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Arouse (Spiral of Bliss, #1) - Nina Lane The truth will set you free? Not necessarily!


Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut. It will save the others a whole a lot of unnecessary heartache :-).

Loved, loved, loved this book!

This book is about a couple, Dean and Olivia. They have been together for 5 years, 3 of them married. The story starts very slow but very sweet. Even though it starts kind of in the middle, later, with a glimpse into the past, it is explained how they met and why they fell in love.

He is a proffesor at King's who specializes in Medieval Studies (it's not as exiting as it sounds:)). He is very interesting character. He is tall, dark and handsome (duh). He is very intelligent, it shows in the way he talks about his work, how he talks to his students and coworkers. He is also very passionate about what he does. I personally think it is one of the sexiest qualities in a man, apparently so does Olivia. She doesn't understand half of what he's talking about, but it makes her want to rip her clothes, right then and there :-D.

" Did you finished your paper on the medieval sins of passion?"
He kisses the top of her head. "Excavation and archeology of a town originated by castle of the Teutobic Order."
Of course.
I tighten my arms around his waist. "Mmm. Dirty talk."
"Urban hierarchy." He slides a big hand down to squeeze my rear. He could say anything in that deep voice of his and I'd go all fluttery inside. "Vernacular architecture. Topographical analysis. Flexible growth."
Ah, good.

He has this hypnotizing authority about him. Every time he walks into a room, men's spines stiffen and women want to drop their panties. But the thing is, he is completely oblivious to other women's reactions, because he is completely and utterly in love with his wife.
Author doesn't go overboard trying to explain his feelings for Olivia. You get that from the way he looks at her, the way he talks to her, the way he touches her and the way he fantasizes about her (Yep ;-)). And the same goes for Olivia's feeling for him.

You get to know the characters, you fall in love with them. You see that the love is there, the chemistry and the passion is through the roof.

"One day I'm going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me." Dean slid his hand around the back of my neck. "But right now we're just going to make out."

Then, one day, something happens. A simple conversation leads to an argument which starts the domino effect.

The topic wasn't that big of a deal. It's something that every couple needs to talk about, at some point in the relationship. But both of their reactions made the other one question their relationship. It led to not talking, to brushing pass one another with awkwardness. It led to other discussions/arguments which had nothing to do with the "problem" that started it all. In the heat of an argument secrets and confessions started coming out. And it left me wondering "Do you really need to know everything about one another? Maybe sometimes it's better to leave past in the past?" It also makes you wonder if some truths are overrated.
All that truth coming out drives characters to do some stupid things, which poses a threat to lead their relationship to the point of no return. More tension, more sexual frustration, more heartache...

I, as a reader, was left heartbroken. At the beginning, their relationship felt solid as a rock. What happened? How did they got to this point?
The most of the story is told from her p.o.v and some of the parts from his. From their thoughts you can see that the love is still there, but the anger, frustration and jealousy have completely consumed them. There were a lot of times where I wished I could reach through the screen, grab them by their collars, shake them and shout "Sit the f*** down, you fools, and talk, goddamn it!"
You see that they both hurting and want to make it right, they want to fix it, what ever got them here. But none of them know how. They miss each other terribly, the good times that they've had. They both can't imagine being with anyone else. Reader gets that feeling too. They are perfect for each other. You see that the way they are behaving is just stupid, but at the same time, you see that both of them have a point. I think that I would have reacted in the same way, if I were in either of their shoes. And that's what makes the characters so easy to relate to. I'm sure we all have experienced the same thing, at some point in our lives. I have, and have heard similar stories from my friends, over and over again. It's much easier to get angry and storm out of the place, feel sorry for your self, blame the other, rather than sit down and address the issue.

At this point, the only thing they have going for them, is the physical thing. The familiar look, the longing glance, the comforting touch. It's easy, because you don't have to talk. The passion is still there. Sometimes they do it slow and some times they do it hard. But the sad thing about it is that when the moment it's over, they go to sleep with their backs turned to one another.

I think this is the first book that left me frustrated in a good way.

Supporting characters: I absolutely loved Kelsey! She was the sane one of the bunch. Everyone needs a friend like her :). She is a no BS persona. She will tell you how it is, no sugar coating. I think that Dean and Olivia are lucky to have her in their lives. She is funny, but honest and she doesn't tolerate bull sh**. She is not one of those friends who will tell you "Sure, wear yellow leggings, they look great on you." and rolls her eyes the moment you turn your back. She is more like "WTF? it's not 80's, go change, right now, or else!" :-D.

"So what... uh, what made you go back to guys?" Olivia asked.
Oh, a couple of studs my senior year, then a long-term boyfriends in grad school." Kelsey flips her hair away from her face and reaches for the wineglass. "Great guy, smart as hell. Great sex too. Made me realize I preferred hard muscle and hard dick."

I stalk towards the men's locker room. She follows.
"Back off, Kelsey."
I shove the door open. She bangs through it after me. A few half-dressed men by their lockers stare at her. One whistles.
"Hey, lady, this is the men's locker room," one of them snaps.
"Shut up, asshole. You've got nothing i haven't seen."
Kelsey stares him up and down.
"And I mean nothing."

"God, Kelsey." I rest my head in my hands. "Why aren't you a psychologist?"
"Because my friends are the only people I give a damn about."
"Will you please go explain all that to Dean?" I ask.
"Hah." Kelsey rolls her eyes. "He's a man. He'll give me a blank stare, tell me I'm full of shit, then go off to pummel a punching bag."

This was one of those stories where author was able to portray a relationship gone wrong in a very realistic and raw way. It was also a very big surprise, because it was very different from Nina Lane's first book. I did enjoyed the first one very much, but I could relate to this story more.
I hope this book gets the attention it deserves.
I'm glad that Dean's and Olivia's story is not over. Can't wait for the sequel.