Strip Me Bare by Marissa Carmel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a breath of fresh air that just might strip you bare ;0) I really really enjoyed this book. It was a nice change for me with extremely likable characters, witty dialogue between them and some issues that hit home for me personally. I was laughing and swooning at only 10% in and in my book that's a great start.
The story starts out with Emily, her friends, and her cousin, Alana, on their way to Culture, a male strip club, for Emily's bachelorette party. These ladies have quite the time and I was instantly laughing especially at Alana who seemed a little uptight at first.
I'm not even capable of an auditory response; my vocal cords have shorted out and my jaw has dropped to the floor. Raunch-y.
Alana is smart, beautiful, polite, the essential good girl if you will. I mean after all she is the daughter of a judge but something or should I say someone has been missing in Alana's life, actually for about five years to be exact, and what she doesn't know is she is about to come face to face with that something or someone, known as Jack the Stripper aka Ryan Pierce, a man she fell in love with, gave her heart and soul to, the realest thing in her entire life, but sadly she wakes up one day and he is gone. This brings on several issues for Alana but most of all she has questions! Lots of them. Why is he a stripper, why he never contacted her and most importantly why he left?
Ryan is sexy, loving, energetic, protective and certainly not perfect, but he loves Alana and that is as clear as day.
"I never thought I would touch you again, " he says smoothly, his tone laced with emotion.
Naturally they are both shocked and Ryan has some serious explaining to do which he fully intends too and hopefully Alana will understand. I enjoyed these two so much, in every way and the banter between them had me laughing and smiling. Their relationship never really ended, if you know what I mean.
"I've been dead for five years Alana." "You look pretty alive to me." He shakes his head, "I came back to life five minutes ago."
As Alana ponders what to do she decides to meet with him in hopes to have all her questions answered. Ryan slowly explains things to Alana and as they both take their time getting to know one another again, they find themselves in a relationship that is so natural and meant to be.
Ryan and Alana worked as a couple, they had chemistry, they understood each other and loved each other unconditionally. She came from money, her father paid for everything and that included law school, something she desperately wanted.
"I'm not lucky, I'm just privileged. There's a big difference," I clarify indifferently.
Ryan came from a home where his father wasn't around, his mother was a functioning alcoholic and his twin brother was a drug addict. All of which touched me in a very personal way. I laughed and I cried. These two have a lot to work through and they do. They learn to trust each other and fight for everything they have ever wanted. I envied them both for their unconditional love and strength.
Alana amazed me, especially when it came down to the fact that he was a stripper because let's face it, how many women could handle that. Ryan wasn't exactly thrilled about it but he had a plan and everything made sense. They both had insecurities and strive to love one another and I was completely in love with both Ryan and Alana, their determination in life, progress in their relationship and their ability to trust one another and work through the good times as well as the bad.
I want to be the father I never had and the husband my mother was cheated out of. So if I have to take off my fucking clothes to make the money I need, I'll do it. And I pray you want me enough to suffer through it. Because I promise I'll make it up to you for the rest of my life."
Marissa Carmel did a fantastic job writing a story that I devoured in a day and fell in love with wholeheartedly. She has extreme talent, writes with passion, emotion, humor, love, reality and it all shows through her characters and the story being told.
Why did Ryan leave, what kind of future do they have, will he continue his life as a stripper, will their families approve of their relationship? All of these questions will be answered when you read this book. It is a standalone with no cliffhanger and I highly recommend you go buy it and read it for yourself.
So many quotes I loved in this book as well so I will leave you with just one more.
"You have power, you have force, and you irreversibly own my heart."
One more thing this is undoubtedly one of the best stories I have read about unconditional love!!
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