Thursday, January 16, 2014

Book Review, Tour, & Giveaway: AWAKEN

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Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.

NinaLane-Awaken-cover copy
Awaken by Nina Lane
Spiral of Bliss #3
January 7, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+
(contains: strong language, lots of sex)
Cover Design: Victoria Colotta of VMC Art & Design
Source: eARC from author for Honest review

Book Blurb:
I love that you love me, professor.” 
I love loving you, beauty.”  
Since their intense, passionate beginning, Professor Dean West and his wife Olivia have fought dark secrets and betrayal in order to save their marriage. Now reeling in the aftermath of a personal tragedy, Liv and Dean are driven further apart by a vindictive threat to Dean’s career. Struggling to stand on her own for the first time in years, Liv is determined to defend her husband and prove herself. Then an unexpected letter dredges up old insecurities and endangers Liv’s newfound independence. As Dean fights for his professional life, he is forced to confront his worst fear when he discovers that he can’t protect his beloved wife from her own painful past.
My Review:

If you haven't started this series yet, be warned there are slight spoilers for the previous two books in this review, but no spoilers for AWAKEN.

My thought BEFORE reading AWAKEN:
First, I need to say that I loved where Nina Lane left Liv and Dean at the end of ALLURE. They have come together beautifully as a couple - finding their soul mate, the one who will love them, stand by them, honor them, cherish them, cross chasms and slay dragons for them. But this isn't enough. They must learn to conquer their internal demons; fight their internal doubts, insecurities, traumas; accept and love who they themselves are alone. I love that the author brings this aspect of personal strength into the novel and Liv and Dean's personal and marital issues. I've read many novels that focus on a couple fighting to be together and overcoming the external issues trying to prevent their relationship. But what happens when you are an established couple, and the internal issues you've been ignoring and avoiding finally rear their ugly head? What happens when you no longer know who you are alone, and can only define yourself within a couple? What happens when trust and ideals have been broken down, and new roles must be established? Liv has essentially forced Dean to take a sabbatical for his own sake and she intends to use this same time to discover herself. But they are leaving in a place of love and mutual respect and understanding, which is already a much healthier start for them at the beginning of AWAKEN and I can't wait to see what happens next.

My Thoughts AFTER reading AWAKEN:

"You and me, professor."
"You and me, beauty."

I love that I was right and wrong about Dean and Liv at the end of ALLURE. I was right about their amazing relationship but I was wrong in that I thought I knew where Nina Lane was taking things, but she did things so much better than I had imagined, and in this instance I was so happy to be wrong. There is something just so special and beautiful about this series. Watching Dean and Liv's relationship grow and bloom despite the storms they must weather is a thing of beauty. Where lesser couples would have given up, the depths of their love overcame whomever and whatever came along trying to destroy their happily ever after, including their internal insecurities and secrets.

Starting AWAKEN with the two of them separate (but together) was both difficult because I hurt for them and felt the injustice of their situation, but was also so important because I absolutely loved the direction that Nina took things. She brought such an incredible newness to them, combining longing, loving, and learning, with a chivalry twist. Bringing in the professor's love of all things medieval was genius, and I loved watching the back and forth between Dean and Liv, whether by simple conversation, sensual connection, or sexy combination. I laughed, I smiled, I got hot under the collar. And speaking of hot - whether these two are in the same room or hundreds of miles apart, they are so sexy and so in love you can feel it pouring off the pages.

"And just like that, I fall wildly in love with my husband all over again."
"I'm at your feet forever, Olivia Rose."

While the Professor and his Beauty continue to rebuild and refortify their relationship, external forces are not going to give up easily on trying to destroy them. I definitely wanted to do some butt-kicking on Dean and Liv's behalf with several characters who were messing with this couple I love. But through all the stress and instability, our beautiful couple are able to demonstrate and prove how very, very good they are together. While the future may be in flux, their love just gets stronger and stronger. Dean must learn to balance his instincts to protect Liv at all costs and let her become the woman she needs to be. Liv must grow in her confidence and trust in herself while also strengthening her husband who's had his professional world shaken. And watching them become the best of who they are, together and separate, was remarkably well done. I just love this couple!

I loved this book and I loved this series. I loved how Nina created such a beautiful, amazing couple in Dean and Liv. I loved that she tackled so many different aspects of their marriage and showed the intense depths of a their relationship and characters, but also proved the strength of their love to overcome any odds standing in their way. The road was not gentle, but the journey made them all the more stronger and better than how they started. The conclusion was touching and lovely and perfect and just the ending I was hoping for. Bravo, Nina Lane!!
"Love the one who proves to you that happily ever after is only the beginning."

Purchase Links: Amazon US | Barnes & Noble| KOBO | iTunes

Spiral of Bliss Trilogy

SPIRAL OF BLISS Reading Order and Links:

NinaLane-B&WAbout the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances and spicy erotica. Originally from California, she loves traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Nina also spent many years in graduate school studying art history and library sciences. Although she would go back for another degree if she could because she's that much of a bookworm, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer. Nina's novel The Erotic Dark hit #1 on Amazon's Erotica Bestseller list, and Allure is a USA Today Bestseller.

Connect with the Nina: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest


  1. Jenny, wow, what a wonderful review! I'm thrilled that you loved Awaken, and especially Liv and Dean's personal growth and strength -- I really wanted to show how much they both changed for the better, and I'm so glad that resonated with you.

    And you highlighted my favorite quote -- "just like that I fall wildly in love..." -- I had to give that line its own paragraph because I loved it so much! :-)

    Thank you so much for participating in the blog tour and for all the support you've shown me (and Liv and Dean!). I couldn't be more grateful and honored.

    1. It was a true pleasure to read this series and it is now one of my favorites. I fell in love with the characters and story you created. You did an amazing job, Nina!! And I love that quote, too. Every marriage should feel that way :)

  2. Exactly! Marriage should be an unending romance. :-)


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