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The fourth part in the New York Times bestselling series, The Blackstone Affair: A bright beginning for two damaged souls fighting for their hard-won love, and the promise of a new hope to secure their happily ever after.

Fresh from an idyllic honeymoon along the Italian coast, the Blackstones prepare for the birth of their precious baby and the challenges of settling into a new home. But things get complicated when specters from the past reappear to threaten the very foundation of their relationship. Ethan and Brynne will have to fight harder than ever for each other.

Rare and Precious Things is the story of two people who both need the other in order to be complete, but learn just how “rare” their brand of love is when they have to risk everything in order to hold onto it.


BOOK REVIEW: Rare and Precious Things

Raine Miller

BOOK SERIES: 

RATING:

“In the hours of the darkest kind, Brynne has ever been my light. My lover who saw inside my battered soul and freed me.”

And so we come to the conclusion of the stunning love story between the very irresistible Ethan Blackstone and his beloved American girl, Brynne. A most idyllic marriage of heart-warming romance and skin-tingling erotica, The Blackstone Affair has been one of the most titillating and flawlessly written series ever to feed the romantic in me, and it has been a bittersweet experience having to bid farewell to such beloved characters. Alas, all good things come to an end and this is an ending no Blackstone fan will want to miss.

“You made me want you. You made me want…a life. You were my greatest gift of all, Ethan James Blackstone.”

We find the loving couple on the cusp of their new life as husband and wife, only four months after they first walked into each other’s lives, but hopelessly enamoured with one another and committed to a long life in each other’s arms. We are given a very intimate insight into some of their most private and treasured moments together – their wedding, their wedding night and their honeymoon – and with alternating points of view, we are shown the unquestionable level of dedication and pure unadulterated love binding them to one another. Their every touch speaks a thousand words, their every word reveals what lies in their hearts, and they all express the endless gratitude they both feel for having found each other when their pasts had given them no indication they would ever find such joy.

“I knew more happiness and love than I’d ever experienced in my life, and now understood how precious it was to have that love.”

While the previous instalments in the series showed us a much more dominant and possessive Ethan, in this book we get to see him as the adoring and devoted husband to the woman he sees as his salvation. Their intense physical relationship that has always been the pinnacle of their connection still remains, but the passion between them has reached a point where being joined together heals them, soothes them, wards off the demons from their pasts and renews their hope that they would be free of them someday. We see them being a lot more playful with each other now that they are married, there is a new much more relaxed dynamic between them and they have both changed as a result of Brynne’s pregnancy. But while Brynne has welcomed her impending motherhood calmly and effortlessly, it is quite a sight to watch Ethan acting as the anxious father-to-be.

“How in the goddamn hell will I survive the birth of this baby, Brynne?”

As they rush to prepare for the arrival of baby Blackstone, Ethan and Brynne are also desperate to find peace within themselves in order to be the kind of parents they wish to be to their unborn baby, their ugly pasts still finding a way to meddle in their happiness. In so many ways, this book is Ethan’s journey from the darkness brewing inside him to a place of peace and renewed perspective. Brynne’s love is the very thing he has needed to want to free himself from his nightmares and her relentless support is the spark that sets it off.

I must say that it is so refreshing finding a hero who makes us fall in love with him without him being of questionable morals or proclivities. While Ethan Blackstone is indeed a dominant, possessive and controlling male, his alpha tendencies are reserved to the bedroom, and his every action only reflects his unwavering adoration and respect towards his beautiful American girl. This has been a love story that has thrilled me, moved me, fascinated me, and in the end, left me with the goofiest grin on my face. An absolute delight start to finish.

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“Brynne was my life. The last piece of my puzzle that had finally completed me.”

Excerpt

I sighed with need and forced myself to take a step backward, creating some distance between our bodies. My arm stretched out as I slid back, my hand still clasped in his much bigger one. “Okay…how does this room in fifteen minutes sound?” I stepped backward again, moving closer toward the bathroom door, my eyes never leaving his blues as they tracked my movements.

Those same beautiful blue eyes also glittered at me with all the shuttered heat of a man who would be ravishing me very soon. He allowed my hand to be released from his grip, the heat of his skin noticeably absent the second contact was lost.

He gave me the serious Ethan-stare, the one I’d seen many times and was well familiar with by now—the one raw with male prowess…and the overpowering sexual dominance that made me burn. “Like fifteen minutes too fucking long, my beauty.”

