Series ARC Review & Giveaway: Collide and Pulse: Gail McHugh

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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?

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“Do you know how scary it is to want something so bad you’re willing to change your whole life for it?”

Emily Cooper is ready to risk everything to be with the man who has consumed her thoughts and dreams since the fateful day they met. Unraveling fast, she can only cling to the hope that Gavin Blake still wants her.

Nursing his wounded heart, Gavin has cut himself off from society and retreated into a self-destructive, mind-numbing world. Emily isn’t used to being the strong one, but she’ll have to find the daring and confidence within to fight for their love and bring Gavin back from the edge—even if it means losing herself to their all-consuming, pulse-pounding passion. A New York Times bestseller, Pulse is the unforgettable conclusion to the story of Emily and Gavin that began with Collide.

Series review...

Dear Mother of Everything Holy, can I please…please…please have my own Gavin Blake. This man was pure sex on a stick and then some. Mr. Blake was just THAT. DAMN. HOT.

Gavin Blake made this story.

The Collide Series is definitely one of my favorite reads of 2014. Therefore, I am just going to tell you to go out and one-click this book now, if you haven’t already! Gavin Blake was pure magic, and let me not forget to mention swoon worthy to the max; thus, placing himself near the tippy top of my long book boyfriend list! This man totally melted my heart with his love, devotion, and pain. There seemed to be so many layers to unravel. Some might say he seemed a bit too good to be true; I would not be one of them. I connected with his intensity and charisma, as well as his depth on so many levels. Each page I turned, each word I read I was intrigued by such a poignant man. When Gavin hurt I hurt, when he was in love and happy so was I, and when he was torn apart and lost I felt that pain all the way to the bottom of my toes. For many reasons, this character cemented his self on my soul.

I was drawn to the series the minute I saw it contained a “Gideon Cross” type of feel to it with an added love triangle. I am majorly addicted to this theme of romance. There is something about watching two men fight for the heart of that one lucky lady. And depending on the strength and progression of the writing, triangles can go one of a few ways for me. I can either fall completely in love with the scenario, absolutely hate everything about it, or experience both love and hate for the scenario. The later seems to be the case with this series. The love triangle was one of my minor issues. I seriously could not wrap my mind around Emily and her warped actions. The constant fight and flight/push and pull drove me up one wall and down the other, and Gavin and Emily’s journey ended up equaling a pure love/hate relationship for me. There were moments that I wanted to throw my kindle, or at least smash a few things, and then there were the moments of extreme desire to slap a character—or two. It was hard for me to see past the sadness and pain the female protagonist caused our hero due to her indecisiveness and poor decision making skills. Since I loved Gavin’s character so much, I tried extra hard to connect with her, seeing things from her point of view. Yeah, I could not make that happen. I had to face the hard truth and learn quickly to deal with Emily’s idiosyncrasies, since Gavin was pretty much set on her. It was that or throwing in the towel. I decided to hold out and give her another chance, and in the end, Emily started to grow on me; however, I never truly fell in love with her character. I still experienced times where I wished Gavin would have just moved on from her and her dramatics.

When Emily and Gavin were in their own little world and the outside world was not colliding and caving in, they were fricken phenomenal together! When they were good, these two were good; however, when they could not get out from underneath their own feet (well mainly Emily's), they were somewhat of a beautiful disaster. Emily and Gavin could both at times be reckless and emotionally destructive. With some trepidation, I fell into their love story; I was even able to handle the angst and drama that is when it did not feel contrived. Sometimes it felt like this to me when Dillon was in the picture. I could easily have done without the triangle. I HATED Dillon. I wanted that man to rot from the inside out. If you cannot tell from my review, I am strictly TEAM GAVIN, and I have been from the very first time I laid eyes on him. I would not have been sad in the least bit if the author just evaporated Dillon from the planet.

This brings me to my other minor issue, Collide's cliffhanger. Yes, ladies and gents, there is a cliffy. I suggest making sure you have book two ready to go. It was not horrible other than being extremely angsty; not to mention, it leaves you aching for one of the characters.

Anyway, the moment I reached the end of Collide, it was easy enough to see exactly where the author was headed. Due to this, I dragged my feet and struggled a bit with Pulse. I am not normally a huge fan of themes that feel a bit been there done that. My continuation came down to the "curiosity killed the cat." I could not fight my inquisitiveness to see if McHugh was going to follow the road of typical. And although, I wasn't really keen with the course Ms. McHugh was taking, I was pleasantly surprised with her twists. That road was definitely not expected, and because of this once again, Gavin shined, making me love Pulse, just as much as Collide, if not more.

Once I got past the minor stuff, I flew through both Collide and Pulse, devouring every word. Overall, I rated each book a four star read, but I bumped the series rating, as a whole, half a star due to the one and only Gavin Blake. I was so tempted to raise it to an overall series rating of five stars, but due to the few minor issues I had, I could not go up a whole star. I do not know if you can tell or not, but I am head over heels with a certain male.

Gail McHugh has made this girl a lifetime fan! The author's writing was rich with character development, witty satire, and connection/chemistry between the characters, as well as between the characters and the reader. I am not sure why I have taken so long to read her books, but at this point, I am kicking myself for not reading sooner. Better late than never, right? Thank you, Ms. McHugh, for creating my newest tantalizing and delectable addiction. I cannot wait to see who and what you come up with next!

Thank you, Atria Books and Simon and Schuster, for a complimentary copy of Collide and Pulse.
A self-proclaimed chocoholic, married mother of three, and a lover of writing for as far back as she can remember, Gail McHugh is the author of two New York Times bestselling novels. The COLLIDE series, which includes COLLIDE and PULSE, was acquired by Atria Books on September 17th, 2013.

“The first of two sexy contemporary romances about a woman torn between her seemingly perfect boyfriend and a dark, mysterious stranger who will stop at nothing to have her.” - Publishers Weekly on COLLIDE, a Top 10 Romance pick! 

Gail's next novel, also publishing through Atria Books, AMBER TO ASHES, is slated to release November 4th, 2014.

You can follow Gail on the below social media sites and email.

(2) Galleys of Pulse by Gail McHugh (US ONLY) **book sent from the publisher**

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Age 18 and over please. Ecopy giveaways are international. Signed/Unsigned paperback or swag giveaways are US only unless otherwise specified. Giveaway will run 10/17/14 to 10/31/14 closing at 12:00 a.m. Winner will be notified via email. Winner has 48 hours to claim their prize; otherwise, a new winner will be chosen. Please allow time (up to two weeks, unless stated otherwise) for the delivery of your book. If you have not received your book within the started time please notify us. In addition, In addition, if the book has yet to release please keep in mind that the book will be distributed within two weeks of it's release date. 

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