Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Crush (The Tainted Love Duet #2) By: Kim Karr


I want to send a huge thank you out to Kim Karr for sending out these ARC's and writing such an amazing book. Logan and Elle are now two of my favorite fictional people and I can't tell you enough how much it means to be able to read and review this book and the series in general. I've has a blast reading them and have had a lot of fun with the few tweets back and forth of me professing my love for them hehe

Congrats on your newest release Kim.
And I hope I can convince all you wonderful readers to go grab your copy of Crush today :)




Logan McPherson and Elle Sterling continue to thrill in this powerful conclusion to the tantalizing, provocative, and unexpected sizzling romance that began in BLOW.
The danger isn’t over.
It’s only just begun.
Circumstances brought them together and their undeniable connection won’t let them part. But when the past and the present collide, emotions run high—things are said, lines are crossed, and rules are broken. Both focused on crushing the enemy, the retribution is almost too much to bear. Still, there’s no undoing what has already been done, and every action has a consequence.
He loves her and she loves him, but love isn’t a shield.
Sometimes your only choice is the one you’d rather not make. Pushed to the limit, the tainted love of Logan and Elle is in jeopardy. With outside forces driving a wedge between them, they have to dig deep within their souls to release the ghosts of their pasts, and fight even harder for what neither knew they needed—each other.
Can love really conquer all?



I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!

I mean seriously, this book was so so good. I wasn't sure Kim Karr could outdo herself after the amazingness that was Blow, and yet... This book did that.

I have been going through a heck of a week, I mean everything that could go wrong lately has (My computer died on me, I have been battling a killer case of insomnia, and Thursday while I was driving on the interstate through construction my car died leaving me stranded on the side of I-75 in GA waiting for a tow truck to come. That was the worst and most scary probably) . And it really has taken a toll on me these past few days. But through all that I did happen to have one very good constant. I had Logan and Elle, and when I say they were a good distraction from my crazy reality I'm not lying.
See not sleeping leaves one with a lot of  time for things. Like setting up a new computer 4 times because the one you bought either doesn't charge, or crashes every time you restart it. It also leaves you with a ton of time to contemplate every bad decision you've ever made in your life from the age 13 on. There are a lot of song lyrics involved in that one for some reason hehe.
But the best thing not sleeping left me with was... a whole lot of reading time. (And review time apparently, because its already 2:30 AM and I'm only just now beginning to start yawning while I type.)

So pretty much long story short. I had a lot of free time to read and I filled it with a couple good books. I've had a bit of a lull between the November and December ARC's I've had to get read, and got some free book time (First time in a while that's happened). So after finishing Kristen Callihan newest Game On series book The Game Plan, I jumped right into my copy of Crush. which just s happen to break me into a new round of ARC's.
I mean I have been dying to get my hands all over this book in general, so you can bet it was a top priority to get started.

I fell in love with Kim's characters Logan and Elle, and was waiting very impatiently I might add, to find out what was going to happen to them.




This book, much like Blow was a whole crazy train of suspense and intrigue. Some new players were added to the insane world Kim created, and aided to thicken the plot to banana pudding proportions. It seriously left me guessing the whole time, and let me tell you... Once I make a guess about a book, I'm not typically far off. I joke about it being my "book mojo" and this is one of only 3 or so books that's proved my bookish super power wrong. (Usually the only person who's been able to do this is the author I'm best friends with and PA for. And most of the time I get it wrong because I tell her my theories and she purposely changes things to screw with me. We really have a way of showing the love huh? lol)
But I will say I like books that can leave me like this. I really do try not to guess because I think it can take away from the experience of the book, but I had fun attempting to figure this book out. Even if I wound up being wrong in the end. (Oh and just so you know... I felt good about my guess. I mean it was something no one would have expected and would have blown everyone's minds. Although now that I think about it, those sound like good reasons to show why I was probably wrong hehe. What can I say I like thinking out of the box. (And in this case, so far out of the box I couldn't see the box apparently haha)

And something I was all too excited to see in this book were some familiar faces. And this is actually kinda funny, because if you remember my review to Blow you know that it took me a while to realize that this series is a spin off of Kim's book Toxic. I had this sort of mind blowing epiphany moment when I realized it, and was pulling open a copy of Toxic to start comparing things all over again.
So knowing full well what I was getting into now I was waiting to see who all I might spot. And I spotted all right. But I'm mean so I wont say whole I spotted and just let you figure that all out when you go read the book for yourself.




So lets get down to the good stuff shall we?
There were a lot of reasons why I liked this book so much. Firstly it is just written extremely well. Kim has this way of creating stories and characters that really pull you in from the start. And this book did just that. Although really after the way Blow ended you would have had to take drastic measures to keep me from this one.
Something else that I really enjoyed about this book was the suspense. Like I sort of talked about earlier, this book left me guessing the whole time. Kim did such a good job at keeping the readers in the dark and detracting us with smaller things throughout the book. There were so many different things going on at once and it spun this beautifully elaborate story. As soon as one problem would be resolved another would occur.

There's another that I really liked about this book but I'm going to save it for a few and talk about characters first. (Because they are a big part of why I fell for this book the way I did)
I'm sure you know if you followed my Blow review, I fell in love with Logan. He is an amazing character and the chemistry between him and Elle was like a firework going off. But something that I found I liked the most about these two was that they both kind of broken when they found each other. Elle had some serious issues to work out from her childhood and Logan was dealing with some nasty demons from his youth as well. (Ya ya ya I know you're looking at me like I'm crazy for liking that about them. But let me explain myself better.)
Sometimes when two broken people come together they can sort of make a whole with the broken pieces and it works. They find what they need in the other and are happy. But in this case, while that does happen. Logan and Elle also help each other to heal those broken pieces on top of blending them together. They both understand the others hang ups and worries and work to mend them and make each other stronger. I love characters that can do that for each other.Where you just know that they are meant to be in every way possible. No matter what has happened to them or will happen to them as they go through their lives.




