Review: Pulse (#2, Collide) by Gail McHugh

My Thoughts

Pulse-pumping, tear-inciting, melt-my-heart-to-the-ground-and-won’t-let-me-go amazing. It’s an emotional gut punch. Beautiful. Romantic. And super hot. One of my favorite reads of the year!

5stars

Synopsis

collide coverHow do you keep existing when your heart is so splintered, so completely torn to shreds, your pulse is fading?

You’re…broken. How do you move forward when every breath is nothing more than a constant ache? Living becomes an insidious reminder that you threw away the single largest part of yourself. Your…soul. No amount of distraction can pull you from the torture of losing your…life.

Now that Emily Cooper has walked away from her first love, she finds herself running toward her only love. Unraveling fast, but clinging to hope, Emily risks all she has left on the man that has consumed her every thought and dream since the day they met. Will Gavin take her back? And if so, will their reunion be a collision of two hearts destined to complete one another and rekindle a love that knew no boundaries? Or will scars from their past rip open, tearing slowly at what each of them was meant to be? Can fate, the ultimate game changer, mend the shattered road it laid out from the start?

Only time will tell…

Tick-Tock…

My Review

You know those books? The ones that get under your skin… The ones that seem to make your ability to breathe difficult… Those with the power to squeeze, stop, shatter and fill your heart to the brim all in the span of a few chapters? Well, this is one of them.

Mr. Tall Dark and Fuckable Handsome is back. And oh. my. word… the things he does. He makes your heart hurt, he makes you swoon in epic proportions and he melts your panties right off in this book. Wow.

“He was gone. Her Yankees-loving, bottle-cap giving, dimpled smile other half was gone, and there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do to turn back time.”

When I finished Collide I was utterly broken. Shattered. To. Pieces. And after just the first page of Pulse, I was totally and completely in it all over again. Heart clenched. Bated breath. Torn at what was happening, or rather, not happening, with Emily and Gavin. I was so impressed with the amount of feeling Gail McHugh evoked so immediately, every word chosen for maximum impact. I kept repeating to myself, almost cathartically… they belong together. Soul mates. True loves. They had already gone through so much, I needed them to be together. A more determined Emily finally goes after what she wants, seeking Gavin to make things right. It’s not easy. It’s not pretty. Rather, it’s gut-wrenching to read.

“Regret in the most brutal form tightened like an unforgiving noose around her neck”

But when they’re together, they’re magnetic. Their chemistry is scorching, the undeniable pull between them palpable. Destined. To. Be. Their road to happiness, however, is paved with mistakes they need to forgive and insecurities they need to overcome. Particularly Emily, who struggles with lingering regret and feelings that she’s not worth it… that she’s irrevocably broken their relationship.

“You breathe life into me, and I love you in more ways than I thought I was capable of loving, but you’re more than I feel I deserve.”

A large part of this story is Emily’s evolution. In Collide, she’s a girl that’s broken… too fragile to leave an abusive man, too insecure to believe she deserves happiness. In Pulse, her deep regret is fueling determination and a more confident Emily begins to emerge. I don’t think this is a story where by the end of it, she’s completely “fixed”, but with Gavin’s love, she begins to heal. I loved seeing that part of Gavin… the part that loved her so much that he refused to let her think badly of herself. Her self-deprecating words cut him to the core and he was there to fill her heart and her mind with everything she meant to him.

“I can’t believe he fucking hurt you, baby.. I’ll only ever worship these lips. I’ll only ever worship this body… When I look at you, I feel like I’m looking at the other half of myself. You’ve filled the empty space in my soul, and because of that, you’re a Goddess to me. That’s the way I’m always going to treat you. For the rest of your life. I promise you that. I fucking promise.”

And if you think the first book was hot, GET READY… the pages ignite with passion, desire and need. They cannot keep their hands off each other and well, truth be told, I couldn’t be happier!

“No… I’m not fucking you tonight, Emily Cooper. Kill me if you want, but I’m going to slowly possess you until you can’t take it anymore. My fingers are going to trace every beautiful hidden line on your body. My lips are goign to caress, nourish, and feed every unsated inch of you.”

You’re probably asking by this point… Well, what actually happens?!

A LOT.

And I’m not going to tell you. I don’t want to disclose a single thing about this book because Gail McHugh throws in various plot twists that made my heart race, that filled me with uncertainty over what would happen and that had me hating Dillon with every. fiber. of. my. being. HATE.

AND THEN…

She completely shattered me. Broke me. Had me in there’s-no-way-this-can-happen tears. I wanted to rock back-and-forth in a corner and cry.

One thing is for certain, though. Gavin Blake is one of my favorite all-time, swoon-worthy book boyfriends… the schmexiest of all! The way he loves Emily is epic.

“You’ve accepted me with every fragile weakness I have, loving me no less than a woman without faults. A woman without fears. Every look, touch, and kiss you’ve given without judgement of any kind. You’ve healed every exposed wound, old scar and piece of pain I brought into this relationship without expecting anything in return. You’ve shown me what a racing heart feels like, shown me mere thoughts could easily cease with a single kiss. You’ve shown me what it is to feel truly, wholeheartedly, until the end of time, loved.”

At the end of it all, this is a love story. A love story between two people that love hard… whose desire for each other is unquenchable. Gavin and Emily are two magnets forever drawn to each other, because they belong together. I was so happy with the way it ended. It was perfect. Bliss.

“We were written for one another, and I wouldn’t change one line our romance novel. The good, the bad, the in between. It’s ours. We own it.”

pulse

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***Read a teaser from PULSE***

About The Author

gail author picI’ve always been a lover of writing, but mostly dabbled in creating poetry while raising my three beautiful children.
I am grateful my husband of fifteen years has supported me— albeit sometimes kicking and screaming—as I pursue this “hobby” of mine. Without his help, writing would be an impossible endeavor.

In late June 2012, I felt an urgent tug of my pen, and I began writing one of my first novels, Collide. Although I thought it might never see the light of day, it gave me the courage to plunge headfirst onto a path I had never considered before.

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