Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Review: "Driven" by K Bromberg

I am a firm believer that we are all in some way, hopeless romantics at heart (and if you are a fan of adult contemporary romances, then probably even more so). Despite the fact that most books slotting into this genre are formulaic, we just can’t seem to get enough. We believe that everyone deserves to find “The One”, to fall in love and to ultimately live happily ever after. However, the path to nirvana is a lot smoother for some than it is others. K Bromberg’s novel “Driven” is no different. Yes it’s formulaic but does this make it any less worthy of reading? Definitely not. Once I got into this book, I struggled to put it down. I desperately wanted to know what would happen and so I battled on into the night until (in the wee early hours of this morning), when I finished it!!!!

So what’s the book about?

Rylee Thomas carries the burden of guilt on her shoulders. It weighs heavy on her heart, stopping her from living, from moving forward and enjoying all that life has to offer. She is structured, disciplined and always in control. Taking chances and living on the edge are definitely not in her remit, that is until Colton Donovan strolls into her life. From the word “go”, there is a spark, a physical attraction, and in that very moment they meet,  Rylee loses the control she has so  desperately tried to maintain:
I act recklessly, and have “that kiss”- the one that books are written about,
love is found and virtue is lost with. For deep down in the depths of my soul,
I know this kiss will be that for me.

Colton Donovan always gets what he wants and he has set his sights on Rylee. But despite their initial liaison, she fights the attraction and rejects his advances. Not one to take no for an answer, he is relentless in his pursuit and will play dirty to ensure she is his. Colton sees a side to Rylee that has been hidden deep in her subconscious and he wants to be the person that brings it to the  surface:

“You know that deep down, a tiny part of that proper, respectable woman you
are, wants to visit that reckless, sexy, uninhibited place inside that’s
begging to get out. A place I can undoubtedly help you find”.

Unfortunately, as well as the secrets Rylee is keeping, Colton has his own demons and these demons have defined the man he has become. He is very honest from the word go. He won’t do relationships, he won’t do commitment and he definitely won’t do love:

“I can assure you, romance isn’t something I actively subscribe to.
There is no such things as happily ever after”.

As Rylee’s feelings for him grow, she becomes more and more aware, that both of them are looking for different things:

And therein lies the problem- when he refers to me, he speaks of feelings and
emotions and when he refers to himself, he speaks of physical contact.
I try to tell myself that the physical contact is what I want from him too.

So where does that leave them? She can’t give him what he wants. He can’t give her what she needs but is the chemistry between them enough to bring them together or will their secrets tear them apart?

Wow, this was quite a roller coaster of a read. And by this I mean that my emotions ran all over the place.... one minute I was happy, the next in the depths of despair (not that this was a bad thing... it just meant that I had connected really well to the story and to the characters).

In Colton and Rylee, I saw two characters that were similar in so many ways (both had a need to be in control, both strong willed and feisty but also both afraid and very vulnerable).

I saw many sides to Rylee’s character. She was kind, caring and selfless. I loved the way she referred to the boys at the home as “her boys”. They were like her family and when they hurt, she hurt and she would do anything to protect them. At times I saw her as a strong woman, who knew what she wanted and would do anything to get it, but other times, her insecure side really came out. . She wasn’t as confident as she came across, she had insecurities, just like the rest of us:  

Why is he kissing her? Did he not ask me because I’m not enough- pretty enough, sexy enough,
glamorous enough- to be on his arm in public?

I loved the internal dialogue Rylee had with herself. It made her character more real for me and really helped me connect with her. There were times when I thought “god, I’m just like that”:

..... wishing I was one of those people who can say all the right things
 at the right times. But I’m not. Instead, I think of them
hours later and only wish I’d said them.

Yes that’s so many of us... not quick enough off the mark...lol

So how did I feel about Colton? Honestly, although I found a physical attraction there immediately, emotionally, it really did take me a while to warm to him. As Rylee said, he was arrogant, over confident and so self assured, He was just too cocky for me. But you know, as I worked my way through their story and different sides to his character came out to play, I found myself liking him more and more and by the end of the book, I really was rooting for them as a couple.
Colton could be thoughtful, he even had a caring side to him (especially with the boys from the home). But there was a side to him that was hurting, that was scared. I saw it and Rylee saw it and it just made my heart break for him because I knew he would never let himself go, let himself be loved the way he deserved:

I feel like I’m seeing the true Colton Donovan- the unmasked version with
vulnerability that makes me want to reach over and take away the
hurt that flickers through those green eyes and make it better. To show
him that love and commitment is possible without complications.
That it is real and pure and much more powerful than ever
imagined when it is built and shared between two people.

Despite their overwhelming feelings for each other, there was just so much going against them. If it wasn’t their pasts haunting them, it was other people interfering. The odds were definitely stacked against them but I was willing for them to break through all the crap and just as I thought they were making progress, my heart sank. I didn’t expect the ending, I knew it probably wouldn’t end on a high note but  this??? I knew the rhyme and reason for it but it just didn’t make it any easier. Now I have to wait until August for the next instalment. K Bromberg, please hurry up and write. I need to know what happens!!!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was well written with a story that flowed. It came across as realistic and believable which is what we want in a good contemporary romance novel. I got myself a very hot race car driver for the lead character, a good connection with characters, quite a bit of steamy sex , heart break (I’m sadistic), and hope. although on occasion I did find myself getting a little frustrated with Rylee’s constant mention of Colton’s “Bevy of babes”. I know this was her insecurity coming through  but it was a little much for me. (she mentioned them 5 times through the book!!!!)
I rated “Driven” 4 Hearts
It is released on 14Th May 2013. Definitely worth reading and I am waiting eagerly for the sequel “Fuelled” which is released in 27th August 2013.

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