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All In (The Blackstone Affair, #2) - Raine Miller image

In the second book of the Blackstone Affair, ALL IN takes a different approach, so different that it felt like a totally different series in terms of writing style. This book is from Ethan’s POV and it turned out to be vastly different than my expectations. From the first book, I took away several things: I thought Ethan was sexy and dominant. I thought getting Ethan’s POV would mean readers would get a deeper insight into his mind and his own personal struggles. And I thought that this book would make me love him more.

Getting to read Ethan’s POV changed how I saw him. He seemed a little too whiny in the beginning, pining for Brynne until he seemed wholly consumed by it and nothing else. While romantic, it also felt a little too forced because Brynne and Ethan fall in love so quickly in the first book that the challenges they are facing now seem too soon and too unrealistic for me to really invest in it fully. While I could push that aside for the time being as I continued to read, there was another thing that disappointed me about this book.

I thought we would get greater insight into Ethan’s mind. While Miller does provide readers with a series of flashbacks that are a twisted combination of Brynne and Ethan’s current predicaments and Ethan’s traumatic experiences from his time in the military, I didn’t get that emotional pull that I got from the first book. I totally missed the charismatic and dominant side of Ethan and got annoyed by the constant phrasing of “my girl” as if he was a teenage boy, staking claim on his first love. In my hopes of learning more and adding depth to Ethan’s character, I got a one-dimensional storyline that lacked an emotional draw.

I had hoped for something more edgy and dark. While the suspense aspect of the book wasn’t bad, I kept thinking how different this book felt to me as I had just jumped from reading book one, NAKED straight into this one. I’ll be jumping into book three, EYES WIDE OPEN and doing exactly that, keeping an open mind, hoping this one floors me as it did the first book.

*ARC provided by Publisher