If I could describe the experience of Lauren Jameson's "Blush" in one word: it would be "shallow." Everything about this book was predictable down to a tee, and the characters were threadbare at best - pretty much the standard puppets for a so-called BDSM/erotic template that was supposed to be evocative of the book's title, but that moment never arrived for me in the whole consideration of this novel.
I'll wholeheartedly admit that even from reading J. Kenner's Stark Trilogy and Sylvia Day's "Bared to You" series, I found at least those characters had some measure of development that I could follow, but I'm not even sure, from the second read through, why I rated this as high as 1.5 stars. Maddy Stone is a woman running away from her former life and family because of the guilt she carries, right into Vegas and into the arms of a casino owner who has a double life.
If you can guess where this is going, you would be absolutely correct.
Alex is overprotective, domineering, and makes no qualms about micromanaging Maddy's life and purportedly "healing" her. Personally, I'm just tired of the formula that's copy/pasta in this scheme. Nothing about this scenario, point blank, felt real, and the characters themselves were little more than puppets toggling between lust and sex with no development between. Even when Maddy's tragic past comes to light, I felt nothing for it, there was very little to no emotional bargaining for it for it to matter on her own terms, not aside from Alex's influence or suggestions.
Not worth the time taken to read, unfortunately. Just another book that purports to be sexual and steamy, but ends up having little buzz or resonance.
Overall score: 0.5/5 stars.
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher NAL Trade.