Review: Rush by Maya Banks

Posted January 29, 2013 by Vampbard in 4 stars, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Rating A Tags: , , ,

Author: Maya Banks 
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Breathless Trilogy, Book #1
ISBN: 978-0425267042
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance 
Format(s): Paperback (416 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley
About the book:
Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking… 
When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires. 
Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires. 
As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.
What VampBards talking about:
While reading Rush, the newest offering from Maya Banks, I was driven – often – to the term ‘Holy Hell’.  I’m not gonna lie.  I ran the gambit of, “I LOVE this book,” to “Um.  Wow.  Not sure,” to “this better resolve – quickly – or I’m outtie.”  I finished.  I pondered.  I learned… and I quickly became thankful for my own life and relationships.
First and foremost:  BDSM is prominent.  The D/s roles are a central figure and major plot point.  The sex is hot, intense, and PLENTIFUL throughout this book.  It’s not over-done.  It’s an important aspect of the main characters’ relationship, although it’s not the ONLY aspect of their relationship.  There were a few things that made me uncomfortable while reading, and one situation that had the potential to be a deal-breaker (as in, I would have stopped reading), but this situation was handled, and the characters moved on.  As the synopsis states, obsessive relationship.  If you struggle with reading about these types of relationships, this book is NOT for you.  
Secondly, I almost felt as though this was Ms. Banks’ response to the FSoG bandwagon.  Better writing, better plot, better execution…definitely.  I loved the fact that we saw the good, the bad and the ugly.  More realistic and less sunshine, unicorns and rainbows.  This isn’t a copycat of 50 Shades.  I think we’re seeing the work of a master author, and she’s chosen to create in a popular genre for the public’s consumption. …And consume Rush, I did.
Lastly, there’s all sorts of kink going on in this book.  Pay attention to Jace and Ash.  After Rush concluded, there was a chapter from the next book in the Breathless Trilogy, and I want to read it now!  Although…I suspect it’s going to focus on Jace, not Ash, one can never be sure where those two are concerned.  **knowing nod**
I think one of the things that initially drove me crazy about Mia is the fact that she thinks that BDSM is bad.  She demeans herself constantly through the first 40% of the book (at least) for enjoying the world to which she’s been introduced.  I LOVED watching her transformation!  We live in a nation where a preponderance of women have low self-esteem, and seeing Mia grow into a more confident woman had me doing mental high fives with her. You GO, girl!  **shakes pom pons**  While Mia was the heroine, we heard from her perspective, and we watched as her character developed, matured, and evolved, she was a secondary character to Gabe, for me.
Gabe.  He simply can’t control himself.  It’s really telling for him to admit he doesn’t HAVE control when it comes to Mia.  However, at the 40% mark, Gabe pulls a beyotch move.  He goes ballistic because Mia leaves a cocktail party.  Yeah.  I totally wasn’t feeling this story at that point.  Ms. Banks, however, makes me love Gabe.  Even though he’s totally gorgeous and filthy rich – coming from ‘old money’ – he has such a poor self-image that I feel badly for him.  It’s not like he couldn’t and hasn’t had his choice of beautiful women.  He chooses to wait for Mia. There’s a few things to watch for with Gabe’s charater:  the interactions with his ex-wife, Lisa – I hate her, but must admit she’s intuitive.  Also watch for interactions with his dad.  THOSE are interesting! 
Gabe gave me several Holy. Hell. Moments.  I’m not gonna lie.  The way he recovered, learned about himself, and doted on Mia had me entranced. Dude has himself some serious issues, but manages to turn things around for the win at the end.  It’s a romance.  Y’all know there’s a HEA.  
The deal-breaker point I mentioned above was difficult for me to read. Gabe attempts to ‘share’ Mia, while he was present, with business associates to prove to himself that he doesn’t love her. This almost caused me to DNF this book.  If you can’t handle this type of thing, skip this title.  
Three best friends.  The all grown-up ‘little’ sister.  Secrets, passion and experimentation.  I had a love-hate relationship with this book.  Anytime the actions of a character can make you love AND hate the same story and characters, and then redeem both plot and peeps, the title is a keeper.  Rush was one of those titles.  I definitely look forward to future installments of the Breathless Trilogy.
VampBards Rating:
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)

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