Series: Spiral of Bliss #1
Published by Independently Published
Publication Date: January 1st, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Also in this series: Allure, Awaken
Also by this author: Allure, Awaken, Break The Sky
"One day I'm going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me," he said. And he did.
Struggling with a tormented past, undergraduate Olivia Winter once led a practical but isolated life. Then she met Professor Dean West, a brilliant scholar of medieval history who melted Liv's inhibitions and taught her the meaning of both love and erotic pleasure. But after three years of a blissful, lusty marriage, Liv and Dean now face a crisis that threatens everything they believe about each other. And when dark secrets and temptations rise to the surface, the fallout might break them apart forever.
To call this just an erotic romance is an understatement. Yes, there are some erotic moments, and yes there is romance, but it so much more. The perfect way I could describe Arouse, is this is what happens after the Happily Ever After.
We stare at each other. I see with sudden, sharp clarity exactly what our marriage has been. Dean has been in control of all the barbed-wire things that could hurt me. And I have been willing to let him be my shield, to keep the bad stuff away.
Olivia and Dean have been together for five years, and married for three. While Dean is a successful scholar, Olivia is still trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to do. There are moments where we get a glimpse into how Dean and Olivia meet and fall in love, and with those flashbacks you feel the connection between these characters.
Maybe we could fit in other ways too, convex and concave, angles and hollows. His confidence might bolster my own.
After some events that include losing her job, a “scare”, and filling her time taking a cooking class, Olivia starts to question the very foundations that her marriage was built upon. What happens over the course of the novel is a raw, and honest look at the expectations of a partner, a marriage, and what happens when those things start to crumble.
Arouse is equal parts beautiful, painful, devastating and hopeful all at once.
Maybe this was meant to happen, this discovery of cracks where now a different, new light can shine through.”
As I was read from past to present, the love between Dean and Olivia grows into this gorgeous entity. They are not simply two people, they are one with each other.
Liv,” he said, his voice rough with tenderness, “you don’t have to be afraid.”
“Because I’ll slay monsters for you.”
My heart physically ached during the tenser moments. I felt the love, longing, and need that Dean and Olivia felt for each other. But sometimes love isn’t enough, and that is a cruel reality.
For anyone that is married or in a long term relationship, you can certainly sympathize with these characters. As much as I hated how Olivia and Dean handled things I still understood why. Arouse is the culmination of the baggage each person brings into a marriage, the expectations and demands couples place on one another, and the loss of self-identity. There were so many things about this novel that touched me on a personal level that I felt the anger, sadness and pain just as Dean and Olivia did.