Review: Driven (#1, Driven Trilogy) by K. Bromberg

My Thoughts

Sinfully Sexy. Instantly Addicting. Undeniably Alluring.
Colton and Rylee’s story is the perfect balance of alphaness, steaminess and realness. All the right ingredients in just the right amounts to keep me hooked from beginning to end.

4halfstars

Synopsis

drivenRylee Thomas is used to being in control. But she’s about to meet the one man that just might make her enjoy losing it…

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?

My Review

I was afraid to read this series. I had wanted to for so long, but honestly thought that it might fall short for me. I knew it was alpha. I knew it was erotic romance and I surmised that perhaps it would be too similar to what I had seen before, too much sex and not enough story. I. WAS. WRONG. Although there are similarities with some of our favorite alpha series, what I was  really impressed with was this author’s ability to strike the precarious balance between steaminess and story, between character depth and intrigue. For me, it was this achievement that set this story apart. It wasn’t overdone and it had everything I needed to keep me undeniably entranced and wholly addicted from the first flip of the page. It was well-written and well-paced with the right level of push and pull to keep your hopes soaring and your heart wrenching during every delectable minute of this story.

Rylee Thomas is smart. Kind. In control. So when notorious playboy and famous race car driver Colton Donavan slams into her life, she is both literally and figuratively knocked off her feet. Particularly after the surprising crush of his lips against hers … uninvited, unwelcome and fully reciprocated. The combination of that ardent arrogance and sinful sexiness that this gorgeous man exudes leaves her breathless, all mental acuity and composure vanished. But it’s those audacious and sensual words whispered in her ear by a man she just met that send her running. Unfortunately, fate has other plans when Colton tricks her into one date. A single date to prove to her that he will undoubtedly make her his.

“You know that deep down, a tiny part of that proper, respectable woman you are, wants to visit that reckless, sexy, uninhibited place inside you that’s begging to get out. A place I can undoubtedly help you find.”

But Rylee is not that kind of girl. We learn more about Rylee’s struggles since the story unfurls in first person from her point of view. She has a past that has affected her, restrained her, from fully living life … from seeking love … from letting go. Rylee is aware of Colton’s proclivity for women and she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost. Yet … there is something irresistible about him. She can’t help but to be drawn to him. Affected by him. Imagining what his touch will incite.

“The man is captivating in every way and the epitome of sexy. From that boyish grin that disarms me in seconds to his sexy swagger that says he knows exactly where he’s going and what his intentions are. He exudes virility, evokes desire, and commands attention all with a single look from his stunning eyes. He’s edgy and reckless and you want to go along for the ride hoping to get a glimpse of his tender side that breaks through every now and again. The bad boy with a touch of vulnerability who leaves you breathless and steals your heart.”

Colton Donavan. Arrogant. Alpha. Adonis. Reckless. Trouble. He’s a love ’em and leave ’em kind a guy, but all expected behaviors within the confines of the arrangements he makes with women. They know they won’t get a thing beyond a good time. But when curly-haired, curvacious and fiery Rylee Thomas barrels into his life, he too is unexpectedly unsettled and with every push of hers, he can’t help but pull her in. It’s not until Colton exhibits some kindness, however, that Rylee gives him an honest chance. Perhaps this is her opportunity to begin letting go, slowly, of a past she’s unable to forget.

“He’s the chance I have been looking for. To be carefree. To live in the moment. To be alive, not just living.”

When Colton and Rylee are together, desire burns brightly, all senses blown asunder. But Rylee quickly learns the tough lesson that despite the undeniable attraction between them, she just isn’t the type to leave emotions behind and Colton clearly articulates that he is hardly the guy to give her anything more.

“I will not be inconsequential, Colton. To you or to anyone else.”

We know they both harbor secrets that consume them, secrets they don’t share with each other. Their relationship is unbridled chaos, one moment spent in bliss within each other’s arms, the other spent apart, a result of another occasion where Colton would shut down and push her away. Rylee is a fixer and she begins to see the pain that flickers behind his eyes, his almost innate reaction to shut down after the most intimate moments. In the meanwhile, Colton takes. He consumes. He devours. But before too long, he needs. Needs Rylee despite his many deficiencies.

“It’s unfathomable how much I want you, Rylee … How much I’m drawn to you.”

As feelings intensify, morphing into something beyond desire, their past rears its ugly head, tearing everything to pieces. And the truth of the matter is that despite the rightness of their togetherness, they can’t give each other what the other needs. Colton is particularly broken, clearly drowning in a past so painful he can’t come up for air. His behavior is mercurial, yes, but it’s the vacillation between that hard exterior and those rare moments of vulnerability that give us a glimpse into the emotional, tortured person he truly is. He’s not the callous person that his facade displays, but is he irrevocably fractured by his past? Rylee’s heart may not survive another break.

“Somehow, someway, despite the short amount of time I’ve spend with him, he has penetrated that protective wall around my heart, and I’ve started the slow descent towards love.”

This is a story brimming with angst, as we get lost in the addictive push and pull between these two tortured souls that have been burdened by too much pain and driven apart by memories that won’t let go. The chemistry between them is palpable, but would that be enough to keep them holding on? Would their battle for control wedge them apart even further? I was completely riveted and addicted by the story, which ends on a cliffhanger. I cannot wait to see what happens in Fueled (book 2), as the turbulent romance of Colton Donavan and Rylee Thomas takes another dangerous turn around the race track.

“I learned a long time ago that the more you want someone, the more you cover them, and need and love them … it doesn’t matter. In the end, they’re going to leave you anyway.”

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Reading Order and Purchase Links

           driven fueled crashed

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