Monday, November 24, 2014

Review of In the Raw by Nikka Michaels & Eileen Griffin

In the Raw
In the Raw by Nikka Michaels & Eileen Griffin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

That was HOT!!! No pun intended. I will admit right off the bat that I was expecting a tense yet fun and sexy read – which the authors definitely delivered on. But I also got a book that was much more of an emotional read than I really expected and it blew me away. I found it quite entertaining that neither James nor Ethan had any clue that the other was gay AND attracted to the other – especially when we learn that Ethan’s sister Claire was well aware of it as were others around them. I’m not sure I’ve ever read an m/m romance where both main character’s gaydar was broken.

But seriously the relationship storylines within In the Raw are numerous and emotional – both good and bad – and they’re the driving force in the book. It’s clear right from the beginning that the sibling relationship between Ethan and Claire is not only strong, but also Ethan’s center – which is what makes Claire’s anger and silent treatment of Ethan at one point so significant. The friendship between Claire and James is clearly important to both of them, particularly to Claire as she is so busy with school and work that she doesn’t have much time to make friends, especially those who are truly interested in actually being friends. Although by no means a positive relationship, the one between James and his parents has a major impact on him, his behaviors, and his relationship with Ethan. I was outraged and devastated for James when his parents drew the line and refused to listen to him at all.

Ultimately it is the relationship between James and Ethan and how it develops that is central to this novel. It was quite amusing to learn that neither man wanted to be attracted to the other. Ethan resented James’s wealth and the opportunities his last name afforded him; whereas James wasn’t “out” and didn’t know how to deal with Ethan’s mercurial moods – in short, Ethan was an arse. Yet as the two are forced to spend time together due to a school project and get to know one another in the process they learn that their impressions of the other aren’t accurate. Their attraction grows despite their best intentions and the result is intense. The authors not only give us some highly erotic sex scenes, but also some beautiful moments of emotional intimacy.

In the Raw definitely has the In the Kitchen series off to an excellent start. Ms. Michaels and Ms. Griffin have done a great job in crafting James and Ethan’s story. I am so relieved that I have book two already so I can go straight into it as the Epilogue had me near tears more than once and I cannot wait to find out what happens next for these two. In the Fire here I come.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

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