ARC-review: Insatiable – Lauren Dane

Back Cover:
Desire is the most dangerous sensation of all.

With tensions between the Federation and Imperial ‘Verses rising, one woman may hold the key to victory. The dangerous mission to smuggle her out of Imperial Territory falls to Daniel Haws and his team, the ultra secret Phantom Corps. This elite squad of the Federation Military is the only one trusted and skilled enough to remove her from under the watchful eye of her father, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial ‘Verses.

Carina is used to wearing a mask. Her father and his men think her little more than a pretty prize to be won by a man more ruthless than the rest. When he announces his intention to marry her to one of his henchmen, a man known for his cruelty, Carina knows she has to move as soon as possible to get out. But getting secret information to the Federation has served her well for years and she appeals to them for help.

She expected rescue from a man who’d been her enemy. But she wasn’t prepared for just how intense her attraction to Daniel Haws would be. Born as adversaries into different ranks, and on the run for their lives, they now need each other to survive–by holding on to the only thing they have in common: a growing desire that is dangerous, irresistible, and insatiable…

Things are heating up between the Federation and the Imperialists and stuff is brewing on The Edge. When Carina Fardelle has to defect to Federation territory with crucial Intel about her father’s plans, Daniel, leader of the Phantom Corps, is to head-up the extraction mission.

Daniel is part of an elite team of assassins called Phantom Corps. Recently promoted to leader of the Corps the responsibility that rests on his shoulders is significant. Daniel is an impatient man, which I found a rare trait for an assassin. He is also honorable, intense, capable and protective. I adored Daniel in RELENTLESS because of the way he was open in showing his care for his sister Abbie and his sense of humor. And then the opening scene of INSATIABLE showed undeniably how hard and ruthless Daniel can be when you hurt the ones he loves and I fell even harder for him.

Carina Fardelle is the only daughter of an Imperialist hotshot, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Universes. She has mastered to perfection the art of pretending to be who she’s not and yearns to shed her assumed persona and be the person she truly is, openly and without fear for her life. Carina was a complex character for me. Inside she’s observant, alert, tired of scheming to protect herself, but also feisty and quick-witted and on the outside she’s a spoiled, arrogant, confident, cool and regal princess.

From the moment Daniel and Carina meet and their joint journey starts I was mesmerized by their story and Lauren Dane allowed me to accompany them on their journey. Both Daniel and Carina are characters who complement each other and slowly open up to each other and get more comfortable with one another. As with UNDERCOVER and RELENTLESS the theme of star-crossed lovers, for whom a relationship is made difficult by social standings and differences, runs strong and I loved that. I liked Daniel a lot as a hero. The contradiction of his harsh profession and his caring nature and his gentleness with Carina struck a cord with me. I thought he was perfect for her, putting her on her place when needed but never denying her the freedom to be herself.

Though I really liked Carina as a character, it was also a bit hard for me to get a grip on her true personality because to me she seemed a bit whimsical. I loved her strength and resilience and her empathic and compassionate character despite her background. But she would be strong, smart, sensible and giving Daniel a run for his money one moment and tentative, insecure the next. At times she’d be stubbornly unwilling to listen to what Daniel and the others are telling her for her own good and reminded me of a spoiled child, pouting and stomping her foot to get her way. And then, within a few pages she’d realize her behavior was childish and she’d get a grip and act more mature again. This, for me, is what kept her likeable and away from venturing into selfish.

Because I read RELENTLESS not too long ago, I was very pleased to Abbie and Roman make an appearance in INSATIABLE. Of course, Abbie being Daniel’s sister this was a given but still I really liked the roles both Roman and Abbie played in this book and in this story. Lauren Dane also possesses the talent to have quite an extensive cast of secondary characters in this series and still keep it clear and never giving the reader a feeling the book is too crowded. I think it’s the combination of familiar characters which were introduced in earlier books and some enticing new ones that most definitely are intriguing fodder for future installments in the series, that make the presence of quite a few secondary characters one of the strong points in this series.

