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Reading is like breathing...

I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter 

Anne Calhoun delivers.

Jaded  - Anne Calhoun

4 stars.****Full review posted January 30, 2014

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Lucas likes to work out to keep his body in shape.


Classy and well-bred yet reserved Alana Wentworth is the temporary librarian at Walkers Ford Public Library. She came to Walkers Ford to get over a bad breakup. Her only goal at the moment is to get under her landlord and Chief of Police, Lucas Ridgeway, to make him her rebound man. There's a little problem, though. Alana is not so savvy when it comes to men and figuring out how to get Lucas between her sheets seems to be quite a difficult endeavor. Well, Alana might end up surprised because Lucas is more than ready to cop a feel after he takes care of her clogged bathroom sink. They start a secret affair, sex without any commitment because Alana makes it very clear that she will go back to her job and her rich family in Chicago in a couple of weeks. During a town council meeting, however, Alana is charged with an assignment. This leads to her prolonged stay at Walkers Ford, yet it will only grant their affair a reprieve. Or is there really hope for more?

One thing is for sure, Lucas is determined to explore every nuance of her blushes. 

"I do it all the time," she added breathlessly.
"All the time?" he asked, as if he hadn't noticed.
She nodded.
"Show me."
The way Alana Wentworth blushed damn near slayed him. Every. Single. Time.
Blushing usually meant innocence, but the combination of soft hands on his body and the heated slide of her tongue banished any illusions he had about sheltered librarians.

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"I'm not going to get hurt. Stop thinking about what you don't want to do, and tell me what you do want to do."
"I want to finish what we started last night."
"Too general," he said bluntly. "Be specific."
"I want to know what your beard feels like against my lips."

As a side note
It's a five o'clock shadow.

"More," she breathed.
With a twist of hips and shoulders he surged to his feet and pressed her into the narrow space between the fridge and the door to the dining room. She wound her legs around his hips and her arms around his neck, the better to revel in the sensation of his arm under her bottom and that delicious, sensitizing scuff against her mouth.

Librarians are sexy…
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The muscles in his face slackened just before his tongue touched the tip of her thumb. 
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Anne really knows how to write the somber, detached hero who displays a remote bearing. Lucas is no exception to the rule. After an 'incident' in Denver where he worked as a DEA cop, he came to Walkers Ford to live a less hectic life. His defense mechanisms are up all the time and readers need patience because his past remains a mystery for a long time. I liked the grounded, successful yet simple Alana, although there was something about her that irritated me (see minor quibble). I don't get tired of repeating it. I would LOVE to read Nate's story, a filthy rich businessman and former US Marine. He's a very intriguing character. Readers met him for the first time in Unforgiven and you will see him again in Jaded. Since he came home he isn't the same man anymore. The war changed him and left its mark and might have been the cause of his marital problems. I LOVE stories about a second chance at love. *hint* *hint* *makes puppy eyes*

If you want to read a light and fluffy romance novel, then Jaded might be the wrong book for you. While this story provides a much appreciated and multifaceted small-town feeling with a very interesting and eclectic cast of secondary characters, the story itself is surrounded by a touch of melancholy and sadness and the road to Alana and Lucas's HEA is quite bumpy. Don't let that put you off though, because Jaded is so worth reading. 

As always, the sex scenes are so deliciously good. The author takes the reader on a sensual journey while Lucas and Alana explore their bodies. You are there when they exchange soft and carnal kisses that turn into passion and hot desire in no time flat. And you can feel their aroused breaths when they part their lips in anticipation of yet another sexy kiss. Those scenes ooze sensuality and intimacy as all get out. A touch, a look and chemistry ignites. It goes without saying that their carnal encounters made me shiver. Sweetness blending into passion and need, that's what Anne masters easily. In consequence, it feels so darn good to immerse myself in Anne's stories and to revel and ultimately drown in so many various sensations. 

While the beginning was good, I wasn't quite sure how I'd be feeling about the MCs and the plot, though. Funnily enough, I've had some similar feelings when I read Unforgiven. But who I am to worry or even doubt Anne? She always delivers and Jaded is no exception to the rule. Soon enough, everything was tingling inside me and I was so back in the swing of things.

Even though Jaded works just fine as a standalone, I advise you to read the books in order--especially if you are a stickler for reading in order--because Marissa and Adam, main characters of Unforgiven, make more than a little cameo in Jaded.

Minor quibble
Like I mentioned already, this isn't a cheerful story and Alana telling herself again and again that she had to go back to Chicago added another layer of wistfulness to the plot that somewhat impaired the story in my opinion. Sometimes less is more, just tone it down a little bit.

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Referring to a specific quote of Jaded I'd like to say that you have something wonderful here. In an age of increasing disconnectedness, Anne has written an engaging story that can connect her fans in different countries. Thank you, Anne, for another great read!

"I want to take you upstairs, and turn off the lights, and watch your skin turn pink as I move inside you. When I've kissed you and your skin's marked by my mouth, you look like a rose in the moonlight. It gets darker when I'm moving inside you, that blood flush."

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You used to care like this.
And now I remember why I stopped. It fucking hurts. Not the pain. The longing.

Recommended read.

My ranking
Unforgiven 4.5 stars
Jaded 4 stars

Official release date February 4, 2014 

All quotes are taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted in the final copy.

**ARC courtesy of Berkley Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/700576058?utm_medium=email&utm_source=rating