Giveaways


COMING SOON...

January 6, 2016

Suped Up: The Muse by Anne Calhoun

Series: Irresistible 5
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Genre: Romantica

The author of The List continues her sinfully addictive Irresistible series with a provocative new novel about a woman inspired by her most forbidden desires…

Arden MacCarren can’t afford to lose control. Her family’s investment house has failed, their professional reputation is all but destroyed, and it’s up to Arden to hold the line. The only distraction she allows herself is a weekly drawing class where she can forget everything. Then she meets Seth Miller. When he poses in her class, strong, mysterious, and unbearably sexy, she can’t resist him. The only thing she can do is keep it purely physical—no emotions, no strings, and definitely no telling.

Seth understands responsibilities, both Arden’s and his own. During his last tour as a Marine he lost his best friends to an IED. He has a duty to look after his buddies’ survivors. All he allows himself is the stolen moments with Arden. But as he’s drawn into Arden’s battle with her demons, he comes face-to-face with his own. Seth will have to choose between a duty he can’t ignore and the longing to inspire Arden’s every desire—mind, soul, and body.



Anne Calhoun is my reading equivalent to every decadent and expensive thing you can think of.  It's an experience that is best felt rather than told. There's something about her writing that resonates with me. I can barely put it into words, but I think it's how ACalhoun humanizes her characters that makes Irresistible shine and stand-out from the rest. 

There's a common theme in her books:
  1. It's always set in Manhattan.
  2. One half of the couple is affluent while the other is normal, if not an average citizen.
  3. There's some sort of illegal fiasco where one of the characters are connected to or maybe involved with.
  4. *And though the books are loosely connected, every novel can stand on it's own. So bonus points for you if you want to give this a go. I'm warning you though, one shot and you'll be inclined to get more.*

THE MUSE follows this formula. Arden MacCarren's an heiress of sorts, her family considered a financial titan until it was revealed that their wealth was ill gotten via a Ponzi scheme. Arden's life is in shreds so instead of vacationing in an exclusive resort spa, she's taking drawing classes. And that's how she met ex-Marine, current bike messenger, and part-time art model, Seth Miller. Curious coupling, no? 

First off, I like that Seth is the muse in this scenario and not Arden. I loved how ACalhoun used drawing techniques as metaphors to emphasize how sensual the set-up is. Every line drawn, every curve that's sketched, is almost a caress, each drawing session a study in seduction, foreplay to say the least. 

I can't consider this a slow-burn romance, both Arden and Seth are attracted to each other from the get-go, and it's clear that their initial agenda was to escape from their own Hells: Arden from her family's fall-out, and Seth from his demons in service. That said, ACalhoun truly drew out the emotions from these two until they've come to the proverbial fork in the road and realized that there's more to their relationship than an arranged tryst. It's more so from their actions than in words. 

There's this one scene that made my eyebrows raise, but the outcome justified the means. It was an awakening that shook up Arden and Seth and changed the tone of ther relationshp completely. It wasn't this tug-of-war thing as well where Seth would use force to get Arden or act like a jackass to deny what's happening between them; Arden wasn't a spoiled bitch who got too clingy or freaked out when she realized that she's in love with Seth. The conflict-resolution is somber, mature, and felt very vulnerable. 

I can't eloquently articulate how much I love THE MUSE. All I can come up with feels trivial next to how sensual and decadent this story is. How perfect ACalhoun's style is (for me anyways). And again, it's not the story per se, rather it's the characters that makes all the difference. Everyone is just so earnest, honest, and frail emotionally, but it's also that same fragility that makes them so solid and grounded. It's refreshing to read characters who'd rather face the music head-on than drum up drama, play passive-agressive, only to give us the same result. ACalhoun's romances are sexy and straightforward, there's no room for games. Some of the many reasons why I love Irresistible so much. 





38 comments:

  1. What a way to start my new year's reading list :) I've been out the loop so I feel I have new wonderful reads to discover and this sounds delightful..Right up my old alley :) I think I must go back to the beginning of the series.
    Thank you!

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  2. Always set in manhattan.. well I could read that

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    1. Rich folks and their real lives minus the annoying flaunting of wealth

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  3. I'm glad that you liked it so much. It's always nice to find an author or a book that just does it for you.

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    1. Yup, I'm a loyal follower now. Her romance is like prose!

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  4. How have I never read any books by Calhoun before, Braine? Have I not seen your reviews for the previous books in this series, maybe? I'll be sure to check it out now, because your review is a decadent experience itself :)
    Have a wonderful Wednesday and happy reading.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Oh you will love her! Her writing is so delicious to me!

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  5. It's great to see that with the same base, the author manages to present a great story like that!

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    1. She's fast become a favorite now since I read my first Calhoun book middle of 2015.

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  6. You put Anne Calhoun on my tbr in the first place, Braine. The Muse...well, you just cemented the reasons I need to move Calhoun up in the queue. You may think you couldn't adequately express how much you loved this book, but I felt it. :D

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    1. I hope you love her. Her romances are like quiet storms, it'll sneak up on you and won't let go once it's got you in its hold

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  7. Ooh this sounds like it could be a good book to read in between fantasy reads. I would have preferred a slow burn romance but if she's drawing him, LOL, I can see why they couldn't resist each other. I do love that he's the muse though and you're right, a very unusual sounding couple, but I'm in!

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    1. I sort of get why there's a bunch of girls who are crazy over artists. It is a sensual experience posing for one

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  8. When you say "Suped Up", I come running. How the hell have I not read this series? I will have to remedy that soon.

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    1. Happy to get you excited! I hope you get the chance to try her work soon. Stalk NG for the next installment!

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  9. Sexy and straightforward sounds great for this one

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    1. I get impatient where there's too much run around. Like call it for what it is, darn it!

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  10. I didn't love the first book I read by her but dealing with thing straight forward is my book catnip lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Hahahaha. That's alright, I guess me liking that part is very reflective of my personality too. I can be cut and dry when it comes to relationships... maybe that's why I'm still single!!!

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  11. Beautiful review! Your whole first paragraph completely hooked me!

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    1. Thank you! I did my job well then :D

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  12. Oh this sounds like one I need to check out. The writing sounds wonderful.

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    1. Try a sample, I'm hooked from the get go. I hope your experience is the same too, Heidi

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  13. It's not one I would have picked up on my own but you definitely made it sound appealing! I'm very curious about it now!

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    1. It's not super sexy, I know you don't like those, it has its moments, but for me it's so emotionally ridden that maybe you might be able to get past the bedroom scenes

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  14. Oh you had me at felt rather than told. I might have to try this one or at least this author!

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    1. I hope you do. She writes smart yet sexy romances.

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  15. yay for amazing characters :D

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  16. I like how you describe your reading experiences with this author and even better that her books can be read standalone.

    Nice review!

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  17. That really is a curious coupling. I'm intrigued.

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  18. Okay Braine this sounds FAB! Thanks!

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  19. I can imagine how sensual that drawing scene was. I liked the fact that the couple is rounded. Glad this series continues to be a favorite of yours, Braine :)

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  20. It's great when you find an author who's writing resonances with you like that. I have a few authors like that too, the way they write their books just works for me.
    It sure sounds like a curious coupling, but one that works pretty well ;). Great review!

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  21. Wow, you sold the author and the book...this sounds wonderful and of course I want to go to Manhattan and meet this couple!

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  22. I've read one book in the series and enjoyed it. I have the rest on my TBR for this year. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  23. Oh man. Those covers just kill the cover whore in me. lol I do enjoy her books though so one day may be able to get past that to dive in ;)

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