TITLE: SURRENDER YOURSELF
AUTHOR: EVIE BLAKE
Details: no. 3 Desires Unlocked Trilogy
Received from Headline Publishing
Through the author
In Berlin in 1984, Tina Rosselli risks everything for a steamy, highly charged romance with a charismatic young cellist. Their brief but explosive affair will affect Tina for the rest of her life.
As the stories of the two women converge in the trilogy's thrilling and intensely passionate conclusion, both must surrender themselves: to desire, and to love.”
“We start at the beginning. I want to take you back inside your body, so that you are aware of yourself, you love yourself, for that is the best way to give and receive love from another.”
This is the third and final title in a trilogy and best read in order. The first two books, ‘Liberate Yourself’ and ‘Lose Yourself’ were previously published (and reviewed by me) as ‘Valentina’ and ‘Valentina on the Edge’.
A year has passed since Valentina lost Theo, the love of her life. He drowned while trying to safe her from Glen, his rival and enemy. The passing of twelve months has done little to lessen Valentina’s grief but she knows she has to try and embrace life again.
The opportunity to work in New York for a while seems to be just what Valentina needs and it isn’t long before her new surroundings awaken her sexual desires as well as a renewed interest in life and photography. When Leonardo also arrives in New York he is, once again, her rock in the storm. When he introduces her to Tantric sex she discovers things about herself, her body and about sharing that she never knew existed.
“You have been making love with your mind, and that’s why you are hurting so much at the moment. I want to return you to your body, Valentina, for that is the way to healing your heart.”
But New York also brings danger back to Valentina’s life. While in a gallery she sees a man who strongly reminds her of Glen, the criminal who has killed Theo, who was supposed to have died at the same time. Torn between a growing sense of danger and the need to get revenge Valentina makes a shocking discovery and puts her life in danger.
This is also the story of Valentina’s mother, Tina. We learn about the two big loves in her life and the tragedy that made it impossible for her to be with either of them. We discover why Valentina and her mother have such a strained relationship and are witnesses as the past is slowly but carefully revealed and past hurts healed.
I’m a bit surprised at how much I loved this book and this series. If I’m completely honest, I have to admit that I really don’t like Valentina, or her mother, very much. I most books not liking the main character would be enough to put me off reading or finishing the story. Clearly that wasn’t the case with this trilogy and I can think of at least two reasons why.
First of all there’s the fact that while Valentina may not be the most sympathetic of characters she is definitely intriguing and fascinating. I felt like slapping this young woman on too many occasions to count while reading this trilogy and yet had a hard time putting the books down. Valentina managed to get under my skin. I needed to know what she’d get up to next, how her story would end and, most of all, if she would, eventually, redeem herself (in my eyes).
The second reason I love this book and trilogy is so much can be found in the wonderful way with words this author has. Evie Blake writes with almost poetic precisions, her descriptions sparkle and she manages to create an almost tangible atmosphere on the page. Whether it is the doom and gloom of East Berlin during the 1980’s or present day New York, the place comes alive before the reader’s eyes.
This book is not so much sexy as sultry and seductive. The reader is drawn into to the intimacy rather than confronted with it, allowed to share the sensuous pleasures at a leisurely but also pleasurable pace. In fact, I think the way the sex scenes in this story are written is completely in tune with Tantric sex as described in this book; focussed on sharing joy, giving rather than receiving and opening your heart to beauty. And if this trilogy can be captured in just one word, that word would be ‘beautiful’.
For the (sexually) curious among us this book comes with a few wonderful extras. We are given ‘Leonardo’s Tantric Sex Keys’ as well as the opportunity to learn ‘How to give a Lingam Massage’. The joys this book brings to its readers continue long after the story has finished.
“Tears begin to load her eyes. He sees them and recognises how rare and precious they are, like fragments of their love, lost and refound.”