Book Review – Collide by Gail McHugh

by Maryse on January 27, 2013 · 58 comments

in My Book Reviews

Collide: Book One in the Collide Series
I asked for something that would make me fall in love, and boy was it delivered…

Jodi: Collide about did me in the other day. I was sick with the flu and stayed in bed all day to read it.

Joy: Maryse….definitely listen to Shelly and check out Collide. It was so good. Started it in the evening and stayed up until 1:50 am and finished.

Megan: I read Collide this week and fell in love!

Maryse: 48% into Collide and I just got that awesome deeeeeep stomach dip. I’m reeeeally liking the tension in this.

I think I’ve officially found my newest long lasting book love. GAVIN was OMG-help-me-NOW-I-can’t-think-straight awesome. AWE-SOME. In fact I had big stomach dips while reading his scenes, all of the fluttery belly-butterflies, and sure enough… I’m happily in that love haze and have been for 2 days now.

Maryse’s Book Blog: I’m in love y’all!!! Er… you know. Fictional character-style love. ;)

Celine: Oh yeah, that’s me, every day, with a different character! Lol! Who’s on today’s menu??

Maryse: GAVIN is one of my biggest weekend LOVES. I MISSSSSSSS him sooooo much people!!!!! I will be writing about him tomorrow. I need to bask in my crush of him for tonight… I ABSOLUTELY LOVED and I fell in love too!! I think he’s gonna stick with me for the whole year!

Anjanette: Gavin is to die for Collide was amazing

Angel: this is my favorite of 2013 so far….loved this book!!!

Carrie: I just read Collide:) I am so happy a second book is coming!!! Love!! Gavin might be my new Kellan, and I didn’t think that could happen!!!

Maryse’s Book Blog: I am deeeeeply into Gavin. DEEPLY. Could a character be any more intense? I know of a few, and he is another. LOVE!!

Angela: Does Collide have a major cliffhanger? Is book one wrapped up nicely or does gift leaving aching to know what happens next?

Juana: Maryse I’m glad to hear you met Gavin, gosh are we going to be able to hold out until the summer, Gail needs to hurry up and get us the second book!

Tracie: Angela, yes Collide has a big cliffhanger. Burned me up too.

Although, yes, now I’m moping ’cause this was one that I didn’t want to end. That’s the sign of a favorite book (for me). To have to wait for #2 is killing me, but reading this one, cliffhanger and all was SO worth it. Cliffhanger? YES! But one of those cliffhangers that… well… I was good with. Made me want more, right away, (and you’ll see why) but the writing and personal character’s personalities are enough to hold me over. I just have to think back to one of his uber-intense, heart-felt, super angsty scenes and I am right back there with them. HIM.

“You need to kill whatever the f&*k is going on between you two.”

“I don’t think I can.” Hesitating, he drew in a lungful of air, his voice dropping a notch. “She’s supposed to be with me.”

Their private moments, thoughts, elations and devastations are detailed just right. Just enough that I internalized it and broke when she (or he) broke, and grinned like a fool with every stolen moment. Ohhhhh the stolen moments lit up this book. Absolutely MADE this book.

Their sentiments and their sudden insecurities and worries were timed in a way that even I was worrying about those same things just as they were being brought up. Every fleeting thought, every deep thought, was mine.

And while every once in awhile I found the dialogue just a bit much in the beginning (1 or 2 instances, actually, where I wondered if a guy would be that wordy) the overall effect and rhythm of the character’s progression together developed at the perfect pace for me. Believable. And Gavin’s personality truly came to life. The author “found” him along the way and oh yes… what he said, how he said it and the attitude behind it all, had the perfect imperfect “guy” feel.

“You f&*king unravel me when you do that,” he groaned, his voice harsh…

He was distinguished and wealthy, but he still “lost it” with the best of ‘em.

So what’s it about?

