Oct 4, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Drawn Together by Lauren Dane (Brown Siblings #5)

drawntogether3 star
Contemporary Erotica
October 1 2013
Trade Paperback
304 pages
Berkley Trade
Received from publisher via NetGalley

Yummy Man – Jonah Warner
Kick Ass Chick – Raven Smith

From Goodreads –
Beauty is more than skin-deep…

Tattoo artist Raven Smith is blunt and hard, broken and jaded, dark and beautiful. While she doesn’t hide her painful past, she does keep a wall around her heart. She’s free sexually—but no one gets to the real Raven beneath the prickly exterior.

With a voice like smoke, Jonah Warner is a smooth-talking, highly successful attorney, with a body that should never be hidden by a suit. He’s the kind of man who never takes no for an answer and always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Raven. She’s a survivor, and he finds that incredibly alluring.

Jonah gets under her skin in a way Raven has never experienced. He makes her break all her rules—including her no-monogamy rule.

But when a figure from Raven’s past shows up at the tattoo parlor and drops a bomb into her life, their relationship will face the ultimate challenge…

———-

Drawn Together is the fifth full length book in Lauren Dane’s Brown Siblings series.  I did not know that she was working on this book until I saw people chat about it one twitter.  Then I got all, well, a twitter because I hoped Lauren would someday write Raven’s HEA and to find out she did made me quite happy.

Raven is the character you loved to hate in the previous books.  She definitely has a hard exterior and is a bitch to everyone.  And even though you know there is more there (after all, Brody did fall in love with her once upon a time), it’s sometimes hard to see.  But she has been mellowing out bit by bit in the last few books and her growth in this one not only works well (as in doesn’t come out of nowhere) but also suits her character and the story.

I loved who Lauren wrote for Raven HEA.  The type of man that Jonah is is just perfect for her.  Older, sure of himself, knows what he wants and what he likes.  And even the Dom/sub twist fit even though at first glance I didn’t think it would.

You don’t have to worry about Jonah being a Dom because although he is one in the bedroom, it does not define him which is why I liked him.  He is in his forties, divorced with a teenage daughter.  He is a lawyer and comes from a well-to-do family.  When you first read this you don’t feel it would work with Raven.  Afterall, she is prickly and needs to be in control of everything.  How dare someone tell her what do to in or out of the bedroom?  Well, it really works.  She needs to let go of some of that control.  She needs someone who won’t take her at face value and who will work at getting her to be her true self without being too much of an arse or without being too much of a pushover.  I found Lauren wrote the perfect balance for Jonah.  He is exactly what Raven needs and they are excellent together.

Raven has been growing on me bit by bit and I enjoyed her in this book.  Her story is sad but not so much that it was no fun to read.  Lauren writes emotion in her characters well.  Honestly, sometimes it can be a bit much (like with Erin) but with Raven, yes I am going to use the word ‘balance’ again, Lauren wrote the right balance.  Emotional but not too mushy.  It let Raven shine in her way and everything that happened and how she reacted was true to her character.  I was pleased with that.

There are a few things that did rub me the wrong way though.  Lauren took a bit of a break from the Brown Siblings to write a new series called Delicious.  I knew that there was going to be a bit of a crossover from the Brown series to the Delicious series because some of the characters were introduced in Brown #4.  I have not read any of the Delicious books.  I want to but I just haven’t fit them into my schedule yet.  I did not think that would be a problem when I picked up Drawn Together because it is Brown book and not a Delicious books yet I often found myself wondering ‘who are all of these people?’ and ‘since when are all of these guys such bestest closest friends?’  The characters from Delicious are in many scenes of Drawn Together.  I felt I was missing big chunks of story.  And yes, obviously I was, but I feel I shouldn’t have felt that way as this is not the same series!  I was disappointed in that.  I didn’t like diving back into the Brown world and almost feeling as though it was filled with intruders.  Odd as that may sound, that is how I felt.

I also didn’t get the point of Jonah’s youngest brother’s wife and that whole tiny little subplot.  It did nothing for the story.  She was a crazy lady who was after the ‘new’ women to the family.  The only thing I can think of is either this is something that started in a Delicious book (the hero from book one is Jonah’s brother so maybe..) or Lauren is getting ready to write a series about the brothers and wanted the youngest single so he could have his own book.  Other than that, there was absolutely no point in Mal and his crazy bitch of a wife in my opinion.

There were tons of character updates from the other Brown Sibling books which was nice.  We know where all of the other heroes and heroines are and what they are up to and I like knowing stuff like that.  The pacing good but sometimes I felt it could be better as I found there was some repetition here and there which slowed things down for me a bit.

All in all, even though this was not my favorite installment of the series (that would be book two, Coming Undone) I am glad I read Drawn Together.  Now the series feels finished and it ended well.  I like the person Raven ultimately ended up being and I love Jonah for her.  I think fans of the series will want to read this.

3 stars

Books in the Brown Siblings series –
Laid Bare
Coming Undone
Inside Out
Never Enough
Drawn Together

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  1. I read the Delicious series first and kept wondering who this Brown family was. You are correct Mal’s wife was horrible to Daisy in the the first book which is a novella Sway. Raven was never a favorite and the only reason I would read her book is to catch up with everyone else.

  2. Awesome review, and I love how you can explain what you did not like about it. Someday I will try to read this series 🙂

  3. Having read all the Brown Family and Delicious books (and novellas) I have to say that if Dane had left out the characters from the Delicious series I would have felt totally let down. I can understand your frustration though as the Delicious books always felt like they should have been pubbed under the Brown aegis anyway since so many characters intersect.

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