4.5 Beauty Stars

| On
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Arouse
Spiral of Bliss #1
by 
Nina Lane



My thoughts are all over the place. This story is a depiction of the problems and challenges you let into a marriage when you don't communicate and get past hurt.

Liv and medieval history professor Dean West have been married for three years and together for five. They are deeply in love and devoted to each other. Liv's difficult childhood is her reason for not wanting children. How can somebody with a bad role model as an example be a good mother after all? Dean agrees with her decision. A simple thing like a pregnancy scare, which is really only a scare, shifts their whole world off its axis. It sparks the thought in Liv that maybe she does want kids after all? From here on it's like an accident about to happen: You watch, you can't look away but you can't stop it either. When Liv feels that Dean is keeping a secret she realizes that the fear of her marriage falling apart is real.

“Our marriage has always been an island, a safe place where sea-dragons and monstrous creatures can’t reach us. Now we’re letting them in, gnashing teeth and all, and we are failing to protect each other.” 

Liv and Dean met when she was at college and he a temporary professor. The time of their courtship is told in flashbacks and gives us a deeper look into the reasons why they love each other so much, why their relationship is honestly good, and their feelings for each other the way they are.

“She’s pure. Despite experiences that could have irrevocably fucked her up, turned her into someone hard and jaded, she’s still wholesome.”


Dean is a protective and kind man who oozes sex appeal and authority. I was struggling with him acting out of character, I kept wondering why this kind man sometimes acted cruel, at least by his standards. Realization hit me when I got to peek inside his head. He is a wounded animal, up to the point where his marriage starts to fall apart we have only seen him being a good man, almost flawless. There was no reason for him to be anything but. He is human too though and so are his reactions to betrayal and hurt. He is deeply flawed yet extremely lovable.

“Christ Liv, sometimes the way you look at me makes me feel like I can hang the fucking moon.”
“Because I’ve always believed you can.”

I loved the hell out of Liv. In the beginning of the book you get to experience this beautiful, vibrant young woman who is confident in her marriage. When the problems start you realize that she actually considers herself unfinished, lacking...but with her relationship at stake she experiences major growth.

“I gave you everything I am. Why couldn’t you do the same for me?”

I read this book almost in one sitting, I just couldn't put it down. I couldn't help but root for them, cheer them on and be totally devastated when they yet again failed to talk. Their hurt was physical to me, I was a sobbing mess. The shift in their relationship dynamics was on one hand heartbreaking but cleansing at the same time. If I didn't have so many ARCs lined up I would read the next one right away, that's how much I loved these two. 

“Fall seven times. Get up eight.”

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