Sunday, February 2, 2014

ARC Review: Disarm: The Complete Novel by June Gray

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Berkeley Trade
384 Pages

June Gray's bestselling erotic serial is now available in print for the first timeas one complete novel.

When the secrets of the past begin to surface, the truth can be disarming…

Twenty-six-year-old Elsie Sherman has had a crush on her brother’s best friend, Henry Logan, since she was twelve years old. Unfortunately, Henry—now an Air Force officer—has only ever treated her like a younger sister, stepping into her brother’s shoes after he was killed in action.

That is, until the night when one dance ignites a sensual fire between the two, leaving Elsie aroused and confused. Is she allowed to lust after her surrogate big brother, who also happens to be her roommate? As the passion between them crosses the line into a territory that teases with the forbidden, Elsie decides to give herself to the man she has always desired. But Elsie is not prepared for where the relationship will take her.

Henry has been harboring two secrets. One can bring them closer together. The other will tear them apart. Now, with each startling new revelation, Elsie realizes that only she can decide if the past can ever be forgiven—and if a future with Henry is worth fighting for.

Includes a never-before-published bonus short story.

Elsie Sherman grew up with a giant crush on her brother’s best friend, Henry Logan. After high school, both boys joined the Air Force. When her brother is killed in Afghanistan, Henry is the only one who understands what Elsie is going through. The two of them form a bond, one that grows even stronger as the two of them also live together. When Henry gets word that he’s about to ship out to Afghanistan, everything changes and their real feelings are released. 

What I really enjoyed about the story was the aspect of war. I liked reading about the sadness and helplessness one feels when a loved one is leaving for war. Knowing people in the service, I can relate to these feelings, as I believe most can. I felt really bad for Elsie. She lost her brother and now she was afraid of losing Henry. I also liked that the author didn’t beat around the bush about the two of them revealing their feelings for each other. 

What I didn’t like was the constant back and forth. They’re together then they’re not. They’re saying goodbye to each other then they’re not. When Henry decides that he needs to find out who he is without Elsie, it made sense. His timing was really weird, but I got his intentions. And his wanting to see a therapist was even better.  Elsie should have supported this, instead she withdrew from everyone. Then Henry moved to Korea for a year and she moved on – kinda. 

The middle of the story took an interesting turn when Henry, wanting Elsie to understand why he broke it off, handed over his therapy session tapes and we get to hear everything from his side. But what could have been an emotional insight to this man turned into him just describing how much sex he had with Elsie. He was in there to find himself and discuss what happened while in service and he hardly touched on anything but Elsie. The whole section didn’t flow well or sound like how someone would talk to a therapist. Honestly, it just seemed like a repeat of everything we had read previously just from Henry’s point of view.

Another thing that bothered me was how flippant Elsie seemed to be when it came to anything sexual with Henry. He announces he’s going to Afghanistan, she seduces him with sex. He announces he’s going to Korea, she seduces him with sex. She’s moving to Colorado, she seduces him with sex. And after each one of these episodes, she wallows about how she shouldn’t have done it or how she should have told him how she felt. The whole “I just want to have it one more time” attitude was a turn-off and selfish. 

I still honestly don’t know how I feel about this one. There were parts that I liked and I genuinely felt that the material was good, it just wasn’t delivered well.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.

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