ARC-review: MESMERIZED by Lauren Dane

They call him the Shadow. Andrei Solace delivers death on silent feet as an assassin for the Phantom Corps. The perfect weapon in the fight against the Imperium, he’s sent to the same ’Verse he left behind as a youth.

Piper Roundtree is a mercenary prepared for anything—except for being rescued from Imperial lackeys by the man she hasn’t laid eyes on in eleven years. While she remembers every mesmerizing sensation he gave her, she thought they were through. And against the backdrop of an impending war, their passion is reignited.

The girl Andrei once loved is now a fierce woman who can pilot a ship through canyons at high speeds, and drive him wild with equalabandon. As much as Andrei tries to protect her from the darkness inside him, Piper admires his skills and the code he lives by. Now the lovers must join forces—in more ways than one—to save the Known Universe before the enemy hurls it into irreversible chaos…

Title: MESMERIZED
Author: Lauren Dane
Series: Federation Chronicles, book 4/Phantom Corps, book 2
Genre: Futuristic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Year of release: 2011, April 5
Format:> Tradesize Paperback
Source:Received digital ARC from author for review

First line:
“Sir, you can’t go in there!”
Memorable Scenes:
– Piper and Carey discussing Andrei > loved Andrei’s reaction to it, also deepened Andrei’s characterization
– table smexing scene > HOT!

Andrei Solace is a Phantom Corps operative. He’s a man of few words with an explosive temper. He’s unflappable, private, defiant and honorable. Andrei intrigued me from the moment I met him in Insatiable and I am happy to see him get his HEA with a heroine that was perfect for him.

Piper Roundtree to me was a breath of fresh air, storming through the book. She’s part of a mercenary group on one of the Edge ‘Verses and stands her ground in the middle of a male dominant environment. She’s independent, fearless, tough, passionate and strong-willed.

Piper and Andrei were childhood sweethearts and after years apart, Andrei’s work for the Phantom Corps brings him back to the one woman he never was able to completely get out of his mind. And Piper is reunited with the only man she ever truly loved/opened her heart to. I really loved how Lauren Dane built up the romance and sexual tension between them. Preferred that to them jumping each other the first moment they were reunited as this fit the story/characters perfectly.

The love scenes were beautiful and very sensual. They were explicit without being crude or coarse. They were just like I’ve grown used to from Lauren Dane. I’d go all tingly when Andrei would get all commanding and go all gooey when he would only have eyes for Piper and say sweet things to her. I adore when an author can make me fall in love with the heroines through the heroes’ eyes. Lauren Dane did exactly that with Andrei and Piper.

The secondary cast once again was excellently woven into the story. They were supporting to the romance and crucial to the plot. Speaking of the plot, every installment offers more intriguing developments and in every installment of this series plot and romance complement each other perfectly. The war brewing in the first book, UNDERCOVER, has meanwhile evolved into a full-blown war and MESMERIZED had me holding my breath waiting for casualties to fall on the side of the good guys and they do and it had me in tears.

I love the world Lauren Dane has created with this series, the ‘Verses and the war/battle between the Federation and the Imperialists. New intriguing characters are introduced of which you just know you’re going to see them again in future books, and I’ve also come to care about all the former main characters in this series and I loved getting tidbits of how they are faring.

It’s no secret or surprise that I really love Lauren Dane’s writing. I haven’t read a book by her yet that has disappointed me in that aspect. Even if science fiction/futuristic romance is not your thing I’m convinced this series and MESMERIZED will be a great read. The way Lauren Dane builds the world and plot is very agreeable and she doesn’t let you get lost in the world and the characters. The romance stays the main focus and the balance is excellently done.

I thoroughly enjoyed this installment and am chomping at the bit to get to read the next. Not only for the continuation of the ongoing plot but also for the fascinating romance that has its tiny beginning at the end of MESMERIZED. After finishing MESMERIZED I’m dying to read Julian and Vincenz’s story even though I know it will probably knock me straight out of my comfort zone but I know it will be as enjoyable as the rest of this series.

Dane mixes the futuristic plot and the explicit sex scenes with well-drawn characters, strong emotions and subtle humor and she does this with an ease that leaves me wanting more. There is subtle humor in the smallest of remarks, this humor shone through in MESMERIZED but never took the upper hand. With every book in this series Lauren Dane entices me to continue and once again she didn’t disappoint.

Favorite Quotes:
“I won’t bite you, Andrei.” She patted the bed beside where she sat.
That was too bad. He liked biting.

“Gods forbid you have any flaws, Andrei Solace. If you get hurt again and try to hide it from me, I will kick your ass, no matter how spectacular it is.” She kissed him hard and stood.

Little ground tremors of climax shuddered through her over and over, leaving her a boneless mass of pleasured female.

When he did that dirty talking muttered snarl thing he did, she’d let him do anything to her, she’d do anything for him.

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4 thoughts on “ARC-review: MESMERIZED by Lauren Dane

  1. Great review Pearl! Of course one of your last remarks that the next book will knock you out of your comfortzone means i've got a grin splitting my face. I heart LD wirh her menages and m/m/f!That aside though, i think going by your review i will enjoy andrei and piper as well :D

  2. I do like some futuristic / sf now and then. Perhaps I'll try those when next I am in the mood. Nice review Pearl! (I wish you wrote more of them).

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