Emily is dating stockbroker Dillon (handsome, successful and so supportive). In fact, he helped her through her mother’s illness and death and took care of pretty much.. everything. And when she moves to NY to be near him (and rooms with his friend’s sister), Dillon’s personality changes. She’s now on his turf. And while they are still going strong, Emily realizes that her long distance relationship with him is very different from this new one.

At first, their differences didn’t seem so big to her because their relationship grew and blossomed in her world. Now that she was coexisting in his, there was a lot she needed to accept.

And Emily’s world takes a spin when, during work, she meets a gorgeous stranger (Gavin) who… eventually insists on not being strangers anymore.

“… I don’t see a ring on your finger, and while there’s not a ring on your finger, there still may be hope for me.”

He’s one of NY’s hottest eligible bachelors, and his “player” reputation precedes him.

“… the whole player thing’s a misconception. I just haven’t found the right woman yet.”

*swooooon* That would be enough for me! But er… I think they like the woman a bit more “hard to get” as evidenced by his pursuit of Emily. ;)

Instant attraction that can’t be denied, and while she resists, circumstances arise that make things very difficult for her… and very fun (and torturous) for us!

I admit I was worried a bit when I started it. It was recommended as an awesome “What to Read After Thoughtless” option, and while I was elated by that fact (’cause, done right, I love that kind of story), I was worried that I’d be jaded by the similarities. And yes, there were quite a few, but I’m happy to say, to me, this story took on a life of it’s own, and I was able to “live it” more than compare it. Things are different in this one. Different reasoning, loyalties, personalities. Different reveals. You’ll be angry in this one too, but not necessarily in the same way.

Mind you, the heroine’s occasional over-the-top reactions made me roll my eyes and wonder if I was up for all of the mess that would take place while “they” refused to communicate (and there are a few “theys” in this one). I’d think… “Oh COME ON!!! This is sooooo obvious where this is going!!” or “Oh you’ve GOT to be kidding me, why did *spoiler* do that!!??” And yet the over-the-top angst didn’t ruin it. I’d find myself eye-rolling and heaving a sigh of exhaustion and then shortly thereafter, I’d raise an eyebrow and think… “okay, yeah, I can understand that.” It wasn’t perfect and I was screaming at them through my iPad to stop the madness and stop driving me crazy, but then again, it provided the tension and the angst that I love. Something in the writing, in the introspection, and certain relief scenes kept me from throwing the iPad. I wanted to, but the author always brought me back.

So while the story is kind of “obvious”… it still worked for me, you know?

After all, when we are insecure, or are in relationship-shock, we self-sabotage, and I’ve been known to drama-queen out a few times to prove a point as a youngin’. I’ve also been known to make decisions that seemed perfectly alright (and innocent) on the spot but looking back… what was I thinking!!?

So I thought to myself, “why can’t they make those stupid decisions, too?” And what did I do while reading this? That’s right. I went with it. ;)

“Sometimes bad choices bring us to the right people, Emily.”

A fantastic, dramatic, intense love story and I’ve found my first official 2013 book boyfriend. Gavin rocked my world. YAY ME!!! *glares at all of you Gavin lovers* Grrrrrrr!!! OFF! (*blush* Couldn’t help myself). Im just kidding. ;) Sorta. confused emoticon

“Give me all of it, Emily.”

*whoooooooo* he is INTENSE!!! Nothing I quote here can compare to you (the reader), actually taking it in, the way it was meant to be read. I’ve practically highlighted his every scene. I proclaim him… squeeworthy.

4.5 stars (and 5 stars PLUS for anything/everything GAVIN).

P.S. Here’s an exclusive and lengthy teaser for the upcoming sequel “PULSE”.


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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenny B January 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Great review!! I fell in love with this book and patiently waiting for the next!!!!

Michelle M. January 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Today’s my birthday and I’ve been wondering what book I was going to gift myself with today (like I need another excuse to buy a good book!). So, thanks to your review, I just decided COLLIDE was the perfect birthday present to myself. :-D

Aimee January 27, 2013 at 8:31 PM

I just read this book this past week and loved it!!! Can’t wait to read the next one!

