Let Me In by Calllie Croix

Standard

Grade: C+
passion rating: hot
Dear Ms. Croix,
I enjoyed your book but am baffled it’s listed as a BDSM novel. Carina Press is touting it as such and it’s not. Yes, hottie Liam Brodie likes to call the shots between the sheets and he’s had a (straight) sexually adventurous past. But, even though he has some smoking sex with Talia Barnett, there’s nothing BDSM between the two. I don’t particularly care about the mislabeling, but having Let Me In so miscategorized may alienate readers looking for BDSM books and scare those off who aren’t.
I’ve read a series of contemporaries lately with military heroines–it’s great to see romance at the forefront of giving those who serve in Iraq and Afghanistan their due. In Let Me In, Talia is a Marine coming home to Denver for her Thanksgiving break. It looks to be a depressing trip for her–she’s there to check on the only family she has, her mentally ill mother Kiyomi. Talia plans to spend the week alone in a hotel and is startled, when she arrives at the airport, to find her best friend Angie Brodie there to pick her up. Accompanying Angie is her older brother Liam whom Talia’s had the hots for years. He’s an ex-Marine now working as a military contractor and the two have always clicked.
“Welcome home, sweetheart.”
The endearment triggered a smile and set off a bittersweet ache beneath her ribs. He’d always called her that, though he never meant it the way she wanted him to. A result of her own doing, but she’d made the right choice when she’d drawn the line between them at friends from the start, more than two years ago. Crossing that barrier would mean she risked losing him and his family forever if things didn’t work out between them. She’d never risk that. “Thanks. I can’t believe you guys did this for me.”
Liam finds Talia’s insistence that he stay out of her bed frustrating because he doesn’t understand it.
It drove him crazy that she always kept herself at arm’s length from him, but he loved knowing she was aware of him as a man. God knew he was more than willing to satisfy whatever needs she kept buried beneath that cool exterior, sexual and otherwise. For whatever reason, she wouldn’t acknowledge her interest.
He figures it has something to do with her family—he knows her mom has some problems and she and Talia don’t get along easily. His family, the Brodies, are the ideal family—almost too much so for me. For Talia, they are the best thing in her personal life—they really are the only positive thing in her personal life. She sees them as the holy grail of home life.
Ten minutes later Liam pulled into the driveway of his parents’ white Colonial-style house with dark green trim, and a pang of emotion hit her square in the chest. This place, this family, meant more to her than they’d ever know. The house suited them perfectly. It looked like a Leave It to Beaver kind of place, something out of a Disney movie. Full of love and laughter and…family. She treasured each moment she’d spent here, ever since Angie had first dragged her home for dinner over two years ago.
Talia’s own home life is a tragedy. She’s an only child and her mom, who has always struggled with sanity, has become a compulsive hoarder. Talia, after sharing a picture perfect dinner with the Brodies, lets Liam give her a ride to her hotel. On the way, she has him drive by her mom’s last known address where she doesn’t find her mom—Kiyomi is out at Bingo night—but does find an eviction notice and a worried neighbor who tells her the landlord is coming by tomorrow to clean out the house and throw her mom out. Talia isn’t surprised—she’s used to dealing with the chaos and disappointment of her mom’s illness, but she’s still upset and embarrassed. When Liam takes her to her hotel, she tries to dismiss him, but he insists on staying and finding out what’s going on. She says she’s not interested in talking and he says, OK, fine, grabs her, and starts kissing the hell out her. But even though it’s the most amazing kiss she’s ever had, she still pushes him away.
click here to read the rest of the review

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