Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Rush by Maya Banks

Maya Banks’ newest foray into erotic-romance may seem like another addition to a theme that has been discussed to excess in the erotica world. I urge you not to put Rush in a category before actually reading the book, you will miss out! If you enjoy a good mix of romance, sensuality and sex with fantastic secondary characters and a sweet happy ending, give Rush a try.

“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.”

Admittedly, it was a slow start for me. For some reason, Gabe and Mia didn’t seem real and approachable at first. We are thrown into the story and have to scramble to fit the pieces together. Once I settled in, however, the title became appropriate in so many ways. I rushed through the book because I couldn’t wait to get to the next page just as much as it was a rush to read the sexy scenes between Gabe and Mia. Gabe and Mia do enjoy a kinky sexual relationship and they do it often….very often. At the same time, I didn’t feel that Rush is a hardcore BDSM erotica and that’s one of the aspects I enjoyed most about the book. The kink and the variety is there but it is not a one-sided dominated relationship. Mia gives as good as she gets, in the bedroom and out of it. She is in no way a meek submissive woman and goes head to head with Gage more than once.

Gabe is completely consumed with Mia but not surprisingly struggles to put words to his feelings. In more than one instance does he put his relationship to Mia on the line.  One of them is a scene that might be uncomfortable for some readers but it was just part of the Rush for me. Gabe is always aware of Mia and her wishes, she has as much control of their relationship as he does. 

“I wonder what you’re imaging I’ll do to you,” he murmured. “There were words like bondage and pain,” she pointed out. “It’s a reasonable fear.” 

“Yes, it is,” he conceded. “But there is no mention of a safe word because for me, it’s as simple as you saying no.”

Gabe and Mia discover and experiment together but as soon as Mia says ‘no’, Gabe accepts her wishes in all ways. It never felt as if Gabe dominated Mia in any way, they are equal partners and will not be pushed into certain roles. Of course, it is not as easy as that and Gabe has to work through some issues before they can openly and happily be together. 

Note that Rush does have a happy ending; there is no cliff hanger in this book. Even better, the next two books in the trilogy are about Jace and Ash, Gabe’s best friends and business partners and we will surely see more of Mia and Gabe as well. Jace, Mia’s brother, and Ash were a wonderful addition to Rush. In fact, all secondary characters, especially Mia’s girlfriends, brought lightness to the story which lifted it to another level. 

While I appreciated how the sex scenes were constructed and while they were very sensual and erotic and had me squirming in my seat, I felt that it became too much towards the end. When Mia starts to work for Gabe and they spend the whole day in his office, I had to ask myself how Gabe could get any work done at all. They were constantly at it! I understand that Gabe feels consumed by Mia but cutting one or two sex scenes out of the book wouldn’t have hurt in my opinion. 

Gabe comes across as cold and distant at first and I wasn’t particularly impressed with him as a hero. I am glad that I didn’t give up on him, though. He redeemed himself in the end and started showing his true self. I only wish I had had that chance earlier in the book.

Rush does have an edge to it but it is also a very romantic story. The ending made me sigh and brought a few tears to my eyes and Gabe was forgiven on all fronts. The writing is up to par with Maya Banks’ other books and again she managed to pull me fully into a story I warily approached. After reading the short excerpt of Fever, which is Jace’s story and comes out in April, I am sure that the next installment in the Breathless trilogy will be even better than the first. I’m looking forward to it! 

You can read an excerpt of Rush on Maya's website here!

*A copy of this book was kindly provided in exchange for an honest review*

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