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Michael Dunellen on Books

Book Reviews and Other Things

Currently reading

Vampire Mistress
Joey W. Hill
Vampire Trinity
Joey W. Hill
The Submissive (The Submissive #1)
Tara Sue Me
Coming to Terms
Cara Bristol, Jade Cary, Alta Hensley, Celeste Jones, Sue Lyndon, Renee Rose, Anastasia Vitsky
Holding Back
Mila Kerr
Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)
Jamie McGuire
Epilogue: The Dark Duet (The Dark Duet, #2.5)
C.J. Roberts
In Flight (Up In The Air, #1)
R.K. Lilley
Undeniable (Undeniable, #1)
Madeline Sheehan
Entwined with You (Crossfire, #3)
Sylvia Day

Rush (The Breathless Trilogy #1)

Rush - Maya Banks So what did Jane and I think of Rush? You can read what I think below but to get the full effect I really recommend going over to Behind the Chintz Curtain to find out. Be forewarned, though, that neither of us was totally enamored.First off, let me say this. Maya Banks has been doing this for a while now. I don’t really think this is her version of Fifty Shades of Grey despite the fact that it did sort of feel that way. (Oh, and if you don’t want spoilers, don’t read this because this is a fully-fledged rant.) Having said that, she has accomplished something I wouldn’t have thought possible: created a male lead in Gabe Hamilton that makes Christian Grey and Gideon Cross (Bared to You) look like normal, well-adjusted, thoughtful young men.Gabe is in the hotel business. He and his partners, Jace and Ash, have been friends since college and seem to collectively be this generation’s Conrad Hilton. They are all thirty-eight and none of them have settled down – making all three eminently eligible bachelors. Well, actually, Gabe was married to Lisa for a while. And while we don’t find out much about it, it was some sort of power exchange relationship where he made all of the decisions. Until the day she decided to leave him and ran to a divorce attorney and the press painted their relationship as abusive. She got a hefty settlement when he didn’t fight her.Since then, Gabe has avoided romantic entanglements. Oh, he has relationships but they all have a contractual component. Every woman he sleeps with has to sign his combination Slave Contract Non-disclosure Agreement. After that, he and his chosen paramour get physical for a while but never more than six months before he moves on.So then he runs into Mia. Jace’s little sister. A twenty-four-year-old who seems to have gotten an MBA or at least a business degree but is waitressing at a pastry shop. Sweet little Mia who was raised from childhood by her big brother after their parents were killed. And it turns out he was wanted her for years. Long enough that he has now decided that a fourteen-year age difference doesn’t matter as much as it did when she was twenty or sixteen or whatever.So he goes to Jace and explains to him that he wants to use and abuse his baby sister for the next six months or so. Oh, wait, no, he doesn’t. That probably wouldn’t work out very well.So he goes to Mia and explains to her that he wants to use and abuse her for an unspecified period of time. Oh, and she really should have career goals so she can be his assistant so he can do the using and abusing right in his office. As long, of course, as she signs up to be his NDA’d sexual submissive. So at this point she files a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Oh, wait, no, she doesn’t. But she probably should have.So a bunch of stuff happens and then Gabe and Mia end up in a hotel room in Paris with three prospective business partners. In order to prove to himself that he doesn’t have feelings for his best friend’s little sister he binds and essentially tosses her to the wolves – after setting a few ground rules.There are roughly five kinds of men:1. The kind whose personal code would, for moral and religious reasons, make them want to leave.2. Those who prefer other guys to women.3. Guys who aren’t really Doms but aren’t going to pass up an interesting opportunity.4. Actual Doms who delight in the joy of a submissive woman.5. Abusers who won’t hesitate to hurt women to make themselves feel superior.The thing is, it is mighty hard to tell which is which just by looking at someone. The fact that Gabe assumed that these three potential investors were 3s and 4s was idiotic. I don’t even think scenarios 1 and 2 entered his head. But you don’t take a chance on having a 5 in the room. That was one of the most boneheaded moves I have ever seen.And I have to say that Mia was part of the problem. Being submissive is one thing. Letting someone walk on the fine line of being abusive (assuming you don’t think that Gabe crossed the line) is something else. Later on, Jace worries that her next boyfriend might actually be abusive as a result of her time with Gabe; if only the latter had given as much thought to what was going on.Honestly, my favorite moment was when Jace punched Gabe out. Because someone needed to. Of course, it didn’t actually knock any sense into him. That would have to come later.I did kind of like the ending but I am still thinking Gabe may need a couple of decades or so of therapy.I actually pre-ordered the next book, Rush, which will be featuring Jace. I am curious to see how he and Ash fare from an outsider perspective. Because even if they were kind of the guardian angels in this one, they probably won’t be in their own stories.