Elise’s career as a primary dancer is over but she’s a survivor and not even her ex’s abuse could destroy her spirit. In a bid to begin a new life for herself and Rennie far from the heartache and painful memories of New York they’ve settled in Seattle and Elise feels safe for the first time in a very long time. Oh sure there are still concerns stemming from her past but Elise’s dance school is doing well and enrollment is up and Rennie is settling right in and thriving. The only thing missing is a man in her life but fantasies about the hot biker living across the street will have to do – for now. Elise’s focus must remain on raising her seven year old daughter and she isn’t about to complicate things by dating.
Despite them being neighbors, Elise doesn’t officially meet Brody until she witnesses him being hit by a speeding vehicle. Even then it’s just to care for him until the paramedics arrive – and then lock up his house after following his instructions on how to contact his sister, Erin. From those few moments on the phone with Elise Erin realizes that Brody’s new neighbor is levelheaded and exactly the sort of woman he needs in his life. She’s right of course but neither Elise nor Brody are looking for a happily-ever-after. However, there’s certainly nothing wrong with being friends with benefits. After seeing his sister through the devastation of the murder of her daughter, Brody is well acquainted with the sort of haunted fear and pain he sees in Elise’s eyes but he’s hoping she’ll trust him enough to willingly share the details of her past with him.
While Elise’s relationship with Brody progresses she realizes that he’s become a vital part of her life. More importantly, he’s a pseudo father figure to Rennie and she worries about what will happen when he decides she carries too much baggage and leaves. Brody’s made of stronger stuff than she ever imagined because he’ll stand by her through as much drama as her ex-in-laws can provide. Elise’s nice safe existence is threatened but with the love of a good man and a family who loves her at her side she can conquer anything – including Brody’s jealous ex-lover Raven.
I admit it, I fell in love with Brody in Erin’s story LAID BARE and my feelings for him have only grown stronger as I read the sequel COMING UNDONE. Lauren Dane’s talent for creating characters who touch your heart is only counterbalanced by the intense sexual attraction that brings them together. Add in the emotional turmoil facing them all and readers are treated to a story that they won’t be able to put down. One of the things that I particularly enjoyed about this story is the strength Elise possesses which is prominently displayed in her refusal to give in to her fears – or her ex-in-laws spiteful actions. Brody’s refusal to ‘dump’ Elise when things get rough only made him more memorable – he’s just so perfect it makes me wish I actually knew him. COMING UNDONE picks up right where LAID BARE left off and we even get to revisit Erin and her men. Now I do have to admit to being very curious about Raven and Adrian – there’s so much animosity between them but I can’t figure out if there’s an attraction or not. In any case, I’d love to read more about them – together or individually – in the future.