“Sometimes bad choices bring us to the right people, Emily.” Collide, by Gail McHugh

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4 out of 5 Stars

*SPOILER REVIEW*

Collide – is Book 1 of Gail McHugh’s Collide Series. Check out her website!

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You’re introduced to a situation that is nerve racking – frustrating – and hot as fuck!

Ms. Emily Cooper has just moved to NYC to move in with her best friend from college, Olivia; and to be closer to her boyfriend Dillon. Dillon has been Emily’s rock through the sickness and eventual death of her mother – he’s helped her emotionally and financial through the entire ordeal. She loves him – and she wants to be with him, so moving to where he lives seemed like the natural step in their relationship. Emily has graduated from college with her teaching certificate, looking for work in NYC she takes a job as a waitress at a little Italian restaurant. While delivering some food for her boss, on her way home she meets tall, dark, handsome – basically sex on legs Gavin Blake. Emily has no idea who the man is, that he’s one of Manhattan’s most eligible millionaire bachelors; but she definitely notices the sexual chemistry they share in elevator on the way up to Gavin’s office to deliver his food. Gavin is immediately drawn to Emily – he can’t explain it but he’s under the impression his father was right about Love at First Sight – because what he’s feeling with Emily is unlike anything he’s ever experienced before.

When Emily leaves the building she can still feel the buzz in her stomach from meeting Gavin. She knows she has a boyfriend – a boyfriend who loves her, and is probably at her apartment waiting for her to get home. But she can’t deny the strange pull she felt when she met Gavin.

Emily met Dillon through Olivia’s brother when the boys came to visit them in Colorado while they were at college. They’ve been together for a few years – Dillon is hot, a successful investment guy who has no problem taking the reins in the relationship. He comes off a bit of an ass at first, cocky, a bit controlling but you think he genuinely cares for her….but you start to get suspicious that Emily is naive and doesn’t realize that all Dillon’s late night meetings are probably a number of different women on the side.

Gavin returns to the Italian Restaurant in search for Emily – she waits in him and feels that same familiar pull… the sexual chemistry can be cut with a knife! He asks her out, even though she say’s he has a boyfriend – Gavin doesn’t give one fuck about it. It isn’t until a few nights later when Dillon takes Emily out to meet up with some of his friends to celebrate a new account that she comes face to face with Mr. Dark and Fuckable and realizes that the man she’s heard Dillon refer to as Blake is actually Gavin – her Gavin Blake…. and that her boyfriend and the man she’s been fantasizing about are fucking friends – not only friends? But Dillon manages a large portion of Gavin’s millions. Let the triangle of awkwardness begin!

There is flirting – Gavin is busted over the fact that he has to watch the Dillon and Emily together, especially after finding out that Dillon is still in fact fucking other women behind her back. He has an internal struggle with telling Emily the truth – or being a true friend to Dillon.

The plot thickens as everyone heads to The Hampton’s for the 4th of July and of course they’re all staying at Dillon’s beach front mansion. Emily and Gavin have a few stolen moments of flirting, that keep me wanting more and more and more – there’s just something about the forbidden thing that makes their interactions just that more juicy – even though for the most part, they’re pretty innocent at first. He’s taken a step back at pursuing her, but still let’s her know he’s available. He’s trying to get her to admit there is something between them but all Emily can do is say she’s with Dillon – not really outwardly deny their attraction. One night after Dillon has passed out drunk Emily walks out onto the balcony to find Dillon enjoying a quite beer alone in the dark – they sit up until the wee hours of the morning talking, sharing and playing the infamous game of Bottle Caps – basically throwing bottle caps into a bucket. Doesn’t seem like much – but when Gavin starts giving her bottle caps through out the story whenever they see each other – I got a little more swoony every time. Emily opened up to Gavin about the death of her mother – a topic she doesn’t discuss with anyone. And she finds it comforting that Gavin seemed genuinely interested – not just listening because he had to.