Maryse January 27, 2013 at 8:33 PM

*hug* Happy Birthday Michelle!!!! :D

Angie Mckeon January 27, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Eeeeeeeeepppp!!!! Yay I’m so glad you read this. Swooooooon for Gavin. This review rocked. Awesome amazing job!!

Lindsay January 27, 2013 at 8:53 PM

“What to read after Thoughtless?” I’m purchasing now

Liz S. January 27, 2013 at 8:54 PM

So I’ve been eyeing this book for a few days now. There have been some great 99¢ bargains lately that I kept putting this one off. But I saw your review and just went ahead and 1-clicked. Lol. If you loved it I know I definitely will.

Cynthia January 27, 2013 at 9:11 PM

As much as cliffhangers piss me off, I didn’t seem to mind so much with this one because Gavin was so great. One of my favorite reads so far in 2013, cliffhanger and all.

Cody January 27, 2013 at 9:11 PM

I loved this book so much, I can’t bring myself to start a new book. Like I’m Collision hungover or something. Maybe I’m just hesitant to replace Gavin so quickly. Sniff sniff. I tried to drag out the end… I really did. :-(

Kristen January 27, 2013 at 9:19 PM

So, I almost exclusively shy away from cliffhangers. Can this book be read on it’s own if I choose? Or, is the second one going to be a must given the way this one ends? Just looking for a warning! ;)

Erin January 27, 2013 at 9:23 PM

What a great review. I just finished this yesterday and I can tell you that I am in love. I am in love with Gavin. I am in love with Emily and I am completely in hate with Dillion. I have also had the extreme pleasure of chatting Gail McHugh and she is also as incredible as her book is. CANNOT wait until summer for pulse

Maryse January 27, 2013 at 9:25 PM

The second is a must, Kristen, BUT!!! This one is sooooo worth the agonizing wait of #2. The way it ends… just. I love it.

Rose January 27, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Just finished early this am around one and you nailed the book – Gavin is amazing and everything from his thoughts to his words just made me melt. I can’t wait for book 2 mainly to read more Gavin.

Tricia January 27, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Cannot wait to start this. Thank you Maryse! I can always count on you.

Maryse January 27, 2013 at 9:54 PM

My pleasure guys! You’re in for a treat!

Tiffany January 27, 2013 at 9:58 PM

Sold!!! I kept looking at this and then would not buy it for some reason but after that review I know I will love it too!! Thanks again Maryse!!

Pam January 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Lol i just recommended this to you this morning on Goodreads! I started and finished it yesterday! And as soon as i finished i knew Gavin was right up your alley! And the author is fantastic and super nice! Cant wait for Pulse :-D

Maryse January 27, 2013 at 11:30 PM

Me too! Pulse couldn’t come soon enough!!

Terrie January 28, 2013 at 12:17 AM

I enjoyed the book and liked the characters but I thought the writing was a bit thin. Not rich or well written.

Surj January 28, 2013 at 3:31 AM

Omg I finished it last night….. I looked up to my husband with that look…. “What’s wrong?” He asked. “I have to wait for the summer for the sequel” I replied. “Oh” he replied. “Oh…. Is that it…. Oh.” I replied slightly angry and then began to go on and on about Dillon, Emily and Gavin like they were my friends and this was happening to people I actually knew!!!!! He thought it was hilarious how engrossed I had become with the characters. Men…. No clue how attached we become to our books and the characters within them. I need the sequel ASAP. definitely worth reading. Now what to read next

Lisa76 January 28, 2013 at 8:42 AM

I am 72% in and LOVE this one. I want to slap Dillon and Kiss Gavin!!!

Tracie January 28, 2013 at 8:52 AM

I really liked this book. But Emily was so weak a lot of times I had to wonder is she really going to go through with this?? I hope she toughens up in the next book. But Gavin… Swoon.

