Everyone has a secret…
Gabe Hyde is on borrowed time. He’s been hiding his identity for over four years-hidden from the world that used to adore him–obsess over him–driven to the edge of insanity by one poor choice.
But that one choice, altered the course of his life forever.
Pretending isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when pretending means hiding your real self from the people that care about you the most. But if anyone ever discovered the truth it wouldn’t just be his life at risk–but hers.
Saylor doesn’t hate men.
He’s a reckless, happy-go-lucky, silver spoon fed pain in her ass. Everything about him makes her more and more confused. Unfortunately they both donate time at the same Group Home. If she wasn’t afraid of flunking, she’d be long gone. She hates that she’s attracted to him almost as much as he hates that he’s attracted to her–and she can tell, especially since their first encounter ended up making her knees so weak she couldn’t form coherent sentences for weeks afterwards. But the closer she gets to him, the more confused she becomes. He isn’t who he says he is, and he’s hiding something big.
What happen when two worlds collide? Two worlds that never should have met in the first place? Some secrets are too big to be hidden forever–the only question? Will his destroy everyone he loves? Or finally bring about the redemption he’s been craving for the past four years?
Everyone has a secret…What’s yours?
“Your identity is found in your heart. Not your job, not your status, your name, what your major is, how much money you have. Your heart has been the same the entire time. So, be who you’ve always been.”
I fell in love with Rachel Van Dyken’s writing when I read Ruin, a book that touched deeply both Tamie and me (you can find our reviews here). Toxic is the follow-up to this novel, and this is Gabe’s story.
We met Gabe for the first time in Ruin as Wes’s best friend, and he immediately captured my attention, so much so that he entered the list of my favorite secondary characters. So I couldn’t be happier that Rachel decided to give Gabe his own book.
In Ruin Gabe came across as the super handsome, tattooed and eccentric guy, who was always there for his friends and whom you could always rely on. He was like the most perfect big brother one could have. But, since the story was all centred on Wes and Kiersten, we never really got to know Gabe in depth. Well, I could never have imagined what big secrets lurked inside Gabe, his unfathomable experience, how much weight he carried on his shoulders. Toxic reveals all those aspects. Not only that, but it also shows how strong Gabe’s need for love is and how unrestrained his capability of loving someone is.
To say that Gabe has a big heart is an understatement. He never leaves the side of those he loves. Literally. Even when life throws curve balls…And, believe me, he totally turned into book boyfried material. Gabe is special. With his words and his actions he shows the real and authentic meaning of the words “I love you.”
And he finds love in Saylor — a girl that has great impact on him from the very beginning, but that he tries to keep at arms’ length for several reasons…Their relationship starts off on the wrong foot to say the least, but it blossoms into something stunningly beautiful and real. Saylor will be the only one to really wreak havoc into his soul and to make him want to reveal his secrets…
Furtermore, Saylor and Gabe are bound together by the same passion for music. Music plays a big role in Toxic and through the notes of a piano and a guitar, feelings are revealed, secrets are confessed, love blossoms.
“You won’t use words to explain. Part of me thinks you never have and never will. So, show me through the music, show me your story, Gabe.”
The story alternates between Saylor’s and Gabe’s POV. Their relationship is very intense and they go through some life-altering experiences together. Their bond is unbreakable.
In Toxic, we see again Weston and Kiersten, who are active participants in the story and help Gabe deal with his life and also help him and Saylor get together.. 😉 Needless to say, I was so happy to see them again, since Weston and Kiersten are among my all time favorite fictional couples. Weston is the ever wise guy we got to know in Ruin, and he has a lot to teach also in Toxic…
Once again, Rachel Van Dyken wove a lovely story that gives so much hope and the meaning behind it is truly striking. I’ll leave it to you to find it out, because I don’t want to spoil anything, but when you’ll discover it, I’m sure your eyes won’t stay dry…
I give Toxic 5 glittering stars.
More beautiful passages:
“And your kiss is my salvation….so Saylor, will you save me?”
“Baring your soul to someone is like purposefully stabbing yourself in the heart and waiting for the person you love to stop the bleeding.”
“That,” he leaned in, “is how you perform, like every kiss is both your first and last. Like you’re saying hello and goodbye. Like you’ve just been born, like you’ve just died.”
“Don’t let pain keep you from moving forward. It shouldn’t stop your progress — it should drive it.”
**I was given an ARC from the Author in exchange for an honest review. The quotes come from that copy.**
Toxic, like Ruin, has a HEA and it’s followed by Fearless, the novella that is the continuation of Wes and Kiersten’s story. Fearless will be released March 9th and I’ll post my review on that day.
You can enter the chance to win a Kindle Fire and a 25$ Amazon gift card by entering the RAFFLECOPTER giveaway here
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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Thanks to Book Plug Promotions for making us part of the blog tour and make sure to check out Toxic! It releases today!!