Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Release Day Blitz & Review: Rush by Nyrae Dawn

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By: Nyrae Dawn
Published: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Forever Romance
Source:  Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 
Mature Content:  18 & Up

This new adult, male/male romance will capture the audience who fell in love with Nyrae Dawn's Games Trilogy. For the love of the game. Brandon Chase has always defined himself by one thing: football. Tough and athletic, he is a great college player who enjoys the hard hits and the sweaty grind of the gridiron. But when Brandon is injured, only one person can help him get back on track-a forbidden love he's desperately tried to put behind him. Alec Andrews has never quite forgiven Brandon for walking away when their friendship turned into something more. But he can't deny help to one of his closest friends. As the two spend the long, hot summer working together, their old attraction comes flooding back. Now as Alec thinks about coming out to his conservative family and Brandon considers revealing he's a gay football player, the two men must be strong to fight for a love that could be the greatest rush of their lives. Approx. 70,000 words.

Lindy's Thoughts:

Rush, by Nyrae Dawn, is the first M/M romance that I have ever read.  I decided that I wanted to read this book for a few reasons. First off, I am a huge Nyrae Dawn fan, and have enjoyed every book that she has written.  I follow Ms. Dawn, and was excited and intrigued, every time she would share her excitement for Rush, her favorite quotes, and teasers with her fans.  Also, someone that is near and dear to my heart, recently came out to me, and I felt by reading this story, I would be showing them my support, as well as, getting to understand on a deeper level everything that they had gone through, and were continuing to go through, as they learned how to accept themselves, and take a chance by being honest with the people that they are closest to.

Rush, was an excellent, and very emotional read for me.  Right away, I came to care about the main characters Alec and Brandon. Alec and Brandon had been best friends since their teenage years. Brandon was a very talented football star, who someday hoped to make it to the pro's.  The only thing Brandon ever thought that he was good at was football.  His father was a professor, and his brother Nate was really book smart, just like their father.  Brandon had struggled in school due to Dyslexia, and defined himself first and foremost, as a football player.  The more time Alec and Brandon spent with each other every summer, the more they realized that they were attracted to one another.  They experimented a little bit with one another as teenagers.  Alec and Brandon dealt with their feelings very differently.  Alec realized that he loved Brandon, and wanted to be with him.  He was willing to come out to his friends and family for Brandon; even though he knew he would probably be rejected by his parents.  His father was very ignorant, prejudice, and homophobic.  Brandon on the other hand dealt with a lot of guilt, shame, and denial.  He was not willing to be honest, because he feared rejection from his family, friends, and team mates.  The two go their separate ways, when Brandon tells Alec he can't be with him.

Alec is heartbroken, but so is Brandon.  They both lose their best friend when they leave each other, and feel like they are living a lie, by pretending to be straight.  The only people that know the truth are Brandon's brother Nate, and Alec's best friend, Charlotte (Charlie,) who are in a serious relationship.  Charlie accidentally walked in on them, and that's how she found out.  Nate and Charlie are very accepting, and just want Brandon and Alec to be happy. Brandon and Alec haven't spoken to one another for a year and a half, when Charlie calls Alec to let him know that Brandon was in a serious accident, and almost died.  Brandon won't talk to any of his friends or family, won't eat, and is in a very deep depression. Charlie asks Alec to come see Brandon, and talk to him.  Alec goes to visit Brandon, and the two quickly realize that they never stopped loving one another.  Pretty soon Alec has gotten Brandon being more positive and acting more like himself.  Brandon decides to move to where Alec, Nate, and Charlie are all staying for the summer.  Alec offers to help Brandon train to get ready for his senior year in college football.  Soon, things get more complicated when the two begin living together as "room mates," and get to experience what it feels like to be in a normal relationship.  They are both tired of hiding their relationship, and who they are. However, they have both agreed to part ways after the six weeks of summer have come to an end.  What happens when neither one are ready to say goodbye, but Brandon is not ready to come out of the closet, and Alec can't go on living a lie anymore?

