Brown Siblings #3
November 2, 2010
Trade Paperback, 306 pages
Source: Purchased book from Amazon.com
Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she’s spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn’t mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself...
Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’d been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense...
While Ella’s sure he’s just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out...
Lauren Dane is the master of having the reader become emotionally invested in her characters and her stories. Thus, while reading Inside Out, I was an emotional basket case! At some parts I wanted to ball my eyes out, while at other times I was so angry I needed to punch a pillow. Sorry pillow. That’s what Lauren Dane does to me. She breaks down the barriers between the book and the reader. I become so absorbed in her books that I abuse my furniture, haha.
I also love how Dane redefines what a family can be. Although there are some non-traditional relationships in the book, there is so much love between the characters I could feel it radiating from the book. I wanted to wrap myself up in the big ol’ love blanket that is the Browns and their extended family. However, Erin, Todd, and Ben’s relationship is still a sore spot for some family members, ie Cope and Ben’s father. Although most of time I was so frustrated with the father, I was amazed at how realistic the family dynamics were in the book. In the real world, not everyone would be accepting of the type of relationship that Erin, Ben, and Todd share. As a reader, I appreciate that Dane incorporates that fact into the Brown Siblings series.
Oh Cope. How I love thee. At first I was a little put off that Adrian’s story was not next in the series but Cope is just as delicious as Adrian. In the other books, Cope comes off as sweet and lovable but a total womanizer. With Inside Out, however, we get to see the other side of Cope that loves poetry and takes pride in fixing up his home. He really matures in this book and I loved seeing the transition.
Ella also experiences her own transition throughout the book. Unlike Laid Bare and Coming Undone, we know from the beginning what happened to Ella. As the book progresses, we get to see how Ella is slowly coping (no pun intended) with the aftermath of being in an abusive relationship and getting badly beaten. I liked how in the beginning Ella thinks she is completely unworthy of Cope’s attention but slowly opens-up to being confident in herself and her sexuality. One of the best scenes in the book is when she confronts Ben and Cope’s father in the hospital. I wanted to pump my fists in the air right along with her!
The thing I wasn’t so much a fan of was how Ella’s cartoony voice kept getting emphasised. For me, a cartoony voice isn’t really my cup of coffee. I kept thinking that Ella’s voice sounded like one of Kristen Wigg’s characters on SNL. The one that the boys think is uber sexy but does really hilarious and disgusting things. That’s what I heard in my head and it distracted me from Ella’s character.
Also, nothing truly dramatic happens in the story. By this I mean there was no major event that had me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. The premise of the story was verily similar to the last two books, but I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. You don’t need to have something crazy happen all the time. Actually, the biggest thing that had me shivering with anticipation was waiting for Erin to have her baby!
Furthermore, if you’re looking for the classic Dane dirty smexin’ you won’t find it with this book. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of smexin’, just not as much as the previous books.
That being said, Inside Out is still a wonderful read. I loved reading about the relationship between Cope and Ella and watching them grow as a couple and as individuals. The Brown Siblings series is my absolute favourite contemporary series and Inside Out just reinforces why the series is at the top of my list. Can’t wait for Adrian’s story!
"She came so hard the neighbors would probably avoid her eyes at the mailboxes for a while."
"You are mine, and I don't think I know all the words to tell you just what that means. Only that when you breathe, I do, when you smile just for me everything inside me stills and knows it's found the key."
Really liked it! It was mmm mmm good.
~Fiction Vixen - 4/5
~Pearl's World of Romance - 8.1/10
Other books in the series: