Thursday, October 22, 2015

REVIEW/RELEASE: Crave by BJ Harvey

Genre: Erotic Suspense
Release Date: October 20, 2015


I have a craving.

A dark urge I’ve failed to resist despite years of trying to do that very thing.

I’ve forced myself to hide behind a mask, a perfect orchestration to hide my true self.

After I met her, my wants and needs, my inner most desires changed.

She encouraged me to embrace who I truly am, and she was willing to do anything and everything I wanted, giving herself to satisfy my most carnal appetite.

Then everything in my carefully managed world came crashing down around me. A moment in time, a loss of control, and the very thing I cherish was nearly taken from me.

My fate now lies in her hands.

The very life I’ve built for myself…everything I’ve ever done now waits in purgatory, all caused by a lack of focus at a time when my most concentrated attention was needed.

The very thing I crave may now be the end of me.

~Book Review~
2.5 Stars

In chapter one , we meet 34 year old Callum Alexander via his first person POV as he informs the reader that he’s a successful architect who harbors some deep, dark predilection. It’s what he craves, hence the title. He then meets Lucia “Luce” Harding , 28, a waitress at the event he’s attending.  They share some kind of moment (I didn’t really feel it but he says so)…. 
“And then I f*cked another woman wishing it were her. Can it get any lower?”
That’s exactly what I wondered about this story as I entered chapter two with him banging away with some one night stand he uses on repeat.  How am I supposed to get into the romance of him with Luc, the woman he claims he can’t stop thinking about, if in my head I have the image of him thrusting away with Jodi!???

And maybe that’s why I never quite felt anything spectacular here. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Callum and Luce, and I certainly didn’t feel the love. What unfolds is mostly the desire and dark fantasy of a man suffering from some misguided repression who over-thinks his “inner demons” and under-thinks the important red flags right in front of his face.

Gawd did this man annoy me! He doesn’t work as a “dark hero” because he comes off a whining, overly lamenting wuss.  I really found no “book boyfriend” qualities about him. On top of that, his life is a train wreck.

I have a real pet peeve about stories that drag out “the secret” or in this case the “dark urge” or “the mask” with the main character anguishing over it for pages and pages. These reveals rarely ever live up to the expectations, and this story is no exception.

As far as Luce goes, I failed to find why she was so special. Yes, she’s different from the women that Cal typically bedded, but that didn’t say a whole lot since he supposedly had a history of shallow, social-climbing women who did not give the female gender a good reputation. Perhaps part of my failure to connect with Luce came from her lack of voice in the story told solely by Cal. The reader never knows what she’s thinking or why she’s so enamored of Cal.

I also failed to see how Cal was such a public celebrity. I couldn’t name one famous living architect today yet alone find one making the national gossip pages.  Hollywood typically keeps those pages filled so why the media would be so obsessed with a budding architect seemed a little contrived.  At the same time, I struggled with sympathy for Cal’s many plights as he either contributed to them or was so clueless to see them coming.

All in all, the majority of the story paces pretty slow; it’s a little angsty, and is about sex rather than romance. The suspense plot is fairly transparent. I might have been able to overlook that a bit if the characters had been more gripping and likeable, but as it was it just didn’t work for me. As far as erotic suspense goes, nothing here felt cutting edge and all of the themes and sexual content I’ve read before in other stories which crafted it on a higher and deeper developed level with much more suave and enigmatic heroes.  Basically for all the build-up, it just felt kinda blah.


“What was that thought?” she asks curiously.

I lift my eyes from her hand resting on the black leather seat between us to her face to see a sly smile has appeared on her lips. “What thought?”

“The one that just had dirty written all over it.” Her smile grows wide, her eyes glittering with heat and a touch of amusement at the position she’s cornered me into.

“It’s a thought that would be more suited to the end of the date, if we are following your predetermined description of a how a first date should be, that is.”

Heat overtakes amusement as the air inside the car crackles with the right type of tension, the exact type of mood I have been hoping for and dreading. Our eyes remained locked, like neither one of us is able or willing to look away from the other.

Knowing I’d need to acquiesce, I look back down to where her hand rests beside her leg and bite the bullet, reaching over and lacing my fingers with hers.

“See?” she says as I catch her smile out of the corner of my eye. “Wasn’t that hard, was it?”

“It’s like that, is it?” I say, my voice filled with humor. She leans over, turning her body toward mine and rests her mouth against my jaw, just below my ear.

“If you want something from me, Callum, you just need to ask for it or take it. I highly doubt any of the thoughts running through that very handsome, highly intelligent head of yours could put me off.” Her breath warms my skin, sending the nerve endings into overdrive. “You’re welcome to try though . . .”

Before I can attempt to put my public mask in place, I tilt my head until we are cheek to cheek. Presented with an opportunity, I follow my instincts and graze my teeth slowly against her ear lobe. “I was thinking how your hand would feel touching me again . . .”

Her breath stutters momentarily, before quickening. She pulls back, leaning her shoulder into the seat but not returning to her side. “I’m sure we can arrange to hold hands again, Callum. It’s all part of getting to know each other.”

I mimic her pose, our bodies still close but not touching, as I let out an uncharacteristic chuckle. “You’re trouble with a capital T.”

“And I’m thinking, Mr. Alexander, there’s something about my brand of trouble that you’re drawn to.”

BJ Harvey is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Bliss Series. She writes contemporary romance, romantic comedy, and romantic suspense.

An avid music fan, you will always find her with headphones on while writing, and the speakers blaring the rest of the time. She’s a wife, a mom to two beautiful girls, and when she’s not writing – she’s reading.

BJ resides with her family in what she considers the best country in the world—New Zealand.

She describes her writing as a little swoon, a lot of heat, a bit of drama and a whole lot of love.


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