A fiery explosion of emotion, angst and drama
as Colton and Rylee are fueled by desire and insecurities alike, seeing if they have what it takes to finish the race towards their happily ever after.
Colton stole my heart. He wasn’t supposed to, and I sure as hell didn’t want him to, but he crashed into my life, ignited feelings within me that I thought had died forever, and fueled a passion that I never knew could exist.
Rylee fell out of that damn storage closet and into my life. Now I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. She’s seen glimpses of the darkness within me, and yet she’s still here. Still fighting for me. She is without a doubt the saint, and I am most definitely the sinner.
How is it the one thing neither of us wanted—neither of us anticipated that fateful night—has us fighting so hard to keep?
He steals my breath, stops my heart, and brings me back to life again all in a split second of time. But how can I love a man who won’t let me in? Who continually pushes me away to prevent me from seeing the damaged secrets in his past? My heart has fallen, but patience and forgiveness can only go so far.
How can I desire a woman who unnerves me, defies me, and forces me to see that in the deep, black abyss of my soul there’s someone worthy of her love? A place and person I swore I’d never be again. Her selfless heart and sexy body deserve so much more than I’ll ever be capable of giving her. I know I can’t be what she needs, so why can’t I just let her go?
We are driven by need and fueled with desire, but is that enough for us to crash into love?
“Together we are so intense, so volatile, so powerful, so intimate.”
Finishing this book simultaneously exhausted me and had me on edge. The adrenaline still coursed in me as the story took a turn that left me shocked, breathless and desperately wanting the next book. This second installment in the Driven trilogy revved up the drama as I sped through the pages to see what would happen next. I was addicted. Undeniably, utterly, indescribably consumed by this book. It was explosive. The fragility of Colton and Rylee’s relationship was pushed to the point of breaking. Together they are joy and fury. Perfection and chaos. Unexpected comfort and passion unbound. The volatility and duality of their relationship is difficult to understand and impossible to control. It’s clear that they’ve fallen for each other, but their painful pasts grip them so completely that every time things begin to settle into place, as they revel in the intimate bliss of being with each other, Colton regresses to a very dark place within himself and pushes Rylee away.
“I don’t deserve her. She is so much more than someone like me is worthy of. She’s just too close right now, closer than I’ve ever let anyone get. And it terrifies me. I’ve never let someone this far in because that means secrets are shared and pasts are discovered. And because it means you need. I’ve only ever needed myself — needing others only results in pain. In abandonment. In unspeakable horrors.”
Whereas Rylee has made significant strides in dealing with Max’s death and sharing the buried pain that came with that horrific event, Colton is struggling. He’s trying. Rylee has changed everything for him. He’s so vulnerable around her. She’s gradually been able to break through the walls of darkness caged within himself. The terror of his childhood. The guilt over his role in it. The dirtiness he feels when he thinks of love. But Rylee has shown him that he’s worth more than the temporary pleasure that shrouds the pain … shown him that living life and letting himself be happy is something of which he is worthy.
“My God. The woman is my fucking kryptonite. How did this happen? How did I let her own me? More importantly and fucking shocking, I want her to own me. Every fucking piece of me. Game over baby. She’s my motherfucking checkered flag.”
Colton’s past is crippling. Reading the prologue completely shattered me. It was honestly so painful to get through, but also necessary to understand the heaviness and hurt that plague Colton. He has severe abandonment issues and believes that allowing himself to feel, then tearing it all apart as he always does, will only lead to Rylee leaving him. So in turn, he doesn’t let himself be free to fall too deeply, to hope beyond the present.
“… I’ve nothing but black inside of me. The ability to love — to accept love — is nothing but poison.”
The push and pull in this book was excruciating. It was heartbreaking to see how much they loved each other, yet also see how the vise-like grip of Colton’s past tore them apart, time and time again. Colton made so many mistakes that were so hurtful to Rylee that had me both wanting her to walk away as well as hoping she would run to him, helping to soothe the anger and torment inside of him.
“I can’t give you what you need because I don’t know how to live — to feel — to breathe — if I’m not broken. And being with you? You deserve someone that’s whole. I just can’t…”
I really loved that Rylee fought for herself. She was forgiving of so much, but at the same time, she knew when to draw the line and stick up for what she deserved. The times where everything was in the midst of splintering into a million little fragments were so raw and visceral, I truly felt every destructive, piercing word that flew between the two of them. I was coiled so tight, holding my breath as I watched the drama unfold.
“Fight damn it! Fight, Colton! … For you. For us. For me.”
I thought that this book was much stronger than the first in more ways than one. First, it showed a more apparent departure from the formulaic elements we saw in Driven as the author skillfully imbued her own style into the writing and into the direction of the plot. The story evoked so much more feeling for me. A maelstrom of emotion swirled tempestuously as I experienced every powerful moment of the story. In addition, the chemistry is scorching! The intensity and passion between them set the pages ablaze. This is primarily Colton’s story, as we begin to unravel and understand his past and how it affects his capability to love. I am absolutely and entirely greedy to get my hands on the next book to see what happens between these two tortured souls, racing after their elusive happiness.