Ida January 28, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Maryse thanks for the review. I went straight to B&N and got it. Can’t wait to start reading it. Too bad that work is getting in the way :(

Megan January 28, 2013 at 11:53 AM

I loved it, Gavin is so damn sexy!!! Now we wait for pulse!!!!

Nicole January 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I’m grabbing this one, was wondering about it! I can’t ever do anything unless you review it first, lol!

One I recently read that was hilarious, very Alice Clayton-ish was Fate Interrupted by Kaitlyn Cross. I don’t think you’ve read that one (I checked for a review), but I think you would love it. A friend in my bookclub duo suggested it, it was on Amazon for 99 cents and it was so great. It’s the first of two, the second comes out in March.

melissa January 28, 2013 at 1:29 PM

So i saw this on a Instagram post.I was like Ok she likes good books we have same taste.I had to thank her for this recommendation.I loved it!I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of this sooner. ***** for this Book! A must read.I really like books like this that dont always end happy those book are getting to predictable for me..but i will still read lol.

I fell in love with Gavin & that damn tattoo mouth watering Shmecky!!! The sexy!!!!!Omfg
It was just getting so good! Grrr now I have to wait *sign*

Great Author!!Can’t wait for me!

Erin M January 28, 2013 at 5:40 PM

I read it this weekend and loved it! A fabulous way to spend a rainy Sunday. Great review and I completely agree with it all……Gavin total swoon!! Hmm now if only I could see that tattoo in person…lol

Can’t wait for book 2!!!

Celeste January 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM

I can’t help but thinking something’s wrong with me – I just couldn’t get into this. I mean, I read it in its entirety, but it was just lacking somehow.

I really liked Gavin, but I kept wondering what did Emily really HAVE to attract him? She made bad choice after bad choice and acted more like a woman with battered woman syndrome than a healthy adult. It was just kind of a downer for me.

nikitab January 28, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Celeste, I agree. I could fall in love with Gavin but can’t bear Emily. Read the sample and decided I couldn’t deal with her any longer. Also some of the dialogue had me rolling my eyes thinking “who talks like that”? Anyone else?

April January 29, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Celest and nikitab I totally agree! Personally, I just kept waiting for Emily to *spoiler*. I seriously hope she does in book 2!

Maryse…thanks for the awesome reviews. Keep them comin’!

Tracey January 29, 2013 at 9:33 AM

I yelled at my kindle yesterday while reading this one. I knew where it was going at the end, I could feel it and I knew it would be a cliffhanger and I hate that (but secretly love the build up). I love Gavin, he is too good to be true. I love him! I want to sing a song in his honor, that’s how much I love him. This book built me up and in the past I would have been given a sweet reward at the end, I wasn’t here and I feel like I worked my ass of for it and deserved it. But nope, gotta wait until summer. I can, I will but I will hate every minute. I have got to know what is going to happen next!!!!

bev January 29, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I also could not get into this book and ended up skimming most of it. Lately been having a hard time with heroines as Celeste said could not see why he loved her so. I want to be shown in a novel not just told. Also I ended up upset with both during the “like” scene. it felt like highschool and I wanted to tell her dont sit at their table its called mocking.

Diana January 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Marsye…thanks for all your reviews.
I never was a reader until the fifty series came out and now I’m obsessed. I’m always looked for a great read.

Started and finished this one yesterday….was up until 1am reading!
Gavin is just delish! Definitely one of my top 10! Pulse can not come soon enough!

Catherine January 29, 2013 at 5:36 PM

OH my gosh,, Maryse thank you for this reveiw. I’m at 54% and my heart can’t take it… What the heck is Emily thinking? I dont know if i’ll be able to handle the cliffhanger.

nancy rodriguez January 29, 2013 at 8:58 PM

I can not WAIT for the next book….I fell in love with tall…dark..and F@#$able. He is the gream of all dreams. I hope Emily makes the right choice which I believe she does..I hate Dillion he is a DIRTY DOG and hope he gets his. Gavin OMG Gavin is all i can say….
I love reading yopur blog because everything that you reccomend i read and your absolutly right with them. Thanks for ebrything

Claudia January 29, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Ive missed this feeling! This book gave me that feeling where I don’t want to forget or let go, that angst feeling that doesnt let you put the book down. I absolutely loved this book to the point where I would read it again and again! I cant believe we have to wait sooooo long for Pulse ;(

Yani January 30, 2013 at 6:55 PM

I am completely in LOVE!!! I have to honestly say that Gavin has made me forget all about every book love/npyfriend I had before!!!! This book is amazing and I don’t know how I am going to make it all the guy to summer!!!!!! I need to read more of Gavin right now!!!

