Mar 13, 2013

Posted by in Reviews | 7 Comments

Review: Rush by Maya Banks (Breathless #1)


2 star

Contemporary Erotic Romance
February 5 2013
Trade Paperback
396 pages
Received from publisher

Yummy Man – Gabe Hamilton
Kick Ass Chick – Mia Crestwell

From Goodreads –
Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking…

When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.

Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.

As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.


Maya Banks’ Sweet series was the first erotic series that I ever read.  I have re-read the first three books in that series a few times – especially the second book.  So when I heard that Maya was working on a shiny new erotic contemporary romance series I was very excited.  No one can beat her alpha men.  But unfortunately, I found Gabe to be a little too…alpha.

Rush is the first book in her new series.  The Breathless series follows three friends who own a multi-million-bazillion dollar company.  And of course these three guys are also full of kinks in the bedroom. And sometimes out of the bedroom.  *wink* Rush follows Gabe, an absolute Dom.  By absolute, I mean he is completely responsible for the woman he is with.  He suggests what she wears, where they eat, when she can do pretty much everything and of course, when and where they have sex.  She is to be open to sex and available whenever the urge strikes.  And for Gabe, that is often.  *wink wink*

Gabe was burned in the past.  His ex-wife really did a number on him and as a result he now asks any woman who is thinking of getting involved with him and his ‘lifestyle’ to sign a very detailed contract letting them know exactly what they are getting into.  I can’t say I know what I would do if faced with a contract like Gabe’s.  It is very detailed and very intimidating.  But it protects Gabe and the woman who decides to play with him for the next little while.  In this case, it protects Mia.  Mia is not only the woman Gabe has fantasized about for quite a while, she is also the much younger sister of Jace, one of Gabe’s best friends/partner.

Mia has had a crush on Gabe for years – he was her teenage crush – but never thought she would be able to live out her fantasies.  Yes she was a little shocked when she found out what Gabe was into but not surprised enough to turn away.  I liked Mia as a sub,mostly.  She wasn’t a total pushover yet she didn’t fight Gabe all the time just to ‘receive punishment’.  That drives me bonkers in an erotic BDSM book – when the heroine is purposely bad so she can get her spanking.  I think it spoils it.  There were times when I thought Mia was a bit too naïve for Gabe and that she was not questioning things enough but overall, I found her okay.  Not my favorite heroine ever written by this author but okay.

Gabe.  Oh Gabe.  There was just something about him that didn’t fully click with me.  I usually enjoy an extra-alpha man – in books anyway – but I need to feel like the Dom truly feels for him Sub.  I need to completely understand that there is an emotional connection there or else it’s just sex with an aggressive twist. And in that case, it feels more like the man taking from the woman without fully thinking about her needs.  Yes, Subs get a certain amount of satisfaction knowing that their Dom is happy and satisfied but a good Dom will not let their Sub go without making sure she is really enjoying things.  He learns his Sub inside and out.  I did not get that from Gabe.  There was lots of internal dialogue on his part telling himself that he is a selfish person and all of that was only because he was afraid to admit that he was actually falling in love with Mia but that doesn’t excuse his behavior.  You don’t treat another person the way Gabe sometimes treated Mia just to prove a point to yourself.  I would have thought Gabe – a successful mature man – would know better than that.

Speaking of proving points to himself, there was one scene in particular that really rubbed me the wrong way in Rush.  I am sure that you have heard about this scene by now and yes, it is as uncomfortable as people say it is.  I understand the why behind the scene – Gabe needed to know that he was in fact falling for Mia, no doubts in his mind, but really?!  When you are a Dom and you see that kind of fear and uneasiness on your Sub’s face, you don’t go through with your selfish little plan!  You don’t suddenly treat the other person like an object.  So where I understood the point of the scene and I understood why the scene had to be as unnerving as it was, I didn’t like it.  At all.  Having Mia kiss someone else would have done the same thing and would have not made Gabe to be a huge jerk.  I also didn’t like how Mia reacted after everything happened.  I would have hit Gabe with the giant vase in the corner of the room and told him in some very colorful language that would have made my mother blush exactly where he could go.  But I will give it to Mia that when some fallout came about from this scene (fallout I found unnecessary to the story) at least she didn’t freak too much and went for help.  That impressed me so she got a few points for that from me.

The main story was about Gabe and Mia.  There were a few things going on here and there but really, the story was the couple and their ‘coming together’.  We did meet Jace and Ash though and they are the reason I am actually considering continuing with the series.  Jace’s book is next and I am curious to see how his story plays out.  He’s the older brother who took care of the little sister after their parents passed away.  (Can we say “awww”?) He has a big heart and isn’t as boorish as Gabe so his story will most likely be more enjoyable.  But I’m not sure if I will read Fever right away or wait to read a few reviews before deciding to read it for sure.  I’ll think on it I suppose.

Overall, I didn’t love this book.  The characters just didn’t click with me.  I needed to feel that Gabe honestly cared for Mia (even if it wasn’t love right away, I needed to feel that he at least gave a damn about her) but I didn’t feel that.  In my opinion, if you are looking for a story with a strong Dom and a charming heroine/sub, read Maya’s Sweet books.  The first two are excellent D/s stories.  And I’ll keep you posted on whether or not I’ll be reading Jace’s book which releases April 2nd 2013.

2.5 stars

Books in the Breathless series –
Fever (April 2013)
Burn (August 2013)


  1. I agree completely–don’t know if I can continue the series!

  2. Wow, I think I’ll definitely skip this one for sure! I’ll look into maybe the next one if you write a good enough review on it. LOL. But, I cringed the moment I saw that you had rated it at 2 books and I know that my initial instinct was correct.

  3. You know? I was putting a lot of the blame on the narrator’s interpretation of the characters, but now I’m starting to wonder…Maybe it just wasn’t Mrs. Banks best effort.
    I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but Excellent review!!
    I didn’t have a lot words to describe Gage, so I just called him The Jerk…LOL I’ll tell you what tho. I have a lot confidence in Maya Banks, and I thinks she might be able to to turn this whole thing around, so I’m giving the next book a shot.

  4. Lucky – What I’m hearing about the second book makes me nervous lol.

    Deanna – Yeah…not my favorite 🙁

    Lupdilup – I actually thought you chose a good name for him 😉

  5. I agree with all the reviews but I will be reading Jaces story I think it will be a lot more interesting.. Plus well get to see how Gabe and Mia’s relationship is going..

  6. Gabe…not Gage.

  7. Celine – OMG! How did I or anybody else not notice that before?! lol Darn spellchecker… Fixing it right now. Thank you 🙂

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