Coming Undone is the highly anticipated follow-up to Laid Bare (my review of Laid Bare here). Although this is a sequel it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. Coming Undone centers on Erin's older brother Brody and his new neighbor, Elise.
Brody is almost 40, tatted up, and hot; he actually owns his own tattoo parlor. We learn throughout the story that Brody's parents died when he was a young man and he left his plans for the future to care for his younger brother and sister - he doesn't regret any of it, they are a very close family.
Elise is a former ballet dancer and single mother. Her daughter, Rennie, is six years old. Elise has a pretty terrible past and works hard to protect her daughter from any of the aftereffects. Her ex-husband was abusive and Elise has is wary of men in general and Alpha-type men specifically. She's moved across the country to start a new life.
Brody and Elise get to know each other through a series of events and they end up dating. Neither one is looking for anything serious, but over the course of several months they do become serious; everyone around them knows it except Brody and Elise. There are some very sensual and tender moments, and Elise's former in-laws cause a lot of problems for Elise and Rennie. Brody wants to help but Elise is determined to handle things on her own.
While I did enjoy this book immensely, one thing I didn't like was how often Elise brought up that she wasn't going to put up with X,Y, or Z because she wanted to protect Rennie - she mentioned it a lot; such as the scene where Raven tells her off and Elise refuses to be around Raven "to protect Rennie". I felt like it really had nothing to do with Rennie and Elise was using it as an excuse to not have to deal with Raven.
Speaking of Raven - Ooohhh! I loved hating her!!! She was great (in a totally bitchy way, of course), and I couldn't believe Brody was that clueless about her.
I liked this book, I liked Brody and Elise, and I was glad we got to see Erin, Todd, and Ben again. I'm hoping the next story is the third sibling, Adrian, but I read somewhere it's going to be Cope's story (Ben's brother, I think?). Either way, it's an auto-buy for me!
I give Coming Undone 4/5 stars.