This is a difficult book for me to review, likely because I'm such a big fan of Cameron Dane's work. I loved the gothic elements of A Perfect Storm Rising and said elements are what drew me into the story. But the romance, the characters, the revenge plot, and the sex simply didn't work as well for me. I can't quite put my finger on why, but none of those four elements felt organic to me. The characters and their motivations were missing that spark of realism I generally find in Ms. Dane's work, so I was never truly engaged in the book.
Since this is an erotic romance, I have to address the heat factor, though out of all the characteristics of an erotic romance this is probably the most subjective. Quite simply, the sex wasn't erotic to me, though the framework for some steamy scenes was there. Some of the rough, emotional erotic encounters brought to mind Ms. Dane's Quick to the Hunt. However, in Quick to the Hunt the almost-animalistic sex had emotional resonance, while in A Perfect Storm Rising there was a missing "natural" factor which made the scenes ring hollow. Perhaps I just have more sympathy for Hunter's (Quick to the Hunt) PTSD than I do for Lucien's (A Perfect Storm Rising) pain.
Since I normally love Ms. Dane's work, it almost pains me to give A Perfect Storm Rising a 2.5 star rating. But there was a forced, orchestrated feel to the most important elements of this book that left me disappointed. That being said, I like the gothic feel of A Perfect Storm Rising - it made the book unique. And I don't feel like Lucien and Sophie's story was bad. I finished A Perfect Storm Rising genuinely interested in reading the next Raven Island book.