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REVIEW: Drawn Together by Lauren Dane

Dear Ms. Dane:

I am an unabashed fan of your Brown Family series. In fact, Brody Brown (hero of Come Undone) is in my top 10 romance heroes of all time. So, obviously, I was thrilled when I found out that you were going to write a book for Raven Smith, who is a bit of a villain in past Brown family books, particularly Brody’s book.

Drawn Together by Lauren DaneRaven Smith is an incredibly talented tattoo artist. She’s also a free spirit, one who is tied to no one and nothing. Except, not really. While she fled a horrible childhood and an abusive family, she’s built a family among the Brown’s. She’s very close to her best friend, Erin Brown, Brody’s younger sister, and is particularly attached to Erin’s son, Alexander. Through Erin, she’s built close relationships with Elise, Brody’s wife, as well as Gillian, Adrien, the youngest Brown’s wife. She adores their children and wants desperately to be part of their lives. So she finds herself in Seattle and working at Brody’s tattoo parlor often. While she will leave town for short periods of time, she can no longer bear to be away from her family for too long.

One night at an event, she meets Jonah Warner. Jonah is sex on a stick. He’s hot, successful, smart and she’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame. She gathers immediately that Jacob is not a man who likes to be told no. And “no” is practically Raven’s favorite word — she’s contrary by nature. But when he approaches her about the possibility of her designing a tattoo for his back, she agrees to meet him at his house for drinks, and to talk about the design. She realizes even then that the attraction is incendiary and they’ll most likely end up in bed.

Jonah knows from the moment he meets her that he wants Raven. He’s captivated by her beauty, but also by the idea that she’s survived something. He wants to protect her and make her life better. When Raven arrives at his house to discuss the design, sure enough, they end up in bed. And engage in a D/s encounter that is mindblowing for both of them. For Jonah, he’s never had a woman gift him with her submission like Raven did. For Raven, the shock of submitting to Jonah and how thoroughly she enjoyed it is incredibly moving. She’s played around the edges of D/s before, but never given herself over to a man the way she did to Jonah.

But she worries. Jonah is an attorney, upstanding and proper. He has a college aged daughter, and a law practice and a family that is very concerned with image. Raven is what Erin calls, “Slightly Feral”. She says whatever comes to mind. She’s not afraid to lose her temper, she’s been with both men and women and she’s certainly not afraid to say everything that is on her mind. And she damn sure never commits to anyone. It’s why she and Brody never worked out — he wanted more than she could give him. And she has no intention of entering into that kind of a commitment with Jonah. But her attraction to him and the connection she feels with him is compelling her to consider the idea. Jonah, being pushy, asks Raven to be with only him for the time that they are together. While Raven is reluctant and tells him over and over she’s not able to do that, she actually IS doing it. And they build a beautiful relationship of love and respect and eventually, love.

I love this series because it focuses exclusively on the couple building their relationship. While each book has obstacles, they mostly focus on the couple and their relationship and their future together. The book itself has very little conflict in it. There is an occasional disagreement between Jonah and Raven, and Raven does have a difficult past that she hasn’t really dealt with. But the relationship is the absolute focus of the book. I realize for some readers that this might not be enough. But for me, the slow build of the relationship and the mutual respect that the characters have for each other was really beautiful to read. In fact, I’ve re-read the book several times since I read it the first time. As always, the sex scenes are plentiful and creative and build the connection between the characters at a steady pace. This is, other than Come Undone, my favorite installment of the series. It does stand alone, but I’d encourage readers to read the entire series, if you haven’t. It’s a really beautifully written series full of likeable heroines and incredibly strong heroes. My grade for Drawn Together is an A-.

Kind regards,

Kati

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Kati Brown

I've been reading romance for more than 30 years and reviewing regularly for the last five. My first romance was Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts, and once I read it, I was a goner. I read most subgenres of romance (except inspirational and steampunk) but focus mostly on contemporary and paranormal, with a sprinkling of historical thrown in for flavor. I am an avid sports fan, so I have a special place in my heart for sports themed romances. I'm a sucker for old skool romance, which is probably most evident in the fact that The Windflower is my favorite romance of all time.

7 Comments

  1. It's Me
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 08:36:27

    Wow, it sounds like Dane totally redeemed Raven, who I have really disliked for this entire series. Disliked her so much that I wasn’t even going to read her book, but your review makes me want to give it a shot. Thanks!

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  2. Andrea
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 09:48:45

    Drawn Together is my first Dane book, and I’ve quickly started buying the preceding books! I loved how powerful Raven was, and that she found power in submitting. This is the type of D/s relationship I love to read about.

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  3. Rachel
    Oct 15, 2013 @ 02:55:59

    Great heads up on Raven, really wasn’t sure if I was going there. And it looks like Jonah is connecting the Brown Family series to the Delicious series via ‘Sway’ and Levi and Daisy. Do we see Levi and Daisy in this one?

    ReplyReply

  4. Rachel
    Oct 15, 2013 @ 03:14:52

    Oops, got so excited seeing the Warner connection, I forgot that Gillian and her Delicious friends are all through the later Brown books. Looks like I just need to start at the beginning again.

    ReplyReply

  5. Tiffany
    Oct 15, 2013 @ 04:58:06

    I, too, have read all the”Brown” Family and “Delicious” novels. I concur that this was an excellent addition. It may very well be my favorite, so far. I never hated Raven as a character. I understood her behavior. I did not completely get the relationship she had with Erin or Brody in the previous books. I don’t know that we really saw enough in the preceding books of her being an actual friend to them. I felt scenes were missing in some of those books that could have made them more well rounded. I think this book was more fleshed out with plenty of scenes between the characters. I would recommend this to all.

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  6. Sandra
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 15:28:33

    I am so uninterested in Raven’s book all I could focus on is that Brody is one of Kati’s top 10 romance heroes of all time… that’s interesting :) His book was “Coming Undone” wasn’t it, anyway, it was a DNF for me. I’m interested in hearing the rest of Kati’s Top 10. I haven’t read a lot (or probably any) of current popular contemporary romances so other than knowing there’s a Travis, Camden and a Braden somewhere around – I am a blank slate. I’m curious if your top 10 includes these boys or if you rock it old school :)

    ReplyReply

  7. Kati’s Best of 2013
    Dec 18, 2013 @ 09:02:05

    […] Drawn Together by Lauren Dane – I’m a self-professed Lauren Dane fan girl. In fact, four of her books received Recommended Read grades from me in 2013. There is very little she writes that doesn’t work for me. I was really intrigued to see how she would redeem Raven, who was easily the character I liked least in her Brown Family Series. She redeemed her and then some by matching her with a hero who truly dug down to the core of Raven and made the reader understand her motivations and show her softer side. My review can be found here. […]

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