As the plot thickens Dillon proposes to Emily, and though she seems pretty shocked? You see it coming from the very beginning. He’s always talking about her becoming his wife, or calling her his fiance’ before they’re even engaged. So when he drops to one knee in front of his parents Emily say’s she needs to think about it. He’s not happy – but she’s finally having to admit her feelings for Gavin to herself and the inner-conflict ensues. Though Emily say’s yes – which is beyond fucking stupid as Dillon’s controlling ways are coming more to the surface…. he doesn’t like the way she dresses, he’s forceful with her, the way he talks to her is deplorable! Yet she takes it – because she thinks she loves her – but really we all know it’s because she feels obligated because of all the help he offered while her mother was sick – even as far as paying for her funeral expenses.

Gavin is heart broken she’s accepted Dillon’s proposal – especially after a night out with Olivia and Fallon (Emily’s friend and co-worker) at a house party in Long Island – Gavin finds Emily drunkity drunk drunk drunk and they have a little make out session that goes to third base – Gavin stopping the situation before he slides into home. Emily is frustrated that he stopped but he doesn’t want their first time to be something she regrets – let alone be drunk for. He loves her – he wants to show her how much when she’s 100% coherent and sober.

“I’d never hurt you, Emily. Stop fighting me. Stop fighting what you already know”

This is the part in the book where I want to throttle Emily – she’s just jerking Gavin along now. She can’t make up her mind about Dillon – even though he’s becoming an unbearable asshole. He gets drunk one night out – and as Emily is talking to some random guy trying to get back to her friends, the guy is looking at her engagement ring and congratulates her – to where Dillon walks up and throttles the poor guy. He jerk’s Emily out of the bar and gets physical with her – to the point where Gavin steps in and cold cocks him – out cold.

Emily leaves Dillon – and runs to the arms of Gavin (of course.) And they finally have sex for the first time and it’s as hot as we all knew it would be with him – but what else do we get? A softer, sweet side – his feelings come to fruition and he confesses all of his wants:

“I want it all, Emily. I want to spend my nights holding hands with you,” he breathed the words into her ear. “I want the all-day texting.” He kissed her temple and caressed her cheek. “I want the laughing and the forehead kisses.” He softly ran his lips over her forehead. “I want the date nights, the movie watching, and the breakfast making.” He dragged his hands through her hair, his teeth tugging gently at her bottom lip. “I want the late-night drives, the sunset watching, the screaming, the yelling, and the crying.” Still kissing her, he smiled against her mouth. “I know I’ll definitely want the make up sex that comes after the screaming and the crying. In want the good, the bad and e in between. All of it is what’s going to make us amazing together,”

Emily leaves ….only to head back to his apartment the next morning with breakfast and coffee. But what she finds answering his penthouse door shocks – scares – and leaves her fleeing back to Dillon. Gavin’s ex-fiance’ opens the door in a disheveled shirt and nothing else. Emily can’t get over the nagging feeling that Gavin had sex with her right after they had made love – even though deep down? She knows he didn’t. So of course, Emily being the idiot that she is takes Dillon back and their engagement continues….as the wedding stretches closer you want to punch Emily for being sooooooooooo stupid! But of course, this just adds to the OMG What’s going to happen next!!?? Which is the best part of reading a book right?

Fast Forward to Emily and Dillon’s wedding rehearsal – yes wedding rehearsal because she is going to go through with the charade because she believes she owes it to Dillon – and Gavin? Well he turned out to be everything she hoped he wouldn’t – he fucked his ex so of course, things are going to work out – But he didn’t fuck her – and we all know it – and she does too deep down.

Emily is in the restroom – finishing her make up and last minute touches before her rehearsal dinner when Olivia let’s Gavin into the room – he tries to get her to admit her feelings and to call off the wedding – but she refuses, still using the excuse that he fucked his ex.  He attacks her with all the lust and want – and love they have for each other to try and remind her. And she feels it – we feel it for god sakes! The sexual chemistry is POPPING off the page. But he’s drunk and she can’t admit it to him that she knows deep down he wouldn’t ever do anything to hurt her, so he leaves her in the bathroom to attend her rehearsal dinner – disheveled and lips swollen from his ravishing kisses:

“I’m cool right? There’s no lipstick left on me?” he asked, his smirk turning into a full-wated smile. “I love getting kissed by women who claim they don’t love me – makes my dick hard as a motherfucker.”

