I was given the opportunity to read and review Crush, a brand-new release by Mae Wood. It was a quick, fairly enjoyable read, but it had some strikes against it for me from the start. This was not the author’s fault, it’s just that there are certain tropes that I enjoy and some that I don’t. This one happened to have several that I do not like to read!
First, here’s the official blurb:
“The only thing headier than wine is lust.
Ryan Royer thought his business trip to California’s Napa Valley would be easy. Land a new client. Taste wine. But when the client is a free-spirited bombshell who presses all of his buttons, Ryan’s world goes sideways.
Kenzie Balfour is entirely irresistible. She’s the fourth generation to run The von Eck Estate Winery and she’s more intoxicating than any award-winning cabernet.
Ryan has been working hard for a promotion at one of the world’s top investment banks. If he can close this deal for her legendary winery, he gets the job. He can’t let a gorgeous woman with a great laugh get in the way of his goals. Even if she leaves him love drunk.
From a trouser-tightening almost-kiss at a restaurant to a seductive walk through a vineyard at sunset, can Ryan keep his crush on his client under control or will a taste of Kenzie be his downfall?
Escape to California’s wine country in Crush.”
I don’t read blurbs for books written by authors I like. I trust them to tell a good story, and I don’t really care that much what the story is about. Unfortunately, this is not a book I would have chosen if it were not written by an author I really like, for a couple of very basic reasons.
First, there’s the Insta-Love. I’m not a fan. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like to read short stories. I like it when the couple has time to develop their relationship. Call me old fashioned, but I’m not a fan of people jumping into sex when they hardly know each other. And I’m even less of a fan when they’re almost immediately “he was IT for me.” Please. They just met.
Second, and this is a big one, the heroine was 22. 22! I haven’t been 22 in a VERY long time, and while I do like to read stories about people of all ages, I just couldn’t relate to Kenzie. She was just finishing college. I have a daughter who is just a couple of years younger, so I usually stay away from books whose main characters are so young. (To be fair, Ryan is 30).
Third, this story also has a “forbidden love” aspect to it. It’s not spoiler-y to say that Kenzie is one of Ryan’s clients, and he could jeopardize his job by getting involved with her. To me, this would not be worth it and I could not see myself making that choice for any reason.
If you would like to read a wonderful – but very different – book by this author, I’d recommend Genealogy. It was one of my favorite books from 2018! You can read my review here.
Find out more about Mae Wood
Read Crush in Kindle Unlimited
Read Genealogy in Kindle Unlimited