The Muse



[KINDLE] ❆ The Muse ❤ Anne Calhoun – E17streets4all.co.uk The author of The List continues her sinfully addictive Irresistible series with a provocative new novel about a woman inspired by her most forbidden desires Arden MacCarren can t afford to lose contr The author of The List continues her sinfully addictive Irresistible series with a provocative new novel about a woman inspired by her most forbidden desires Arden MacCarren can t afford to lose control Her family s investment house has failed, their professional reputation is all but destroyed, and it s up to Arden to hold the line The only distraction she allows herself is a weekly drawing class where she can forget everything Then she meets Seth Miller When he poses in her class, strong, mysterious, and unbearably sexy, she can t resist him The only thing she can do is keep it purely physical no emotions, no strings, and definitely no tellingSeth understands responsibilities, both Arden s and his own During his last tour as a Marine he lost his best friends to an IED He has a duty to look after his buddies survivors All he allows himself is the stolen moments with Arden But as he s drawn into Arden s battle with her demons, he comes face to face with his own Seth will have to choose between a duty he can t ignore and the longing to inspire Arden s every desire mind, soul, and body.The Muse

After doing time at Fortune companies on both coasts, I found myself living in the suburbs of a small Midwestern city The glamour of various cube farm jobs had worn off, so I gave up making a decent living to take Joseph Campbell s advice and follow my bliss writing romance.

The Muse PDF/EPUB ò Paperback
    The Muse PDF/EPUB ò Paperback understands responsibilities, both Arden s and his own During his last tour as a Marine he lost his best friends to an IED He has a duty to look after his buddies survivors All he allows himself is the stolen moments with Arden But as he s drawn into Arden s battle with her demons, he comes face to face with his own Seth will have to choose between a duty he can t ignore and the longing to inspire Arden s every desire mind, soul, and body."/>
  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • The Muse
  • Anne Calhoun
  • English
  • 04 December 2019
  • 0425276902

10 thoughts on “The Muse

  1. says:

