Crosstown Crush by Cara McKenna

impressionistic picture of the face of a woman of colour (probably of Persian origin if the cover is true to the text)Why I read it:  I’d been meaning to buy this book for ages and finally took the plunge. Then, I actually read it (this is uncommon – I buy far more books that I will never read. It’s a thing that happens).

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  When he’s working, Mike Heyer is all business—every inch the alpha male, with the hard, capable body to back up his persona. But at home he can be a different man entirely, harboring appetites only his wife gets to glimpse…

When Samira first learned of her husband’s fantasies, she was reluctant, even alarmed. But after witnessing the way they set him on fire, she yielded, and happily indulged. As their games have intensified, so has the rush. And now so has the risk—they’re poised to take Mike’s indecent desires to the next level, by opening their bed to a sexy, brazen stranger. A man seeming custom-made to grant every last one of Mike and Samira’s sinful wishes.

Welcoming someone new into their lives was always a dangerous proposition, but the couple imagined if anything was at stake, it was their privacy…not their hearts.

Spoilers Ahoy – what I want to talk about involves spoilers. The book has been out a while so I don’t feel bad about that. Still, be ye warned.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Crosstown Crush is a fairly unusual book for a mainstream romance publisher (Intermix) because it involves a husband with a cuckolding fetish. For Mike Heyer, he gets off on the idea of his wife cheating on him with another guy – a taller, more muscly guy with a bigger dick. A guy who, in the fantasy at least, is better than Mike. Samira, Mike’s wife, has been indulging her husband’s fetish via fantasy for a little while. She comes home late, smelling of the cologne of another guy (she stops at a shop and samples, there is no actual other guy at this point) and Mike confronts her. Samira then makes up a story about how she cheated and who she cheated with for her husband’s pleasure. Samira doesn’t get off on the kink herself but she does get off on how much her husband gets off on it. When the book begins, Samira is at the point where she’d be willing to explore actually having sex with another guy to indulge Mike’s kink. There is a bit of a lack of self-awareness here because Samira thinks it’s mainly for Mike, not really acknowledging to herself that thinking about other guys gets her hot and bothered too. She’s not a cheater by nature so for her to be willing to have sex with another guy just for Mike’s pleasure did not really fly with me. It was obvious from the beginning that Samira requires some kind of emotional connection with her sex partners. And that, in the end, is what causes all the trouble.

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