I kind of love Angry – Jealous – Drunk Gavin.

So you can imagine the scene Gavin makes during his speech and basically out’s their relationship. Dillon FINALLY musters the balls to admit it too – dragging everyone outside he screams at Emily, asking if they fucked and calls her a whore. Gavin of course, comes to her rescue and they fight. The break it up and Gavin leave’s with Olivia:

“He turned, and like a ghost vanishing through the air, he disappeared into Olivia’s car. In that second, with her heart in her stomach, Emily was sure that this last vision of him would sear itself into her mind, haunting her forever.?”

Dillon takes Emily back into the restaurant – tells everyone they’re leaving and heads back to his apartment. What happens now? Is the most disgusting thing I’ve read in a long time. He basically has her do a semi-strip tease and say that she is his and no one elses. He basically rapes her into submission and pass the fuck out – and I’m not sure who I’m more mad at, Dillon or Emily – because she didn’t once fight back – she didn’t say no, she just allowed him to use her like that and sneaks out to run to Gavin’s apartment. But Gavin is no where to be found. He’s not answering his phone – he’s not at his apartment and Emily is freaking out. Heading back to her apartment with Olivia she passes out – and when she wakes up it’s her wedding day – and the Groom still hasn’t figured out that there isn’t going to be a wedding.

Dillon shows up at the apartment thinking everything is fine and that they will be married that afternoon – but when Emily finally tells him the wedding’s off and they’re done – the fight is on! Dillon finally snaps to the point of pushing, shoving, choking – and basically treating Emily like a rag doll for his amusement. Emily’s sister and brother in law come – her brother in law gets him off if her and the police are called – Dillon arrested for domestic assault.

We find out that Dillon’s brother took him to the airport – and he’s headed off somewhere off the grid. He’s got to get away and deal with the his feelings and the fact that he still believes Emily and Dillon are getting married – and are married by now. He has no idea what’s happened or that Dillon’s finally beaten Emily because he tossed his cell phone before he got on the plane.

We end the story with one of the most frustrating cliff hanger’s I’ve ever read – I’m just lucky I bought Collide months ago, but didn’t get around to reading it until the 2nd book Pulse was already out – because I HAD to start Pulse ASAP to find out WTF happened. And of course – more draaaama.

*Favorite Quotes*

“Every part of you was made for me. Your lips were made to kiss mine, your eyes were made to wake up to me looking at you in my bed every morning, and your f***ing tongue was made to roll my name off of it. I am more certain of us than I’m certain that I require oxygen to breathe.”

“Here’s to bottle caps,the Yankees, and ‘birds’, and most of all”…he paused and lowered his voice to a whisper..” and,most of all to a beautiful girl named Molly who refuses to believe the man-the man who loves her more than she’ll ever know”

“I’ve never felt so heartbroken and so in love at the same time. If you would’ve told me the day we met that you were going to break my heart— and that days, months, or even years would pass, that I would still be hurting like this—it wouldn’t have stopped me from falling in love with you.”

“I want it all, Emily. I want to spend my nights holding hands with you,” he breathed the words into her ear. “I want the all-day texting.” He kissed her temple and caressed her cheek. “I want the laughing and the forehead kisses.” He softly ran his lips over her forehead. “I want the date nights, the movie watching, and the breakfast making.” He dragged his hands through her hair, his teeth tugging gently at her bottom lip. “I want the late-night drives, the sunset watching, the screaming, the yelling, and the crying.” Still kissing her, he smiled against her mouth. “I know I’ll definitely want the make up sex that comes after the screaming and the crying. In want the good, the bad and e in between. All of it is what’s going to make us amazing together,”

“With the weight of his body, he pressed her back against the wall, and licked the soft spot below her earlobe. “Tell me how much you f***ing want me,” he breathed.”

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