My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Seductive Musings.
This review contains spoilers for Because You Are Mine and When I’m With You, the first two stories in the series. You could try to read Because We Belong as a stand-alone book, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
After having to read the previous stories in this series as serial novels, it was a huge relief for me that Because We Belong was being released as a complete book from the start. The prologue takes place hours before the dramatic moment in When I’m With You when Ian found out that his mother had died and that he and his good friend had both been fathered by the same man who had raped their mothers and thousands of other women before his death. We then move forward six months to find that Ian has been missing that entire time, with only his personal assistant Lin knowing where he is or what he is doing. Francesca has moved back into the house she once shared with all her old roommates while trying to go on without Ian, angry and sad that he has refused to contact her even once. When Lucien returns to ask for Francesca’s help in managing a delicate financial crisis at Noble Enterprises, her decision sets off a chain of events that put her in danger from an unknown enemy and force her to confront the mania driving the man she doesn’t want to live without.
I loved Ian and Francesca so much in Because You Are Mine, and hated having to wait each week for the next entry in the story. When I’m With You was a good read in its own right, but because the focus was on Lucien and Elise, it was less compelling for me right up until that heart-slamming chapter when Lucien revealed his relationship to Ian just before Ian found out his mother had died, leaving that same night to see his family in England. I was shocked to find that Ian was still gone and not communicating with Francesca months after that night, and that got me even more hooked into Because We Belong, as I wondered what the hell was going on with Ian and what might happen next.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that I tore through Because We Belong as fast as I was able to read without skimming or missing a single word. All of Francesca’s feelings were front and center in this book and I felt what she did as it was happening. My relief was palpable when Ian finally made contact, yet I cheered her on as she made him see just how much he had hurt her by his absence, and never allowing him to succumb entirely to his obsession with his late father’s past.
In Because We Belong, the passion between Ian and Francesca is just as deep and true and undeniable as it ever was, and their intimate moments burn up the pages whenever they come together. The growing threat to Francesca’s life is intrinsic to the overall story but never overwhelms the romance between Ian and Francesca as they rediscover the love they both had feared they’d lost. Best of all, the end of the story sets up another book in the series, so we’ll be able to see more happy moments between Ian and Francesca now that they’ve defeated both the internal and external threats to their happiness. Because We Belong is a fantastic entry in the Because You Are Mine series and was worth every minute I had to wait before I got to read it.
Sensuality level: 4 (BDSM elements including light bondage, anal sex and voyeurism, threats of sexual violence and discussion of rape)