I was a little disappointed with this one. I feel like this is an attempt at being a Megan Hart novel with its "depressing love story with sex thrown in." It's something that can be done well but this time just feels forced.
There is a lot of telling and little showing which can get frustrating. I also felt that the story didn't flow well. The back-and-forth between the past and present feels random at times and out of order others. It occasionally fits well, but not often enough. It also took far too long to get any back story on Dean and Liv; I almost resigned myself to not caring about them.
The big (non-) surprise at the end came without any lead-up whatsoever, which I found obnoxious. It is also presented as a mere break in a chapter, as opposed to a more definitive separation of scenes, despite clearly being a drastically different scene, time, and setting. It feels more like a moment of, "Crap! I forgot to have a cliffhanger so I'm just going to throw this on at the end of the last chapter so everyone will read the next book."
Overall, Arouse is not great but not bad, either. It passed the time and didn't feel like a total waste. I wouldn't have purchased the series if I knew it was on the weak side, however.