Cynthia Eden is a prolific romance writer and has written a number of series that have caught my interest. Although I have read and greatly enjoyed her For Me series, I had not had the chance to read any of the books in the Mine series until now with this fourth installment. When I began reading the book, I soon realized that characters and aspects from previous storylines in the series are more interconnected than I expected, and I worried that I might not be able to fully enjoy and appreciate this novel since I hadn’t started the series from the beginning. However, I am glad to report that this was not the case at all. Eden provides enough exposition and description about the hero, Drake Archer and his close friends, Trace and Noah, who have been featured in previous installments for me to follow this novel’s storyline just fine, so I had no problems with reading it as a standalone novel.
Drake Archer’s cold attitude and cynicism, especially toward women is apparent from the first page of the book, and I admit I was taken aback at his austere demeanor and adamant belief that women are objects for sexual gratification and easily discarded. Although Eden provides enough details of Drake’s backstory to help me understand his jaded perspective, I still didn’t warm up to him until much later in the book. For a man who is so distrustful of women, I was surprised at how quickly Jasmine Bennett, despite her attempts to deceive him, becomes the object of Drake’s desire: “He looked at her, and he ached.” He touched her, and he craved.”
Even though Drake’s is sometimes harsh in his treatment of Jasmine, there is always an undertone of gentleness when he is with her that reveals the depth of this man’s character. So what makes Jasmine so special, especially since she does set out to betray Drake? She defies his expectations of her at every pivotal moment which surprises and intrigues him. Only after he finally begins to accept his growing feelings toward Jasmine does he begin to soften up and become more multi-dimensional.
Despite the mistakes Jasmine has made, I like her. She is definitely not an innocent unwittingly caught up in the fight between Drake and an antagonist from his past. She made choices and committed criminal acts that brought her into the enemy’s camp. Some of her poor decisions have been based on self-preservation, but deep down she is a good person, and her willingness to accept the consequences for her actions and to protect others kept me rooting for her to find a way out of her situation. Jasmine longs to find love and find a place where she belongs, and a central question throughout the book is whether a man as hardened as Drake Archer can be the man she needs.
The novel is a smooth blend of action, danger and romance with some pretty scorching love scenes that are a bit edgier than what I’ve encountered in her other books. Mine to Crave was a good read and has motivated me to want to go back and read the rest of the series.
Source: I received a complimentary copy of this book to provide an honest review.
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