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3.9 out of 5 stars
Rush (The Breathless Trilogy Book 1)
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121 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2013
The great cover design, the publishing house, so many great reviews enticed me to buy this. What a mistake. MISTAKE. Not very well written. Characters I could never really connect with and couldn't understand their drive except on a superficial level. I agree with another reviewer who noted that the heroine goes from infatuated girl to sex mad sex kitten almost overnight. And our hero Gabe is SUCH a Christian Grey/ Gideon Cross (oh, same publisher!) wannabe and doesn't even come close in any universe. The sizzle was functional at best. Emotional depth- not much if any. The writing was quite thin. And the price of 7.99 ??????!!??

Spoiler alert here, sorry but must be done: The scene in Paris where he ties her up and makes a whorish show of her for his business guests was not only hideous but utterly ridiculous! I mean Mia is his personal assistant, they've just had a business dinner with these 3 other men and now he's making her the sexual centerpiece afterwards. MAKES NO SENSE! Gabe, Mr. Millionaire super successful businessman doesn't realize that this could have BAD repercussions professionally...he's planning on working with these men on an upcoming project. Plus Mia is one of his partner's sister. This won't get back to him??? Nuts! Stupid! Yeah, he does it to prove a point to himself, that he doesn't really have feelings for her, bla bla, I get that, but this was so bad on soooooo many levels. And she goes with it. She was interested in a scenario like this, but hey, pick up some strangers in a bar and do this, not your business associates!!! Ugh. It all goes horribly wrong of course (oh the suspense the danger!) And after her initial freakout she's perfectly fine and enjoying a lavish touristy day in Paris with Gabe. I don't think so. Then later she agrees to go back to Paris with him again for more vacationing. C'mon!!!

And Gabe is supposed to be her "Dominant." He keeps saying, "Trust me, I'll look after you." Yeah. I trusted Mr. Grey from the get go. This guy, LAME. He's constantly looking out for himself first and then scrambling to make up for it later. Over and over again. Bad Dom! And yet she keeps spouting many times over like a Stepford Wife: "Oh, you're so good to me!" Nauseating. It did not ring true at all.

Another super highlight: one night they are indulging in Mia being tied up naked and he is swatting her with a crop before he takes her up the rear and the author has Mia's brother and Gabe's best friend/business partner walk right in. I cringed!! (then the author has Gabe musing "how could I put Mia in this position..." ARE YOU KIDDING ME! HELLO EDITOR??!!) Don't get me wrong-- I like a hot storyline, I am not talking morality here. No, I'm talking tasteless nonsensical crap. Frankly, it was gruesome. Spare us! There is not much appealing about this book and that includes the super fast wrap up of said suspense and culminates with the sappy fairy tale ending wedding proposal which was truly a YOU MUST BE JOKING moment. Sorry. It started off promising, but no, no, no.

THis book was SO disappointing and I had to force myself to finish it. Penguin Publishing? Seriously??? Are we all that hard up for cheap kinky thrills??
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234 of 262 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
NOTE: I received an advanced reader's copy - I was not paid to review!

I'd hate to start the comparisons, but I know they are going to be made. If you enjoyed the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy and the Crossfire Series, then you should definitely pick this book up. This is a spoiler-free review so don't worry I won't give anything away!

First off, the great thing about this trilogy is that each book is a complete story. This book, "Rush", is about Gabe Hamilton, one of the three owners of HCM Global Resorts and Hotels. He is a 38 year old who has a very specific way in dealing with his women. Then there is Mia Crestwell, Gabe's best friend's and business partner's little sister, who is 14 years younger than Gabe. Both Gabe and Mia have admired one another from afar for years, but the time is finally right for them to act on it. This story follows Gabe and Mia's unique type of relationship - "they were like two magnets inexorably pulled together."

Before I get into the characters, let me tell you why this book is different (and better in my opinion) than Fifty Shades of Grey. 1) The writing is well edited and perfectly written. Not once did I feel like the writing was pedestrian or juvenile. Ms. Banks clearly knows how to write and has a mature, vast vocabulary. 2) Mia may come off innocent and docile, but this girl stands up for herself. She does not stand for any BS and does not act like a petulant child when she gets upset. 3) Gabe and Mia's relationship and what Gabe wanted from the relationship is much more...realistic. For example, when discussing their relationship, Gabe says "if you truly find yourself in a situation that you do not want to be in, `no' is sufficient for me to stop." He also says regarding the idea of Mia calling him master or sir, "sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? I'm not much on the appearances of a certain lifestyle or stereotype." 4) The steamy sex scenes are not drawn out for pages on end and do not come off as repetitive. 5) No cliffhanger ending. Gabe and Mia's story begins and ends in "Rush" - although I'm sure they will make appearances in Book 2 and 3 of the series. And finally 6) it was written in a 3rd person narrative so you knew what was going on in both Gabe and Mia's head - which made the story so much more entertaining.

