now.

Ella and Cope's story sizzled. The heat was there, just below the surface, slowly boiling toward a super hot eruption. I loved that they were already friends and turned it into something so much more - more special, more sexy, more emotionally raw. They both had issues - besides Ella's issues related to her attack by her ex-boyfriend, Cope brought some baggage into the relationship as well - as the second son, he spent most of his life trying to live up to his father's image of his older brother Ben. Cope and Ben's father is having a hard time coming to terms with Ben's relationship (a threesome), and Cope has been trying to patch things up between his father and Ben, but it's not working.

I have only two small complaints: I got tired about reading about Erin's pregnancy. I understand everyone was worried about her and it was a huge part of the storyline, but it was frustrating as a reader to read what felt like the same thing over and over. Also, the heroines of the three books in this series to date all have names that start with E - Erin, Elise, and Ella. I've mentioned before that I get confused when the names are similar. All three heroines have intertwining storylines in the book; I was able to keep everyone straight but sometimes had to re-read a line or paragraph and double-check to make sure I had was picturing the right people in my head.

Inside Out is emotionally exhausting - but in a good way. I was so vested in the characters lives that I took their triumphs and tragedies to heart myself. It was a wonderful read and I'm so glad that in addition to Ella and Cope we also got to see how all the other siblings and friends are doing.

I'm now anxiously awaiting Adrian's book - Never Enough - coming in September 2011. (I'm so glad his love interest isn't Raven!)

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Release Date:
November 2, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0425236888

My Rating:


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