Break So Soft (Break So Soft Book 2) by Stasia Black

Book Blurb:

I’ll do whatever it takes to get her back.

She was mine and it was everything.

That month with her was as near to perfect as I’ve ever had in my whole f’ed up life.

But then I lost it all and I still don’t know why.

Though I suspect it had something to do with that rat b@stard, Bryce Gentry.

One thing I do know: I’m not letting go of Callie Cruise without a fight. 

And it’s time for Gentry to finally pay for his many sins.

This book is a dark romance. It is book 2 of a 2-part Duet (the first book, CUT SO DEEP, is Available Now). This is an edited and expanded version of a novel that was formerly titled Please Me

My Review:

My word if I thought book one was a dark erotic romance it has absolutely nothing on this book, but my God it is such a good book. I literally could not put this book down and was reading it into the early hours of the morning, following all the twists and turns and hoping that it will end the way I am hoping for.

This book starts four months after the cliff hanger twists and turns that the end of the first book featured. It starts up following Callie and how she is coping following her abuse at the hands of Bryce Gentry and the loss of her little boy Charlie at the hands of her ex and his wife. She continues to work at CubeThink (the company run by her ex Jackson Vale) but has not spoken to him in four months. Her whole outlook on life has changed and work is her whole life apart from Friday evening which is the one night that she gets supervised access with her son at a child psychologist office. Having to watch the effect that being separated from her and living with strangers is having on Charlie and then having to say bye to him when their time is up literally breaks Callie more every time. She is also feeling helpless and empty following her sexual abuse and she wants to take back some control over her body and her emotions and as a result she puts herself into dangerous sexual situations where she is able to take control. But afterwards she is just left feeling even more disgusted with herself and loses even more of her confidence. Her relationship with her sister is at an all-time low as Shannon blames her sister for the loss of Charlie and doesn’t believe that she genuinely did not do the drugs that resulted in her failing the court drug test. Never has Callie been more alone, but all is not as it seems.

Jackson has been watching Callie self-destruct from afar for the past four months and it has broken his heart. He knows that something must have happened with Bryce when Callie went to quit but he has no idea what it is, but knowing how Bryce operates and how he treats women he knows it will be bad. Callie agreed to let Jacksons lawyers keep working for her to win back Charlie but he agreed to stay away. Jackson has an overwhelming need to protect and heal Carrie which is why he hires security to watch her from afar and make sure she is safe during her dangerous sexual exploits. But after watching her self-destruct for too long he orchestrates a meeting in a club run by his friend and he stops Callie from having sex with yet another bloke. But this is the start of him working his way back into Callie’s life and starting his journey of winning her over. He decides that the only way for her to truly feel like she has control back is to introduce to her an environment where she can safely explore her sexual needs while she keeps the control.

If I thought the first book featured twists and turn, it has nothing on this book and sadly we have not seen the last of Bryce Gentry who makes his presence known again in this book. He is determined to use Jackson’s feelings for Callie as a way to bring him down and needs the plans for Jacksons company drone. He waits for Callie and Jackson to start working things out and get their relationship back on track before he makes it clear to Callie that he expects her to commit corporate espionage and steal Jackson’s company drone codes. Initially she has no intention of going against Jackson and the company that she has grown to love, but Bryce knows everybody’s weak spot and for Callie it is her son. He threatens her with blackmail material that will ensure she never wins back custody of her son and so Callie has a decision to make, does she break Jackson’s heart and ruin his company but win back her son or does she choose Jackson?

This book is such a rollercoaster of emotion and at the start of the book my heart broke for Callie and I could feel her pain. She lashed out in such a way that I think, for me as someone who has never experienced the kind of trauma that Callie has been through, I found it incredibly difficult to relate to her behaviour. But at the same time it did not feel fake and I felt like every one of her actions had a purpose, whether that was to forget or make herself suffer. But when she finally let Jackson back into her life she started to heal and that was all down to him. My oh my, what can I say about Jackson other than I think everyone should have a Jackson in their life. He is beautifully broken but he wants to forget about that so that he can help Callie to heal. The love, support and caring that he shows Callie is so powerful and beautiful and you can’t help but be drawn to him even further. Then throw into the mix the fact that he is gorgeous and a deliciously dirty Dom in the bedroom makes him one of my favourite male characters. The sex scenes are just what you would hope they are after what Callie has been through and Jackson adapts to help her put some control back in her life. He has spent his whole life as the Dom and giving her the power and becoming her Sub to give her what she needs during sex is so sexy. This book dives into the underground world of BDSM and we are introduced to Dom/Sub play and pain. The scenes are dark and dirty and so sexy to read, it literally had me drooling in places.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and wow was the ending satisfying. I knew from half way through book one how I wanted this book to end and even though it ended how I expected it to the path it took to get there was very unexpected. To say that it features twists and turns does not do the book justice. I think the only way I can sum up this review is to say go out there and read book one and book two because you will not be disappointed. I know I wasn’t! These books introduced me to Stasia Black as I had not read any of her books before I stumbled on these, but I know for sure that I will be going and looking at her back catalogue and seeing if I can find a book just as good as or maybe even better than these.

About Stasia Black

Stasia was born in Georgia, grew up in Texas, recently spent a freezing five-year stint in Minnesota, and now is happily planted in sunny California, which she will never, ever leave.

