Relentless (Federation Chronicles Series #2)

Relentless - Lauren Dane I recently started another book by Lauren Dane and, though I liked it alright, I couldn't get into it. It was taking too long to really get started. I shelved it to try again later, but I wasn't yet ready to give up on the author. So, this book has been on my to-read shelf for a while and I figured now was the time to give it a shot. And I'm so very, very glad I did.The story is surprisingly touching for how raunchy it is. It's... past the point of erotica and downright pornographic. Numerous times I found myself wondering if I was blushing because shit got dirty. In a good way! Don't get me wrong, I wasn't grossed out like when I tried to read that one book where everyone came buckets. *shudders* This was a book that would have been perfect to read while PMSing and lonely. It was freaking hot!And it was touching at the same time. These characters obviously felt very deeply for each other and had no qualms about being open and honest with those feelings. Often, I end up reading about people denying their feelings, turning down opportunities for happiness, and hurting each other while trying to save the other unnecessary heartache. It was refreshing to read about two people who loved each other more than anything, accepted their fate, and enjoyed each other anyway with no reservations. I literally went from horny to weeping in one paragraph - during a sex scene - and then right back to horny. And I didn't even feel awkward about it.The characters, Roman and Abbie, were lovely. I adored both of them and felt like I knew them personally. Abbie was one of the strongest female leads I've read in an erotic novel and I was impressed by the author's ability to make her both fierce and vulnerable without making it feel contradictory in any way. Roman was older than I like my lead males, but he carried himself with a passion and maturity that felt earned, albeit a bit earlier than he'd have hoped and I totally fell for him. His reluctance to let go sexually with Abbie was endearing and felt very... real, I guess.Abbie and Roman have a shitload of sex. Like, seriously, they fuck like bunnies. And they talk dirty to each other. A lot. Which was kind of awesome. I so rarely come across decent dirty talk and Lauren Dane pulled out all the stops with Roman and Abbie's sexcapades.Now, my complaints...The story aside from the romance is a decent one and could have easily been fleshed out more to stand alone as a political drama with a romance on the side. It probably would have been more enjoyable. The story is so bogged down with extensive sex scenes, you lose sight of the political and human interest threads of things. I really would have given this book 5 stars if 2-3 sex scenes were removed and replaced with something dramatic like Abbie's father going apeshit or a Ranked member trying to assassinate her during court proceedings or whatever.The sex scenes were great and the dirty talk was good, but it felt a little stilted at times. And it was extremely blunt. Short sentences, to the point, no sugar coating it. Lots of "fucks" and "cunts"... which I have no problem with, but I felt it needed to be shared.Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I would have preferred a little less sex and little more drama, but as an erotica novel, it's pretty damn good.Highly recommended to anyone that likes it dirty.