Author: Brianna Lee
Series: Rush #1
Release Date: May 12, 2014
Genre: New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Amazon UK
Purchase: Amazon CA
I had it all.
I was captain of the cheerleading squad and star of the debate team.
I was smart and popular and living the dream.
Until that night.
That one fateful night changed everything.
Now everyone hates me—everyone.
They stay far away.
Drugs numb the pain, and sex pays for the drugs.
Being alive is my punishment.
Then I meet him.
Tattoos, sinful body…and his eyes. His eyes are irresistible.
He is captivating. He treats me with respect.
He sees me.
Ryker brings happiness into my life of regret, but I don’t know if I deserve happiness.
Some mistakes can never be forgiven.
Or can they?
“What’s…” I cleared my throat. “Sorry. What’s your name?”
He smiled, revealing straight white teeth. “Ryker Rosse. Wanna tell me your poison now?”
“I’ll take a shot of tequila, Ryker. Thank you.” I smiled shyly.
Ryker moved effortlessly behind the bar, selecting the glass bottle of Jose Cuervo from its spot in front of the mirror. He grabbed a shot glass and flipped it in the air, pouring the golden liquid into the tiny cup after he’d caught it.
I reached for the shot when he pushed it closer to me, our fingers touching when he didn’t let go.
“What’s your name?” His magnetic voice was quiet.
I shifted nervously in my seat and looked around at the other patrons. Several pairs of eyes watched us with a mix of confusion and disgust. I knew Ryker had heard my name mentioned among the gossip and would connect the pieces if he hadn’t already.
“Gabriella Carter,” I whispered.
He looked down at our fingers that were still touching around the small glass and smiled. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
I followed his gaze and was immediately self-conscious of the scars lining my veins. The track marks from countless injections stood out against my ashen skin, and I jerked my hand away from his as if he burned me. The spastic movement knocked the glass over, amber liquid spilling on the counter. Mortified, I attempted to wipe the mess with my flimsy cocktail napkin, but Ryker waved me off and wiped it up with his white rag.
I leaned back from the bar as he cleaned, insecurities bombarding me. I stretched the fabric of my long sleeves down as far as they would go, hiding my scarred hands so only my fingers were visible.
Sitting before this beautiful man, I was acutely aware of my disheveled appearance. I would have fit in with him perfectly several years ago, but drugs had taken their toll on me. My natural bronze skin tone, soft curves, and lustrous hair were long gone, leaving me with a deathly pallor, bony body, and dull hair with atrocious dead ends.
Ryker poured a new shot and gently pushed the tequila closer to me, using just his fingertips. I accepted his silent offer, thankful he chose to ignore my awkwardness. The smooth liquor burned a path down my throat before it settled in my stomach. My face twisted and my body shivered, fighting through the taste. When my body instantly heated, I realized I’d forgotten to eat today.
The sound of Ryker’s rich laughter melted a tiny fragment of ice surrounding my heart, and I wanted to let him squeeze through the necessary walls I’d built to protect myself. A wide smile crept across my face as I listened to his musical voice. His laugh was my new favorite song. I joined in with his contagious laughter, but stopped abruptly. My own laugh sounded foreign to me after years of not finding anything funny.
The life I lived was my purgatory, and I was only alive so that I could suffer for all of my sins.
Do you ever find those books that from the minute you read the blurb and see the cover you just KNOW they are going to be something special? It doesn’t happen too often for me, but from the minute I saw the cover reveal, I knew this was going to be one of those books. I am a lover of good writing and broken characters; the more damaged the better! Finding this combination from a debut author is rare, but when you do, you grab on tight and never let go. I was attracted to the cover, drawn in by the blurb, and the content settled in my heart only solidifying its rightful place. Like the characters when they were the motorcycles, this Rush Into You took me on a ride like no other and I never wanted it to end.
I saw nothing.
I felt nothing.
I was nothing.
You’ve no doubt read many books that deal with the aftermath of drunken driving. What was so unique about this story however was it centered on the person who unknowingly caused it. Like the drugs Gabby took to cope, it will be a bitter pill to swallow. How do you reconcile a character who, though it was an accident, knowingly got behind the wheel of a vehicle intoxicated? How can you forgive this character who cannot even forgive herself? The answer is simply that you get to know her. You live her grief, you see how deeply she struggles, and you experience all the hatred that is thrown her way. Then you watch her hit rock bottom and slowly start to turn her life around. There’s no fixing the damage Gabby caused. There’s no happy ending for the lives she took. But there can be forgiveness for a stupid mistake. And forgiveness for and from everyone involved is the only way to continue living life. How, why, and does this happen is just something you will have to read for yourself. There is no right or wrong answer. There just is.
“Still leaving on the back of my bike?”
“Only if your lips are still planning on being on mine.”
I enjoyed not only Gabby’s road to redemption but also the love story of her and Ryker immensely. The way he was there for her unconditionally, even only knowing part of her story and the reasons behind what drove her. From where they met to where they ended, the road was paved with heartfelt confessions and just learning to live again. They accepted each other so fully it brought tears to my eyes. For truly, if you seek it, there can always be forgiveness and redemption. I am a firm believer in everything coming full circle, and this book does that and more. Phenomenal debut from this debut author and I look forward to future installments in this extension series.