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Sunday, September 6, 2015

ARC Review: Crosstown Crush by Cara McKenna

I'll be honest, I have been trying to get my thoughts together on this book since I finished reading it. I feel conflicted, as I really liked a lot of this book but yet I still had issues with it as well. Crosstown Crush is the first book in the Sins in the City series from Cara McKenna, and I think part of the problem for me is that I have no idea what the future holds for this series. Though this is stated as the first book of the series, there is no information available as to what the second book will be about. So it is really hard for me to accurately give my opinion when I have no idea if this is the end for these characters or if there will be more for them. I will say that this book doesn't end with a cliffhanger, so while it does end with a happy for now there is room for more. Readers should know that as well as the fact that this book isn't going to be for everyone. If you have any problems with some M/M action or a married couple bringing someone else into their relationship, this book probably isn't one for you.

With Mike Heyer's job as a law enforcement agent, he is used to always being an alpha male in charge. But when he leaves work, he finds himself looking for a way to relieve the stress and give up some of his control. At first he was scared to share his deepest desires with his wife, but he knew that he was on the verge of losing her if he didn't. When Mike opened up to Samira they grew even closer, and now years later they both get off on his specific kink. But Mike and Samira both know that pretending that Samira has been cheating on him is no longer enough and that they both fantasize about taking the next step and actually bringing someone else into their lives. So when Samira goes online and finds Bern, who gets off on being watched, it looks as though their fantasy has come true. With all three finding the situation pleasurable, it looks as though everyone wins. But what happens when the situation continues and they realize that Bern might be getting into their hearts as well as their bed. 

So here is where things start to get tricky for me. Mike and Sam are the heart of this story, as they are the married couple looking for more. But Bern is the one that I felt the most connected to. I have to say that I absolutely loved him and he was the highlight of this story for me. Luckily we were given his POV as well as that of Sam and Mike, because I really felt like he was the star here. I felt more of a connection between him and Sam than I did between Sam and Mike, which I felt was not what should have been happening. But Sam had so much chemistry with Bern that I just didn't see between her and Mike. It was clear that she loved and cared for Mike, but they were comfortable and familiar, lacking the spark and intense passion that was between her and Bern. I felt pretty indifferent towards Mike. I didn't love or hate him, but honestly I just didn't really care one way or the other. I found myself actually rooting for Sam and Bern, rather than for her and her husband. I should point out that this book was freaking hot though. Being that this book is mainly about sexual desires and kinks, there was a lot of sex and it was explosive. Unfortunately there wasn't much depth or development though as sex was the majority of this story. 

So besides my issues with the characters (besides Bern!), I felt like the conflict was predictable. It was exactly what I had been expecting, and wasn't hard to see coming from a mile away. I think that the way it was dealt with was also predictable and the ending somewhat rushed. I wanted to see more about how things turned out down the line for all these characters and what happened for them after the fallout. I'll be quite honest and say that I really wanted the three of them to be together or for Sam to end up with Bern. I just loved him so much and felt like he had such a strong connection to Sam. I felt badly for him more than once, and I was worried about what would happen to him down the line. Since there is no information to be found about the next book, I have no idea what will happen for any of these characters. I am hoping that the next book will be about these three, or at least Bern, rather than a book about a whole new set of characters. I feel like the ending here was a happy for now, rather than a satisfying conclusion. If you are a fan of Cara McKenna's, you will really enjoy the heat and steam which she is so good at. But if you are looking for something deep and well developed, that is not what you will find here as sex and kink are the focus. I did enjoy much of this story though, and I found the cuckolding kink to be interesting as I wasn't familiar with it before this book. I thought that Cara McKenna did a great job of introducing that lifestyle and those desires to readers who may not have heard of it before.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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