Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Book Review: "Crashed" (Sherilee Gray)

Alex Franco is not going to lose her business right out from under her nose. Not when the garage means everything to her and her two best friends and business partners (who happen to be sisters), Rusty and Piper West.

Not even if it means that she has to play by the completely unfair rules and demands of Rusty and Piper's brother, Deacon, whose name is the one on the deed for the garage, to save her business. It doesn't help that he's sexy as hell. No, she's going to resent him for putting her in an impossible situation until the day she dies.

Deacon West has wanted another chance with Alex since before his failed marriage to a manipulative, broken woman. The only way he can think to get his hands on her, though, is to entrap her by threatening what she loves most: the garage she works with his sisters. How else is he going to get close enough to her to convince her to risk again?

Entangled Publishing's Indulgence imprint presents Crashed, a dark contemporary erotic romance by Sherilee Gray.

As far as characters go, Alex is without a doubt the one for whom I cheered throughout the novel. She's unexpected, different, unique: passionate about her work as a mechanic, unapologetic and irreverent, rebellious and loyal to a fault to her best friends and business partners. With a background like hers, in and out of foster families, never really belonging anywhere, it isn't surprising that she clings so tenaciously to the people who feel like home.

Further, Alex's biting sense of humor and sharp-witted sarcasm, combined with her varied collection of tattoos and piercings, give her the outward appearance of a tough, streetwise woman who never backs down. Her true strength, though, comes from deep within her: vulnerability, longing, hopes and dreams never realized.

As funny and determined as Alex is, however, I cannot say the same for her male counterpart. Deacon, the powerful businessman, seemed ruthless to the point of cruelty, as well as manipulative, controlling, crude, and so jealous of Alex that he accuses her at every turn of trying to betray him with someone else, as though she's some kind of slut. He doubts her, distrusts her, dishonors her, disrespects her, and uses her. To be thoroughly honest, I hated him from page one, all the way through the book.

His actions are intended to be explained away by the fact that his mother and ex-wife were both unfaithful in their respective relationships, thereby branding him with serious trust and commitment issues.

What cannot be so neatly explained away, though, are his brutal, abusive actions toward Alex, whose brokenness he takes advantage of time and again ... and then tries to "make it better" with rough, demanding, exacting rounds of edgy sex. (If you like the kind of kink laced with control and sadism, you'll probably appreciate the "love" scenes.)

With true regret, given how spectacular most books from Entangled are, I cannot recommend this title. Even the tone of Crashed is dark, hurtful, too intense for passion, bordering on abuse and obsession. As much as I cheered for Alex, I wanted much, much better for her than Deacon, in the end.

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Author: Sherilee Gray
Title: Crashed
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Indulgence)
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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