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Rush by Maya Banks
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There is so much and so little I can say about this book. After reading Rush I’m actually still unsure how I feel about it. Let me start off as I usually do with my impressions of the characters. Our male protagonist, Gabriel (Gabe) Hamilton is your typical alpha-male billionaire dominant. There’s too many parallels between Gabe and Christian Grey of 50 Shades of Grey, and I’m not using 50 Shades of Grey as the benchmark for my reviews but in terms of the dom-sub relationships that are more prevalent in contemporary romance these days, its hard to beat a fresh character like Christian Grey. So.. sorry Gabe but your character just didn’t get my gears going if you catch my drift. The character descriptions were sparse if there were any at all, so most of the time I didn’t have a clear view of who I was supposed to be imagining. I’m sure this is different for everyone but personally, I like it when the author is liberal in his/her descriptions of her lead characters. Both in physical profile as well as personality. I didn’t find that Gabe and Mia’s descriptions were rich enough.

Mia Crestwell is our female protagonist and personally, I think she’s one of the weakest female leads I’ve encountered in a long time. Even Bella Swan had more use in Twilight than Mia in Rush. Mia is supposed to be strong-minded, cheerful and sweet sister to Gabe’s business partner and friend, Jace Crestwell. Mia has had a crush on Gabe since she was a teenager and now, some time after having graduated university, Gabe wants to start pursuing her due to that fated “love-struck” moment where he realizes he MUST have her. Mia doesn’t actually do much at all in this book except have sex.. under contract with Gabe, which she willingly agreed to.. under the guise of being his personal assistant.

If you’re looking for a light romance story with a lot of sex scenes. This, my friend, is the book for you. I’m not even kidding. The entire first 200-ish pages is sex scene, after sex scene, after sex scene. I should warn you though, there are parallels to 50 Shades in the sex scenes as well. Gabe introduces Mia to the world of doms and subs but on a much more lenient level compared to 50 Shades, such that it only applies to the bedroom. There is light bondage, oral sex, and anal sex in this, but the level of detail is still not as stimulating as let’s say.. Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series. The sexual chemistry between the two characters is present, but when you read through the the scenes, it sounds scripted and awkward at times. Even the normal conversational dialogue felt awkward at times. The wording sometimes didn’t sound natural to me, but that might be me.

The plot itself is interesting. Gabe and Mia have a 14-year age gap, which seems to bother Gabe at first, but the issue seems to just disappear the more they have sex. I didn’t personally see it as an issue considering I have an age-gap in my own relationship but others may be confused as to why the age issue was explored further. I mean, if you’re going to mention it more than once or twice in the dialogue, then make it a point of contention that the couple needs to get through and resolve. There are fights, and grovelling so its not like the entire story is all sex and lovey-doveyness.

Overall, I struggled to get through Rush and finish it because Mia was simply so weak of a character, I got bored. Gabe is slightly more interesting in that he seemed more human to me. He made mistakes, realized he’d screwed up and he proceeded to fix it. However, Mia didn’t do anything spectacular and the only thing that sticks is that she’s way too easy-going and sounds more like a teenager than an actual woman. During half the novel, she didn’t have a real job, and she only worked for Gabe because it was more convenient for him to have access to her. She did do her job, but honestly, she never actively went to look for a job on her own. The job FELL into her god damn lap. Jace and Ash constantly bend over backwards to cheer her up or make her feel better. Her friend Caroline is no better. Everyone seems to pamper her, spoil her and yet she’s still described as a stubborn, strong-minded, independent character? Are you freaking kidding me? She hasn’t done anything for herself. Even her apartment was partially if not fully by her older brother Jace. The fact that she experience no real life struggles other than getting her heart broken and sexually assaulted .. she didn’t really do anything.

Clearly Gabe & Mia didn’t do it for me because I didn’t hate the book but I didn’t like the book either. If anything, I’m more interested in Jace and Ash’s BDSM stories.

I give 2/5 stars for Rush. Neither good nor bad. Just okay.

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