Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Review & Giveaway: The Muse by Anne Calhoun

Publication Date: December 1st 2015 by Berkley
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

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 telling.

Seth 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…
My Thoughts:
Arden MacCarren’s life implodes when it’s discovered that her father and brother orchestrated a Ponzi scheme and bilked millions of dollars from their investors.  All the MacCarren’s are under intense scrutiny and the object of much hate from the public.  The stress that comes from being under a microscope sends Arden into panic attacks.  In an attempt to help, her friend, Betsy, organizes a drawing class to help Arden take her mind off her troubles.  The male model Betsy hires fascinates Arden with his lean muscles, edgy tattoos, and quiet intensity. 

Seth is a former marine who lost several close friends when an IED blew them up. He feels a responsibility to their survivors, to be there and support in any way he can.  Arden makes him forget some of those responsibilities and want again.  She’s a distraction he shouldn’t have, but Arden needs him too, and he can’t resist her pull.

Arden and Seth didn’t plan on anything but a superficial relationship.  Drawing Seth, being with him is the only thing that quiets her mind, dissolves the anxiety that fuels her panic attacks.  Seth was so busy struggling with survivor’s guilt, living his life to atone for his friends losing theirs.  He felt guilty wanting happiness, and so he basically shut off all his hopes and dreams, until Arden came along.  Wanting to help her cope and get a handle on her life, Seth unwittingly exposed his own heart and mind to Arden. 

Seth and Arden were so perceptive when it came to the other, attuned to each other’s thoughts and emotions. Their connection was powerful because it was deep and the heat generated from that intensity was very hot!

Just as a side note, I have to say that I’m not sure I could forgive or be friends with Betsy after what occurred in their past. That was one relationship that didn’t ring true to me. 

Seth and Arden, however, were multi-layered characters, perfectly flawed to the point where I got them.  I felt their insecurities, fears, desires, and passion, real and relatable.

For erotica to be truly hot, it has to be more than just sex, sex, sex.  With The Muse, Anne Calhoun delves deep into the characters, getting to the heart of what made them tick.  She expertly layered attraction and desire on top of an emotional connection creating a moving and beautiful romance!
4.5 Suns

Connect with Anne Calhoun:

The lovely people at Berkley generously provided a Paperback copy of The Muse to giveaway to one Waves of Fiction follower.  The giveaway is open to US residents only. Just fill in the rafflecopter for a chance to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. Never heard of this author. I'll definitely look it up. :)

  2. I love Cherise Sinclair and Alice Gaines :) thanks for sharing! this looks and sounds awesome!

  3. My favorite is the Dark Duet series! Thanks!

  4. The Rough Rider series by Lorelei James is awesome!

  5. The Rough Rider series by Lorelei James is awesome!

    1. I've read a couple of Lorelei James' books and she does write some hot stuff! I'll have to check out that series. :)

  6. Natasha Knight, one of my favorite authors. Anything she writes is wonderful.

  7. This one sounds great Rachel! I agree about there needing to be a story

    You know who I actually really like for erotica? Kelly Jamieson

    I also just read a book by Jade West and I liked it a lot -- it's very hit or miss for me though, in general

    Merry Christmas! ♥