She loves writing, reading, listening to podcasts, and has recently taken up biking after a twenty-year sabbatical (and has the bumps and bruises to prove it). She lives with her own personal cheerleader, aka, her handsome husband, and their teenage son. Wow. Typing that makes her feel old. And writing about herself in the third person makes her feel a little like a nutjob, but ahem! Where were we?

Stasia’s drawn to romantic stories that don’t take the easy way out. She wants to see beneath people’s veneer and poke into their dark places, their twisted motives, and their deepest desires. Basically, she wants to create characters that make readers alternately laugh, cry ugly tears, want to toss their kindles across the room, and then declare they have a new FBB (forever book boyfriend).

To learn more about Stasia and her books please visit her website below:

Cut so Deep (Break so soft book 1) by Stasia Black

Book Blurb:

“Are you his willingly?” Jackson demands, his blue eyes as dark as the clouds above our heads. “Tell me. Are you?”

Jackson Vale. My boss’s rival and the man I’ve thought far too much about since we were introduced last week.

Of all the— “I’m not his,” I sputter indignantly. “I’m just his employee. He doesn’t own me.”

And for some reason this sets off a flare of intensity and… satisfaction? in Jackson’s expression. That’s it, I officially give up trying to understand any of this.

But then Jackson leans over and speaks so softly in my ear I can barely hear it above the falling rain. 

“If you belonged to me, Miss Cruise, you wouldn’t look so disgusted. True ownership goes both ways. I would own you, but you’d own me, too. A concept I’m sorry to say Bryce Gentry’s never understood.” 

My breath hitches and I pull back from the intimacy of his voice on my ear, only to get lost in the dark blue of his eyes.

“Let me go,” I whisper. 

He does, but before he turns to go, those brooding eyes pierce me one last time. “I’ll be seeing you again soon.” 

And then he turns and is gone into the rain-soaked street, leaving me behind, breathless and confused.

My Review:

This is my first dark erotic novel and I was honestly gripped right from the beginning.

The book centres on Callie who is a young single mum who is wrapped up in a custody battle with her ex, who just happens to be her college professor and his wife. She was seduced by him as a young and vulnerable student and believes him when he declares his love for her and says he wants to leave his wife. However, all of that changes when she tells him that she is pregnant and he drops her like they never happened. Callie is rejected by her parents and the love of her life and she becomes a scared teenage girl who lashes out. This results in him getting a restraining order against Callie and it is at this point when she realises that she needs to get her life together and with the help of her sister who moves in with her and helps her to raise her son. But Callie is struggling to make ends meet and needs to earn more money than the waitressing jobs that she has worked before and is excited when she gets offered an interview as PA for Bryce Gentry who is the billionaire CEO of Gentry Information. This is where her life take a turn for the worse which is saying something.

I think the only way to describe Bryce would be an absolutely disgusting human being. At the first interview he realises that the girl sat in front of him is incredibly vulnerable and needs money for her son who is the most important person in her world and he takes advantage of that. He has a very unique ability to manipulate Callie into degrading herself for his own pleasure without even touching her. Bryce makes it clear to Callie that he will pay her more than she imagined but he will expect her to do whatever he wants. He manages to lure Callie into a false sense of security by not actually touching her and being overly charming but once he gets Callie to lose herself he verbally degrades her and it is so difficult to read. There are some scenes that have you gripped and you want to keep reading but at the same time it’s horrifying to see it unfolding.

Bryce takes his new PA to a business meeting with Jackson Vale who was his old business partner, ex-best friend and current arch enemy. From the minute that Callie meets Jackson there is an instant attraction to him and there is a sizzling chemistry between them that she has never felt before. But it becomes glaringly obvious that Bryce fully intended to use Callie as a pawn in his business rivalry with Jackson.

Jackson is dark and brooding but glaringly handsome and from the minute he meets Callie he knows that she is worth more than whatever Bryce is using her for. Jackson has experience of being used as a pawn in Bryce’s games and this has resulted in a self-hatred that he is struggling to get over.

There are twists and turns towards the end of the book and it ends on a heart-breaking cliff-hanger that had me literally on the edge of my seat and my fingers clicking quicker than humanly possible to download the second book to find out what will happen. If I thought Callie was at rock bottom at the beginning of the book it is nothing compared to how she ends up at the end of the book and that is what makes the books so difficult to read. My conscious wants to say that I did not enjoy the book because there are elements of the book that are beyond dark and difficult to read but I think that is a testament to how well this book has been written. Stasia makes you go on the rollercoaster with Callie and you feel every emotion that she feels and that makes the book so gripping. Jackson is gorgeous and caring with a bit of a hero complex and my word is he incredibly sexy. He is dark and dirty and it makes you love him even more but he is also broken from his past with Bryce and it becomes clear that while he wants to be the one to save Callie she also has the potential to save him as well. I fully recommend this book but want to make it clear that it is not for everyone and there are some awful trigger scenes that people may not enjoy. When they say it is a dark erotic romance that sum it up well because it is definitely dark and my word is it erotic. There are times when you don’t want it to be sizzling hot but is and when the sex is good it is oh so deliciously dirty. This book opened me up to a whole new world of dark erotica and I can honestly say it will not be my last and I know exactly what my next book will be. Bring on book 2!