Review: Arouse (#1, Spiral of Bliss) by Nina Lane - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Arouse (#1, Spiral of Bliss) by Nina Lane

My Thoughts

Engaging and emotional, heartbreaking and authentic.
An intimate view into the compelling story of a marriage at the precipice of breaking as both Dean and Liv learn to shed closely-guarded layers and reveal truths well-hidden. And get ready, the chemistry between them is off the charts!



AROUSE cover“One day I’m going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me,” he said. 

And he did.

Struggling with a tormented past, undergraduate Olivia Winter once led a practical but isolated life. Then she met Professor Dean West, a brilliant scholar of medieval history who melted Liv’s inhibitions and taught her the meaning of both love and erotic pleasure. But after three years of a blissful, lusty marriage, Liv and Dean now face a crisis that threatens everything they believe about each other…and sex might not be enough to save them.

My Review

Personally for ME, as a young woman married to MY first love who happens to be, er… a professor… (yes, seriously)… this hit a little too close to home. It felt real and complicated and it was heartbreaking and sad.  The issues the story dealt with are problems any one of us could face in a marriage.  Sure, this particular story has its own set of unique triggers and factors, but the realness of the exchanges between Olivia and Dean were heart squeezers.

You know that vicious cycle of arguing? The expectations and disappointments… the blurry line between intense love and animosity… the reading too much into words… the not talking and talking too much, too hurtfully … well, it’s all found in the pages of this book and boy, did I feel it! This book lives in shades of gray uncertainty

“He was my first in so many ways–my first lover, my first love, my first confidante, my first and only hero.”

The book chronicles Olivia and Dean’s relationship three years into their marriage. Dean is gorgeous, brilliant, confident and oozes sex appeal. “Built like an athlete rather than a scholar,” Dean is an accomplished professor of Medieval Studies at King’s College.

Olivia loses her job and is trying to find her passion … her skill … and maybe even herself. Although she adores her husband and is proud of his accomplishments, she can’t help but feel a little lost.

But their passion for each other is blazing, the pull and desire for each other always there. They had long decided not to have children–each for their own painful reasons. But a sudden pregnancy scare unexpectedly opens the closed topic, triggering a rippling effect that eventually forces buried secrets to reveal, arguments to escalate, and the rift between them to widen.

“I can’t even say it. I can’t pinpoint the source of my unease. It’s more than Dean’s reluctance to have a baby, more than my own fears of inadequacy, but I have no idea what.”

As is typical with deepening problems, they both take actions they regret, making their once solid marriage falter.

“My disappointment in my husband is so sharp I can taste it, bitter and cold.”

The story is told mainly through Liv’s POV, but towards the end, we hear more through Dean’s perspective. We also have flashback scenes woven throughout to help us understand how the past shaped present day.

Ultimately, this story is about Olivia and Dean understanding more about each other, about themselves and about how to make their marriage a more honest, secrets-free marriage. And perhaps all this bad stuff had to happen so that they could really live a more authentic life together. But so much happens that we don’t know if they can make it work. Their marriage is teetering between happiness and uncertainty.

“Maybe this was meant to happen, this discovery of cracks where now a different light can shine through.”

In the end, we’re left with a plot twist, not a true cliffhanger, but the fate of their marriage still hangs in the balance. I love both Dean and Liv. I want their marriage to work. They share a love that seems to be real, and coupled with that scorching passion they have for each other … well that just seems too good to throw in the towel. Allure, book 2, comes out May 2013 and I can’t wait to see what happens to Liv and Dean!!! ♥

“One day I’m going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you hot to touch me.”


And on a personal note … hee hee … years ago I had the chance to meet and talk with the super nice and beautiful Eduardo Versategui (my Dean West). Here’s the pic ♥


Arouse: Buy for Amazon / Nook / My review
Allure: Buy for Amazon

About The Author


Nina Lane is a multi-published author of elegant, romantic and often raunchy erotica. Her recent release AROUSE is the first book in the Spiral of Bliss series, and her novel THE EROTIC DARK is a #1 Amazon erotica bestseller.

Nina used to write novels under the name
Natasha Rostova and has published stories in anthologies such as “Best Women’s Erotica” and “Erotic Travel Tales.” Her work has been translated into both German and Japanese. In addition to writing, she’s an avid reader who loves popcorn and has recently joined a workout boot-camp that is kicking her rear end.

Website | Facebook  | Twitter


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  1. Nina Lane said:

    Vilma, thank you so much for participating in the Arouse blog tour and for the wonderful review! As you know, I am bonkers over your casting of Liv and Dean (and of COURSE that hunk’s name is Eduardo — what else could it be? :-D). And I’m keeping that picture of Liv because it stole my heart. I’m thrilled you enjoyed Liv and Dean’s story, and I so appreciate the support!


    1. Vilma's Book Blog said:

      Thank you so much for your kind words!!! They really mean so much to me 🙂 Reading Allure next week and can’t wait to see where Liv and Dean’s story goes! I hope to do something special for the next review, continuing with our wonderful cast! ♥


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