Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday's Treasure: Second Chances by Lauren Dane

Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance,
Length: Novel
Release Date: October 25, 2010

Reviewed by Kristal Lee

Heat Level: 5 (Wildfire)
Rating: 4.5 gold coins

When Rori Simon returns to her hometown she’s not the shy, frumpy girl that all the boys overlooked in school. She’s a smart, sassy, sexy woman whose put the pain of her childhood behind her and moved on with her life. For the most part, that is. Rori's always been in love with Jude Callahan and now that she’s home Rori hopes to turn his head and win his heart for good.

Devastatingly handsome, Jude Callahan has never been interested in love. A good time, yes. A relationship, hell no. When he reconnects with Rori, his childhood gal pal, Jude begins wondering what he’s missing in not having an exclusive with one special woman. But Jude is afraid to give into his feelings and surrender his heart. He just isn’t ready for that kind of commitment. In a moment of claustrophobic fear, Jude pushes Rori out of his life and into the wake of Zach Helm.

Zach immediately recognizes Rori as a kindred spirit. He’s finally found a woman he can love and trust with his sexual dominance. He doesn’t hesitate to show Rori how much he wants and needs her. Rori, believing that Jude will never change, accepts Zach for who he is and all he has to offer.

Too late, Jude realizes his loss as he watches the only woman he can imagine a future with falling in love with another man. He can’t bear to lose Rori completely, so he faces his mistake and endeavors to be the best friend he can be to Rori and Zach.

Lauren Dane’s Second Chances is a heart-clenching erotic romance. I never expected to be so moved by a BDSM love-triangle story. The characters are true to life and believable enough to be your friends, family, or the next door neighbors.

I loved watching Rori and Zach fall in love, moment by moment. And, despite his initial jerkish behavior, I felt sorry for Jude because he was presented in such an honest fashion that his motivations and inner demons were understandable and relatable.

The small town setting reminded me of my hometown. Quaint, gossipy, at times stifling, but always a place where family was family and that’s all that mattered. It was beautiful to see how the families rallied together when tragedy struck. Readers that have disjointed family connections may be a little cynical at the lengths Rori’s family and friends go to for her, but coming from a close-knit southern family I found their actions to be spot on.

Since Second Chances is an erotic romance, steamy, hard-core sex is a high expectation. Ms. Dane doesn’t disappoint. I found the love scenes fabulous and tastefully written. Considering that this was the first BDSM book that I’ve read, I appreciated that Rori was an unschooled submissive and that as she learned about this lifestyle, so did I.

My only tweak is that I wish Rori and Jude’s relationship would have been developed as fully and richly as Rori and Evan’s. The last chapters seemed a tad rushed with more telling rather than showing so I didn’t connect as fiercely with Jude as I did with Evan.

I noticed in the acknowledgments that this edition of Second Chances is a revision of an earlier publication. Because of how much I loved this story, I’m hoping thatMs. Dane will consider another such revision and provide a longer, more in-depth detailing of Rori and Jude’s second chance.

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