Monday, June 2, 2014

SERIES REVIEW: COLLIDE & PULSE BY GAIL McHUGH


A missed first encounter…

Colliding with a second chance…

On the heels of graduating college and trying to cope with her mother’s death, Emily Cooper moves to New York City for a fresh start.

While harboring secrets of his own, Dillon Parker takes care of Emily through her grief. Knowing he can’t live without her by his side, he’s sweet, thoughtful, and everything Emily has ever wanted in a man.

Until she meets Gavin Blake—a rich and notorious playboy who is dangerously sexy and charming as hell. Emily tries to deny the instant connection she feels, but Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome is not inclined to let go so easily. Recovering from his own painful past, Gavin will stop at nothing to win Emily over.

This unexpected encounter compels Emily to question her decisions, forcing her to make a choice that will destroy friendships, shatter hearts, and forever change her life.

Kindle Edition, 395 pages
Published January 18th 2013 (first published 2013)
Source: Purchase

BUY IT: Amazon | B&N

OUR REVIEW: 

I've seen several of our favorite bloggers mention these books in the last year ...we FINALLY got to it on our TBR list (our list is long and ever growing). And double good news...by the time we got to it, the sequel was out! WOOT! 

Having now read both books, I don't personally think I could've handled it if I hadn't already bought both Collide and Pulse. I would have been seriously stressed out! So, while I hate that it took us so long to read these books, I am glad that I didn't have to wait. I feel for the fans of the series that did!!! Brutal! 

Collide was super angsty. Here's who we're dealing with: 

We have Emily who has just lost her mom to cancer, graduated and moved across the country (with the help of her boyfriend--Dillon), is looking for a job, and living with her former college roommate and BFF (Olivia). She ends up waiting tables and meeting Fallon (turns out to be a great friend) and it's how she discovers Gavin.
We were like....oh no. The love triangle. What are we going to possibly we presented with that will live up the hype that comes with this series!!! 

We have Dillon..the douche. Olivia has some really clever names for this asshole so I'm not even going to try to replicate the awesomeness of her names...but she gets every name right. He's a supreme asshole and I want to pretty much strangle him about 98% of the book. Right. Olivia adds a lot of flavor to this story, and I couldn't wait for the next interaction between them. Though I was hoping that she would be the one to eventually shank him. 

Olivia has the restraint of a saint to not kill Dillon and knock some sense into Emily... ............ right?

And Gavin...Mr. Charming Sexy Man. He seems to have a magnetic pull to Emily (as she does to him) and therefore disregards all of the obvious roadblocks to getting into a relationship with her. I had a hard time with this at first. I rooted for Gavin because he was so nice, and it became apparent that Dillweed was not good for her....but....until we knew that...it was somewhat douchey of him to just go on and on and on and chase after a girl who was not available right? 

So what's the problem? Well, there's a love triangle. Cheating. Extremely douchey behavior. Abusive situations

..and basically a lot me doing this:

*facepalm..WHY, EMILY, WHY?!* *headdesk*

...*mumbles* are you freakin' kidding me?? Ditto

...No. Just No. I'm thinking about this point I began typing in shouty caps at Shel in g-chat.

...*screeching* SERIOUSLY? That did NOT just happen...(or...) He did NOT just say/do that...

WHAT AN ASSHOLE DOUCHE .... major douche canoe!

*fistbumps to Olivia*

And, at the end...*frantically searching the books in my Kindle* please let me have Pulse already downloaded.. Thank God it is out!

It was a roller coaster for me and I wanted Gavin to do something extreme. I wanted Emily to listen to her instincts. I wanted Olivia to force Emily to listen to her instincts and I wanted Dillon to die. I do recall putting bodily harm to this fictional man in written form. I cannot deny it. OMG he is a MAJOR villain...and while he is super annoying, he sure does spice up the story when it slowed down a bit. 

Thankfully, Pulse was loaded and ready to read...so at 2 AM I finished Collide and began Pulse. 

