Title – Collide
Author – Gail McHugh
Publication Date – September 17, 2013
Series – Collide #1
Her mind tried to fight a bloody battle against what her body already knew. She wanted him, and she wanted him bad.
On the heels of college graduation and the unexpected death of her mother, Emily Cooper moves to New York City to join her boyfriend for a fresh start. Dillon Parker has been sweet, thoughtful, and generous through Emily’s loss, and she can’t imagine her life without him—even as her inner voice tells her to go slow.
Then she meets Gavin Blake. A rich and notorious playboy, Gavin is dangerously sexy and charming as hell. Their first encounter is brief, but it’s enough to inflame Emily’s senses. When their paths cross again through an unexpected mutual acquaintance, she tries to deny the connection she feels, but Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome won’t let go so easily.
As she discovers Gavin’s pain-filled past and Dillon’s true nature begins to surface, Emily knows she must take action or risk destroying everyone—including herself. But how can she choose when she can’t trust her own heart?
Collide came at a time in my life when I wasn’t new to reading, but I had forgotten the worlds I could get lost in from my very own bedroom. I recall feeling like these characters were people I could be friends with and felt compassion and sympathy for. Heck, Gavin Blake was one of my first real book boyfriends to connect with. Gail McHugh has done a tremendous job of writing angst with romance in a book that left me altered not only the first time I read it, but through the reread as well.
“His eyes seemed to sink into her, making her want to bare every emotion and every secret. What a dangerous talent for a man’s eyes to possess, she thought.”
Every single one of McHugh’s characters struck me in some way or another. I appreciated that they were all searching for something, trying to figure out what came next in their lives. When I initially read this, I was straight out of college and could really relate to each of them. Now that I’ve reread it, years later with a family of my own, I discovered how timeless these personalities truly are. Not only did I find new ways to connect to them, but I saw them through a new light as well, reflective of the life circumstances I have been through. It’s a true gift and speaks to this authors level of talent that she is able to relate to her audience and evoke that level of sympathy and emotion, whether it’s the first or fiftieth time reading. McHugh’s writing is irresistible and addicting, casting a spell over readers and I could never get enough.
“Even as fleeting as it was, his touch felt insanely good in an insanely bad way.”
What will always impress me about Gail McHugh is the way she tends to make you love the unlovable. You shouldn’t root for Emily and Gavin, and yet how could you not? You want to have the heroine do the right thing, but who’s to say what’s right? She was so strong in her own ways, yet blinded by love in others. Collide is truly not just a love story; it’s about a heroine who is blind to the truth because of devious manipulation. Any reader who picks this story up is going to root for her to end up with Gavin, but I believe the author does a beautiful job of showing this struggle and path she takes to find her voice and have the rose-colored glasses come off.
“The feeling of want, the feeling of need, and the feeling that they belonged together was something she couldn’t ignore anymore. She didn’t want to ignore it anymore.”
There are days when you just need to feel a bit of home, and it’s in those moments I seek a reread of Collide. This couple and all the emotional turmoil they put me through is so remarkable and special and it’s something I never take for granted. If you haven’t played bottle caps with Mr. Blake yet, I assure you that it’s a must do. I promise that you won’t regret this click!
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