Neika January 31, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Read it… ♥♥♥♥♥ IT!!!!!! And now find myself missing the characters. I want to keep swooooooooooning…whats next?

Kristina January 31, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Holy crap this was good. Gavin is so lickable, ahem, I mean loveable. Dillion just makes you want to beat up some random guy just because he looks like as big as an ass as he is. And Emily, well, I had a love hate relationship with her. There were times I was getting so annoyed with her and then there were times I was cheering her on. The ending definitely did its job of me dying for more! (Sigh) now the long wait till Summer.

Sara February 2, 2013 at 11:08 PM

I really liked this book too. it was a crazy ride. But I think you need to make a reading list to recover from these crazy emotional angsty books. A “What to read in between the books that make you want to throw your kindle” list. Have any suggestions for a fun read to help recover from wanting to reach into my kindle and strangle Emily and shoot Di¢khead dill pickle?

Laura February 4, 2013 at 9:55 AM

OMG I came into work late today because I just had to finish it and now I’m just staring out the window in awe. I want to go home and read the last chapter again, and to wait til the summer??? Ughhhhhh AWESOME book!!!!

Ida February 4, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Just finished it this weekend. I LOVE Gavin sooo much. I wanted to grab Emily and shake the crap out of her. UGH!!! she made me MAD. I don’t have any nice words to describe how I feel about Dillon. I HATE HIM!!!! Now, Olivia is my hero. I absolutely love her. I can’t wait for the next book.

Tiffany Sasso February 5, 2013 at 8:32 PM

Loved this book too! Was so emotionally invested that I found myself at work thinking about Emily and wondering if she was OK?? I had to remind myself that this was just a BOOK!! So emotional that I at times I felt axniety and a pit in the bottom of my stomach! Author was a little too descriptive at times but she really did make you sense what each character was feeling. Liked all the friend characters and all the connections. ALmost thought that the story could happen. In your 20′s you do crazy stuff!! Can’t wait until second books comes out!!

Claudia February 8, 2013 at 10:39 AM

My mouth is just hanging open, ugggghhhh!!!! I just hope Emily doesn’t give in that easily and that both of those dawgs learn a thing or two from this lesson. Ohhhhhh noooooo what a cliff hanger!!!!! Do I have to wait until summer for the next book???

Vanessa February 13, 2013 at 6:58 PM

Just finished reading this book and OMG what a cliff hanger!!! It drives me crazy when books end like this!!

Keisha February 18, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Wow! What a fantastic book! I stayed up until the wee hours to finish this book. I simply couldn’t put it down & had to see how it would end. Wow, what an ending! I can’t wait for the next book due out this summer. It cannot get here soon enough!

Gavin Blake is just swooooonnn! *Sigh*
I SO love him right now! Book boyfriends just aren’t fair :(

Zez February 27, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Help, does anyone know where I can get this in a format that is kobo compatible!

Judy March 10, 2013 at 4:31 PM

I found your site after finishing the Thoughtless series & wondering what to read next…I followed your recommendation for Collide and you were SO RIGHT – it was off the charts awesome! It was sitting-in-bed-with-my-flashlight-so-I-don’t-wake-the-husband GOOD!!! I have never been so anxious reading a book before, with knots in my stomach and my hands shaking. I want to thank you for these great “what to read after….” lists. I’ll be visiting your site regularly now! :)

Maryse March 10, 2013 at 5:05 PM

haha Judy! I love this comment SO much! Exactly how I felt!

