The first Laurann Dohner book I read was Mate Set and I did not like it. I actually thought it was flat out bad. Mika was pretty much a box of rocks kind of smartness in my opinion and Grady I just plan did not like.
But I had heard so many really good things that when I picked up Fury and I didn’t really have any of that darkness coloring my opinion and thankfully my disappointment for Mate Set was put aside while I dug in and devoured her New Species, Cyborg Seduction and Zorn Warrior books. Oddly, I had a weird hang up about her Riding the Raines series and there was no good reason for it. On a whim the other night I was on a .99 Amazon book crawl and I wanted to see if the pre-order on True was available yet and I just decided to buy and read Propositioning Mr. Raine. Laurann, honey… Brass who? I want me a Raine man.
Trina Mattews is a couple clouds short of hitting forty, newly moved to Texas after the death of her husband of sixteen years and spending a whole lot of time alone with her “kitty” thinking about Navarro Raine and all the things he could do to make it purr better than her own hand has been doing. When she hears that his brother Dusty has put the Raine Ranch in danger of foreclosure sexual desperation and loneliness lead her to propose a brazen exchange that will see that both she and Navarro will get what they both want. Just when she says out loud that she will give him the money for hot, crazy, wild monkey sex it sounds a helluva lot worse than she imagined it would. Navarro isn’t as put off or offended as one might think and before the night is through Trina’s history of boring “vanilla” sex will have been re-written by a man who has plans to have Trina tied up for the next two months and begging for everything he has to give her.
I’ve seen Laurann Dohner write animal-ee sex. Cyborg-ee sex. Alien-ish sex. Shifter-ish sex. Holy god and all his servants, what she has written in this book is yummy yummy sex with a human male. I could actually have sex like this and write home about it in real life. Well… maybe not write home about it, I mean that hypothetically. Why would my mom want to know that some sexy as hell Native American guy tied me up and made me sing like an opera star? What I am saying is all the rest of those sexes are fictional because those males are animals, cyborgs, aliens, and shifters. Navarro Raine could actually exist and I want him. And as much as I have loved Species and Cyborgs, and I should use caution having not read River’s book yet, this could easily become a more beloved series. (Although, I wouldn’t at all cry foul if you made these men purr.)
As to the story beyond the hawt as hell sex which I am already giving Laurann gold stars for, complexity of characters and story is something she has once more hit out of the park. In the Raine family are five boys: Navarro, Drake, Dusty, and the twins River and Ryder. Navarro, Drake and Dusty are half Apache and River and Ryder are full blooded mixes, Cherokee and Apache. You find out later on that Ryder is actually a part full of shit but his twin doesn’t share that heritage. The brothers jointly share the ranch yet Navarro is the only one who stays home and works it. Drake is a lawyer in Dallas, Dusty is basically one hot mess, River is on the rodeo circuit and Ryder is part of a Native American band. Adam is also introduced, he is a close friend of the family and more or less a Raine by heart. The Raine brothers are loosely held together by a family loyalty which no one would dare deny nor question. However it also allows Navarro to remain the hub at the ranch while the other four scatter to the wind while he remains the spine to their wandering limbs.
Trina has spent the last sixteen years trying to make her intellectually compatible spouse happy. She has sacrificed her career, taken courses to make her a better homemaker. Watched porn to make her a better lover. Yet he neither appreciated her nor did he really give her the time or validation that she mattered to him beyond the settlement and inheritance he left her upon his death. As devoted and loving as she was to him he left her incomplete and in the wake of his death she found it difficult turning off that need to be needed when he was gone and it caused problems with the people they had known in the months during her grief. She made a clean break from California to Texas to start somewhere away from Ted’s family and friends, hoping she might be able to find herself as well. Even with half a country between them Ted’s brother Paul still has been trying to strong arm her and get his hands on Ted’s money. When Trina finds a man that acknowledges her as a woman, lover and a friend she begins to find that she might have needed more than just wild monkey sex.