Let's talk about Gabe. Gabe has a past, but it is no where near as dark as some of the other male leads that are out there. His past is actually quite realistic and makes you understand why he is the way he is and does the things he does. In addition, his past is not some big secret you are waiting to be revealed, you know it pretty much off the bat. But, let me be clear, Gabe is a domineering, controlling and possessive guy that is far from perfect. The beauty of Gabe is that he knows why he is the way he is and owns it. His downfall is his conscience and guilt. And boy did his conscience and guilt lead Mia down a very dangerous path. There is one scene in particular (you'll know it when you read it) that makes you hate Gabe as much as he hates himself. The only reason you are able to forgive him is because you know exactly what he is thinking and why he did what he did.

Now onto Mia. I LOVED Mia. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again, I do not believe women over the age of 21 should be docile, a doormat, or refuse to speak their mind. To me, it's not believable and it actually annoys me when a female lead is afraid to address conflict and runs away from her problems. That being said, Mia surprised the hell out of me, and Gabe as well ("so my kitten has claws"). Every time she was presented with a conflict, she didn't hide or avoid a situation for long, she addressed it while not knowing what the consequences of doing so would be. She also stood up for herself to Gabe EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. I honestly think Mia is the reason why I really loved this book. I'm so glad Ms. Banks wrote such a strong female character that had a backbone.

The only thing that would make this book better would be if I was given a little bit more. I wanted the major obstacles and conflicts to be explored a bit more even if that means they were drawn out a bit longer. I felt like everything was tied up too soon or too nicely. However, all in all, I really did love this book and I cannot wait to get my hands on Book 2 and 3 which follows Jace, Mia's brother, and Ash, Gabe and Jace's other business partner, respectively.

Courtesy of Book Reader Chronicles
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311 of 377 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2013
First off, let's get one thing straight: This is not a romance. This is a pornographic depiction of a very sick "relationship" that the author attempts to normalize. 24-year-old Mia is drifting and has a part-time job at a bakery. No character development there whatsoever. But she has a crush on Gabe, one of the "wealthiest, most powerful men in the country," who is 14 years older, and who is obsessed with her. So what does she agree to do? Signs a contract with him to be his "sexual submissive." Gee.

Even sillier, plot-wise, they pretend she's been hired as his "personal assistant," and she gets a desk in his office. You can guess what happens there. She has no job duties, except to be ready and submissive to Gabe at any time. He states over and over that he "owns" her. This will make any woman who has ever suffered mental or physical abuse from a man cringe.

Then begin the sexual stunts, including anal probes, spanking, and whipping. Worst of all, is the scene where Gabe arranges a business meeting with 3 men who watch as a naked and bound Mia sucks off Gabe. Of course one of the men attempts to force himself on Mia, and suddenly Gabe is filled with remorse....uh...okay.... Here's the really sick part: ***Spoiler*** Instead of being furious and even reporting the attempted rape to the police, the author has little Mia forgive Gabe and stay with him. I cannot believe that other reviewers think Mia is "strong." She has absolutely no sense of self and is a little girl looking for a sugar daddy to rescue her from drifting.

This is not a light and playful, sexy give and take between two equal adults, this is seriously unhealthy stuff. We all know this author is capable of more. She can move a plot along and write steamy scenes in her other books. How sad and creepy that she is taking the low road.
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59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2013
Eyes." he snapped. "On me, Mia. Always on me. You don't come with your eyes closed. I want to see everything you have when I'm inside you. You don't ever shut me out." 21%

"Say my name, Mia. Who owns you? Who do you belong to?" 21%

She should have run, and run, and run, and when she thought she ran far enough, she should have run some more. I guess this was where I was supposed to swoon at all his "alphaness" and "dominance" and just be a puddle of lust?

Be still my heart.

