Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun
Released: September 3, 2013
Erotic Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “What is this?” she asked. She wanted to rub up against him. She wanted to see him, touch his bare skin. She wanted…
He gave a low laugh she felt rumble in his chest as much as heard in her ears. “Chemistry,” he said, and lifted his head to look at her. “This is some kind of wicked chemistry.”
This is a book about a woman who wants to feel and a man who needs to let go of his anger and live in the present. Together they have explosive chemistry, and passion but there are also periods of sadness and grief. Anne Calhoun is truly a master at writing erotic romance.
Before I begin let me stress – this is not a romantic suspense book despite the cover. This is a deep, erotic contemporary romance. Too bad the cover does not portray this.
Rachel is a twenty-five year old virgin who had lived her entire life in a strict religious compound called Elysain Fields Community of God. A very isolated place where Rachel had to where long skirts, was expected to marry and have lots of babies, and also was not allowed to show anger or sadness. She was expected to always show joy, and she couldn’t take it any longer. So one day she withdraws money out of her joint savings account with her father, and escapes the compound. She finally ends up working for a farmer in Texas, as she has vast experience with goats and such from growing up. She has made a list of things to do and to try – new foods, new clothes, listen to music, drink alcohol. But she also wants to try sex so when her farm has a charity event and they auction off bachelors to raise money, she becomes completely spontaneous and bids on a sexy police officer.
Ben works for the SWAT team and has gone through his fair share of women. He knows from the look in Rachel’s eye, his date will end in the bedroom and that is fine by him. What he didn’t expect is to find out the next day that she is a virgin. A virgin who had never even kissed or touched a man until she had been with him. Feeling like a bum, Ben tracks Rachel down at the farm to make amends, which leads him to showing Rachel sex a little more gently. Their sessions start to become a Sunday event, as Ben decides to prepare Rachel to handle men in the real world. He opens her eyes sexually, but not to be outdone – Rachel starts to change Ben’s life. All Rachel wanted to do was to feel honest feelings – her own honest feelings. Ben, estranged from his father for throwing his gay brother out of the house at a young age, has many issues to work through, and when faced with them…he must decide what kind of life the future holds for him, and it scares him.
We’ve all read a book with a virgin heroine and a playboy hero and blah blah blah. But this is not that book. This is a book of an extraordinarily strong woman, who yearns for new experiences. She is naïve to an extent but more so – she is matter of fact. She doesn’t show her emotions, a result of her upbringing, but she just takes everything in stride. She is analytical, as she absorbs people’s reactions and actions – she sits back and thinks things through before proceeding. And then she starts to feel:
Shame should be making itself known now. She’d lain with a man outside the bounds of wedlock, without even a relationship. He was essentially a stranger. She should feel ashamed, but she drove through the darkness back to the farm with only a rising fury for company.
They’d kept this away from her. Her father, her pastor, all the male leaders of the community, the women who guided and taught her had kept this intimate, vibrant, shocking thing from her, and that made her furious.
When in the bedroom with Ben, she is able to truly be honest with herself and her feelings. And you guys – this book is so damn sexy. There is a lot of sex, and it’s hot and erotic and well done. Sometimes the sex was so intense I may not have breathed, sometimes it’s more playful:
He tugged experimentally, and to his total shock the knots held. He’d expected girl knots.
When he looked up into her face, that small smile was back.
“I tie up goats,” she said conversationally. “Goats are escape artists. I’m good at knots.”
No fucking doubt, because she’d tied his guts in knots. His heart rate careened between full stop and red zone. He didn’t say anything, felt his face going blank as the realization hit. He’d seriously underestimated Rachel Hill.
You think Rachel is the one that has a huge transformation to go through in this book, and she does to an extent. At the end of the book, Rachel is living a new life but she is still Rachel. But really, Ben is the one with more of an impact. Ben is more of a broody hero, who finds himself going back to Rachel again and again, but he has a big wall up around himself. He has such anger and guilt over past events with his family, he isn’t able to break through the past to truly let Rachel in. I love that this author really takes her time at the end of this book and convinces us Ben is a different person. His eventual old fashioned courtship made me swoon. It’s all very romantic and written very well.