    5 When the Dust Settles stars Full review posted November 5, 2015 The picture drew her eye It was of a man in an extreme situation, living with the threat of death and failure every day, but all the while radiating paradoxical strength and woundedness, determination and fear, surviving under the most crushing circumstances, because Semper Fi never ended She would never get tired of looking at Seth, could spend hours watching him like she d study a painting by a master He was complex, shro 5 When the Dust Settles stars Full review posted November 5, 2015 The picture drew her eye It was of a man in an extreme situation, living with the threat of death and failure every day, but all the while radiating paradoxical strength and woundedness, determination and fear, surviving under the most crushing circumstances, because Semper Fi never ended She would never get tired of looking at Seth, could spend hours watching him like she d study a painting by a master He was complex, shrouded, shaded, finding strength not in individual success but in brotherhood and belonging, in fighting the fight that had to be fought. Highly sensual and erotic Evocative Smart Sensitive Genuine Beautifully emotional Perfect.My sixth five star rating of the year goes to The Muse by Anne Calhoun.Liberating Lacey was my first book by Anne Calhoun and I will always love Hunter and Lacey the sex is simply fantabulous Yet I downgraded it to 4 stars because I wanted to give The Muse 5 stars which is by far the better book I feel like I m saying the same about Anne s recent books it s her best work and my favorite The Muse is my favorite The Muse is part of a series but can be read as a standalone Set in the pulsing city of New York, socialite Arden MacCarren s life is in shambles After decades of carefully acquired wealth, her family s investment bank has reached the end of the line Her family is ruined and their reputation destroyed due to a Ponzi scheme that her father and brother established a few years ago While her father and brother have been arrested, Arden tries to save what can be saved She finds distraction in a weekly drawing class where she meets Seth Malone He s a former Marine and a bike messenger who poses in the nude for art students to mend wages But he s also an honorable, loyal man who takes his responsibilities very seriously and looks out for those left behind Though when Arden hires Seth for private drawing lessons, things are getting not only physical but also intimate, despite the no emotions, no strings rule.Arden MacCarren and Seth Malone have been briefly introduced in Evening Storm But don t worry, The Muse works perfectly fine as a standalone Besides, if you don t enjoy reading a story about main protagonists who spend the majority of the plot separated, then I would not recommend you to read Evening Storm The Muse, however, is very different Hero and heroine meet very early into the plot and get extensive page time together.What happens after losing your best friends in an IED explosion How do you cope in the wake of a tragedy after the bubble of glory bursts within a heartbeat and when all that remains are guilt and grief eating at you How do you pick up the pieces of yourself and of those loved ones who were left behind How and when do you grief How do you deal with the silence and the dust that doesn t want to settle And what comes after you ve had I didn t die in Afghanistan sex or I didn t die at all sex Where and what exactly is the purpose It surely must go beyond helping the bereaved people There was no road map, no story, no movies made about What Happened Next, when the mission ended not in victorious homecomings and a fadeaway shot of a big family meal, but rather in body bags, explosions, and dust that never seemed to settle. Semper Fi never ended Faithfulness never ended.Hollywood used the worst day of his life as entertainment Let s face it, a male lead depicted as an honorable and loyal human being who served for his country appeals to plenty of readers Even if said male lead isn t in a war zone any The Muse, however, goes way deeper than the sexual objectification of a strong and caring man who d been wearing a uniform It is erotic romance, but with emphasis on both terms because it is also about two individuals who helped each other deal with their issues They challenged and supported one another and gave each other space to find themselves You can put down your weapon and quit service, but you can t extinguish your memories There are different coping mechanisms and Seth has found one that works for him Or, maybe that s just an illusion You can fool yourself to a certain degree, but not those who can see beyond the outer shell I devoured the very good plot, the sensual drawing bits and the erotic sex and, of course, I did love both main characters Even though Arden thinks that her problems render her weak, Seth sees her for what and who she is a warrior and survivor A strong woman behind a tall, slim and delicate exterior What I also LOVED and found incredibly sexy and intriguing was the concept of a very wealthy and classy socialite heroine paired up with a tattooed, resilient, loyal and somewhat reserved and quiet bike messenger hero Holy.Smokes What.A.Hotttt.Combo Where is my fan These two actually did remind me a tiny bit of Hunter and Lacey and the aspect of opposites attract.The Muse isn t a story that