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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.

All Fired Up by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy

allfiredupWhy I read it:  I enjoy books by both authors and the premise sounded fun, so I bought it.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  He’s ready to lead the way

Parker Wilson never thought he’d go from battle-hardened soldier to romance expert, but after his stint in the Rangers, that’s exactly what happened. As the owner of DreamMakers Inc., he helps other men win in the love department, using every resource available to plan the perfect date. When a routine recon turns into an unexpected night of passion, Parker’s mission becomes more personal—and he won’t give up until Lynn Davidson is all his.

She’s more than willing to follow

Lynn is a goner from the moment she lays eyes on the delectable Parker. She’s just ditched her boring almost-boyfriend and is tired of sticking to the straight and narrow. It’s time to walk on the wild side, and what better way than in the arms of the most irresistible man she’s ever met? But when their red-hot affair is threatened, it’ll take a team effort to make their dreams come true.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I’d read a couple of heavy-ish books immediately before this one and both had been less than successful for me, albeit for different reasons.  I wanted something light and frothy.  Something fun where I didn’t have to think too much, to be a kind of palate cleanser.

All Fired Up was actually just what I was looking for.  The premise is a little over the top – three ex-Army Rangers open a business “DreamMakers” which organises dream dates for the clueless (largely male) in the San Francisco area.  They’re not a dating agency or a matchmaking service – but if a dude forgets his anniversary and needs to make it up to his upset wife, DreamMakers is the go to place to get help.  Exactly why Parker, Jack and Dean chose this particular business was never very clear to me.  That there was a need didn’t quite cut it.  However, what I was really wanting to read about was the romance between Parker and Lynn and the book was a lot of fun when this was the focus.

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