"Then she glanced at Mia's feet. "What size are you, Miss Crestwell?" "Six, Mia murmured." 33%

*snort* Must have matched her little girl hands too. *gag*

Then at the 35% we have Gabe the "hero" rape her mouth, brutalized her with all his manly, manliness of beastly peen, some self-loathing ensued, he got over his feelings and decided he'd do it again.*sigh* ...not.

At the 38% mark he goes all alpha-caveman (because we're told that) but the truth is: he's an idiot, control freak, bordering on abusive. She should have thrown him a dog bone and told him to fetch and made her escape.

At the 41% mark we were all: "There was a difference between submissive and spineless." and I was all "YEAH! There's a difference between a dominant, alpha male, and a pretend, out of control wanna be alpha." Then poor Mia is pouring out her feelings and he goes all "Me He-man Gabe, Master of the mantrum and I will kick and scream and belittle you and I'll call bull----." And, in case you were wondering: he had no traumatic childhood, no emotional instability. Just suffers from Butthole-itis and calls it kink. Then we are preached to about infidelity and who is naïve and how easy it is to wake up and leave your significant other and get a divorce. By this time, my eyes glazed over and all I could think was, "who's being naïve now?"

I have more pages highlighted on my kindle with notes but I'm exhausted. Needless to say. I really didn't like this book at all. Every other paragraph is sex. "get your butt over here, Mia, get naked, Mia, on your knees, Mia, butt in the air, Mia. I'm going to spank you, Mia. Ugh.

There was this crazy contract where he "owned" her body. I mean really? Seriously? What a twit for signing it. I also wanted to mention the scene where he has his business associates watch Mia give him oral. Then ties her up and allows them to touch her NOT penetrate. Of course things go bad and he's all "I screwed up and forgive me." blech. Gabe treated her like a whore throughout 75% of the book. This book is billed as an erotic romance. I'm sorry, but there was nothing remotely romantic about this book. I won't even get into the portions of the book when they're in the office working and the shenanigans ensue.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2013
This book was awful and I returned it without finishing. Wish I could give it negative stars. The writing is better than 50 Shades, but the 50 Shades content was less offensive to me.

Nowhere in the synopsis (or even in the other reviews) was there a warning about the voyeuristic scene (which by some people could be considered a menage). It felt so dirty that I couldn't read any more. I wouldn't have purchased this book in the first place if there had been a warning.
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68 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2013
Spoilers ahead!

To sum up this book in Gabe's favorite word?


Honestly, I expected to really enjoy this story. Maya Banks writes really well, but lately her books have been a total miss. This one? It is so far beyond a miss it didn't even hit the edges of the target and I still can't even find the arrow. I just hope it is in Gabe Hamilton's rear.

First of all, it seems that all of Maya's heroes sound the same once you've read one. Read one, and you've read them all, and this one, despite being a billionaire, keeps sounding like a "damn" trucker ready to be cast in Honey Booboo. I love alpha heroes - Rush from Fallen Too Far, Gideon Cross - but this one was not only alpha, he was a TWAD.

After waiting so many years to move in on his friend's sister, Gabe decides to do it behind his friend's back and make the kill when the friend is out of the city. Wow. Not cool, buddy. Why don't you man up at 38 and just tell your friend you want his sister? Oh, I know, because deep in your soul, you're a girl. You can take on Mia because you've made her signed off her life to you and her body, but clearly you don't have the b*lls to take on your friend and man up to what you want.

So. The contract. He asks her to enter a damn contract that basically gives him ownership of her body, and this damn contract is ultimately a motive not to protect her, but to protect himself for getting too extreme in the damn bedroom and having been previously charged with sexual charges of damn abuse from a crazy ex. Which do not surprise me once I get to know this gem of a man. Honestly, Gabe is so gross, I think the ex might have been onto something. He treats Mia coldly most of the damn time and she just allows it, to the point where she is humiliated and humiliated and used and used again. Damn.

I enjoy a good submissive book (like Captive in the Dark, which is cruel and raw but completely engrossing), but this is not a good submissive book at all. The man is the worst "master" figure I could imagine, breaking damn promises to her and assuming zero responsibility for his damn dominant role in this kind of relationship. He is the most out of control damn hero I've ever had the mispleasure of reading! There wasn't even a single sex scene where he was truly tender. In fact there was hardly a scene where he allowed her to reach the peak before HE did. Selfish much? That's because you are, Mr. Hamilton. The most selfish twad I've had the damn pleasure of reading. It was all about what you wanted, what you damn well liked and wanted your little sex slave to do to. You put the self in selfish, Gabe, and you will be added to Webster's dictionary under the word TWAD for good.