hasn t been told already Fictional heroes who served for their country is a highly popular subject and it s been done a billion times But Anne crafted a story that s genuine and profound It s muchthan steamy and sensual sex And that s the reason why I almost always connect very strongly with her characters Her last few books have reached an atmospheric density I truly admire To me, they are a full body experience and keep my mind and body engaged Her writing is so beautiful and an organic sensory experience So, yes, I may be somewhat biased, but with good reason because she s an excellent, combat tested pun intended and gifted author And I m very grateful that she keeps on writing stories that not only stimulate my libido, but also speak to my heart and evoke a myriad of emotions from me She can and does write food for thought that transcends simple erotic stories In my book, she pens high end and very smart erotic romance like no one else.A tantalizing promise and Torturous anticipation for what s to comeEvery sense engagedThe flow of heated bloodFriction of hair and body against bodyTongues flicking over sweat slicked skinTeasing nips and bitesTracing the outer shell of an earEliciting soft, breathy gaspsErratic hearts beating in unisonIntense passion Building and building up to a staggering climax And coming apart underA lover s skillful ministrationsThe scent of sex and lust Covering a room like a saturated blanket Thisis what Anne masters to perfection There is touch and thentouch An exploration of passion, intensity and emotion Getting my obligatory dose of eroticism is one thing The other important essence is a meaty storyline Adding a thoughtful and layered plot to the sensuous sex is what makes The Muse so bloody great and the reason I will never get enough of Anne s eclectic writing and voice.The Muse is well paced, the buildup engaging and the MCs portrayals are very empathic Everything,really everythingcomes full circle and culminates in a superb and well thought out crescendo that s going to sucker punch you Emotion at its very finest when a strong man falls apart.Micah who acted as the art teacher was talking to his students about finding their voice Anne has found hers a while ago Yet she never sustains her efforts and keeps evolving And what I also admire about her is that she doesn t shy away either from occasionally writing difficult and somewhat unpopular characters I m not talking about The Muse Knowing full well that they might be rejected by the reading audience, she owns up to her decision because being unpopular has a raison d tre also Unfortunately, being genuine and authentic doesn t always gain laurels but something else respect And you know it, Anne, you have mine.Long story short, thank you that, after all these years, you are still perfecting your gloriously sensuous and thoughtful craft I think that s a rare gift in the world of romance and erotica authors these days and something I truly value very, very much.Highly recommended All quotes are taken from the pre published copy and may be altered or omitted in the final copy ARC courtesy of PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL Signet Romance, DAW in exchange for an honest review ISSUE SIDE NOTEPLEA TO THE PUBLISHER S Authors don t have any control over a publisher s pricing policy You have the power, thus ensure that you pursue a reasonable strategy.The ebook of The Muse coststhan 12 on .com That s insane A majority of readers don t spendthan 6 for an ebook, many readers don t even paythan 3 or 4 I understand that authors invest time and effort in their work and they deserve to earn decent money once they put their baby on the market This being said, publishers must realize that their pricing policy is a very sensitive subject matter As a result, they must take account of their important decision Fact is Publishers don t do authors any favors by setting the price at 12 Do they not want to gain new readers By demanding 8, 10 or 12 bucks for an ebook, they are preventing readers from buying a potentially great book that deserves to be read We re always talking about piracy Do they believe that their steep pricing policy is going to help solve the problem I say that will only aggravate an annoying issue.Also, publishers shouldn t ignore the psychological aspect of ebooks versus paperbacks Holding a paperback or even a hardcover in your hands is affecting a reader differently than downloading a virtual book This may seem wrong to publishers and authors, but there is a perceptible added value when you buy a paperback instead of an ebook Readers have different book budgetsthan a few are struggling to make ends meet, and that means they check out books and pricing They think, reevaluate, judge and, ultimately, buy or reject So, yes, a publisher s too steep pricing is going to affect an author s royalty checks negatively.Greed is a bad advisor Think about it Pre reading The Muse Maybe I should rate it with five stars prior to reading it Because someone with 14130 ratings, 0 reviews and an average rating of fabled 1.00 has given this book 1 star on August 18th 2015, a long way before anyone was holding an ARC in their hands It boggles the freaking mind Not only is The Muse due out on December 1st 2015, but I don t understand how anyone can have 14130 ratings and every single one is a one star Conveniently, the account is set to private

