Title: Crush Me
Series: Crush Me, #1
Author: Stasia Black
Genre: Erotic Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Told in the first person.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from Enticing Journey Book Promotions, the publisher, and the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
From the very beginning, I suspected I was making a bargain with the devil. I accepted Bryce Gentry's position as his personal assistant knowing there was more to the job than answering emails and taking meeting notes. I mean, so what if he likes to watch me do my office work without my shirt on? No big deal. All I care about is making ends meet and taking care of my son. But Gentry seems determined to make me a pawn in his personal vendettas and power plays.
And then there's Gentry's handsome former collaborator and current rival: Jackson Vale. Jackson makes me FEEL. He makes me feel alive. Feel sexy. Feel in control and out of control at the same time. He makes me want a future when I can barely manage the day to day.
For a girl like me, it's dangerous to want. If there's one thing I've learned in this life, it's to never put my heart on the line.
The stakes of these games are getting too high, too fast. It was just supposed to be a job. But now I'm stuck between two men intent on destroying one another. Will I make it out of this with my heart, soul, and body intact, or will this CRUSH ME?
Warning: Contains triggers and dark themes which may be distressing to some readers.
“Now THIS... THIS is how I like my dark reads. Fast paced, twisted plot, alpha males…” ~AfterthePages
“Crush Me was a wild ride! One I didn't see coming. Hot, Raunchy, and down right dirty to the core.” ~Julie at The Romance Rebels
Calliope “Callie” Cruise is a woman at the end of her rope. But she’s a woman who doesn’t give up hope. The bad news is that stereotypes seem to rear their ugly heads in this story. For some, the first scene between boss, Bryce Gentry, and Callie can be called degrading – and that’s putting it mildly. I wanted to punch the guy right in his mouth and kick him where it does the most good. If you can get past that, this story can be used as a wake up call that as a woman you don’t have to be treated that way.
Callie is in a situation where she feels like she’s drowning with no life preserver around to save her. And forget about family. Some of you may be able to commiserate with her about the situation her life seems to have taken. One thing I had trouble with was whenever she had to go into her boss’s office – my creep meter kept going off the charts. I wanted to shake Callie and tell her that she’s worth more than the way the great Bryce Gentry is treating her.
Don’t expect a lot of moments that will put a smile on your face. This is a very harsh tale. You can expect T&A but at times it turned my stomach because it was in no way romantic – even though it may be considered a romance. I’m not feeling the love. This story was certainly not my cup of tea but in the author’s favor she creates a situation that seems very realistic. There could be someone like Callie out there right now needing a helping hand. And I’m pretty sure that there are plenty of bosses like Mr. Gentry that feel they have the right to treat the women in their employ any way they so choose just because of their money and power.
I kept waffling about the rating I was going to give to this book. But what changed it for me was the introduction of Jackson Vale. He seems to be Callie’s champion. There’s a rape scene that almost had me waffle back again on my rating but Jackson gave me hope. And then I get to the end to see that their story is continued in Please Me. But I’m not sure that I have the stomach to continue. I have nothing against this author – she has a great writing style. It’s just that I can’t stomach how men feel they have the right to sexually treat Callie any way they choose.
Stasia Black is an author who’s drawn to romantic stories that don’t take the easy way out. She wants to see beneath the people’s veneer and into their dark places, their twisted motives, and their deepest desires. She likes to toss her characters into the tempest and watch them hurt, fight, bleed, and then find out what, if anything, comes out the other side. Come along for the journey because it’s one helluva ride.