December 9, 2013

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Collide (Collide #1)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Collide (Collide #1), by Gail McHugh
Published September 17, 2013
Atria Publishing
audiobook, purchased
new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads)
Attracting, compelling, colliding, their chemistry—to say the least—was explosive. He felt it the first time he laid eyes on her. . .

On the heels of college graduation and the unexpected death of her mother, Emily Cooper moves to New York City to join her boyfriend for a fresh start. Dillon Parker has been sweet, thoughtful, and generous through Emily’s loss, and she can’t imagine her life without him—even as her inner voice tells her to go slow.

Then she meets Gavin Blake. A rich and notorious playboy, Gavin is dangerously sexy and charming as hell. Their first encounter is brief, but it’s enough to inflame Emily’s senses. When their paths cross again through an unexpected mutual acquaintance, she tries to deny the connection she feels, but Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome won’t let go so easily.

As she discovers Gavin’s pain-filled past and Dillon’s true nature begins to surface, Emily knows she must take action or risk destroying everyone—including herself. But how can she choose when she can’t trust her own heart?

Never have I ever read a book with more emotional angsty goodness than Collide. From the very beginning, I bought every single word Gail McHugh was selling and then some. And, you know what's weird? I'm usually not a fan of love triangles. Or cheating. Collide has the love triangle to beat all love triangles, as well as some cheating. And, I just could not get enough. So, bravo to Ms. McHugh for doing what few authors have been able to do. 

Emily moves to New York to be near her boyfriend Dillon and her BFF Olivia after her mother passes away in her home state of Colorado. After only a few days in the city, Emily meets Gavin completely by chance. And, it's sorta love at first sight. Except Emily's already in love with someone else. As time moves on and Dillon and Gavin both show their true colors, Emily has to decide what is more important - the past or the future. 

I'd heard nothing but amazing things about Collide from many other new adult fans. I bought it for my Kindle over the summer. And it sat there. For months. I'm not sure why. I just didn't get to it. Then, I bought the audio version from Audible. And, I was like, WHOA. I am such an idiot for not reading this sooner!

Initially, I wasn't a big fan of Emily's. It was glaringly obvious who the right guy was, and yet she spent the entire span of the book denying it, even in the face of some pretty convincing evidence. This was one of those books for which a padded Kindle cover is a good thing - you know - for the times you want to throw it across the room because you're so damn frustrated. On one hand I wanted Emily to realize what was doing from the beginning. On the other hand, her self-denial made for some pretty amazing sexual tension between she and Gavin. 

OMG - it was beyond delicious. Gail McHugh knows how to write the heat. I'd classify Collide as a mature NA book. And the heated tension between Emily and Gavin is the best part of the book. It was palpable on every single page. It doesn't hurt that McHugh made Gavin this amazingly perfect specimen of a man. I think any encounter between him and a woman would overheat my senses. But with Emily - the woman he loves more than his next breath - swoon city, baby. 

Dillon is the biggest asshat - I kept waiting for the moment when Emily realized what the reader had known for awhile. It was a very long wait. Gail McHugh was able to weave a powerful message into her epic love story - a message about finding your inner strength and beauty when someone all but rips it away from you. By the end of Collide, Emily has finally started reclaiming her voice and her life, and although you don't get to see Dillon's comeuppance, you know it's coming. 

Collide ends on one of those good kinds of cliffhangers. Most of the loose ends are tied up and the story comes to a close, but there's one big thing left undone that absolutely compels you to read the next book in the series. By the time the end rolled around, I was very glad that I had had the foresight to purchase the audio version of Pulse (Collide #2) and had it waiting for me. Because, although the ending was good, I was left wanting to know what came next. 

The banter between Emily and Gavin is many times lighthearted and sweet. Olivia's and Emily's restaurant is funny and real and amazing. Those moments were the lightest of the book. For the most part, Collide is angsty with a capital A. It's perfect for when you want one of those super emo romantic books. Just, trust me when I say, have Pulse ready to go before you finish. You'll thank me for that bit of advice.  

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