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  • romantic reading escapes book blog "Kathy" - Written with the sensual precision as only Maya Banks can write."Don't fall in love with me, Mia," he warned. "Don't take this for anything more than it is. I don't want to hurt you."

    I knew when I read those words that I was in for a heart-wrenching ride with Rush as only Maya Banks can deliver. If you've never read a book by Maya Banks, you are missing the most sensual read that is written with such precision as only this New York Times best selling author can write. Rush is just that....a rush to the senses laced with a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart.

    Mia is the common element between three best friends: Ash, Jace, and Gabe. As Jace's little sister, she has always been viewed as the sweet and innocent little girl in need of protection, but Mia is a strong heroine who can stand her own ground and protect herself from anything that comes her way...until Gabe. Mia has crushed on Gabe since she was a teenager, but he is fourteen years older and completely out of her reach because of his friendship and business partnership with her brother, Jace. What Mia hadn't realized is that Gabe has wanted her for years. He didn't view her as the innocent younger sister of his best friend; he viewed her as the demure woman that he wanted to own, to possess. When opportunity afforded Gabe a chance to have Mia, he leaped at the chance and presented her with a contractual offer she could refuse, but she wouldn't refuse. He did, yet he didn't, expect things to be different with Mia as compared to his other women he has had in the same contractual relationship. He knew Mia was different, and he treated her differently.

    Mia always wanted a relationship with Gabe, but the type of relationship he was proposing was completely foreign to her. She was shocked at her own reactions to the things he proposed and carried out, suddenly realizing she wasn't the person she had thought she was. She was very much in tune to Gabe and his want of her, as her want for him was reciprocated ten fold. Although their relationship was very secretive, she did confide in her best friend and roommate, Caroline, about her nights in ecstasy with Gabe and how he made her feel.

    Gabe's and Mia's feelings for one another would be put to the test so many times in their angst-ridden story, but nothing would compare to the emotions brought forth from me as I read Rush. Maya Banks has delivered such a sensual and sexual novel with a romance akin to Ana and Christian while remaining original. Maya has a way with figurative language and word choice that places the reader in the pages of her novels. I've always been a fan of her Sweet series, but I now believe her Breathless series has replaced all her others as my favorite Maya Banks series. I look forward to reading Fever, the next installment in the Breathless series, which releases April, 2013.
  • Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist" - Interesting, but A Bit Short on StrategyThe title of this interesting book that greatly benefits from access to insiders refers to Romney supporters doubling down their financial support after Obama's disastrous first debate in Denver, along with Romney himself doubling down with his right-wing ideological statements and credibility. (The latter via picking Paul Ryan as V.P. partner.) Some say this metaphor could also refer to the authors' doubling down on their prior 'Game Change' about the 2008 first Obama campaign.

    Obama had been hounded as a 'socialist' from the beginning, despite modeling his cap-and-trade climate change policy on that of Bush '41, an auto rescue program more market-minded than the one Bush '43 proposed, agreeing to extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich (in exchange for an extension of unemployment insurance, a payroll tax holiday, etc. totaling $238 billion), his refusal to nationalize the banks when even Alan Greenspan said he should, and his not pushing for a single-payer health-care law - even though the idea originated at the Heritage Foundation and had been implemented in Massachusetts by Romney. And until recently, the 'birther controversy had raged on and on, led by potential Republican candidate Donald Trump.

    Obama had also moved to tone down the contentiousness within his circle of advisors, pushing out David Axelrod (media strategist, manager of his 2004 Senate race), Robert Gibbs (communications chief), and seemingly benefitting from Rahm Emmanuel's departure for Chicago. Yet, it was obvious after Denver that Obama was doubting himself and headed for disaster - despite his prior excellent speaking successes.

    Readers learn Obama liked Bill Clinton - in small doses, disliked 'professional blacks' (including Charlie Rangel and Jesse Jackson Jr.) as much as Tea Partiers, and that Jon Huntsman Sr. (father of one of Romney's early GOP rivals) was the source of Harry Reid's accusation that Romney had not paid any taxes in 10 years. From the other side, Romney - not surprisingly looked with disdain Gov. Christie's spending time with Obama touring post-Sandy Jersey coastline; this not only boosted Obama as working across-the-aisle but kept Romney out of the headlines as well. (Payback for Romney's refusal to pick Christie as V.P. candidate?) Others - advisor Stuart Stevens vomiting backstage after Eastwood's vapid debate with the empty chair at the Republican convention, Rick Perry's debate gaffe was the result of medication for painful back problems, and the bulk of the book's material.