Toxic is book two in the Ruin series. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous about reading this one because of the catatonic state I was left in after reading Ruin. How could one move on after that? I don’t think I started a new book for three days, and for a girl that reads a book a day, that was a long time.
There was a lot to like about Gabe in Ruin. He was a loyal friend, a loving cousin to Lisa and brought a lot of the funny to the story line. I was looking forward to delving into his background and finding out what his “secret” was.
Wes’ outcome in Ruin changed Gabe. Gone was the man who drank himself into a stupor each night and went home with a different girl. Wes’s survival changed him, made him want to be a better man. That is, until he meets Saylor.
Saylor forces Gabe to feel emotions that he hasn’t felt since her.
“It was just a door. But beyond that door? Was not just a girl.”
Saylor is taken by Gabe from the moment their paths cross. He causes her to want to scream at him and kiss him in the same breath.
“Funny, how people always say they want second chances yet had I given one. I would have traveled down the same road. Every. Single. Time.”
In the midst of a serious story line, Van Dyken always makes room for the humor. When the whole gang was together, their chemistry just flowed off the pages. I would be laughing at one line, and crying at the next. Wes and Gabe’s relationship was one of the best “bromances” I have read. They always had each other’s backs, and not in a flowery way, but in a “get it together before I kick your ass way.”
I don’t want to give away any of the plot, because there definitely are a lot of surprises, twists and secrets. While I did not get bogged down by the in the ugly cry I did in Ruin, Toxic was no less fantastic. I was captivated from the moment I started the prologue and read it straight though in one sitting. While Toxic is a standalone, I would have been a bit lost on some of the background had I not read Ruin. Do yourself a favor…find a quiet spot and start this book now. You will be glad you did.