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Sunday, December 13, 2009

'Undercover' by Lauren DANE

From the BLURB:

As a lieutenant of the Federation military, Sera Ayers is more accustomed to giving orders than taking them. Now she must obey the one man she can't stand--and can't stop thinking about.

With the enemy Imperialists gaining ground, a new covert team is assembled by Ash Walker. Ten years before, Sera had lovingly submitted to Ash's dominance in the bedroom. But when he was forced into a political marriage, she left him rather than become his mistress. His marriage now over, Ash wants Sera on his team--and back in his bed.

The third team member, Brandt Pela, has an elegance to match Ash's savage sexuality. And when their undercover plan requires Sera to pose as Brandt's lover, it ignites a passion among the three of them more dangerous than their mission...

The universe Lauren Dane has created feels a little like ‘Starship Troopers’ or ‘Firefly’. There’s talk of ‘Imperialists’ and both Ash and Brandt fought in interverse wars. Sera is a kick-ass commander in the Military Corps and all three of them embark on a mission to uncover a traitor in their ranks. To be honest I read this book for a smutty good time, and didn’t pay much attention to the nuts and bolts of the storyline. Thankfully the military plot isn’t too complicated and you don’t have to concentrate too hard to get a general overview of the plot.

Whenever you read erotica romance you have to accept a few shortcomings. Storyline will inevitably be flimsy, characters most likely two-dimensional and resolutions easily wrapped up by books end. But you read it in the hopes of getting a little bit of sizzle; a fun, hot read for distraction.

On the one hand, Lauren Dane’s ‘undercover’ works well. It has all the regular pitfalls of erotica - cardboard characters and convenient happy endings – but I liked the fact that the storyline jumps right in. When we meet them, Ash and Sera have a previous romantic history. They were lovers 10 years ago before Ash had to leave her and enter into an arranged marriage. I appreciated the fact that these characters came with previous histories; it made for high-stakes emotions and meant that there weren’t a lot of tedious introductions.

I also really loved the book’s cover – it’s elegant and sexy, very pretty in fact.

I was instantly intrigued when Dane reveals that prior to Sera joining their team, Ash and Brandt have been carrying on a physical relationship. Normally in threesome erotica plots it works out than the men aren’t interested in one another, but only in the woman. I find this a little hard to believe, and I was happy that Dane wanted to shake things up by having the men be lovers before the woman joins them. Unfortunately Dane only ever titillates the reader with talk of Ash and Brandt’s liaisons, never giving us a full-length sex scene. Which is a crying shame! It’s even more frustrating because Sera wants the same things the readers wants – to watch these two men be with one another;

“Look, I’m all about the boy-touching, let’s make that clear. As long as I’m involved, I can watch, and you come back to me, I’m on board.”
“Like this?” Brandt turned and kissed Ash’s jaw and down his neck. Ash hissed, arching into Brandt’s touch as Brandt tugged on one of Ash’s nipple rings.

Sera wants it, as a reader we want to read about it – but Dane holds out, and leaves us unsatisfied.

Because Dane denies us an Ash and Brandt sex scene, ‘Undercover’ was severely lacking for me. Erotica plot lines are never anything to write home about, all they can offer is a little bit of hot fun – and nothing would have been hotter than an M/M sex scene – not getting one made ‘Undercover’ a mediocre and sorely lacking smutty book.



  1. I just received this book in the mail, literally 3 minutes ago! I'm eager to dig in since I really liked Laid Bare and Coming Undone. Both of those books had great storyline and well developed characters I thought. We'll see what I think of Undercover! Great cover don't you think?

  2. I recently read this book (haven't posted my review yet) and enjoyed it. I liked it better than her Wolf stories but not as much as Coming Undone. Nice review!

  3. I can totally see y you'd be frustrated...
    but it does sound like a nice smutty read, so I might give it a shot in the future hehe

    about DM... I think there are many, many flaws in the this new book... but what compasated for me, was getting to see Merry more evolved and get to see Sholto around LOL I missed him so much hehe

    Im dying to see what you think =)))

  4. I read this a while back. I enjoyed it but have to admit I can't even remember the finer details. I know I missed the m/m action too.


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