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I don't read a lot of erotic fiction mainly because the plot often ends up buried behind what seems like an endless parade of explicit sex scenes. I was therefore happily surprised when I read Lauren Dane's Coming Undone. While there are some very explicit scenes, they are well done and fit within the narrative of the story seamlessly.
Elise Sorenson is starting over in Seattle after experiencing great personal tragedy. She and her daughter move in next to Brody Brown, a motorcycle riding, tattooed man. What starts out as a simple fling between two adults quickly morphs into something more than either expects.
I really enjoyed how easily the two main characters fall in love. There is no real dramatic epiphany for either, but a gradual building of trust and affection.They sort of drift from a sexual relationship into an emotional one without really making a big deal about it. It sucks some of the tension out of the story, but for some reason, it works.
I have a few minor complaints about the book. One is so minor that it seems kind of petty to mention it... The author felt the need to remind us (over and over and over) about how great a mother Elise is. It's pretty clear already that Elise is a great mom. In fact, in my mind, she's a little unrealistic in her perfection there. I don't care how perfect your child is, there will be times that he or she tries your nerves. And we see none of that realism here. She's never, not even once, even slightly bothered by the stress of motherhood. And that's just not reality. No one who isn't on some serious medication is that serene.
The other complaint involves Raven, the family friend and ex-lover of Brody. There's an artificiality to her interference that just didn't feel right. Perhaps because there really isn't a time in the novel where she's even the slightest threat to Elise. I think her character either needed to be a little more devious and ruthless or scrapped altogether. And...I hate the whole Dickensian name thing. So naming characters to deliberately evoke certain images or feelings bugs me.
Overall, though, and despite the VERY hot and explicit scenes, I found the story rather sweet. The characters are two decent people who find happiness together. Maybe that's too simple for some, but I found it refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed Dane's writing style and finished this book in one night.
My Grade: B