Crash Into You by Roni Loren

Title: Crash Into You

Series: Loving on the Edge #1

Author: Roni Loren

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

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.

I have to admit, this is the first erotic romance I’ve ever read. I probably wouldn’t have read it except that I love Roni’s blog, and I’m so glad I didn’t miss out. However, because I am new to erotic romance, this review might best be read with the understanding that I have no other similar books in the genre to compare it to; I am approaching it not as an erotic romance critic, but as a regular romance reader.

Things I loved about this book:

The heroine. Brynn LeBreck is a very cute name for a woman of depth, courage, and intelligence. She’s come from a bad background with a mom who chose to work as a prostitute to make ends meet and she now works at a crisis center as a counselor. To me, reading about what Brynn went through in her past, her healing, and how she found love again was the most rewarding part of this book. It’s a great story of female empowerment, which is very interesting since Brynn is also the submissive in this relationship.

The hero. It took me a while to connect with Reid in the present (throughout most of the book, the chapters alternate between “now” and “then”), probably because we see more of Brynn’s POV in the present than his, but seeing how he cared for her in the past helped me to root for him, too. I didn’t always agree with the way he went about things, but I really liked how he was presented as a sexy dominant hero who also had his share of flaws and vulnerabilities.

As mentioned above, the alternating between chapters. Because this couple has a history, each chapter throughout most of the book switches back and forth between the present and the past. Many times in books that use this contrivance I find that I prefer one timeline over another, but in this book I was equally upset (great cliffhangers!) when each chapter ended and equally happy to start with the other timeline when the next chapter began.

Although this story’s main setting is a BDSM ranch, I was very pleasantly surprised that this book is so much more than just one great sexy scene after another. (Again, as a newbie to erotic romance, I wasn’t sure what to expect.) If this book is any indication of what I’ve been missing with this genre, I will definitely be reading more of Roni Loren’s work and others.

(Note on grade below: minor marks off for the way the hero dealt with a few plot issues, an ending that seemed a little rushed, and the impression that everyone in Brynn’s life had past experience with the BDSM scene, which I found a little unrealistic. Overall, these are very minor compared to everything else I loved about this book.)

Grade: A-


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