Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun

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Title: Uncommon Passion
Author: Anne Calhoun
Length: 320 Pages
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Heat Level: 3 Flames
Overall Rating: 5 Surprised Hearts

Synopsis: After leaving a restrictive religious community, Rachel Hill is on a mission to divest herself of her virginity. Newly independent and struggling to establish herself, she’s not looking for anything complicated. She bids on sexy SWAT officer Ben Harris at a bachelor auction, confident he’ll give her the night of her life and nothing more.

But Ben is jaded and detached, living his life in an endless cycle of danger-fueled adrenaline jags, drinking, and sex. When he misses the fact that his bachelor auction hookup is a virgin, he’s shocked by his obliviousness, and by the risk she took. To make amends, Ben offers Rachel all he can: a no-strings-attached sexual education.

Ben’s lessons introduce Rachel to down and dirty passion, but she’s searching for something more profound than sex, and she’s willing to walk away to find it. Ben can’t get Rachel out of his head, but will he come to terms with his troubled past and learn to love?

Review: (This series does not need to be read in order and can be read as a standalone.) I love stories with strong emotional undercurrents, they’re like my crack – just like broken boys. This story gave me both. Very much a character driven story about the journey of a broken man who finds not only himself, but his relationship with his family, his twin brother and a woman he finally loves.

I don’t think I need to state that Ben was by far my favorite character in this; but Sam, his twin, and Rachael, the woman he falls for were also very strong characters. It’s nice to see a woman have such a strong role; Rachael was pretty fierce. And despite the sheltered life she’d led, she stayed true to herself regardless of what was thrown at her. I haven’t seen that in many books lately. Quite refreshing. And Ben’s relationship with his brother was beautifully written, a little codependent at times, but beautiful nonetheless.

It’s written in both POV’s, but in such a way that’s not annoying. I never minded the periodic switches because I became so invested in both of them that I wanted to be in their heads.

I don’t think it was intended for Ben to be the main character, but for me he was. And I say that because he was the character who changed the most throughout the book. He’s also the one that brought out the most emotion in me as I was reading. (Whether or not it’s because of my own preferences, I honestly can’t say. He just did.) For some, his redemption may have come too late. For me, once he’d let Rachael in, I knew he’d get there eventually, so I wasn’t worried. (If it had been different, there’d be a whole different tone to this review.) I think Rachael always knew what she wanted. She just needed to find the confidence to go after it. Ben gave her that.

This was a new author for me, and while it’s not terribly original or teeming with plot twists, the writing is good and solid. I will probably look into her other works and give a couple of them a try.

I haven’t given out many five star or would read again ratings lately, but this one did it for me. I really enjoyed it.

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