April 1, 2014

SERIES REVIEW: The Driven Trilogy

Driven, Fueled, Crashed, by K. Bromberg
Published May 2013, August 2013, March 2014
JKB Publishing
e-book, purchased
adult contemporary romance
To Buy Driven: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
To Buy Fueled: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
To Buy Crashed: Amazon * Barnes & Noble 

Rating:  4.5 STARS

(Driven Synopsis) I am the exception to the rule.

In a world full of willing women, I’m a challenge to the roguish and achingly handsome Colton Donavan. A man used to getting exactly what he wants in all aspects of life. He’s the reckless bad boy constantly skating that razor thin edge toward out of control, on and off of the track.

Colton crashes into my life like a tornado: sapping my control, testing my vulnerabilities beyond their limits, and unintentionally penetrating the protective wall around my healing heart. Tearing apart the world I rebuilt so carefully with structure, predictability, and discipline.

I can’t give him what he wants and he can’t give me what I need. But after a glimpse beneath his refined exterior into the dark secrets of his damaged soul, can I bring myself to walk away?

Our sexual chemistry is undeniable. Our individual need for complete control is irrefutable. But when our worlds collide, is the chemistry enough to bring us together or will our untold secrets and battle of wills force us apart?

Over the course of 7 days, I read the entire Driven trilogy, one book right after the other. I hadn't intended to do that. I had had Driven on my TBR for months. But, when Crashed came out to much hype and praise on many blogs I follow, I decided it was time to take the plunge. I read Driven and just couldn't stop there.

This trilogy tells the epic story of Colton and Rylee. Colton is a playboy hotshot race car driver with a guarded and secret past. Rylee is a sheltered woman who, after a tragedy, remakes herself and resolves to surround herself with her work. But, her work doesn't keep her warm at night and Colton knows that. Rylee challenges him in more ways that one. He wants to break her down, but at the same time, she ends up getting under his skin like on one ever has before. But, Colton's past is a landmine of awful events that made him who he is now. His penchant for adrenaline and sex and alcohol helps dampen the memories, but the more time he spends with Rylee, the more she makes him feel stuff. And feeling things is not what Colton Donovan does. As Colton navigates his new found feelings and Rylee struggles to maintain her sense of self while falling more and more in love with him, they find new ways of living their lives to the fullest.

This was such an amazingly compelling series, there was no way I could stop with just one book. I'm so glad I decided to start reading it after all three books were already out, because I don't know if would've been able to stand the wait in between installments. K. Bromberg creates the feels like WHOA.

Reading the Driven trilogy was like riding the craziest roller coaster ride. For awhile things between Colton and Rylee would be good. And when they were good, ho-lee moly, were they GOOD. Initially, Colton was overbearing and overconfident. He was determined to have Rylee, and I got the impression that it started out as a project for him. But, Rylee got to him, and I loved seeing that. Colton is a passionate man, and his chemistry and connection to Rylee was atomic.

It's evident from very early on that Colton went through some seriously horrible stuff as a child. Things no child should ever have to go through. He was adopted when he was 8 by a loving family, but the damage had been done. Love, to him, was a myth. Even when he felt it with Rylee, he couldn't face it. Couldn't admit it. And, Colton wrestles with this through all three books in the series. As you can imagine, this causes a great stress on his relationship with Rylee. After several stops and starts between them, Rylee finally catches on and starts using her ability to care for broken little boys to put her man back together again.

The progression of Rylee's and Colton's relationship was... infuriating. LOL. I loved these books. And then I hated them. And then I loved them again. Like I said - roller coaster. It took awhile for Rylee to catch on to what was going on with Colton. It made me nuts how her answer to the hard stuff was to leave and shut him out. I hate that. I'm a communicator by nature, and I'm always in favor of more talking, less walking.

These books had all manner of drama. Colton is a race car driver, so of course, there's some problems caused because of that. Rylee's charges at her home for boys have violent pasts that come back to bite. Rylee's past and the ramifications of it, as well as Colton's past need to be dealt with too. All of that, together with the normal growing pains of falling in love, make for a very volatile, passionate relationship.

The trilogy is mostly told in dual POV, although you get more of Rylee's head than Colton's. Colton is pretty alpha awesome, even when he's being an ass. Rylee has a tendency to grate on the nerves, but once she figures out how to navigate the Colton-infested waters, she's pretty amazing as well. And, after I read the last word of that absolutely INCREDIBLE epilogue, I felt a bittersweet disappointment that it was all over. The ending was great, but I knew I would miss this couple. They made me laugh, rage and cry big, fat, baby tears.

Please give this series a try.

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