Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: Never Enough by Lauren Dane

Never Enough

 ~Lauren Dane

Paperback: 320 pages

Publisher: Berkley Trade

Publish Date: September 6, 2011

ISBN-10: 0425243001

ISBN-13: 978-0425243008

ASIN: B0052RHF68

From the author's website:

Gillian Forrester spent most of her life running from who and what she came from. Until Miles came along. From the moment she held the tiny newborn her older sister didn’t want, Gillian stopped running and began to build a life for herself and her adopted son. Now, thirteen years later, as Gillian’s sister lay dying, she reveals the father’s identity and makes Gillian promise to find him. 

 Adrian Brown is the epitome of the successful rock star. He’s seen and done it all, with few regrets. It takes a lot to shock him—but the bombshell that he has a thirteen-year-old son rocks his world. And Adrian is even more surprised when the buttoned-up, elegant woman who’s raising Miles snags his erotic and romantic attention. 

 The last thing Gillian expected was to find herself getting hot and heavy with a person like Adrian. But as much as she wants to open up and give herself fully to this amazing man, she’s afraid the secrets of her past and Adrian’s problems with trusting people may keep them apart for good. If love isn’t enough can they find the trust they need?

Gillian Forrester just found out who the father of her 13-year-old son, Myles, is.  So now, she's not only dealing with emotions surrounding the death of her sister (his birth mother), but she must approach Rock Star Adrian Brown to tell him he has a teenage son.  Gillian adopted her sister's child at birth, but her sister refused to disclose the identity of his father until she lay dying in the hospital.  It's always been just Gillian and Myles, and she's afraid Adrian is going to try to take him away from her.

Adrian Brown has spent so much time trying to keep the outside world from coming in that he's insulated himself thoroughly.  He wants what his siblings have - family, kids - but the way he isolates himself doesn't allow for meeting, or more importantly, trusting, new people.  When he gets a mysterious message from Gillian he is immediately suspicious - What does she want from me? When she tells him he has a son he  immediately denies it; he's had false paternity claims before.  But there's something different about this woman, and with encouragement from his siblings he investigates the claim, which turns out to be true - he's got a 13-year-old son.

Adrian is immediately attracted to this sexy woman with the heavenly British accent.  Gillian can't stop thinking about the sexy rocker who's going to be a regular part of her son's life now.  But Gillian has secrets in her past that make it hard for her to open up, and Adrian has a lifestyle that makes it hard to trust.  Can they each overcome their issues and make a relationship work?

My thoughts:


Heartbreaking.  Uplifting.  Frustrating.  Passionate.  Never Enough took me through such an array of emotions, I was thoroughly wrung out by the end, and I loved every minute of it.

For me, Adrian Brown has been the slightly mysterious Brown brother; I never really "pegged" him in the previous books, just noted him as an interesting side character that would eventually get his own book.  He turned out to be such a rich, complex character; I thoroughly enjoyed reading him:  his passion for family, trust, privacy, love.  Once he realized that Myles was his son, he began making up for missing the first 13 years of his life; he jumped into parenthood with both feet, right into the deep end.  His relationship with Gillian was not as easy.  The first impression he made was not a good one, and he had to atone for that, as well as overcome her fears of losing Myles.

Gillian was a complicated heroine.  She had a difficult childhood, and when she came to the United States she immediately began trying to reinvent herself from the child  of a mother was "familiar" with many of the men around town and a father who is a convicted murderer.  Gillian has a small group of friends she confides in, and it took her years to get to that point.  When she begins dating Adrian, the sex is scorching, and she likes him, but she can't seem to tell him about her past - even though she knows there are things he needs to know about her family.

While I found Adrian charming, I had a bit more trouble warming up to Gillian - I found her use of anger as a defense mechanism to be off-putting.  Given her history, that's not surprising, but it did not endear her to me.  I found myself frustrated with her actions time and again.  BUT, by the end of the book, Ms. Dane brought me around...

The overarching theme of the story is Family.  Not the family you're born with, but the family you make.  From Adrian's siblings, to Gillian's circle of friends - they care for each other and watch for each other and call each other out when they're making mistakes.  They love and accept each other for who they are, not where they came from, and they open their hearts to making their family circle wider.

I also loved the musical theme that ran through Never Enough - both Adrian and Gillian's careers are in music, as well as Miles musical interest, and his namesake.  Love of music was a bridge that seemed to bring them all together when nothing else worked.

The Brown Siblings series is one of my favorite series.  You can read Never Enough as a stand-alone, but you really get more of the depth and powerful writing that make up Never Enough if you read the whole series.  Believe me, it's worth the journey.

 My Rating:

Come back tomorrow for an interview with Lauren Dane where 
she'll be giving away one signed galley of Never Enough!!

Book received by the author in exchange for an honest review.


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