Review: Crashed (#3, Driven) by K. Bromberg

My Thoughts

The explosive, nail-biting, emotional, scorching culmination of a series defined by profound pain and profound joy, by blistering chemistry and unrelenting longing, but mostly by a love that refuses to break, despite everything that crashes down upon it.

5stars

Synopsis

crashedLife is full of moments.
Big moments.
Little moments.
And none of them are inconsequential. 
Every single moment prepares you for that one instance that defines your life. You must overcome all your fears, confront the demons that chase you, and cleanse the poison that clings to your soul or you risk the chance of losing everything.

Mine started the minute Rylee fell out of that damn storage closet. She made me feel. Made me whole when all I thought I could ever be was incomplete. Became the lifeline I never knew I needed. Hell yes, she’s worth the fight…but how do you fight for someone you know you don’t deserve?

Love is full of ups and downs.
Heart stopping highs.
Soul shattering lows.
And none of them are insignificant. 
Love is a racecourse of unexpected twists and turns that must be negotiated. You have to break down walls, learn to trust, and heal from your past in order to win. But sometimes it’s the expected that’s the hardest to hold on to.

Colton has healed and completed me, stolen my heart, and made me realize our love’s not predictable nor perfect—it’s bent. And bent’s okay. But when outside factors put our relationship to the test, what lengths will I have to go to prove to him that he’s worth the fight?

Whoever said love is patient and love is kind, never met the two of us. We know our love is worth it—have acknowledged that we were meant to be—but when our pasts crash into our future, will the repercussions make us stronger or break us apart?

My Review

“I’m driven by fear … Fueled with desperation … Crashing into the unknown.”

Holy book hangovers!!! I feel bereft now that I have finished this book, this trilogy. It filled me up with every fathomable feeling … sadness and devastation, fear and shock, anger and joy and every degree possible in between on the emotional spectrum. It was volatile. Charged. Unpredictable. It was exhilarating. There were times I felt so wound tight and tense at what unfolded before me that I couldn’t digest the words fast enough. Times where I finally felt lighter and content … right before some kind of shock pounded into me unexpectedly, sending me reeling, whirling and crashing into the emotional asphalt. It never relented. It was non-stop drama from first to last word.

K. Bromberg does an exceptional job of keeping us at the edge of our seat as she shattered us in heartache, filled us with hope, gave us moments of elation and then did it all over again unapologetically. I was surprised at how emotional I became and perhaps it’s that she took us to places I didn’t think she’d go. There were some pretty awful things that happened to our beloved characters and after two books with them, I felt their pain acutely.

“The superheroes finally came.”

Ugh! Our poor tortured hero. At the end of Fueled we were all left breathless with mouths agape as we processed what happened to Colton. The devastation was consuming and the anxiety to keep reading was inescapable. The story continues unpredictably, experiencing Colton’s perspective, one that was foreboding and poignant. Because in this book, we certainly come full circle with a number of elements and I loved that aspect of it. While Colton struggles to survive, Rylee struggles to gain her breath. She’s in shock. Shattered. This first part of the book admittedly evoked tears, I could feel the loss and the anguish resonating from Colton’s loved ones. At the heels of Colton telling Rylee that he raced her and now at the brink of losing him, she undeniably knows that he is the man that owns her forever. Her heart.

“He captured it, stole it, broke it, healed it and forever owns it.”

Since we have a full-length novel, I don’t think I’ll ruin it for you to say that Colton survives, but being released from the clutches of death changes him. And despite the fact that Rylee never left his side, he can’t help but feel his insecurities take hold once again. Unworthy. Unlovable. Irredeemable. In his mind, Rylee deserves more than him … more than the pain he incessantly causes. And inside, his thoughts and feelings war with one another as he begins to withdraw from her once again.

“And I know what I want, and what is best for her, are two completely different things.”

Colton is such a tragic character. He is so thoroughly tortured by his past. Rylee has given him so much love and understanding … proven to him at every turn that she won’t abandon him … that she accepts him and the darkness he battles inside. Yet, he pushes and pushes and pushes. And God does he say some awful, hurtful things. There were times that I truthfully wanted her to walk out on him. The pain, sudden and excruciating, lanced through her heart as words spewed from his mouth. I think that one of the alluring things about Colton is that he is so entirely unpredictable that we don’t know whether he’ll crush her with a kiss or with his cutting words at any given moment. Nonetheless, we know these words come from a dark place within. He pushes to see if she’ll leave him, which to him is still an inevitability.

“What’s best for me? Don’t you know what’s best for me is you, Colton? Every single part of you. The stubborn, the wild and reckless, the fun loving, the serious, and even the broken parts of you … All of those parts of you I will never be able to find in someone else … those are what I need. What I want. You, baby. Only you.”

Rylee is so selfless in this book. She is a rock. She understands what Colton needs so profoundly. Her tenacity and temerity to stand ground and challenge Colton is what ultimately begins to not only break through his walls, but also keep them down permanently. It’s just that in the process, their love is the kind that’s ugly and brutal and utterly chaotic.

“I accept you … All of you. The broken parts. The bent parts. The ones filled with shame. The cracks where hope seeps through. The little boy cowering in fear and the grown man still suffocating in his shadow. The demons that haunt. Your will to survive. And your spirit that fights. Every single part of you is what I love. What I accept. What I want to help heal.”

Colton’s life has been a dark blur, a stain on his heart, a race for pleasure to bury the pain and Rylee has been that spark, that all-consuming light that enlivens everything to color. And after living a life that’s empty and numb, knowing what it is to live and love is something he’s unable to turn off. With everything that’s happened in his life — his combative feelings, his past, his insecurities, his accident and now other factors that come crashing in to shatter it all — he’s in such a bad place and without the well-known comfort and adrenaline high of the track, he’s completely lost. God love Becks for being yet another unfailing person in his corner. Becks is one of my absolute favorite supporting characters and he knows how to reach Colton with his direct and piercing wit. His humorous words are laced with an all-too real brutal truth that Colton needs to hear to shake him out of his dark reverie. Truthfully, some of their exchanges (especially the alphabet scene) are some of my favorites out of the book.

“Figure out how to deal with your past so you don’t lose your fucking future.”

It’s impossible to really recount what happens, not only because I refuse to spoil a second for you, but also because SO. MUCH. HAPPENS. You won’t believe it. There are also moments that Colton made me swoon so completely, made me fall in love with this broken man we’ve come to care so much about, I honestly have no words. Because the moments where he is so vulnerable, his words are beautifully consuming.

“Make a life with me, Ryles. Start with me. End with me. Complete me. Be my one and only first. Be my goddamn victory lane and my fucking checkered flag because God knows I’ll be yours if you’ll let me.”

I thought this book was a powerful conclusion to a really amazing series. The epilogue was done to perfection, it wasn’t too short and it gave me everything I hope for and more. Ultimately this is a story about love and persistence healing the most tormented of souls. It’s a dangerous race towards that checkered flag, the journey filled with wrong turns and fiery crashes that make winning seem like an impossibility, but with an unyielding love fueling their future, victory is always within reach.

“I race you, Rylee … Don’t you know? … You’re my motherfucking checkered flag.”

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Reading Order and Purchase Links

 driven fueled crashed 

CRASHED

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