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*favorite* BOOK REVIEW: Rush (City Lights, #3) by Emma Scott

Title: Rush
Series: (City Lights, #3—but can be read as a Standalone)
Author: Emma Scott
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4.5-Stars
Cliffhanger: No
HEA: Yes
Review on Goodreads: HERE

Charlotte Conroy, Juilliard-trained violinist, was on the cusp of greatness when tragedy swooped down on dark wings, crushing her hopes and breaking her heart. The music that used to sing in her soul has grown quiet, and she feels on the verge of setting down her violin for good. To pay the bills, she accepts a job as a personal assistant to a bitter, angry young man who’s been disabled by a horrific accident…

Noah Lake was an extreme sport athlete, journalist and photographer. He roamed the world in search of his next adrenaline high, until a cliff-dive left him in a coma. He awakes to find his career gone, his dreams shattered to pieces, his world an endless blackness that will never lift.

Charlotte begins to see that beneath Noah’s angry, brittle exterior is a young man in a pain. She is determined to show him that his life isn’t over, that he has so much to live for, never dreaming that she would become the only light in his darkness, or that he would help her find the music in hers.

The life he knew is over. The life she wants is just out of reach.
Together, they must face their fears and rediscover what it means to really live. 


San Francisco, Julian and Natalie—a slow-burn, New Adult, romantic suspense.

Los Angeles, Cory and Alex—contemporary romance, romantic suspense.

New York City, Noah and Charlotte—Beauty and the Beast, New Adult 
♥ (City Lights, #3.5) Endless Possibility, a Memoir 
Europe, Noah and Charlotte—a novella to be read after Rush, New Adult
(City Lights, #4) TBD
Paris, Tristan and Zoey—sports romance, New Adult

To be blind is not miserable; not to be able to bear blindness, that is miserable. —JM
Extreme sports athlete Noah Lake can't be tamed—personally or professionally—until a nearly-fatal cliff-diving accident entraps him in a scarred, sight-less body. No longer the man he used to be, Noah is hollowed out with grief for a life he'll never see again...

...a life that had been about watching the world with wide eyes, experiencing the rush of adrenaline with each passionate adventure. But now he mourns—lost, and alone, and angry. 

So, so angry.
I hated, hated, hated. I lay in bed feeling the hate wash over me like waves on a beach, surging and ebbing, eroding me bit by bit. Someday there wouldn’t be anything left.

That anger pours out of Noah like poison, tainting any and all of his relationships—until his friends and family are sick with sadness. He's nasty. He's mean. He's rude and crude. But he's also in pain. Pain that Charlotte understands.

Because once upon a time, Charlotte Conroy was a prodigy—a talented, Julliard-trained musician, who breathed life through the notes of music until her fire, her passion was snuffed out beneath the weight of love and loss. 
Love taught me two lessons: it could feel real and still be a complete lie, and it could be ripped away, leaving you with empty, grasping hands.
Because only when you’re about to lose it all, do you realize how much you have.
In desperate need of a new apartment and job (to find her own place, her own comfort in the city of lights), Charlotte agrees to work as Noah's live-in assistant. But breaching the walls of Noah's self-imposed, rage-riddled cage is both easier and harder than Charlotte expected, as they both fall slowly but impossibly in love with each other.

Written primarily in Charlotte's POV, there's still certain chapters that give glimpses into Noah's psyche—which really allowed me to understand the depth of the story, to its fullest potential. Because experiencing everything Charlotte saw and Noah felt as they helped each other heal from their emotional wounds and physical limitations, really brought the storyline and characters together...

...and made me want to hug both Noah and Charlotte. Well, okay, mostly Noah—because he was an 'effing lovable tortured, reclusive hero. No matter how prickly Noah was, he remained endearing and utterly handsome inside and out beneath his scarred interior and exterior.
She made no distinction between scarred flesh and whole. It was just me that she wanted, as I was, and who is ever lucky enough to feel that in this world?
And if Noah was the thorns, Charlotte was the rose; she had a silent strength and beauty to her, that appealed to me as a reader—and, of course, Noah. Because when Charlotte remained by his side, guiding him, never leaving, always weathering his treacherous storms, Noah saw that strength, that beauty, in her—even if he couldn't see it with his eyes. And she inspired him, motivated him to be not what he was, but the best of who he is.
My endless black was never going to go away. That was certainty. But kissing Charlotte had been a burst of light streaking across it, like a comet. Maybe. Maybe is gradations of darkness. The sweetest torture. Maybe is hope. 
Overall, Rush (City of Lights, #3) was a incredibly well-written, heart-warming STANDALONE of soldiering through the battle of grief, of losing yourself only to recreate yourself again, and of a love that's forged from the darkest moments in life—and I would most definitely recommend it.