ARC-review: Whirlpool by Vivian Arend

Soft shoulders and dangerous curves…

Braden can’t deny he’s always wanted Chelsea, but getting involved wouldn’t be fair. She has college and big dreams ahead of her—he has no desire to leave Jaffrey’s Cove. Plus, there’s the fact merfolk women often take more than one lover. Share her? Not in this lifetime.

When Chelsea’s plans for the future fall apart, the only bright spot remaining is Sheriff Braden Marley. She’s been angling for a shot at the gentle giant’s heart—and the rest of him—for a long time. Except he not only holds her at a maddening arm’s length, he somehow manages to keep other men away, too.

Enter Jamie Powell, a human marine archeologist who’s in town for a cataloging project. His instant chemistry with Chelsea inspires her to try a sexy new tactic: make Braden jealous enough to stop dragging his feet and start leaving his shoes under her bed.

The ensuing storm generates a boatload of complications none of them saw coming. A forbidden attraction no amount of merfolk magic can erase. And the danger that their secrets could be exposed to the outside world…

Warning: Seductive shimmering lights, a sexy interlude on the strip club floor, mysterious Spanish lovers, and a trio caught in an eddy of intense sexual attraction. Swim at your own risk.

Title: Whirlpool
Author: Vivian Arend
Series: Forces of Nature, book 2
Genre: Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2010, August 10
Format: eBook – pfd, 118 pages
Source: Received for ARC-review from the author
First line: A shot of lust hit him hard as he looked into the brightest blue eyes he’d ever seen.
Memorable Scenes:
– Opening scene of the book > It started with a bang and never let up
– Jamie’s solo sexy times scenes > Can I say HOT?
– Chelsea and Braden’s first time together scene > culmination point of a lot of sexual tension and chemistry

Chelsea has had a crush on Braden Marley for 10 years but he keeps shooting her down and Chelsea is getting frustrated with it and with his every attempt to keep other male merfolk at a distance. Braden has had a hard time resisting Chelsea and now that she’s not taking away the temptation by having to stay in town instead of leaving for college, it takes all his willpower not to give in. The arrival of Jamie Powell offers possibilities for a solution to Braden’s dilemma, only not in the way he expected.

Chelsea is a young woman who has too much responsibility to carry on her shoulders. Her college plans are hindered by financial family problems but she is protective of her family and carries the burden by herself. Chelsea is stubborn, willful, vivacious and a very smart cookie.

Braden is the sheriff of Jaffrey Cove. He’s a big bald giant who loves to be in control, he’s commanding and straight to the point. His only weakness is his forbidden attraction to the young Chelsea, which he tries very hard to ignore and resist.

Jamie is an archaeologist who comes to Jaffrey Cove to do an assessment of a marine-artifact/nautical collection, inherited by Alexia (heroine TIDAL WAVE, book 1). He’s a little scatterbrained and sometimes forgetful about mundane things. Jamie is my kind of hero, very observant, sweet, calm and analytical. But there’s also that very seductive and sexual edge to him that fascinates and attracts. There were so many moments in WHIRLPOOL where I wanted to say to him: “Come to Pearl, I’ll make you feel better.”

From the start Vivian Arend pulled me straight into this story. Contrary to TIDAL WAVE, which took me a few pages to get into and stayed slow paced well into it, WHIRLPOOL reeled me in straight away and kept me utterly captivated. I really liked how the world building that was (understandably) prominent in TIDAL WAVE was toned down to a subtler and less intrusive level. This definitely benefitted the pace and the story.

The small plot of the crazies/vandalism spree was intriguingly woven through the romance. And resolved wonderfully and in a way I never saw coming. I was speculating about what could have caused it but never thought it to be what it turned out to be. I also loved how once again Vivian Arend created a love-triangle that totally worked though I was feeling a bit sorry for Jamie at the beginning but he got his and got it good in the course of the story and my consolation was definitely not needed anymore. I also admire the solution for the practical sides of this threesome and the way it still was a great HEA, though not a conventional one.

The build-up of the romance is excellently done, Vivian Arend created wonderful tension, building it up slowly and when the climax it was building up to came, it was titillating. Though, as might be known by now, I am not a m/m reader I did enjoy the subtle m/m parts of the ménage in WHIRLPOOL. they were beautifully done and not once did I feel uncomfortable with it. Kudos for Vivian Arend for joining the two other authors (Lorelei James and Lauren Dane) on my shelves who managed to keep me in my comfort zone while reading male on male sexy times!

Opposites and sex-on-sticks Jamie and Brady and bubbly, charming Chelsea carried the story wonderfully and provide some scorch-the-pages scenes that are guaranteed to set your reader on fire and keep you warm on a cold winter night. Ms Arend turned up the heat for this one, and I can’t say I had any objection to it. The sensual heat bar was set high from the first chapter and never diminished and her writing never fails to draw me in and keep me glued to the pages.

Favorite Quote:
Braden tweaked her nose and she smacked his hand away with a laugh. “Okay, baby. We give. You’re right, and we promise not to organize your life without you again. What’s our punishment? You want us to take you out to dinner?”
“I want to watch.” She crawled up on the back of the couch. Jamie flushed bright red and Braden grinned from ear to ear.
“Yes, Jamie.” She fluttered her hand at him. “Just pretend I’m not here and go back to what you were doing before I came home.” Her sex tingled in anticipation.
“You don’t want to join us?” Braden asked, giving her a slow clothing-melting stare from top to bottom, and the tingle increased to an electric pulse.
“Oh, I’ll let you know when I want in on the action.” She crossed her arms and tapped her lips. “I think you should start by taking everything off. Makes it easier for the watching, you know.”
Jamie leaned over her to nuzzle at her neck, caging her on either side with his strong arms. “You’re a naughty girl.”
She reached down and pulled his shirt from his slacks. “You, Braden. Naked. Now.”

5 thoughts on “ARC-review: Whirlpool by Vivian Arend

  1. Oh yes, Jamie and Braden are definitely sex-on-sticks and I gobbled up their "special time" together and Jamie's solo moment was hot too *cooling myself with icecubes* I wonder who's up next cause I want more of the merfolk :)

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