So let me break down these two now for you.
I'll start with Elle.
So I tend to have a bad habit of not really liking most female characters I read. (I don't know why I just get overly judgy with them most of the time)
But I really did like Elle in this series. She's been through a lot in her life, and has been on her own for quite a while.
So when she settles in Boston to help find her missing sister and take care of her baby niece, it gives her purpose, and someone to finally form a link to keep her there.
I really liked how compassionate Elle was for her niece Clementine. Like I said, she drops everything to come help her brother in law with her and as a person who's extremely close to my niece and two nephews I guess it was a way for me to connect to Elle.
But something that really stuck with me is how vulnerable she is. She hides behind her  rules when it comes to being close with men, and Elle is great at fending for herself. But when she really lets her true self out there, you see the girl that has been on her own for so long and is scared to let anyone close to her. And I like the balance that all of that makes. It lets you see Elle in a deeper dimension, and I am all about my multi dimensional characters.
It makes her more real. 
Something else that I really liked (I can already see the eye rolls coming people) is how strong Elle is too. I mean this girl goes through a ton after moving to Boston. People after her sister, threats against her niece,threats against her, threats against Logan... Other things I can't say without getting spoilery.
And yes, I know you just rolled your eyes because, Kayla... How can a character be vulnerable yatta yatta and be strong? Well, they can because they are both in different ways. Elle struggles when it comes to intimacy or being cared for, but she is also very concrete, someone who will do what she needs to to survive and protect the people around her.
And to be pretty honest Elle is pretty much a bad@$$. Like I previously stated. I can't give you much detail because I really don't want to ruin the book for you. But some events happen that shows how determined and head strong our girl is,and I was quite empresses by her.




So now lets move to my honey Logan.
As far as book boyfriends go, he makes my top 100 list (And there are 100's so that's a pretty high ranking)
He is this incredibly sweet guy that went through a lot growing up. His family is a bit eccentric???
But Logan is a very closed off guy too. And he has his reasons. If you read Blow you know what I'm talking about. So seeing him finally open up to someone like Elle brought out the warm and fuzzies.
I think something Kim did well with him in this book was push his character.Logan finally has the think that can bring him pure happiness, but he has to almost prove to himself that he deserves her.
He also has to be Elle's protector. Not because she can't defend herself, but because protecting her gives him a purpose, and allows him to make up for his past.
Something else about Logan I liked seeing in this book was his compassion. Logan is extremely close to his ex-mob boss grandfather Killian and I have to say I pretty much adored their relationship. Killian is the one who taught Logan some of the most important things in his life, and I really enjoyed his visits with the old guy. You could just tell that every time he talked about or to Killian it made him happy and also gave him the smarts to do what he needed to protect Elle and bring him closer to possibly taking down the whole Irish Mob and more importantly the player in town The Priest. Another way I think Logan showed this compassionate side was how sweet he was to Elle. She confesses something pretty big to him in this book that she thinks will completely wreck any future they have together, and he listens to what she has to say and then makes a decision I'm not sure many would choose.
And even after all of that, Logan becomes this rock to everyone around him. He's the driving force behind the group of misfits that's been put together to search for all these threats and hopefully take down the bad guys.
While he does sort of lose his $hit in a few places because of events that take place he manages to pull himself out of it with the help of Elle and his now friends.
He's just one of those characters that I admire for a lot of reasons and that I think is so well written you can just picture him and his story really happening. 
When we originally met him in Toxic he was this sort of mystery. The quite one who split his time between NYC and Boston and wouldn't give his friends much info on what was going on. And by the End of Crush we see him actually opening up to people. Making decisions for himself and for what he wants, rather than just following down a path that was set out in front of him by someone else.
Logan's greatest accomplishment through the whole series is finding his own voice. Deciding to do what he wants and not was either of his grandparents, the crazy son to the Irish mob boss, or his own demons want him to do.
I think showing that growth in him is an important part to the story. And really defines him in the end.

And speaking of endings. This was that other thing I said I would come back too.
The ending of this book was absolutely perfect. I mean it was so perfect in fact that my eyes even glassed over a bit after reading it.
It just made me so happy and so fulfilled reading an ending like the one Kim wrote for this book.
Maybe it's the sap in me or just the fact that I'm still waiting for my prince charming to find me, but seeing things turn out the way they did in this one just left me with this incredibly warm feeling. One that makes you stop after the last word is read, and just take a deep breath and process it all.
If I really let myself I'm sure I would have had a major book hangover after reading this one, but I had to jump right into another book so that didn't happen.
But be warned this book can do that to you. It will leave you with all these emotions and feelings when you finish and you will just have to sit back and let it all sink in. Then you close your Ereader and smile because you just finished this incredible book that takes you on a whirlwind journey and you need time to appreciate all it had to give.

Crush is without a doubt on my Kim Karr favorites list. I adore all her books, but this series just really sucked me in and I think it may be my favorite so far that she has written. No telling if that will be true as she writes more amazing books, but I look forward to what she has planned, and sincerely hope you check out The Tainted Love Duet Series and any/all of Kim's other books. You won't be disappointed :D

I give Crush: *****5 Stars*****