Published by: Forever Yours
Published date: May 6, 2014
Where to buy:
Description on Goodreads:
This new adult, male/male romance will capture the audience who fell in love with Nyrae Dawn's Games Trilogy.
For the love of the game.
Brandon Chase has always defined himself by one thing: football. Tough and athletic, he is a great college player who enjoys the hard hits and the sweaty grind of the gridiron. But when Brandon is injured, only one person can help him get back on track-a forbidden love he's desperately tried to put behind him.
Alec Andrews has never quite forgiven Brandon for walking away when their friendship turned into something more. But he can't deny help to one of his closest friends. As the two spend the long, hot summer working together, their old attraction comes flooding back.
Now as Alec thinks about coming out to his conservative family and Brandon considers revealing he's a gay football player, the two men must be strong to fight for a love that could be the greatest rush of their lives.
Approx. 70,000 words.
You might not have seen me around this sight lately. I started developing a little anxiety with writing and posting reviews. They take a lot of work and time for me because I have some perfectionistic tendencies and I really want to do justice for the books I love. I only promote what I love over here. This book is helping light a bit of a fire under me to get over it. My reviews from now on will likely be less perfectly edited and written but I am going to embrace a good enough mentality to help myself get back to writing reviews.
What was it about this book that has gotten me passionate enough to face my anxiety? Well, for one thing I have many family and friends that are gay. LGBT rights and equality are very important to me. This particular book, Rush, is a spin off book from an earlier released YA book entitled Four Summers. Brandon and Alec, the duo featured in Rush are side characters in that novel. I wrote to Nyrae after finishing the first book glad that she wrote about gay characters in a way that felt realistic. They didn't feel like token characters and were written without many of the overused cliched ways of portraying gay characters that often populate contemporary fiction. She confided that she was writing Brandon and Alec's story and I was really excited.
To be honest, I had never read a M/M romance book before hearing of this one. The books I have seen posted about by friends and bloggers were M/M erotic fiction and since I am a reader who craves an emotional connection I never felt like erotic fiction was the best fit for my book tastes. Sure, I can enjoy steam in a book but only if there is a true emotional connection. Not long before reading this book I did read a YA contemporary fiction book entitled Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz that dealt with LGBT issues. I enjoyed it so that increased my excitement over this book. Then two things happened that made me a little nervous.
The first thing that happened was that the cover was released. It is a cover that hints at an emphasis on steam. I didn't have an issue reading about two boys in a relationship and the physical parts of that relationship. I did worry about the steam being the focus especially as the cover seems to suggest this. The second thing that happened was that I realized this book, unlike Four Summer, was going to be a New Adult book. While I don't hate New Adult, I find that most of the books put an emphasis on the physical side of a relationship over the emotional. It is often to where the emotional aspects don't get the time and attention I prefer when reading making them not the best fit for my tastes.
I am so happy to tell you that my nervousness was unfounded. The emotional connection that Nyrae writes in this book is fantastic. Yes, there is steam to rival many other New Adult books. If that is what you crave it is present. The reason it works for me here is that it never overtook the emotional connection between the two young men. If anything it acts as a compliment. The whole balance between the emotions and the lust is done with perfection. Nyrae writes such an intense, soul deep connection and takes great care to show you the small and large ways that these two connect to each other and love deeply. We even see them doing everyday types of things. My favorite New Adult books get this balance.
The books takes you on many ups and downs for these two. It really makes you think about everything one takes for granted in a straight relationship. The worries, fears and challenges for these two pulled at my heart. It is so authentic and heartfelt. I want to give examples but I think this is something best experienced by reading the book. Everything felt completely authentic and genuine. Even the sex scenes didn't feel gratuitous but added to the sense of love, discovery and growth between Brandon and Alex.
There is something else I've noticed as I've read books by this author. She really does a good job of writing complex characters with both the good, the bad and the ugly. With each book she writes she gets better at showing the reader all the facets that make her characters tick. Some of her characters make big and small mistakes. There are times they make poor choices or act in selfish or fearful ways. There are also time where they shine and you see all that they are capable of becoming. Some of her characters show growth and discover redemption on different levels and yet others are left to sit stubbornly stuck in their ways. I enjoyed the complexity here in this book.
All I can say is that if you like NA with a lot of emotion, YA but don't mind some added steam and also reading about a beautiful love story between two young men I can't recommend this one enough. You don't have to have read Four Summers first. This book stand alone just fine. But if you want to know a little more about the background and events that take place before the time frame of this book then you can pick up Four Summers first. Both books, while companions, have their own distinctive feel and vibe. Final rating: 5/5.
Bonus: Interview with the lovely Nyrae Dawn.