Rating: 4 stars – *SPOILER-FREE REVIEW*

I was honored to have read this book before it has come out. It has been KILLING me that I’ve had to wait until today to post this review and tell you what I thought of this book. I had no idea what to expect when I received it, but I LOVED it! I’d hate to start the comparisons, but I know they are going to be made. If you enjoyed the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy and the Crossfire Series, then you should definitely pick this book up. This is a spoiler-free review so don’t worry I won’t give anything away!

First off, the great thing about this trilogy is that each book is a complete story. This book, “Rush”, is about Gabe Hamilton, one of the three owners of HCM Global Resorts and Hotels. He is a 38 year old who has a very specific way in dealing with his women. Then there is Mia Crestwell, Gabe’s best friend’s and business partner’s little sister, who is 14 years younger than Gabe. Both Gabe and Mia have admired one another from afar for years, but the time is finally right for them to act on it. This story follows Gabe and Mia’s unique type of relationship – “they were like two magnets inexorably pulled together.”

Before I get into the characters, let me tell you why this book is different (and better in my opinion) than Fifty Shades of Grey. 1) The writing is well edited and perfectly written. Not once did I feel like the writing was pedestrian or juvenile. Ms. Banks clearly knows how to write and has a mature, vast vocabulary. 2) Mia may come off innocent and docile, but this girl stands up for herself. She does not stand for any BS and does not act like a petulant child when she gets upset. 3) Gabe and Mia’s relationship and what Gabe wanted from the relationship is much more…realistic. For example, when discussing their relationship, Gabe says “if you truly find yourself in a situation that you do not want to be in, ‘no’ is sufficient for me to stop.” He also says regarding the idea of Mia calling him master or sir, “sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I’m not much on the appearances of a certain lifestyle or stereotype.” 4) The steamy sex scenes are not drawn out for pages on end and do not come off as repetitive. 5) No cliffhanger ending. Gabe and Mia’s story begins and ends in “Rush” – although I’m sure they will make appearances in Book 2 and 3 of the series. And finally 6) it was written in a 3rd person narrative so you knew what was going on in both Gabe and Mia’s head – which made the story so much more entertaining.

Let’s talk about Gabe. Gabe has a past, but it is no where near as dark as some of the other male leads that are out there. His past is actually quite realistic and makes you understand why he is the way he is and does the things he does. In addition, his past is not some big secret you are waiting to be revealed, you know it pretty much off the bat. But, let me be clear, Gabe is a domineering, controlling and possessive guy that is far from perfect. The beauty of Gabe is that he knows why he is the way he is and owns it. His downfall is his conscience and guilt. And boy did his conscience and guilt lead Mia down a very dangerous path. There is one scene in particular (you’ll know it when you read it) that makes you hate Gabe as much as he hates himself. The only reason you are able to forgive him is because you know exactly what he is thinking and why he did what he did.

Now onto Mia. I LOVED Mia. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again, I do not believe women over the age of 21 should be docile, a doormat, or refuse to speak their mind. To me, it’s not believable and it actually annoys me when a female lead is afraid to address conflict and runs away from her problems. That being said, Mia surprised the hell out of me, and Gabe as well (“so my kitten has claws”). Every time she was presented with a conflict, she didn’t hide or avoid a situation for long, she addressed it while not knowing what the consequences of doing so would be. She also stood up for herself to Gabe EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. I honestly think Mia is the reason why I really loved this book. I’m so glad Ms. Banks wrote such a strong female character that had a backbone.

The only thing that would make this book better would be if I was given a little bit more. I wanted the major obstacles and conflicts to be explored a bit more even if that means they were drawn out a bit longer. I felt like everything was tied up too soon or too nicely. However, all in all, I really did love this book and I cannot wait to get my hands on Book 2 and 3 which follows Jace, Mia’s brother, and Ash, Gabe and Jace’s other business partner, respectively.

My Spoiler-Free Interview with Maya Banks will be posted tomorrow!

Click to Enter to Win One of 3 Copies of RUSH

Click to Purchase “Rush” (THE BREATHLESS TRILOGY) on Amazon

*Note: I was given an Advanced Reading Copy in exchange for an honest review*