Rush was an excellent story!  It felt very realistic to me, and I came to care very deeply for Alec and Brandon.  I sympathized with their struggle, and put myself in their shoes.  It would be horrible and exhausting to have to deny yourself your feelings, the person you loved, and pretend you were something that you are not.  I found myself being angry at the injustice, prejudice, ignorance, and maliciousness in our society.  I was extremely angry at Alec's family, and couldn't understand how anyone could treat their child so horribly!  I was surprised at how emotional this story made me.  It made me experience a wide variety of feelings.

When it gets down to it, Rush is a story about two people learning how to accept themselves for who they are, and realizing that being happy is a choice.  It is also a romance.  A beautiful love story, about two people that shared a special friendship, and could be themselves around each other.  It was about two people that understood one another, and loved the other deeply and passionately.

My Rating:

I give Rush, by Nyrae Dawn, 5 Fantastic, Transcendent, Romantic, Passionate, and "Learning to Love Yourself" Filled Stars!  

My Favorite Quotes:

"Coming out would be like being cut open all the time, everyone seeing what's inside me.  It's showing sides of me that people will judge me for and maybe even hate me for."  (eARC, Loc. 135)


"That doesn't matter.  How far from home you go means nothing.  A person can run to the other side of the world but it doesn't mean shit if they're the same person when they get there as they were when they left.  You might not have gone far from home but inside you've traveled a whole hell of a lot further than most people...farther than me."  (eARC, Loc. 1071)


"I can't imagine my life without him.  Loving Alex helped me decide who I want to be.  That's all I ever had to do, was decide who that was.  It's always been my choice.  (eARC, Loc. 3302)


Ro's Take on this Journey:

Rush, by Nyrae Dawn, is an emotionally charged, poignant story of love, denial, labels, and learning how to be authentic with yourself, no matter the cost.  Either you sacrifice yourself and the wholeness of your soul, or pretend to be someone that you are not for people that don't deserve to be a part of your life in the first place. Ms. Dawn has created, not only a beautiful story of real life situations, but a book of lessons with consequences, and a tool which everyone should read, in order to come out of the darkness of ignorance and bigotry.  I have read all of Ms. Dawn's books, and this book is at the top of my list.  What a fantastic accomplishment for an amazing writer.

Alec and Brandon have been friends for years.  They are football players, though Brandon has a promising future with his abilities. He comes from a loving family, yet feels he cannot come out to them.  He is afraid of the friends he will lose by telling them his secret, so he keeps it to himself.  The only one he can be real with is his best friend, and love of his life, Alec.  Alec has not come out to his family, because they are mindless bigots, who would never accept him once he came out.  But, he would come out, if only Brandon admitted who he is to himself and told Alec he was ready. Brandon only associates himself as his title, "a football player," never reaching deeper to who he really is. He has always felt second best, because of a learning disability, and compared to his ultra-intelligent brother, Nate, to which education came easily.  He never had a chance, because he never allowed himself the right to be someone who deserved love and to be real.

These two go through struggles, back and forth, don't see each other for over a year and a half, until the day Alec gets a call that changes everything.  Charlie, (Charlotte) Alec's best girlfriend, calls and tells him that Brandon has had a tragic accident and needs him desperately, though he will not ask himself for anyone. Nate and Charlie are the only ones who know about the situation between the two, so everything is easy and up front. Brandon has never left Alec's mind or his heart.  The day that Brandon walked away from giving himself a chance to have a real live relationship, he took the not so easy road out, and left Alec heartbroken.  He would rather live in the dark shadows, that his life had been for so long, without real love, or the only man that ever really knew him or his feelings, inside and out.  Alec comes to help Brandon out of the dark, and the ride is one to remember.  There are a lot of ups and downs, just like real life. 

This is a fast paced, dual perspective, all around amazing chronicle of the lives of two men trying to be true to themselves and their love for each other, at a heavy price, but not heavy enough to deny them what they deserve; to be happy.  They just happen to be gay. All the characters are well rounded and add so much to this eye opening book. Since when is it a crime to be different, we are born biologically different?  Freedom is a given right.  It is time to step out of a comfort zone of denial, and realize that someday, your child may come to you and lay their heart on a platter before you. Will you give them the unconditional love that they deserve?  Or will you hide behind your stringent beliefs and/or religion, or will what others think and say be more important than your child's well being and happiness?  I say, my child will always come first, no matter what problem they come to me with, because they are my world. I will be proud of them for the human beings that they are, not the labels that society has rankled them with.  Kudos to you Ms. Dawn, for having the foresight and the guts to write this controversial, real life book, with so many life lessons for so many people.

This book was phenomenal, and it was heartbreaking.  The reader learns what it is like to live a lie, to lay in the dark contemplating the inner turmoil and self hate, secrets, lies, fear, anguish, and guilt for being alive.  I will never forget these characters or the fact that their lives have to be hidden.  They were not able to be whole, and they had to make a sacrifice of their lives, because they felt they didn't deserve to be here like everyone else.  I loved this book.  It will give the reader new perspective and hopefully, perhaps, compassion and wisdom beyond their current scope.

I give, Rush, by Nyrae Dawn, 5 Totally Lost, Anguish Filled, Poignant, Loving, Becoming Freed, Authentic Stars!!! 

Book Teaser:
Courtesy of Ms. Dawn's Facebook Page

Book Except:

“I want you to smile again too. It’s in there, Brand. I saw it tonight. When you had the ball and then when we were talking to my dad.”
I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do but it’s the only thing I can do. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t stop myself. I step toward Alec and slide my free hand around the back of his neck. It only takes a gentle tug to bring him even closer, his hand moving to the same place on me that mine rests on him. 
Alec closes his eyes and drops his forehead to mine. Neither of us talk, and I wonder if he’s just feeling the way I am. It’s that same rush that sweeps through me every time I touch him, my nerve endings like live wires, sparking with electricity. Everything inside me screams that this is right. He’s right. How can anyone not understand this? How can I fight us? 

About Nyrae Dawn:

Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn's passion. Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she's a total romantic at heart and proud. Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids. When she's not with her family, you can be pretty sure you'll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her. Nyrae also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo. 

Q & A With Nyrae Dawn:

Tell us about your new book.
It’s a love story. It’s probably more of a love story, rather than a romance, than anything I’ve ever written. It’s about two people who are in love with each other when the book starts. All they’ve ever wanted is to love each other. They just have to find a way to do that, and to be okay with who they are. Alec and Brandon spent four summers together, in secret and now that they’re older, they’ve been brought back together. This time, they can’t walk away. 

What is the secret to staying in love with your characters to see your story through to the end? 

Wow. Great question. I’m not sure there is a secret. I just think it’s important to make sure your characters are real and as layered as possible. To make them the kind of people you feel for, and pull for. People you continue to discover new things about.

What’s one characteristic that you like to give all your heroes? 

Big-hearts. Some of my boys may be bad boys, but they all have big hearts. 

What scene did you have the most fun writing? 

Again, this wasn’t really a fun scene but it really stuck with me. It’s the scene where Alec and Brandon go to talk with Brandon’s parents. I can’t say more than that. 

What is a common misconception about male/male or any LGBT romance? 

That it’s somehow different than other romance novels. Love is love, it doesn’t matter the gender, so while certain specifics may change, at the base they’re the same—love stories. 


5 print copies of RUSH with signed cards and 5 signed cards from Nyrae Dawn:

An eBook Copy of Rush by Nyrae Dawn:


  1. Congrats Nyrae on your new release!

    1. Nyrae should be very proud! Rush was excellent!

  2. Your reviews are awesome. Thanks for the giveaway. This is on my TBR and I hope to get to it soon.

    1. Thank You so much! I hope you get to read it soon! It was incredible!!!

  3. I love dual perspectives and I read her What a Boy Wants (?) and enjoyed her writing so this is going on my list.

    1. Yay! Kim, Rush was so amazing! I can't wait to see what you think!!!

  4. I have this on my list of reads so I'm looking forward to it. I love the idea that they are friends first. Thanks for sharing your thoughts ladies!

    1. I like when the main characters are friends first also. You will really enjoy Rush! It was an excellent story, and I highly recommend it!


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