PJV Quickie: Drawn Together, Book 6 in Lauren Dane’s Brown Siblings series, left me with mixed feelings: on the one hand, I was thrilled to read about Raven’s past and read her HEA, but on the other hand, it didn’t read as sexy as previous books in the series, and the familiar theme of “family” was missing for this reader.
Raven Smith doesn’t make friends easily. The product of foster care and halfway houses, she’s learned the hard way not to rely on anyone but herself. A chronic wanderer, she doesn’t stay in one place for long, but has started to settle a bit in Seattle as the Brown family, rare trusted friends, live in Seattle and the siblings have begun starting their families. To people outside of Raven’s inner circle, she comes across as a bitch, but those who know her well know that there’s so much of Raven to love if you can get past her tough exterior.
Jonah Warner, is a divorced father with a teen-aged daughter and an ex-wife who’s a money-grubbing piece of work. He meets Raven at a party thrown by mutual friends and talks to her about getting a back tattoo. After some flirting and chatting, Raven agrees to show him some drawings and will do his tattoo at his home. Jonah is instantly attracted to Raven, and is determined to make her his. Doing that, however, is going to require tearing through walls that Raven has spent a lifetime building.
I am a huge Lauren Dane fan and her Brown Siblings series is one of my favorites. I have been waiting excitedly for Raven’s story, and in Drawn Together we learn so much about why she is the way she is. Raven is probably the least-liked character in the series, but I knew, just knew, there was so much more to her story than we’d seen previously…
I think that in Jonah, Ms. Dane has written a good character to handle Raven’s issues – they are many and some of them are very intense. Raven had a horrible childhood and doesn’t trust easily. Those people she lets into her inner circle know and accept this and are very protective of her. She’s done bitchy things in the past, but in most instances her heart was in the right place and she was doing it to protect the people she loves, or for self-preservation. Jonah understands this and while he pushes her sometimes, he doesn’t push her farther than she’s willing to go. He also gives Raven what she needs in the bedroom – a chance to let go and let someone else be in charge. And while they may occasionally disagree out of the bedroom, inside the bedroom they are in perfect agreement.
What didn’t work for me in Drawn Together is the “insta-love” aspect. Raven and Jonah were immediately attracted to each other and their “courtship” consisted mainly of them discussing their attraction: “we’re attracted to each other so we’re going to have sex”. For me, it read as almost clinical in that I didn’t feel the passion I’m so used to getting from Ms. Dane.
The other thing I missed in Drawn Together is the theme of Family; perhaps because both Jonah and Raven’s families were so awful, and Raven’s chosen family, the Brown siblings, were already established in previous books? I think I just had a hard time with how mean the women in Drawn Together were written – Jonah’s ex-wife, his sister-in-law, his mother and grandmother, and Raven’s aunt – and they just left me feeling beat-down.
Those two issues aside, I have to say that Drawn Together is full of Lauren Dane’s rich writing style: reading her words on the page is like eating decadent chocolates – you want to just gorge yourself on them and when they’re gone you can’t figure out how you’re done already. One other thing I liked about Drawn Together is that we do get to see how the Brown siblings and their progeny are doing, and I’m looking forward to reading more about them.
Fans of erotic romance will enjoy Drawn Together, readers who enjoy reading D/s, redeemed heroines, like their heroes tattooed.
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