  2. says:

    A not quickly forgotten, inspirational, sensual and haunting love story.Anne Calhoun has brilliantly created an uplifting, enthralling, complex and breathlessly fascinating story of two people who meet under difficult situations and their journey together to finding hope, healing and love.Arden McCarren s world comes crashing down, when her father and brother are arrested and charged with using a Ponzi scheme to defraud clients of millions She now faces the challenge to caring for her mother an A not quickly forgotten, inspirational, sensual and haunting love story.Anne Calhoun has brilliantly created an uplifting, enthralling, complex and breathlessly fascinating story of two people who meet under difficult situations and their journey together to finding hope, healing and love.Arden McCarren s world comes crashing down, when her father and brother are arrested and charged with using a Ponzi scheme to defraud clients of millions She now faces the challenge to caring for her mother and dealing with the fall out that they have left her to deal with Beset by panic attacks and the pressure that the relentless media facing her, ostracized by her friends and colleagues, FBI scrutiny, half way to a breakdown.she s tries as best she can to face each new day in her life Seth Miller, former marine, who has suffered the loss of his three best friends on their last mission in Afghanistan, is now a bike messenger and part time nude model for art students in New York He s haunted by the tragic and terrible death of his colleagues and the only way he can deal with his loss and pain is by helping and being there for his dead friend s families When these two damaged souls meet at an art class, they feel a connection each other.They recognize something that comforts and eases their pain.I loved watching Arden and Seth together Their relationship felt real and the progression from sex to friends to lovers was done in a very believable and natural way Understanding each other s pain, fears and insecurities I so wanted these two people to be together and find happiness in their lives I was so invested in their relationship Sadness, giving, understanding, caring and an incredibly unselfish love for each other.I love this author s writing style and voice She has a unique and distinctive way with words that enthralled me from the very first page Wrapped securely in his arms, she let the silence settle over her She breathed in, breathed out, and knew she was alive She breathed in, breathed out, and knew peace.Engaging secondary characters and a beautiful setting.I am so looking forward to readingof this author s books.This is definitely one of my favorite reads in 2015.Go on, get this book.why Because it sthan just brilliant and unforgettable.And not forgetting a big and huge THANK YOU to my GR friend, Baba, whose brilliant review made me want to read this book You rock BB

  3. says:

    The Muse is hands down the BEST romance book I ve read this year I loved everything about it the great writing, the two MC s and the unique and intelligent storyline Highly recommended for fans of erotic romance I want to thank my lovely friend Baba for encouraging me to read this book Thanks, sweets

  4. says:

    Afrodyt s review posted at Guilty Pleasures Book ReviewsArden is embroiled in a complete implosion of her life Everything changes as her father and brother are found guilty of operating a Bernie Madoff style investment scheme and overnight her last name becomes synonymous with cheating, lies, greed and broken dreams The paparazzi are in a feeding frenzy and Arden is in their crosshairs While she is completely innocent of any wrongdoing, just being part of the family makes her the recipient Afrodyt s review posted at Guilty Pleasures Book ReviewsArden is embroiled in a complete implosion of her life Everything changes as her father and brother are found guilty of operating a Bernie Madoff style investment scheme and overnight her last name becomes synonymous with cheating, lies, greed and broken dreams The paparazzi are in a feeding frenzy and Arden is in their crosshairs While she is completely innocent of any wrongdoing, just being part of the family makes her the recipient of the animosity directed toward her father s misdeeds In order to cope with the overwhelming stress she goes back to drawing, a skill she hasn t cultivated for many years In her first private class, with a few friends, Seth arrives to be their model, or Muse.Seth is a tattooed, former marine that currently works as a bike messenger and also models nude for art students for additional income Seth carries with him the visible and invisible scars of war He feels a deep sense of loss for his fallen brothers and he s committed to doing all he can to take care of the loved ones they left behind Seth is in limbo, not complete with the past and not moving forward with his future When he meets Arden he can relate to her as someone who is a survivor, carrying on with life even after everything has fallen apart.They become each other s Muse using art to cope with loss that is unspeakable The love that blooms between these two is poignant and simple and subtle in its complexity I love how Anne Calhoun tells this story because there is nothing clich about how it unfolds It s sexy and modern and elegant.I love reading romance novels because, when they are well written, I feel as though I am transported into the most intimate places a man and woman can go within themselves and with each other Calhoun writes this story in a way feels honest, lyrical, almost poetic The world and the characters feel richly textured and intricate, from their settings, to their wardrobe, to their emotions Everything has layers that all fit beautifully together, especially how the characters from the prior novel in this series, The List, are incorporated Outstanding storytelling.Review copy provided for an honest review

  5. says:

    4.5 5Not much to say about this, other than it s another keeper from Anne Calhoun The plot is not unheard of, but Calhoun just does it better, squeezes out everything she can out of it and makes it hers Complex characters are her forte She takes characters that we ve encountered before the rich girl, the ex soldier , and makes them feel fully fleshed out and truly alive, flaws and all That is something I search for in this genre, and Anne Calhoun delivers.

