Genre: Erotic | Contemporary Romance
And No Going Back.
And No Going Back.
I didn’t think he wanted me. And I wasn’t about to get involved with him, not after what I’d heard. Alex Kennedy was tall, dark and unbearably hot, but I’ve been burned before. Maybe it was stupid of me to offer but he needed a place to crash and I needed to pay the rent, but now he’s my tenant…with benefits. And now that we’ve crossed that line, I can’t seem to find my way back. But I can’t give my heart to a man who’s so…unconventional. His last sexual relationship was with a married couple. It’s enough that my ex-fiancé preferred men, I won’t take that chance again no matter how much my body thrives on Alex’s touch. I can’t risk it, but I can’t resist it, either. Alex can be very convincing when he wants something. And he wants me. Me.
Olivia is a 28-year-old photographer who doesn't quite know who she is. She was adopted into an all white family even though she's not white, she has to deal with her family being divided between two religions every holiday, and she's having a difficult time trusting herself after a troubled love life. Yet, the night she sees Alex Kennedy, everything changes. She doesn't listen that "he's trouble" or care about his sexual history. Together they fit and for once, she's content.
"I didn't have to decide if I was one thing or another. If I was both and neither. Everything and nothing. It's okay to struggle to find our place in this world and the person who will take us for who and what we are. Sometimes we dress ourselves in layers that only get peeled away in the end, to leave us as we should be. Naked."
This was a classic story of opposites attract, meet, fall in love! :)
Olivia, aka "Liv", is struggling to get her own advertising/graphic design business off the ground while living in a newly purchased building that had once been a firehouse. She hasn't had the best track record in relationships and has even had a few other life hiccups as well. She lived a lie back in college upon dating Patrick for three years and two weeks before they were due to walk down the aisle at her father's church, she found out Patrick was really gay and sleeping around. Yet, Olivia took the full blame for their failed marriage on herself and even went back to Patrick so they could remain friends. She keeps living a lie since she's still in love with her gay best friend, even when he continues to get jealous and steer her away from any potential relationships.
Alex, on the other hand, is financially stable, an international globe trotter, and is the walking fantasy of both men and women. He's back in the states after living recently in Japan, Scotland, Singapore, and Holland and is being a "professional house-guest" (aka mooching off the hospitality of friends and their couches) all while avoiding the final stop of visiting his parents in Sandusky, Ohio. He believes "sometimes, the longer you stay away from something the harder it is to go back there."
This was the second book by Hart that I've read; my first being Deeper. The story flows smoothly and the characters are very realistic. I'm not a fan of rushed relationships, but I really felt Alex and Olivia had a nice bond even though within four months there were engaged. I kept waiting for Alex to cheat on Olivia or something similar (I'm not sure why I expected that?) but overall their relationship throughout Naked was solid. In short - It's a mishmash of couple meeting, couple falling in love, couple meeting each others family/friends, and couple accepting each others past and loving them for who they are. It's an erotic read, so expect some juicy love scenes.
Likes: I enjoyed Olivia describing how she "hadn't been raised stupid, but sure ended up feeling dumb" during certain points in her life. I find that's a common aspect many women keep secret.
Dislikes: I wished to have seen the wedding. The story kind of dropped off before that, leaving my things up in the air . . . like what church/religion did Olivia decide to get married under or if Alex got around to extending an wedding invitation to his father or not? Plus Alex's marriage proposal still bothers me.