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1 girl….2 many books!

Such A Rush – Jennifer Echols

Such A Rush
Jennifer Echols
MTV Books (Simon & Schuster)
2012, 325p
Copy borrowed from Mandee

Leah has always lived on the wrong side of town. Her mother was just a teen when she had Leah and they’ve moved from trailer park to trailer park ever since, usually leaving behind a landlord owed money. When Leah was 14 they moved to South Carolina in a trailer park near their town’s small airport. Leah was used to airports, she’d lived near a lot of them. She wandered over to ask for a job, got one doing paperwork and filling up the small private planes when they landed and slowly, slowly saved her pennies for flying lessons with Mr Hall.

Three years later, Leah is a qualified pilot and Mr Hall has hired her for his banner flying business, a job that Leah fears is no longer when he dies suddenly of a heart attack. Hiding her devastation at losing the man who was like a father to her, Leah looks for another job in all the wrong places until Mr Hall’s twin sons, Alec and Grayson tell her that they’ll be keeping the banner planes flying. Leah has had a crush on bad-boy Grayson for some years but she’s not sure she wants to commit for flying for them if they’re not going to stick it out. The last thing she needs is to have no job for the summer when they get bored of running the business and have all the other local flying jobs be gone. Grayson blackmails her into flying for him with a few threats and some reasons of his own involving his brother Alec.

Now Leah finds herself possibly dating one brother, but drawn to the other one. It’s not going to end well.

Such A Rush is the latest novel from one of my favourite contemporary authors, Jennifer Echols. I do like how Echols chooses a wide array of social backgrounds for her characters, ranging from clearly very wealthy to well, trailer park residents struggling to get by. Leah is determined and often rough around the edges, but you consider her upbringing, the constant moving, her mother following boyfriends on whims, being gone a lot of the time and relying on Leah to pay the bills and it’s clear she’s had to grow up way before her time. It was often hard to keep remembering that Leah was just finishing school, she came across as a bit older and probably the fact that she flew a tiny plane for a living helped give that impression too.

There’s obviously an attraction simmering between Leah and Grayson, but he wants her to date his brother, confusing Leah which makes her resentful and often snappy, which in turn leads to Grayson fighting back. He also has a slightly skewed impression of Leah which doesn’t actually reflect well on him and at times he made me sort of mad when he was judgemental, having no idea how difficult Leah’s life had been. But then Leah also never told anyone her circumstances and there was something about her demeanor that led people to believe she was perhaps a bit more free and easy with her affections than was the truth, so you almost couldn’t blame Grayson at times, not that it was really an excuse for being rude. However he was also jealous, which didn’t help him and his ability to keep his mouth shut either.

(Irrelevant fun fact: When I was pregnant with our second child last year, I wanted use the name Greyson if it turned out that it was to be another boy. We found out at the 20wk scan that yes, it was going to be a boy but my husband was all *thumbs down* and “I am meh on the name Greyson”. I wanted to use Hayden as a middle name after my grandfather who died when I was 15 and I didn’t like the sound of Greyson Hayden – too much ‘n’ sounds. So I abandoned Greyson in favour of another name but it’s still filed away in my mind if #3 occurs and happens to be another boy).

Love triangles, especially between brothers often make me a little icky but I think it was the way in which this one played out that meant I could still really enjoy it. I liked Alec in his own right but it was always Grayson who had my interest and I love the way he was forced to totally reassess his views on certain things and also embrace his new life and choices. Both Alec and Grayson are grieving, having lost not only their dad, who they had quite a fractured relationship with after he separated from their mother, but also their older brother Jake in a very short time frame. Grayson’s idea to run the business and keep it afloat was grounded in loyalty and also a sort of desperation to keep the remaining members of his family together and alive and I did admire him for wanting to do that even if the ways in which he went about some things were incredibly flawed.

Such A Rush is a fun story with a very serious side, which is what I’ve come to expect from Echols’ books for this particular line. The characters are flawed but fascinating and after Love Story, which fell flat for me, it’s nice to see some chemistry positively sizzling between Grayson and Leah. They were a couple I could definitely cheer for.

8/10

Book #87 of 2012

 
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