One of Laurann Dohner’s greatest talents is to create the perfect storm and then allow the proverbial shit to hit the fan. I really thought that this book was a great example of her ability to show one character having the power to see the truth as it is in writing, avoid what is clear in front of your face and deconstruct a good thing in the most sinister way with the best intentions at heart.
But this is the Book Boyfriend Report so let me give you the skinny on why Navarro Raine has boyfriend status. Trina approaches Navarro after hearing the “reviews” of him from gossips who have been part of his sleepovers in the past. I think the actual quote from the book should be used.
“I’m what?” He inched closer to her.
“Um…really good in bed and a little wild. That’s what one of them said. She said you were a hell of a lot of fun and another one agreed with her.”
“So I got good reviews, huh?”
She smiled back. “Yes.”
I guess that doesn’t give you his actual flavor which makes me sad because he is actually kind of like a dark chocolate and a damn good liquor. But he’s not all sex, magic and deliciousness. This book boyfriend is fiendishly smart. I’m not saying that he should have been an astrophysicist or anything of that sort but he isn’t just a pretty face, long dark hair and blue eyes with that deep Native American skin and angular cheekbones. I think I might have just had a hot flash.
Navarro quickly realizes not just his motivations for being with Trina but he begins to see what Trina sees in him. Plus, he isn’t afraid of all the shades of kink and fetish. When you want to experiment the best sort of person you can seek is an explorer. Navarro Raine is a great explorer. Up there with the likes of Christopher Columbus, Magellan, Alfred C. Kinsey. I would really like it if he could show me his ship and then I could help him set the course.
Of course Navarro Raine could make women scream his name in a hundred different ways without breaking a sweat but he has a soft and cuddly side too. For a lady’s man this boyfriend sure seems to want to get close after sex. He has Trina stay overnight, likes her to cook if she wants to, loves for her to share breakfast with him and he likes telling him about him and his and he wants to hear about her and hers. Don’t know what Susie, Shelly, Wendy, Betty and the rest of the Yelp reviewers who were commenting about Navarro’s ability to be wild and fun in the sack but I don’t think they mentioned his propensity to nest or his desire to snuggle.
As if all of this weren’t enough to put Navarro on your book boyfriend list then let me give you the last bit of evidence. Adam and Ryder and their endless concern for their brother’s heart. Trina might not have caught on but the only time you drag out a guys nude baby pics or the story about him getting gouged in the nuts by a bull is when you think he is in love with the girl he is with and you want to make her uncomfortable and see if you can stick a wrench in their gears. Trina is a total keeper and she has our book boyfriend’s back in this war with Navarro’s relations. Her cool reply was a simple comment about not seeing the scar on the underside of his nuts since she was so impressed with what was in front of them. Hi-five girlfriend!
So on or Book Boyfriend Report, Navarro Raine rates very high. He is intrepid in the sack. Can tie knots like any good boy scout. Start and put out fires as well as see to making them burn as hot as he wants. He fearlessly goes where no man has gone before and makes a woman want him to go there again and again. He is intuitive as well as self examining. Enjoys aftercare such as snuggling, conversation, promises and wishes. Gives hope only with intention and he isn’t afraid of being vulnerable. Oh… and he can grill a mean steak.
Lastly, he owns up to having brothers that he may not wish to admit are his.
I would generally say that I recommend Laurann Dohner books for sci-fi and readers of erotica and that alone. But I am going to reach outside that bubble and say that this is definitely not sci-fi and most definitely erotica, but it is a great love story so I won’t stop there. This would be a good book for someone who likes contemporary romance or romances with Native America characters. Please don’t let hot sex stop you from reading a good book. I think my old next door neighbor, Mathilde, wouldn’t have even done that. She was a really smart 96 year old who bought books from the Jewish donation store. No books over $.10 ever went home with her. She would have hung in there for the booty call from the horse handler. A little bow-chicka-wow-wow in your life is good for your blood pressure. In my opinion, everyone needs a man who can remind a them of the joys of toys.
The second book of this series is Raine on Me and it is River’s book. As I am putting this link to it right here I am buying it. You should too!