So our damn billionaire pedophile Gabe says that he is a dominant but that he doesn't need a safe word because "no" will do. (My thoughts about this? : What a missed opportunity here for us to see some real intimacy between them. Even the responsibility of that shared word, he didn't want. To dominants and submissives, "no" is a game. No means yes. The safe word is the real no. Why would anyone want to be in that sort of relationship without enjoying one of the most all-consuming fantasy of all ages, which is "saying no but meaning yes." The safe word gives you that, but Mr. Hamilton says "no" is good enough for him. And yet once again it is an effort to keep this relationship from being true BDSM.) Can I say damn one more time? He sure as damn does. So there.

Back to the issue . . .
Our DAMN TWAD is clearly no true dominant, for most of the time with her he is out of control and even frets about it later. Whoever likes to see a dominant fretting about what he did to his submissive? Not a single damn soul! Dominants are supposed to know their exact roles with their submissives and they should stay within those lines! But our Damn Twad is no true master. He is the master of twad and damn only. So this book is no BDSM, but it is also not a regular sexy romance, so it ends up being an awful mix that - despite some hot sex scenes - left me feeling empty. Especially after the scene in Paris which to me was painful to read. Here, he wants to prove to his damn self he doesn't care, and just completely makes a damn decision that makes me want to smack him and Mia for signing her damn life away to him, as well.

Mia forgives him too soon to my damn liking (which was never) and pretty soon he's whipping her only to get caught by . . . oops. And damn. It's her brother. How utterly HUMILIATING. Since when is wearing damn plugs during WORK and being taken in the damn mouth until she weeps real damn tears and being shared beyond what you imagined is damn sexy? This is so far beyond sexy, I felt greasy and dirty for days, and all because Mr. Twad is such a bad hero. I like anti-heroes but he is not even a good anti-hero. He is NO hero. Period. And damn.
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45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2013
I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't so sure in the beginning but I quickly got into both characters Gabe & Mia plus Ash & Jace. I really love how Maya Banks writes her books with such character depth & emotions. With all the free books with anyone publishing its hard these days to find characters that you love. You read this book from both Gabe & Mia POV, I love reading from the male POV. Gabe is 14 years older than Mia and a Dom that was defeated in the past by his marriage. He makes all his women including Mia sign a contract detailing every part of the relationship, it is not common and at points made Gabe seem like an ass, he has some emotional baggage. Mia is 24 who has had a crush on Gabe for years. I love that she was NOT a virgin (I hate that in books). There was a lot of sexual and emotional tension in the whole book. The scene is Paris was quite intense, nothing like I have read in books with D/s in them.

This was a long book where I felt like I was right there in the book with the characters. The flow of the book was good for being long, I wasn't bored at all, although I wasn't on the edge of my seat either, but that was ok. The only thing that bothered me was with the D/s relationship Gabe didn't have Mia pick a safe word, she even brought up the subject and he said 'no' was enough for him, which is other books I have read (which is a lot) you don't have 'no' as a safe word because it comes out sometimes without meaning. Other than that, the sex was hot, everything from bondage, anal to tender love making.

I can't wait for Jace & Ash, I wish it was sooner than April. I wouldn't mind reading a story about Caroline either. I highly recommend.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2013
Gabe talks to Mia too disrespectfully. Horrible read. Total rip off of 50 Shades. Contract, safe word, kinky sex, rich man, young's the same book just a boring version.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2013
I deleted the book from my library! The whole set up was sick and perverse! His best friend's little sister, and he treats her the way he does! Ridiculous! And, letting "business associates" watch as she does him, while she's bound and naked?!?! Unbelievably in poor taste...not erotic at all. Totally debasing and just wrong!!!
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2013
I can't stand weak women, Mia was by far the weakest in any book that I've read. Gabe was demeaning and way way too possessive. What the hell was with the one word demands, she even works right in his office space. I didn't find this book sexy or even remotely romantic. The story was getting redundant with the sex after sex after sex. I'm pissed that I actually spent more than $10 on this book, and even after skipping many pages I wasted 4 days to read this book. The only reason why this even got a 1 star is because the setting is in New York City. The writing and the book had no purpose. The fact that Gabe's excuse to be a dominate or an alpha male just because his first wife left him was like really???!!! Give me a break. I will not be reading the rest of the trilogy.
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