REVIEW: Naked by Raine Miller
Dear Ms. Miller:
If a reader wondered what Bared to You would be like with a British heroine, hero, and setting, then Naked answers all those questions. Bared to You might be patterned obliquely after 50 Shades although Day has said it was not, then Naked is light pencil sketch of Bared to You with several similar scenes including one where the hero hunts the heroine down in a nightclub by tracking her gay BFF’s credit card. It also ends in a cliffhanger so readers can feel compelled to buy the second.
The main difference between BtY and Naked is the amount of internal angst. Naked is much more of a dialogue driven story and is about half the length of BtY. I thought the pace of the story didn’t match the emotional angst but perhaps I was supposed to believe, despite the relative insecurity of the characters portrayed through their actions, that they were fully capable of making rational decisions. (Spoiler: They are not)
The heroine, Brynne Bennett, is an art student at the University of London and she serves as a nude model for photographers. Her likeness is captured in a beautiful erotic photography image which was purchased by security magnate Ethan Blackstone. Blackstone becomes obsessed with Brynne and begins his patient but persistent conquest of Brynne.
Brynne resists at first, but how can one escape a creepy stalker who steals your cell phone to gain your phone number and then calls you and pressures you into dinner? Not Brynne. Ethan gives new meaning to the “can’t take no for an answer.”
“Say no to me,” he interrupted, “and that’s why I’ll pick you up from the shoot tomorrow for dinner. You admitted that you owe me a favor, and I am calling it in. It’s what I want, Brynne.”
Brynne suffers from night terrors due to an abusive past. She sees a therapist. She feels that it will prevent her from having a full relationship with Ethan. There’s the obligatory “I promise I’m clean” scene. A little public elevator hanky panky. A bunch of mild dom scenes. In sum, fairly crackalicious although completely derivative. I think Brynne articles the reason why these books work:
I looked up at him again. “You are so controlling but you do it in a way that makes me feel strangely…safe.”
Naked breaks no new ground and while it is a derivative work, it is a fairly readable derivative work and I can’t imagine that fans of the 50 Shades and Bared to You wouldn’t enjoy this even with the cliffhanger ending. C-