I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Beautiful. Passionate. Raw. Toxic absolutely took my breath away. This story was so much more than I expected and everything I needed. It will consume you. You will feel everything. And your heart? That will shatter. We met Gabe in the first of this series, Ruin. And if you read that, you have no idea what you are in for with Gabe. He is a beautiful mess in every sense of the word.
"Because when I said love-I meant I bled for you. When the word love actually leaves my lips-Im speaking it into existence. I'm empowering my soul-I'm joining with yours"
Gabe has a side to him that many people don't know. On the surface, he is put together and happy. On the inside he is sad, guilty, and broken. His past is devastating and you feel how his heart continues to break everyday. Giving his past away would be a disservice. It unravels throughout the story. The author is genius in how she presents his tragic past and how it weighs heavily on his heart. Saylor comes into his life when the past seems to be catching up to him. Their attraction is electrifying. Their connection is deep. They first connect through music, but Gabe isn't who he says he is. His secret past not only affects him but someone else. As he tries to deny his feelings he falls deeper.
"He was playing through me, using my body as an instrument to convey the story of his life."
"The music, he whispered. It's not just your story-its your lover"
As much as Gabe and Saylor denied their feelings toward each other, their connection grew. It was inevitable. Gabe needed someone to love him through the hurt. Through the pain and the guilt. And still be ok with just pieces of him. Because he could possibly never be whole again. That someone was Saylor. She was self-less in that she loved Gabe in a way only he could be loved and accept it.
"And your kiss is my salvation...so Saylor, will you save me?
"If I could take away his pain. If there was a way to transfer it from his soul onto mine, I would take it it all."
I didn't love this book. I lived it. It was dark, yet beautiful. Heartbreaking, yet I found that I could not put this one down. The writing of this story is effortless. Every word makes you FEEL. Every word. From beginning to end you are consumed by Gabe and his pain. His secret is heavy and not what anyone ever expected. The author is amazing at allowing her readers to truly connect with her characters. Gabe is raw. He is genuine. His beautiful soul is completely bare in his story. If you loved the first book, Ruin, you will fall completely in love with Toxic. Love it. Love it. Breathe it. Toxic is a story truly beyond words.
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers!
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