Yes. And if you made it this far in our review you might be...why should I read this? The characters are complex, make real life (albeit stupid) decisions that have real life cray cray consequences... all wrapped up in a well written bow. The secondary characters breath life into the little bubble that are Gavin and Dillon and Emily. They're a challenging group to read about, but I did love the roller coaster ride that they took us on! 
Shelley: 4 stars
Courtney: 4 1/2 stars



How do you keep existing when your heart is so splintered, so completely torn to shreds, your pulse is fading?

You’re…broken. How do you move forward when every breath is nothing more than a constant ache? Living becomes an insidious reminder that you threw away the single largest part of yourself. Your…soul. No amount of distraction can pull you from the torture of losing your…life.

Now that Emily Cooper has walked away from her first love, she finds herself running toward her only love. Unraveling fast, but clinging to hope, Emily risks all she has left on the man that has consumed her every thought and dream since the day they met. Will Gavin take her back? And if so, will their reunion be a collision of two hearts destined to complete one another and rekindle a love that knew no boundaries? Or will scars from their past rip open, tearing slowly at what each of them was meant to be? Can fate, the ultimate game changer, mend the shattered road it laid out from the start?

Only time will tell…

Tick-Tock…

Kindle Edition, 414 pages
Published July 9th 2013
Source: Purchased 

BUY IT: Amazon | B&N
OUR REVIEW: 

Yep. Totally started this at 2 AM and would've just skipped sleep if I had zero responsibilities the next day. The first 20-30 pages continued filling me with anxiety (GAH!) but after that, I settled in and enjoyed the ride. Gavin and Emily had a bumpy road but it made the ending that much sweeter. 

They did. I didn't know how (and I begged Shelley to just give me one teeny tiny smidge of a detail to ease my misery) things were going to get back on track and even be remotely normal. I was on the edge of my seat, and was dying with the way that Ms. McHugh wrote the story in such a way that we had absolutely NO idea if things were going to turn out okay. Sheesh, give me a heart attack why don't ya. 

They both had to accept some truths that were difficult. They had, at various points, to swallow their pride. They had to have the patience of saints. They had to continue to trust each other and believe in the 'us' they were creating. Compared to Collide, this was the easy part to read. Yeah, there were some moments where my heart pounded..or where I wanted to reach in and throttle Dillon (still a major ass)..but my pulse (haha) seemed to maintain a steady rate. 

Nice pun, there babe. I did appreciate that even when it was seriously painful...they were brutally honest with one another...eventually. It was hard. They really grew up on us from book one to book two, so that was nice as well. I was surprised by the events that brought Dillon back to the story...and I think you will be too!

Gail McHugh definitely put her characters through the ringer in this series and while they had lots of obstacles, none of them were over the top; many women and men have had to face the difficulties that Emily and Gavin did. I appreciated that even though these events were fiction, they were written in a way that realistically portrays how it must feel to be lost in a bad relationship..to make excuses..to feel the fear that comes with the life altering event that she and Gavin experience. I also appreciated that the characters were able to be (mostly) honest communicators and they looked out for each other and faced the hard things together. Though they had many obstacles to get around/over/through to find their happy ending, it came and made the craziness of Collide well worth it.

Right? It was crazy, and when I thought ugh, I can't believe they're doing this or that person is reacting this way...I had to remind myself how might I react to that if it was my significant other, sibling or friend going through this situation. It wouldn't be pleasant, and again made me appreciate the reality of what these characters went through. We highly recommend this series to you! 

Shelley: 4 stars 
Courtney: 4 Stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
A self-proclaimed chocoholic, married mother of three, and a lover of writing for as far back as she can remember, Gail McHugh is the author of two New York Times bestselling novels. The COLLIDE series, which includes COLLIDE and PULSE, was acquired by Atria Books on September 17th, 2013.

“The first of two sexy contemporary romances about a woman torn between her seemingly perfect boyfriend and a dark, mysterious stranger who will stop at nothing to have her.” - Publishers Weekly on COLLIDE, a Top 10 Romance pick!
Gail's next novel, also publishing through Atria Books, AMBER TO ASHES, is slated to release November 4th, 2014.

FIND HER HERE: 

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