Behind Closed Doors by Shannon McKenna
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
My sister has talked about how much she loves this book for years. I can see why she likes it. It was thoroughly entertaining!
*Ms. McKenna is a very good writer. She uses words very elegantly and beautifully. This book surprised me with its imagery. I liked the motifs of Seth as the cold, dark knight who wanted badly to win the sweet, beautiful princess locked in her tower. He wanted to save her from the darkness around her, and even herself. I think that this fairy tale theme illuminated what could have been a very dark story.
*Seth is a one of a kind hero. There were times I thought he was a real jackass, pardon my French. He is rude, rough, domineering, and unforgiving. Other times, there was a scared, lonely little boy inside of him so in need of love. That's what made me like him. I love stalkerific heroes, no question about it. But, it was pretty edgy how he was recording Raine, bugging her house and her person. Also, he was pretty rough in bed sometimes for my tastes. I liked that Raine seemed to know how to deal with him in a way that made the dark, cold brute go away, and the sweet boy come to life. I liked how she would touch and pet him, her gentleness knowing how to calm him like a animal that had turned vicious out of abuse. I liked how much he needed Raine. He didn't know how to love, or how to express it, but he somehow managed to do that anyway, with her help. His declaration of love was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. I can't say that Seth is one of my favorite heroes, but I did come to like him and understand him. I understand how a hard life like his could turn someone cold and isolated. I think that Ms. McKenna did a great job of showing how Raine's love broke that permafrost and freed the man inside. I loved that Seth is a tech-geek. He really knows his stuff. I didn't mind his social awkwardness, for the most part, although I disliked some of the rude things he said to Raine (and his lack of trust in her at times). Although Seth is definitely an uber-alpha (very domineering and kind of mean about it), he turned out okay in the end. I saw him grow and I saw his pain and yearning for love and peace, which is what I needed to like him.
*Boy does this author know how to write steamy love scenes. I could do without the frequent use of the 'c' word for the female anatomy (I hate that word), but otherwise, she managed to write the encounters between Raine and Seth as volcanic-hot, but also deeply romantic (even though I thought some of the encounters were a bit on the rough side, it helped that Seth would back down when Raine showed him that he was coming on too strong). At the same time, it was clear that he wanted to please her and for her to be wild and free in her sexuality (which was something she wanted too). I think the love scenes furthered the story beautifully, showing the dynamic between Raine and Seth, and how it changed as their love connection blossomed. Also, there was real communication there, a lowering of barriers, something that was not easy for either character.
*Raine was an adorable heroine. I didn't expect to find one in a romantica read. I have this impression that the heroines would be more jaded and hardened, which is not something I prefer in a heroine, unless it is well done and fits the story. Raine was a very sweet, gentle, loving person. At times, I thought maybe too good for Seth. But, I realize that she is the perfect woman for Seth. She really saw his heart and wasn't afraid to be vulnerable when needed, but also showed backbone and stood up to him and showed she was no pushover. I liked her journey to find her strength and to conquer her tormented past. Seth was willing to kill her dragons, but she did most of that on her own. And she tamed the biggest dragon of all--Seth. I really liked her.
*The suspense elements were pretty dark, which is okay with me, although there was some sexual stuff that was a bit out of my comfort zone, and thankfully not a huge part of the story. And I was glad that wasn't in Raine and Seth's relationship. Victor Lazar was an interesting villain. He had depths that made him very intriguing, and he showed that even a bad man can love. His dynamic with Raine was quite fascinating. I ended up feeling sad for the guy. However, Novak is a piece of slime, and I think he got off lightly, considering.
I really enjoyed this book. It was my backup/gym book, but I ended up devouring it, because I couldn't put it down. I am glad my sister and some of my other friends talked this one up. Because I was quite impressed with this book, I'd give it 4.5/5.0 stars. I will read more of Shannon McKenna, although I appreciate my sister's warning that her other heroes are more dominating and overbearing than Seth. I know I will have to be in the mood for that. Even so, Connor's book is calling my name....
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