  6. says:

    I loved this story so much Such passion and intensity and beautifully expressed If I had to describe this book with one word, it would be INTENSE I loved this romance so much It s a powerful story of loss and love, of learning to live and love again Ms Calhoun explored in depth and with great detail and a sympathetic eye the journey of her characters towards living a full life, being themselves and ultimately freely giving and receiving love and affection Takes a familiar trope ex solder an I loved this story so much Such passion and intensity and beautifully expressed If I had to describe this book with one word, it would be INTENSE I loved this romance so much It s a powerful story of loss and love, of learning to live and love again Ms Calhoun explored in depth and with great detail and a sympathetic eye the journey of her characters towards living a full life, being themselves and ultimately freely giving and receiving love and affection Takes a familiar trope ex solder and a rich heiress in distress and twists it completely There is nothing predictable or cliche in this story I found it refreshingly original and enthralling I loved how Ms Calhoun played with the traditional roles of artist and muse, both Arden and Seth were each other s muse and artists at the same time A story focuses a lot on art and creation as therapy, there is also sexual exploration, forging a deep sincere connection, reaching true intimacy where two people can be themselves with each other completely honest and un selfconscious They need to face their fears, before they deal with them in order to eventually being able to enjoy living again Arden was so fragile and gentle and even weak at first glance, yet she had this inner strength and determination to save her family, herself It s was Seth who saw her strength he depicted her as a warrior dragon and helped her discover it for herself It s through her relationship with Seth she gathered the courage to act and go for things she wanted She did not shy away from the difficult decisions that had to be taken, she stuck to her own moral code and this made me admire her evenSeth was dealing or rather not dealing with his issues stuck in the past, unable to move forward After losing his friends in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, he now lied only to support the families relations of his fallen brothers I appreciate how Ms Calhoun drew a sensitive portrait of the modern day soldier, he is not a perfect killing machine, but a real human being, who is lost, vulnerable, suffering from anxiety and PTSD.They met by chance, their relationship started with lust and need for physical contact but all this was intertwined with art, drawing, truly letting go when drawing, being able to see the other, really see them and transfer them on the page of a scratch book Art was a central metaphor in the story and I loved how Ms Calhoun used it to reveal Arden and Seth to the reader and ultimately as means for them to see the other for who they are and not just the outward person the rest of the world sees.The writing was exquisite, very sensual, highly erotic The story had a solid plot and the romance was really strong and engaging It s a richly textured story which makes you care for the characters, makes you involved in their struggles and happily ever after It all feels real, there is no sugar coating the experience of war, or Arden s panic attacks, or her father and brother s crimes Ultimately, it s a story about being able to give and receive love but also about the real world with its jealousy, greed, deceit.One of the best books of the year for me

  7. says:

    As of late, Anne Calhoun s have been a hit or miss for me The last book in the series was a miss but while it took me awhile to warm up to THE MUSE, I ended up liking it in the end Calhoun has a special way of approaching her stories She takes quite mundane occupations and kind of glamourizes them with her characters In this case, we have Seth who is a bike messenger But he also models nude on the side He has quite the interesting past He was in the Corps and is dealing with survivor As of late, Anne Calhoun s have been a hit or miss for me The last book in the series was a miss but while it took me awhile to warm up to THE MUSE, I ended up liking it in the end Calhoun has a special way of approaching her stories She takes quite mundane occupations and kind of glamourizes them with her characters In this case, we have Seth who is a bike messenger But he also models nude on the side He has quite the interesting past He was in the Corps and is dealing with survivor s guilt when an IED explosion killed his best friend.He meets Arden MacCarren at one of her drawing classes, after her family undergoes some public scrutiny when her family investment house fails To be honest, I didn t care about the scandal part of the story For one, readers don t know Arden s father or Charles and the evident already happened at the start of the book so there was no emotional attachment to what she was going through.However, I did enjoy the romance that Seth and Arden have It runs along the same lines as Calhoun s other books sleek and sexy, that s the best way I can describe them They definitely have that big city feel, accompanied by that taint of loneliness that comes with living in a large city.There are some shy and awkward moments between the two but I found that it ran a little bitsubtle in this one The emotion is still there but maybe it s because Arden is so closed off that it doesn t have the same intense heat as some of Calhoun s previous works do I enjoyed THE MUSE but it s probably not my favorite from this author