Renie March 27, 2013 at 5:31 PM

I LOVE Gavin ….he is my new Kellan!!!!

Ann April 1, 2013 at 6:54 PM

I am so glad I found your site! Gavin Blake is yumtious. Which is a cross between scrumptious and yummy! Ha ha! He is indeed the new book boyfriend! I loved the angst. His speech at the end was heartbreaking…
“To bottle caps, the Yankees and ‘birds.” I was a mess after reading Collide and did want to throw my Kindle across the room. Reading the teaser from Pulse only made my anxiety worse. I do not understand the negative reviews and was so glad I didn’t let them sway me. I want more Gavin! Any suggestions on what to read to get over him until the summer?

Dominika April 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM

I felt immediately in love with this book and it´s on my list of favourite books. To be honest, Gavin is for me the best boyfriend character ever ! :) What I didn´t like so much was the part at the end…if Emily loved Gavin su much as she declared, why coudn´t she forgive him and believe him? Emily was so willing to believe Dillon, all the times when he lied to her and with Gavin she coudn´t…Ok, it´s probably because if she did so, there shoudn´t be a reson for a book 2 :)
but anyway, it was just so sad, to read all the lines, as Gavin tried to persuade her to believe him…
But I definitelly agree with some reviews, the book 2 shoud be more about mature Emily, not as naive as in part one…her character and personality shoud grow and she shoud fight for Gavin, exactly like he did in first part…
Can´t wait to read the second book, but Gail, August is so far…please make it shorter :)

sincerely_ashley April 8, 2013 at 5:46 PM

This book rocked me to my core. I was captivated from star to finish. I was so angry, sad, excited and exhausted from this story. I was balling my eyes out one minute and fuming the next! Such a great book. I am entirely too anxious to wait until NOVEMBER!!!

Tiffany April 20, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Gavin is PERFECT !!! I LOVE him so much !!!!!!
But jeez Emily, come onnnnnnnn !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m sorry, but she is so infuriating !!! At some point she is this self assured woman, who always speaks her mind, and then she is this girl who finds excuses to her dick of a boyfriend !!
And I don’t take the “she’s young” excuse ! She’s 24, not 17 !!

alexis June 6, 2013 at 11:29 PM

Okay…after reading Thoughtless, I went to your site to see what biker books to read. But then I saw your posting about what to read after reading thoughtless. Since I wasn’t ready for Effortless yet and I had already read the Mighty Storm (If you haven’t read this, this is a good one too…I read this last year and I truly loved it and can’t wait for the next one). So I started Collide and I got to 80% this morning before I had to go to work. I stopped at a point because I was actually afraid of what was going to come next. After such a wonderful weekend, I just have this feeling that something is going to happen between Gavin and Emily and I am not ready to go there yet. Who knows, it could be further in the book but I just have the funny feeling in my stomach. So I have put it on pause and just saw that there is a sequel and it does not come out until August. Now I am debating….do I stop now where everything is rosy in the book and finish it in August after part two comes out. Or finish it and from what I can tell from the reviews, deal with some agony and trepidation because of the cliffhanger and the wait for part 2? What to do, what to do?!?!?! Thoughtless was bad enough…I loved that book and because I couldn’t put it down I was even sneaking moments in at work to read parts of it. Thank god I was in meetings most of the day otherwise I probably would have done the same with Collide….

Judy June 7, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Alexis – if you CAN stop reading, do it NOW…wait until August til Pulse comes out, then finish Collide & go straight to Pulse. I wish I had known it ended in a cliffhanger or I wouldn’t have started reading it! It’s so INTENSE!!

Jenn September 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Omg this book was amazing I finished both books with in 48 hours and I want more . I could not put my ipad down from reading .

Kaitlyn May 12, 2016 at 1:37 PM

This was only the third chapter book i have ever read in my whole life. I am very picky with what I read and this is the best book that i ever read and I immediately started reading the next. Will there be a third book to the Collide Series?

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