Posted by: Jennifer | January 10, 2010

Coming Undone – Lauren Dane

Dane, Lauren. Coming Undone. (New York: Berkley, 2009). ISBN – 9780425232705.

Main Characters: Brody Brown and Elise Sorenson

Related Works: Brody Brown’s younger sister is the heroine of Dane’s Laid Bare (story of Erin Brown, Todd Keenan and Ben Copeland)

Description from the Book:

Keeping it together

Brody Brown has always been responsible for others. After his parents’ deaths, he gave up a promising artistic career to care for his younger brother and sister. Now, with his siblings grown, Brody runs his own business, has a nice house and makes a good living. And for the first time in years, he’s on his own.

Elise Sorenson has come to Seattle with her young daughter to find peace. She spent years as a world-famous ballerina – and just as many years in a marriage gone bad – and now she’s looking for neither love nor attention. To her surprise she finds both in the handsome, honest man who befriends her with no strings attached.

More than just being friends, Brody and Elise discover in each other what they need – wild, physical passion without commitment. But it’ll take a shadow from Elise’s past to make them look beyond their basic needs – to what they truly desire.

My Thoughts:

This was an interesting book. I certainly enjoyed it. I definitely felt a connection with the main characters – Brody and Elise (and really liked Elise’s daughter Irene) – something which is critical for me when reading romances. I also loved their relationship.¬†Yet, I certainly didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as the book about Brody’s sister Erin (Laid Bare - one of my favorite books of 2009). Something was definitely missing in Coming Undone, and I wasn’t entirely sure what until I read this review of it at Dear Author. There was very little romantic conflict or tension in the book. Brody and Elise meet when Elise rushes to Brody’s aid after being struck by a car. He likes her, she likes him, but both are in a place in their life where they don’t think they have room for a serious relationship. So, they decide to be exclusive friends with benefits. It was all a bit routine.

This relationship carries on for a year. Along the way, there are issues: Brody’s ex-girlfriend is jealous of Brody’s new romance, Brody and Elise refuse to acknowledge their growing feelings for each other and Elise’s past comes back to threaten her new found happiness. These things all happen very matter of factly, and none of them actually seem to threaten the relationship. While dealing with the threat from Elise’s inlaws, both Brody and Elise realize they are in love. Neither feels like telling the other, however.

It seems strange to think that there should have been more conflict – and I’m not sure that is the answer. I guess maybe I’m thinking that there needed to be one issue that could cause conflict throughout the entire story rather than the¬†assertion in the beginning that both characters were not looking for commitment and then the development of the threat against Elise’s daughter in the latter half of the book. Really, I’m not entirely sure what the problem was, but there was definitely something missing from the overall story.

Regardless of the problems, I would read the book again. One of my favorite things about this book (and the series) is the Brown family itself. We got to meet Brody, Adrian and Erin in Laid Bare, and they all figure prominently in this volume. This to me, made reading this book well worth it. I am very much hoping that Dane plans to give Adrian his own HEA. I know the next book features the Brown family friend (and Ben’s brother), Andrew Copeland, aka Cope. It is already on my list of books to buy.

Read first January 9, 2010

The reviewer paid for this book.

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