In this series Lauren Dane set the bar high with the ménage in UNDERCOVER and a dirty talking hero in RELENTLESS and the self-pleasuring scene which was the first sex scene in INSATIABLE, kept that bar set high as it was followed by some utterly hot and erotic scenes when Daniel and Carina finally gave in to the powerful attraction between them. And though Lauren Dane remains the queen of sizzling, raw, explicit sex scenes in my opinion INSATIABLE doesn’t reach the scorching heights of either UNDERCOVER or RELENTLESS in this aspect. Can’t give an exact founded reason for it. Maybe it’s Carina being a virgin and Daniel’s tentative sexual approach of her, always concerned about hurting her and thinking for her and therefore not going full-on and all-out with her. I do know it just felt a bit tamer than the two previous books in this series and hope those scorching, spine tingling scenes will be back in the next installment.

My last little point of comparative criticism is that I missed the fast-paced action I did get in UNDERCOVER (covert op) and RELENTLESS (political stuff). Despite Daniel being an assassin, halfway through there were only two scenes (one of them the opening scene) that were memorable. This, for me took away from the pace and the story moving forward and slowed it a bit. It wasn’t until the last few chapters that the plot action picked up and really hooked me for the next installment of the Federation Chronicles/Phantom Corps series.

Lauren Dane’s amazing skill in pairing characters and her ability to write sizzling erotic scenes are enough for me to adore this series and the overall plot arc subtly set-up and laced through the books was luckily redeemed in the last pages of INSATIABLE, something I wasn’t too sure of in the middle part of the book.

She was something he couldn’t define, but had become rather essential to his life. They would fall into bed again, he knew it was inevitable, he just needed to hold his c*ck in check until they’d arrived somewhere safe enough to let his guard down. He hoped that was soon; there was only so much masturbation a man could survive without wrist injuries.

“I need you.”
“Knock it off, Carina. You’re hurt. I won’t be gone that long.”
“Now which one of us doesn’t sound sincere?” she teased, reaching down to grab his c*ck.
“You’re hurt! You could have died. Damn it.” He let go of her hand with a groan of surrender.
“I am, and I could have. But I’m here, and I need you. I need to reconnect with you. I need to feel alive. You make me feel alive when you touch me.”
“Your arm.”
“Unless I’m really not catching on to how this sex thing works, you don’t put your penis in my arm.”

“I love you,” she said, because there was nothing else she could say with him so deep inside her, wrapped around her, filling her physically and emotionally.
He touched his forehead to hers briefly. “I love you.”
The sound of it, so quiet but rife with emotion, filled her, up and up, up until she felt as if she’d burst with it. She flew apart, and he rebuilt her, each stroke, each press and pull he made, his body over hers, around hers, inside hers, he was everything, and she never wanted to find a time when that wasn’t so.

“Again with the undoing. Daniel, you are the sweetest man to ever live.”
He threw his head back and laughed. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” He swooped in and ended up on top of her, looking down into her face. “I’m not sweet. I’m not good. But I love you so much I’d tear the fabric of the ’Verses apart if you but asked. You’re my mate, my heart and soul, and you remind me I’m a man.” She blinked away tears. “I waited my entire life for you.”

7.8 out of 10

6 thoughts on “ARC-review: Insatiable – Lauren Dane

  1. All I can say is, "Man, is that a HAWT cover!!!And this little scene: “Again with the undoing. Daniel, you are the sweetest man to ever live.”He threw his head back and laughed. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.” He swooped in and ended up on top of her, looking down into her face. “I’m not sweet. I’m not good. But I love you so much I’d tear the fabric of the ’Verses apart if you but asked. You’re my mate, my heart and soul, and you remind me I’m a man.” She blinked away tears. “I waited my entire life for you.”Gosh, I just melted with that one!Love your blog!

  2. I'm still shaking my head…I would've loved to "get" Carina and Daniel the way you did *sighs* because I agree…LD knows great characterization and sizzling hawt romance!

  3. I just bought the book yesterday, and I'm so excited to read this book! I just saw another comment on a different post stating that she will be doing a live chat session where she'll be answering questions from the fans. You best know I will be there!

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