I had to suppress the slight moan that escaped my throat at the effect his words had on me. I was just a mortal woman after all. Ethan was the one that looked and acted like a Greek god to me.

He seared me with another look dripping with the promise of the molten sex to come, before turning away, walking through the door, and closing it with a soft click.

Once he was out, the room was instantly quiet and I felt more than a little bereft without him. I just stood there and absorbed the reality of where I was in the moment. I’m getting ready to make love with my husband. That idea jolted me out of my stupor and sprung me into action pretty fast.

I fled for the bathroom and worked myself out of my dress, which gratefully was not difficult at all with its easy access placement of a side zip. I hung it up carefully on the boudoir hanger that had been arranged, for what I assumed, especially that purpose. I would have to remember to do something nice for Hannah. She’d thought of everything.

I set my veil aside while I brushed my teeth and drank a glass of water. I stripped out of my lingerie except for stockings and garter belt in pale lavender silk, and looked at my side profile in the mirror. I had a bump. Not much of one yet, but it was definitely there. I gave our sweet little peach a caress and reached for my veil again. I reattached it and stepped back out into the bedroom. I climbed up onto the raised bed and sank down into the downy softness of the duvet on my knees. I was careful to arrange myself with my back facing the same door Ethan had used when he left the room. He would pass through it again when he returned, and I wanted him to have a first vision of me as I’d planned it out in my head. I was ready even though my heart was racing.

I closed my eyes.

And waited for Ethan to come to me.

* * *

The sounds of the door opening and then closing told me when he was back in the room.

I sensed him staring and the idea gave me a rushing thrill to know what he was seeing of me. I turned my head and found him with my eyes.

“I just want to look at you for a moment,” he said, remaining still, a few feet away. I could tell he was affected by the hooded eyes and the set of his jaw, and that knowledge emboldened me.

“Only if I can do the same.”

My Ethan had prepared for me as well. The beautiful tuxedo with the purple brocade vest had gone the way of my wedding dress probably. In its place just one garment. Silky black pajama bottoms slung low at his waist. The contrast of the black fabric to his skin displayed his golden muscled chest and carved abdomen to perfection. And I got to drink him in. The muscular cuts which tapered into a spectacular V below his waist made my mouth water, forcing me to swallow. One of the most beautiful parts of my man. I needed my mouth there.

So gorgeously made in body, so full of male power and strength…it almost hurt to look at him sometimes.

I lowered my eyes to the side.

“Turn all the way around.”

The deep command of his voice heated me instantly, rendering me completely enslaved to his unrelenting dominance when it came to this part of us. Ethan’s control of our sex. His control over me. It made me hotter than hell.

He stepped closer, his body radiating power and desire as he waited for me to comply with his directive.

I rotated my body until I was facing him full on, my body completely bare except for my stockings and my wedding veil. I set my hands flat on the bed and made my arms straight, in effect thrusting my breasts up and out. They tingled under his intense perusal, my now ultra-sensitive nipples hardening with a lick of awareness suggestive of pain. My gesture of offering myself to my husband as a bride on our wedding night had aroused me to an incredible level of anticipation.

“Just for you,” I said softly, lifting my eyes to his.

I saw the muscles of his neck tense as he moved forward. “Baby…you are so sexy-beautiful right now. Don’t move. Just stay as you are and let me touch you.”

I knew how this game played out. The one where I was blissfully rewarded for following directions. The edge of the mattress dipped as he joined me on the massive bed, kneeling right before me, so close I could feel the radiating heat his body was throwing off.

I remained still, but I tensed in anticipation of what he would do first.

He hung there before me, for a moment, just studying me, claiming my body with his eyes at first. Ethan liked a splash of voyeurism in our encounters. A little kinky at times, and a lot dominant, but I was used to it with him.

Finally, after what felt like eons, he dropped his head to my sternum and inhaled deeply against my skin. Then I felt his tongue draw across the curve of one breast until he reached the tight bud of my nipple. He took the whole thing in his mouth and pulled it inside of him. I gasped in some air and steeled myself to remain still for his onslaught.

“Just feel, baby. Let me suck on your beautiful, perfect tits for a while. I’ve been starved for them.”

He took his time getting his fill as he worked me up with need.

Swirling his tongue in relentless circles over the tender flesh until he felt like giving me a rewarding jolt of sensation by clipping my nipple between his teeth for a gentle bite.

I shuddered against his mouth, desperately aching for more, but knowing I would have to wait until he gave it to me. Those were the rules. And I was always a good girl.

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