By Gail McHugh
Pulse is the highly anticipated conclusion to Gavin and Emily’s story that began in Collide. I could not wait for this book to be released and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I loved it! I laughed. I cried. I swooned—hard. At times, Pulse was emotionally draining but it was balanced out with light-hearted “fun” moments that made me wish Gavin Blake was real. If you haven’t read Collide, do not read any further because this review will contain spoilers from that book.
To feel the true impact of Emily and Gavin’s story, I highly recommend reading Collide before Pulse. Collide is currently $2.99 on Amazon (Kindle) and can be found HERE
At the end of Collide Emily was a complete mess. Dillon’s abuse left her gutted, emotionally and physically. He stripped her down to nothing and took what he wanted from her using intimidation and threats to instill fear in her. He chipped away at her until she finally broke. Too afraid to run, she shut down and when she closed her eyes, it was Gavin’s face she saw. This was Emily’s rock bottom but it was also her turning point. She finally saw Dillon for what he really was and how much his “love” cost her.
A slow smile touched the edge of Olivia’s mouth. “I’m proud of you, Emily.” “Proud of me?” she questioned, wiping her nose with the back of her hand. “For what? For hurting Gavin? His face, Olivia. I can’t get his face out of my head.” Eyes softening, Olivia brushed her hand against Emily’s jaw. “I’m proud of you for finally seeing you deserve a better life with a man who honestly loves and cares for you. Again, you may have temporarily hurt Gavin, but the two of you are going to be fine. You’ll see.”
I was proud of Emily too. She stood up to Dillon and fought back when his emotional abuse turned to physical abuse. Emotional abuse strips the victim of their confidence. They are made to believe they deserve to be treated like crap, that they’ve brought it on themselves. The abuser chips away at the victim until all that’s left is a shell that’s willing to do anything to keep the abuser happy. There are no outward signs of emotional abuse because all the marks are on the inside. The victim defends and excuses the abuser’s behavior. It’s twisted and sick; a difficult cycle to break but Emily found the strength and courage to break the hold Dillon had on her. In Pulse, Emily became a new woman. She was no longer a victim; she was a survivor and she became my hero.
Gavin wasn’t sure if leaving would erase the mark Emily had seared into his soul. He also wasn’t sure if he’d ever be free from the ache of needing her. The only emotion he truly fucking owned… he knew he had to get out of New York. Get the fuck out, and get far away from the ghost of Emily that would no doubt haunt him.
Gavin loves Emily in the way a woman should be loved; completely and unconditionally. He respects her and treats her like she’s the greatest gift in the world. He wants to protect her, care for her and make her happy. For every bad memory Emily has, he wants to give her a hundred good ones. If he could, he would erase every horrible thing she’s ever experienced in her life. He’s sweet, sexy and protective—he’s her caveman. In Pulse, Gavin is still Gavin but he’s even more swoon-worthy. Bottle caps, 20 questions and all-around sexiness made me love him even more.
This series conveys an inspiring message about abuse (emotional and physical), survival, empowerment, unconditional love and forgiveness. It’s a story about recognizing the signs and doing something to make life better; about learning when to let go and when to hold on. There are so many women like Emily. If reading this book helps even one of them realize they’re in an abusive relationship and inspires them to get the f**k out; there are no words for how powerful that is. So to all the Emily’s out there, it’s never too late to take your life back; your Gavin is out there and you do deserve him.
Would I read this book again? YES