  8. says:

    Quick Note Because this review is also posted at Dear Author, it s a little different than my usual style, but was just as much fun to do Links to the DA review are found at the bottom of the post Dear Ms Calhoun When I finished reading The Muse, my initial thought was that there were not really any words I could put together that would do justice to this story If ever a novel has inspired a book hangover in me, this was it But as my dazed brain cleared, I realized that I did have a few Quick Note Because this review is also posted at Dear Author, it s a little different than my usual style, but was just as much fun to do Links to the DA review are found at the bottom of the post Dear Ms Calhoun When I finished reading The Muse, my initial thought was that there were not really any words I could put together that would do justice to this story If ever a novel has inspired a book hangover in me, this was it But as my dazed brain cleared, I realized that I did have a few things I could say that might entice a reader to pick it up, beyond saying It was fantastic You have to read this These are my thoughts therefore in acognizant form.Firstly, a little background on the story The Muse is part of a loosely connected series called Irresistible and is the 5th book They are standalone stories and characters from one appear in other stories generally with smaller secondary roles The name Irresistible is the title of a lingerie shop in book 4 of the series, Evening Storm Though they don t have to be read in order, this story takes place directly after book 4 and comes about as a result of that tale in which Ryan, a trader on Wall Street, blows the whistle on a Ponzi scheme headed up by Arden s father and brother at their family banking investment firm, MacCarren s.Arden is the heroine of this story and it starts with that bombshell having gone off, and her trying to pick up the pieces As a young teenager she was in a serious car accident, and it s given her a legacy of anxiety and panic attacks With this disaster, they ve only gotten worse She s desperate to find a way to cope, both with the panic attacks and just in general with the news that has resulted in unwanted and extreme press attention as well as the stress of dealing with the FBI and the lawsuit against her family and their company One way for her to do that is to spend some quiet hours with a few trusted friends the ones who haven t deserted her and when they suggest a drawing class, Arden hopes that immersing herself in the art she used to love doing can calm her mind, at least for a few hours at a time.It is here that she is introduced to Seth, a secondary character from Evening Storm where he appeared as a bike messenger that Ryan occasionally used As well as his courier work, Seth occasionally does some nude male modelling, his tattooed and very masculine form a hit on the art circuit They meet then, at Arden s friend s house and it s safe to say that they find each other intriguing but don t pursue anything until Arden hires Seth to come to her house privately for a drawing session and the lines between hired man and employer blur They end up in bed together, and in your signature style, the sex is riveting and visceral.He could have been asking about any number of things, permission, affirmation that she liked the direction he was taking things, confirmation that he wasn t hurting her It didn t matter Her answer was the same Yes, she said.His mouth landed hot and heavy on her ear, the unpredictable combination of kisses, licks, and nips jolting her from shudder to pliancy and back again There was no getting lost in what he did, mind wandering to the grocery list, much less spiraling into the barbed wire of anxiety He commanded her attention as he gatheredof her hair in his hand, baring her nape to his mouth.She braced her arms underneath her and pushed up He didn t takeof his weight but rather made her bear it, giving her something to writhe against This was real, physical, definitely not in her head She tipped her head forward, giving him full access to her neck, and felt the position resonate deep in her back brain Pinned under a bigger, stronger male, oh yes Ryan is the epitome of the wounded warrior, a soldier whose three best friends died on his last mission He s taken it upon himself to be their replacements back home in an effort to assuage his survivor guilt So he plays the role of friend, brother, provider not moving on with his own future but living a transient existence He has a trailer to live in, a job as a bike messenger and occasionally as an artist s model but no thoughts of anything but the present He can t let go of the past, and because of this, he can t move forward into the future He exists in this limbo on a day to day basis, until he meets Arden She captures his attention with her beauty, and her character And though at first he doesn t know who she is, he can see that she is wounded like him When he does find out her story both from his own internet searching and from her telling him bits and pieces as they begin to see each otherregularly , he