Erica Lucke Dean & Elise Delacroix
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Emily Chambray wants a divorce. Unfortunately, her husband believes in “’til death do us part” with an emphasis on “death.” She won’t get another chance, so her get-away plan must be foolproof. When a ruggedly handsome stranger comes to her aid, she definitely doesn’t expect to fall for him in her hour of deepest need.
Xavier Caine has ulterior motives when he offers Emily refuge in his rustic cabin. Against his better judgment, he is drawn to her innocent allure and natural beauty. Together, they explore a sensual relationship that rocks their world. But once Caine sets the stage for his own agenda, Emily could end up directly in the eye of the very storm she’s been trying to escape.
****GRAPHIC LANGUAGE, SEX, AND ADULT SITUATIONS****
A good romantic suspense read albeit a bit rushed
The opening of Craving Caine hooked me immediately with a mix of present and past circumstances of the heroine, Emily Chambray. Two attempts to run away from her abusive crime boss husband, Nicky Chambray, ended in her recapture both times. For the length and pace of this story, the overall background on the heroine was established clearly and quickly.
The hero, Xavier Caine was a little more mysterious. His introduction established him as a man not interested in commitment or relationships. As for his employment, it was rather dodgy, and I couldn't pin him down as to whether he was one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. That didn't become clear until around the half way point. I thought that made things a little more interesting, especially where Emily was concerned.
I liked the set-up with the hero operating under specific (incorrect) assumptions about Emily. I felt the pacing was a little rushed. Taking into account the build-up of her fear of being caught again, and she said she would practice more common sense and caution around strangers, she sure made herself awfully vulnerable within a matter of hours of being alone with Caine. She was attracted to him, he'd shown her nothing but kindness in the first few hours, and she wanted to be brazen. That led her to tease him, pull back, and then she let him reach second base. For me, that was too fast to be believable for a woman in her situation. After that first tease, the sex scenes started coming, and overshadowed the rest of the story. My frustration with the heroine reached its peak when Caine rescued Emily from Nicky, and they had put maybe a few miles between them, then she pushed to have sex (in case it was the last time before they died), then they fell asleep making them ripe for the picking.
The action picked up again at the end, and it was nice to see them working together instead of him hiding her away for her own safety. However by that point, I didn't care about the secret reveal of the bad guy and source for Caine's demons. The ending though was sweet, and I was happy that they achieved their HEA. An unforeseeable twist in the epilogue made me think there could be a sequel. Though, I don't think I'd want to see Emily and Caine's world shaken up again.
Overall, I enjoyed the writing style and sexy scenes. I think the story could have benefited from a longer time line to develop the character's budding relationship. Their connection was rooted in too many sex(y) scenes and a telling rather then showing of the progression. I still found it to be an enjoyable, albeit slightly forgettable, read. But I would read more from this writing duo.
*Complimentary copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.*