A Two-Fer Review: Collide & Pulse by Gail McHugh

Posted August 15, 2014 in Review / 4 Comments


CollideCollide (Collide #1)
By Gail McHugh
Published May 20th, 2014
Atria Books (reprint edition)
416 pages
New Adult | Contemporary Romance
Source: received from Atria Books in exchange for an unbiased review (Thank You!)



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About the book:


A missed first encounter…..


Colliding with a second chance…..


On the heels of graduating college and trying to cope with her mother’s death, Emily Cooper moves to New York City for a fresh start.


While harboring secrets of his own, Dillon Parker takes care of Emily through her grief. Knowing he can’t live without her by his side, he’s sweet, thoughtful, and everything Emily has ever wanted in a man.


Until she meets Gavin Blake-a rich and notorious playboy who is dangerously sexy and charming as hell. Emily tries to deny the instant connection she feels, but Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome is not inclined to let go so easily. Recovering from his own painful past, Gavin will stop at nothing to win Emily over.


This unexpected encounter compels Emily to question her decisions, forcing her to make a choice that will destroy friendships, shatter hearts, and forever change her life.


This was a case of picking up a book solely on it’s cover.  I totally have a thing for guy’s arms.  Oh, and yeah the design and colors rock, too *sheepish look*.  I’m really glad that I did pick up this book (and it’s sequel below) out of curiosity because I really, really enjoyed this soap-opera-ish tale of fighting for the right guy to spend the rest of your life with.  The story is about seeing through the lies of others and finding a way to reach happily ever after.

Emily is almost done with college when her mother gets sick and shortly after passes away.  During this hard time in her life, her college boyfriend stood by her side and supported her through it all.  He went as far as to pay the funeral expenses.  And if that wasn’t enough, he even paid for Emily to move out to New York City after college to be with him.  Sound too good to be true? 

Yep, you’d be correct to be wary.  But Emily is loyal to Dillon and she loves him.  He’s been there for her.  But what happens when you meet the guy you’re “supposed” to be with?  If you’re true blue Emily, you fight it because you love Dillon.  But, like I said earlier, Dillon isn’t all he’s pretending to be…

The story is told in dual POV: Emily and Gavin’s.  For this story to work, it really needs to be told this way.  And even though this is not a short book, it didn’t feel long, drawn out, or tortuously dull in any spots.  And don’t worry, there is NO cheating on Emily or Gavin’s part so those of you who don’t like that kind of thing don’t have to worry.  I don’t like cheaters and I was totally fine with this story.

Because the side characters play a decent role in the story, it really had a soap-opera-ish feel to it.  It became “how do Emily and Gavin ever get together?”  I have to warn you, it doesn’t end in this book.  Think of this book as Emily’s story.  The next book, Pulse, I consider Emily and Gavin’s book.  You will NEED to have Pulse ready to start reading immediately after you finish Collide.  Sorry if I spoiled that for you…. but if you read the synopsis below, you’d figure that out on your own.



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PulsePulse (Collide #2)
By Gail McHugh
Expected publication August 12th, 2014
Atria Books
432 pages
New Adult | Contemporary Romance
Source: received from Atria Books in exchange for an unbiased review (THANK YOU!)



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About the book:


How do you keep existing when your heart is so splintered, so completely torn to shreds, your pulse is fading?


You’re…broken. How do you move forward when every breath is nothing more than a constant ache? Living becomes an insidious reminder that you threw away the single largest part of yourself. Your…soul. No amount of distraction can pull you from the torture of losing your…life.


Now that Emily Cooper has walked away from her first love, she finds herself running toward her only love. Unraveling fast, but clinging to hope, Emily risks all she has left on the man that has consumed her every thought and dream since the day they met. Will Gavin take her back? And if so, will their reunion be a collision of two hearts destined to complete one another and rekindle a love that knew no boundaries? Or will scars from their past rip open, tearing slowly at what each of them was meant to be? Can fate, the ultimate game changer, mend the shattered road it laid out from the start?


Only time will tell…




I was very lucky to have Pulse sitting and waiting for me to read right when I finished Collide.  I don’t know how I could have handled waiting ANY amount of time in between books.  After that nasty cliffhanger, I could have murdered someone just to know if Gavin took Emily back.

So, since this is the last book in the series (probably), I don’t think it will spoil anything to tell you that at the end of THIS book there is a HEA.  But there are 432 pages to read before you get to that HEA.  That’s quite a few pages of twists, turns, and “what the heck did you do that to me for, Gail????” 

It was great to see Emily “grow up” and mature into a woman worthy of Gavin.  And Gavin is still brilliant and hot as hell – I’ll take a bottle cap from him any day 😉  The only negative I have about this book is that Ms. McHugh really took Dillon off the deep end of the crazy pool.  I’m not entirely sure it was necessary for the story but hey, I’m NOT an author.  Just my lame-o observation. 

I’ve actually read both books twice now and I’m still not sure which one I like best.  I think Pulse could have been a wee-bit shorter.  But other than that, I truly love Ms. McHugh’s writing style.  I will look for more books from her in the future (see below)! 



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Gail McHugh

About the author:

A self-proclaimed chocoholic, married mother of three, and a lover of writing for as far back as she can remember, Gail McHugh is the author of two New York Times bestselling novels. The COLLIDE series, which includes COLLIDE and PULSE, was acquired by Atria Books on September 17th, 2013.

“The first of two sexy contemporary romances about a woman torn between her seemingly perfect boyfriend and a dark, mysterious stranger who will stop at nothing to have her.” – Publishers Weekly on COLLIDE, a Top 10 Romance pick!

Gail’s next novel, also publishing through Atria Books, AMBER TO ASHES, is slated to release November 4th, 2014.

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About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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4 responses to “A Two-Fer Review: Collide & Pulse by Gail McHugh

    • K

      Oh, murder is just fine and dandy… as long as it’s in the realm of paranormal and unrealistic. That’s why I avoided the contemporary stories for so long! It’s no holds barred in paranormal – string ’em up I say!!! *maniacal laughter*

      Oh, and cheaters hold a special dark place in my heart, if you know what I mean (grrrrrrr)