Crush by Laura Susan Johnson

15997611Title: Crush
Author: Laura Susan Johnson
Length: 412 Pages
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Heat Level: 2 Mild
Overall Rating: 4h 3.5 – 4 Broken Hearts

Trigger Warning: Graphic Rape, Sexual Abuse of a Child

Synopsis: U.K. English version of “Crush” by Laura Susan Johnson. U.K. version published in eBook and paperback formats by Beaten Track Publishing, England.

Crush is the nearly perfectly linear story of two young men in California, U.S.A. who have been in love since high school. Now both in their thirties, they finally embark on the love affair they have always wanted. But an old enemy from high school watches them, hating them, eager for any opportunity to destroy their lives.

Review:  I’m not sure how to rate this one. I was really torn between 3 or 4 stars. In the end I compromised with 3.5 stars.

I think I spent at least half this book in tears. It’s a difficult read that pulls no punches and is at times, almost too graphic I believe. After reading the blurb, I wasn’t really expecting what I got and almost didn’t finish it. While at heart this is a love story, there is so much hatred and vitriol in it, it’s almost overshadowed by it.

It’s dark, it’s vile and disturbing without offering much levity to balance it out. It took me five days I think to finish it – and for someone who typically puts away a book a day, that’s a lot.

That said, there are shards of hope and beauty interwoven into it too. The love that Jamie and Tammy share is pure and inspiring and pulls at your heartstrings when they just can’t seem to catch a break. The journey they take together is harder than anyone should ever have to endure. It truly is a story of survival.

I can’t say that I enjoyed this book, because it wasn’t that kind of story. I don’t know that I’d ever read it again. But it was one of those stories that almost makes you believe that there just might be some truth to the idea of soulmates.

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