May 2 2014 8:30am

First Look: Beth Kery’s Since I Saw You (May 6, 2014)

Beth Kery
Since I Saw You (Because You Are Mine)
Penguin / May 6, 2014 / $16.00 print & $9.99 digital

When enigmatic billionaire Ian Noble sets Lin the task of “taming” his brilliant yet half-savage brother Kam Reardon, she eagerly accepts. She’s more than curious about the solitary genius and everything she’s heard about him. During their electric first meeting, her fascination increases a hundredfold. Kam practically oozes raw sex appeal. Lin is interested...very interested. But does her intense attraction and willingness to go places with him she’s never gone before in the bedroom really have to do with Kam? Or is her carefully hidden desire to blame for wanting a man she knows she can never have?

An elusive outsider, Kam avoids intimacy, yet never shies away from satisfying his erotic appetites. But there’s something different about Lin—a reserve he’s anxious to break. She’s a woman he’s eager to take his time with…and possess completely. A sophisticated beauty like her would never want him anywhere but in bed, but he finds himself unable to resist her.

Immediately Lin’s smooth facade is undone by Kam’s overwhelming masculinity and by his irresistible erotic demands—a lesson in subjugation that leaves Lin confused, reeling, and open to things she never thought possible. Now, as the unpredictable nights between them grow darker, Lin and Kam are certain of only one thing: they’re made for each other.

I loved this book. It's one of my favorite books I've read this year, and likely it'll make the list for 2014. If not more. While First Looks usually focus on one exceptional element, I have to tell you—Beth Kery's Since I Saw You is the whole package. The characters, the writing, the romance, the pacing, the emotion—I wish every book was like this.

Since I Saw You is my favorite book in the “Because You Are Mine” series. The other books had more kink, but I actually found this one much sexier (and of course more romantic). Kam and Lin are just made for each other. They're a perfect match. Since I Saw You is an opposites attract, and love at first sight story. But it's not pat, or trite, and you don't even really make that connection until finishing the story.

While it's part of a series, Since I Saw You can definitely be read alone. It was nice to see the previous characters make cameo appearances, but they were there because they were relevant to Kam and Lin, not there as a hook. I felt that was really well done, because too often in series we see characters from previous books, and it feels forced, as if the scene could have been cut, and nothing would have changed. Not so here. Everything is woven in seamlessly, and just as it should be. Ian, Francesca, Lucien, and Elise all develop Kam and Lin's characters and relationship.

Kam is so rough and tumble; “raw” and “brilliant” are words Lin often uses to describe him. I loved his depth, and the way he falls for Lin. He's simply taken by her. Absolutely smitten.

And Kam and Lin have chemistry. I know it's a word people throw out there a lot, but I'm talking serious heat. Stop reading the book to take a moment for yourself, hot. I also loved that Kam got to the heart of Lin so effortlessly. They both have hangups and emotional baggage, but the way they work through it is so realistic. I totally felt how Lin got swept up in and by Kam. Who wouldn't be? This large seemingly untamed man that has the soul of a true artist. He's a poet and a romantic, really. He sees Lin dancing, and thinks “She was so beautiful. Inside and out. Only true beauty could dance to the heartbeat of the universe so effortlessly.” And near the end, “You're a wreck, mon petit chaton. I've never seen you more beautiful.” She is a mess there, and he means it. Oh it's lovely.

I don't want to give away too much, but the stumbling block in Lin's path is something significant, and I think it was handled quite well. The resolution makes perfect sense, and it didn't feel forced or unnatural. Kam and Lin were equals, even though he is literally a genius, and has come to Chicago to start an empire, at his brother's urgingm, while Lin is the Noble executive. She's polished, sleek, and at the top of her game. He's the “misfit,” but the one everyone wants to court for his technology. It was a nice change of pace for the hero to feel he's out of the heroine's league. (Only he isn't.)

Lin sets herself free with Kam, and I loved that he pushes her to work through her issues. While everyone thinks she's perfect and on all the time, almost robotic, she is and she isn't. She can handle everything life throws at her, and conquer it, but Kam makes her play. The way they discover each other and open up is also lovely. I liked how Kam and Lin have such full and unique pasts. Lin is especially well rounded, and I felt Ms. Kery did an excellent job—from picking Lin's hobbies, to describing her family history—which are all relevant and things Lin realizes have impacted her more than she thought. (Kam's are a bit more in your face, so everyone knows there are issues there. Kam is exactly who he is, blunt, and knows that, but doesn't care. What you see is what you get, and you take him as he is. I want one.)

Lin and Kam, the romance, the secondary characters, the setting, Kam's dog (Angus—a girl!); everything about this book is just...great. It seems inane, but I can't really describe it. You just have to read it. It's the perfect conclusion to a fantastic series, ending on the highest note. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading romance.

Learn more or order a copy of Since I Saw You by Beth Kery, out May 6, 2014:

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes & NobleBuy at Indiebound - A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet

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