admires in her the steel he sees running through her core She s gone through some horrible things, like him, but has been able to move forward with each setback Though she feels that she is weak, he sees her strength.What draws these two together, besides recognizing kindred spirits, is their love of art In fact, though Seth is a model, he s also an artist and when on tour, he carried with him a sketchbook all the time to record the events that shaped his time overseas Since the IED explosion that took his friends, he s been unable to draw.While he poses for Arden and she draws him, he gets the sense that she can really see him, through his facade that lets him be naked in body if not in soul in front of another.She was watching, her pencil halted, midline, gaze fixed on his hand He drew his fist up the shaft, slicked the precise around the head, stroked back down Her gaze trailed up his torso, watched the muscles clench in his abdomen, then continued to his face Knowing that his face had changed, he wondered what she saw, tried to discern it from the tiny shifts of muscles and the pattern of her breaths That s good, too, she said, and resumed drawing, her arm moving in the big sweeping gestures of capturing the essence of a man with his cock in his hand.It was need, he realized She showed it in a completely different way, leaking out behind the tight restraints of blank expressions and not reacting The deeper they sank into drawing and sex, theshe cracked But he was the one in real danger She drew him back into his body, made him want, made him feel both those things would keep him from taking care of the people left behind.Arden becomes Seth s muse then, as he picks up his own sketch book in his private time and starts to draw again He fancies her as a shield maiden, a warrior woman, though one he doesn t feel worthy of The juxtaposition of drawing and sex in this story was quite fascinating to me, and as with many books by you, I always feel like I ve learned something, in this case about the skills and talent required to make a picture come to life There is lots of discussion about drawing in general in the story in the art classes Arden takes, the discussions that Arden and Seth have,and several drawing scenes Some readers might find those details extraneous to the story, but I thought they were an integral part of it.As the story progresses the tension ramps up The case against the MacCarren firm spills over into their family s charity foundation, the one that Arden and her mother have run and the place where she feels she s made the most impact The knowledge that all their hard work has been wiped out by the greed of her father and brother is sickening to her The majority of their family assets will be liquidated to pay back the money that was stolen, leaving her mother a nervous wreck that Arden must also deal with She will still have money, as a result of her trust fund from her grandmother, but all the work she s done for the charity, and her day to day job, is gone Unclear of what to do next, it is in her relationship with Seth that she finds her footing again Seth on the other hand, experiences the opposite effect Thetime he spends with Arden, thehe realizes that he can t go on living the way he has been She forces him to see the truth of his existence and how he s clung to his dead friends, unable to face the reality of their deaths After one particularly intimate experience in which they film themselves having sex ostensibly to help Arden overcome her anxiety about exposure , it is Seth who realizes just how much about himself has been revealed.He was on foot, unable to stop thinking about the sex he d just had That wasn t I didn t die in Afghanistan sex It wasn t I didn t die at all sex That was I m getting on with my life sex That was you reorder my world sex That was life will never be the same sex That was I m falling for you sex That was exactly the kind of sex he didn t want to have.Forced to confront his feelings for Arden and his own walls, when the breakthrough comes, it is a cathartic release of emotion anger, fear, frustration and loneliness But Arden is there to catch him as he falls, and with this, their relationship is solidified As that happens, their future becomes a little brighter and a little clearer, as they find in each other the home, security, and love they ve been seeking.As each story in the series has come out, I ve found them to be riveting tales that combine powerful sex and emotion intertwined with unique and flawed characters Every time I think that it s my favourite, another one comes out to top the previous one and I m just left in awe, really, at your powerful storytelling This one gets an A I m sure that s obvious by now , and I highly recommend it In other words, to the rest of you out there, It was fantastic You have to read this Note a copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review Dear Author link

  9. says:

    5 Sensual Stars Source eARC for Honest Review Courtesy of Penguin Group He was her muse, helping her learn But somehow this had become about him, not just Arden.

