Crash Into You
by Roni Loren
So I was in the mood to read a trashy romance novel, and this one was cheap and in the romance section and the cover and title made it seem like it would be the kind of thing I was looking for, so I bought it without reading the summary.Summary: Brynn LeBreck has dedicated herself to helping women in crisis, but she never imagined how personal her work would get, or where it would take her. Her younger sister is missing, suspected to be hiding from cops and criminals alike at a highly secretive BDSM retreat-a place where the elite escape to play out their most extreme sexual fantasies. To find her, Brynn must go undercover as a sexual submissive. Unfortunately, The Ranch is invitation only. And the one master who can get her in is from the darkest corner of Brynn's past.
Brynn knows what attorney Reid Jamison is like once stripped of his conservative suit and tie. Years ago she left herself vulnerable only to have him crush her heart. Now she needs him again. Back on top. And he's all too willing to engage. But as their primal desires and old wounds are exposed, the sexual games escalate-and so does the danger. Their hearts aren't the only things at risk. Someone else is watching, playing by his own rules. And his game could be murder.
Fortunately, I judged the book by its cover right--it was a trashy romance. Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of those ones trying to do the Fifty Shades of Gray thing.
It's important for me to mention before I get to the reviewing part that I don't like BDSM* romance novels (erotic novels in general really**).
So yeah...this book might be awesome for people who are into that sort of thing/enjoy reading about it, but my general opinion of the genre does cloud my judgement a lot. I can't really judge whether or not that aspect of the book was well done or not because I can't judge it fairly considering my issues with the whole Dom/sub thing.
Now, onto the story...I said this was one of those books trying to jump on the Fifty Shades of Gray bandwagon. It was definitely written better than FSoG, it angered me less, and it had better characters. Even the BDSM aspect wasn't as bad because it at least felt--mostly--like a genuine mutual thing, because when it's not mutual (like in FSoG) then it seems to cross more into abusive relationship territory.
The book did deal with more heavy stuff though, like rape and murder, I'm kind of on the fence with how that was handled--I'm not sure if it was done well or not. On one hand, it did show the emotional trauma of it quite well, but on the other it did sometimes seem a bit soap opera-ish...like those things were thrown in purely for the sake of conflict in the story (which is fair enough really, but when you're writing about that sort of thing you should at least write it in a way that makes it feel like it's more than just a plot device thrown in for angst and shock value).
I really didn't like the book through most of it, but by the end I did sort of like it (if I overlook the obvious things that put me off--like the D/s scenes), I'm not sure when my opinion of it changed but in the end it did feel like I'd gotten what I was looking for...a trashy romance novel to keep me entertained.
This review isn't very good or clear, is it? I guess what I'm trying to say is that I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either...there were moments when it pissed me off, and it still didn't change my opinion of BDSM books, but in the end I found that the characters had grown on me and I cared about what happened to them (at least enough to be rooting for them to work through their issues and Live Happily Ever After, handcuffs and all).
I'd rate the book 2.5 stars out of 5. If you liked Fifty Shades of Gray, you'll probably like this. If you didn't like Fifty Shades of Gray but like reading that sort of stuff then you might like this one because I do think it was done way better. If I actually liked the erotic scenes then the rating would've probably been a little bit higher.
And I'll shut up now.
*I just don't find anything about it appealing...it's cool if some people are into that, but I'll just never find it attractive that some people actually take pleasure in hurting or humiliating others or treating them like possessions to be owned and used (especially someone they're supposed to care about...although, in this book, again it was better than FSoG because Reid was only into the D/s thing on a sexual level and didn't expect to be able to dictate her life or anything like that).
**If I don't like them, why do I read them sometimes? Well, it's more that I don't like the supposed-to-be-erotic parts (I find those boring most of the time, laughable or cringe-worthy at worst), I usually skim-read those scenes just to get to other parts, because I do enjoy the cliche ways the romances (sex scenes excluded) usually play out in these types of books. Really, while I don't particularly like the sex scenes, I don't always hate them either--it's more indifference, so they won't stop me reading a book or even ruin a book for me.