State of Ecstasy

Ju Ephraime
State of Ecstasy
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ENVISION Business & Computer School Publishing
Release Date
May 2011
Book 1 of LaCasse
Contemporary Romance

Twenty-six year-old Daphne Cohen's life is closed off, hiding behind an introverted personality to keep from expressing her true self and exploring the depths of what she truly desires. With very few friends and having only been in one sort of intimate relationship, she believes guy number three is the one…until she finds out he's been sleeping around. Fleeing to Martinique to do some soul searching, she meets her future: Wolfe LaCasse, a devastatingly handsome and sensuous Creole. He takes her on a passionate journey where the fire burns too hot for Daphne, and she flees the island. The problem is, she can't forget the state of ecstasy she experienced in Wolfe's arms. Can she risk everything and, for the first time in her life, follow her heart and return to the island?
Spinning a fresh twist on the romance genre, Ju Ephraime's Daphne is in the driver's seat and in full control to make the decisions that will change her forever. Daphne's developed sexuality and power, bridges a gap between the classic and the contemporary with subtle nuances, sparkling insights, and a provocative, sensuous narrative style.
Reminiscent of the works of Lisa Kleypas and Stephanie Laurens, Ms. Ephraime's rich emotional landscape delivers an achingly accessible complexity that makes State of Ecstasy steamy, provocative, and fresh, and its author a forceful new voice who brings an entirely new level of heat to the genre.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Dec 12, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
110 people found the following review helpful
For all those who are beginning to suffer a bit of the winter doldrums, here is a chance to explore a fantasy retreat full of sunshine and seduction. Though I struggled with elements of the book, it was a good reminder that with love, anything is possible.

After discovering her boyfriend has been cheating on her, Daphne Cohen flees to Martinique for a long vacation. She plans to enjoy some time alone, to let her heart heal and to decide her future—but she never planned on meeting Wolfe LaCasse.

From the moment on the beach when their eyes meet, Daphne is captivated by the strong, sexy Creole, and returns again and again to the beach to watch him swim. When she realizes that his desire is as fiery as her own, the two begin a scorching affair. Even though they both know their time together is limited and that Daphne must eventually return to the U.S., every day they spend in each other's arms only makes them want more. But when their insatiable lust begins evolving into something much deeper, Daphne flees, terrified of losing her heart again.

While the plot and characters were interesting, I particularly enjoyed the details about Martinique, from the food to the stunning beaches and resorts Daphne visits. Her relationship with Wolfe is a fun fantasy—while I would normally be hesitant about their lack of communication or protection, it is clear that their match is the kind that occur in idyllic island paradises. As Wolfe and Daphne both realize that there is far more to their relationship than sex, reality began to contrast with the fantasy, and I grew to believe in them as they struggled to make their relationship work on every level.

Daphne is a confident heroine, and there was a nice sense of fulfillment in her relationship with Wolfe that was clearly lacking before they met. Wolfe is quite literally the man of her dreams, satisfying all her appetites and helping her discover a taste for even more. Their scenes together are raw and impulsive, and while I wanted to see more details of their connection apart from the physical, there is no doubt that the chemistry between Daphne and Wolfe is explosive.

While I certainly enjoyed the escape and exotic locales this book provided, I didn't find the writing style consistently engaging enough to hold my interest. The lack of details in the non-sexual scenes and cases of word repetition made it difficult to stay in the world of the story or the minds of the characters. Also, there was a great deal of telling instead of showing, and I found myself wishing constantly to get closer to these two conflicted, clearly passionate characters.

While I never felt as close to Daphne or Wolfe as I wanted, I still enjoyed this story and, in particular, the setting of this book. For those looking for the kind of daring adventures that most of us can only dream of beginning or uninhibited romantic intrigue, this book will surely satisfy.
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