  10. says:

    Although the romance in this one is definitely a stand alone for those that have read Evening Storm, you are all too familiar with the massive Ponzi scheme that has taken place In Evening Storm, the hero of the book was the whistle blower who brought down the MacCarren family The Muse features Arden MacCarren, who had no idea her father or brother, now arrested by the FBI, were involved in such a horrible scheme Countless people have lost so much money, and Arden and her family are now under Although the romance in this one is definitely a stand alone for those that have read Evening Storm, you are all too familiar with the massive Ponzi scheme that has taken place In Evening Storm, the hero of the book was the whistle blower who brought down the MacCarren family The Muse features Arden MacCarren, who had no idea her father or brother, now arrested by the FBI, were involved in such a horrible scheme Countless people have lost so much money, and Arden and her family are now under intense scrutiny not only from the FBI but also from the press While Arden had no idea this Ponzi scheme was taking place, her beloved MacCarren foundation may now lose all of its assets Arden doesn t know what to do, and is completely stressed Her friends, sensing she has gone into crisis mode, invite her to a drawing class, and Arden who loves to draw, happily accepts.The male model that shows up is named Seth A marine recently home from Afghanistan, Seth is also in a dark place His three best friends died in an explosion, and Seth has only had five months to deal with this tragedy He feels guilt for surviving, and he feels like he owes the family members of his friends a lot He has become a bike messenger in New York city, living out of a motor home and just trying to acclimate back to civilian life He finds out that being a nude male model makes him a lot of cash, for not much work Which is out he meets Arden naked in a wealthy town house as she draws him They make eye contact.and she eyes other things on his body and a connection is made When Arden realizes drawing helps her relax, she invites Seth to her house for a private modeling session which leads to other things.I liked this book, but there were also a few things that I didn t love I really enjoyed both Seth and Arden I like that only five months have passed since Seth lost his three best friends His wounds are still so fresh and raw, he has yet to truly cope with it He has diverted all of his emotions to caring for the grieving family members of his friends and pushing his body to the limit racing through New York city traffic as a messenger Seth is also an artist, but hasn t been able to pick up a pencil to draw since he got home While Arden finds peace drawing Seth, the tables are turned as well as Seth starts to find his way back to life when art is introduced back into his life.Arden is so overwhelmed by the arrest of her father and brother So much is put on her shoulders as her mother has a complete breakdown and her other brother is on the other side of the world The paparazzi are relentless in their coverage of her To add to all of this, as a teenager Arden got hit by a car and has suffered panic attacks ever since These come out full force with the added stress of her life THis embarrasses her and makes her feel out of control I thought this was portrayed well.Things I didn t love about the book at one point Seth and Arden video record themselves having sex, with the expectation if Arden watches it back, it will help with her panic attacks as I scratch my head This then gets stolen hacked from the iCloud, and the sex tape ends up on the internet with everyone and I mean everyone watching it I didn t like this it didn t feel like this was something Arden would do I also felt a little confused by just how much press Arden was receiving To me she is just a wealthy New York socialite who has a foundation but otherwise is very quiet and mature Would the paparazzi really be completely immersed in her life like this And would someone be able to hack into her iCloud to steal this sex tape the morning after they filmed it Maybe but it seemed a little far fetched.This is also asomber romance book There is a solid HEA which made me smile, but it sserious and a little sad Not that that is a bad thing, but it s heavier and sometimes a bit slow I adore Anne Calhoun s voice she writes smart and sexy Each book feels different and she creates such deep and intricate characters The List and The Evening Storm, two prior books in this series are both really great.Grade B

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