Review: Toxic by Rachel Van Dyken


Toxic by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Ruin Series (# 2)
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: self published
Pages: 298
Source:  book purchased by reviewer



Everyone has a secret…

Gabe Hyde is on borrowed time. He’s been hiding his identity for over four years-hidden from the world that used to adore him–obsess over him–driven to the edge of insanity by one poor choice.
But that one choice, altered the course of his life forever.
Pretending isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially when pretending means hiding your real self from the people that care about you the most. But if anyone ever discovered the truth it wouldn’t just be his life at risk–but hers.

Saylor doesn’t hate men.
Just Gabe.
Only Gabe.
He’s a reckless, happy-go-lucky, silver spoon fed pain in her ass. Everything about him makes her more and more confused. Unfortunately they both donate time at the same Group Home. If she wasn’t afraid of flunking, she’d be long gone. She hates that she’s attracted to him almost as much as he hates that he’s attracted to her–and she can tell, especially since their first encounter ended up making her knees so weak she couldn’t form coherent sentences for weeks afterwards. But the closer she gets to him, the more confused she becomes. He isn’t who he says he is, and he’s hiding something big.

What happen when two worlds collide? Two worlds that never should have met in the first place? Some secrets are too big to be hidden forever–the only question? Will his destroy everyone he loves? Or finally bring about the redemption he’s been craving for the past four years?

Everyone has a secret…What’s yours?


Review: Another enjoyable story from Ms. Van Dyken that pulls you into the lives of the characters. This is the second in the Ruin Series which has memorable characters just like the first. In the first we fall in love with Wes and Kiersten and briefly meeting Gabe and Saylor.

I found Toxic just as emotional as Ruin because this couple had things they were hiding just as Wes and Kiersten did.

Gabe has taken on a secret identity hoping to hide from his past. He was faced with one night…bad judgement and now trying to justify that decision. While his life is complex I found that I was pulled into his life very easily wanting to help him fix things so that he can have a normal life. Along comes Saylor who comes from a family that has endured a lot. With very little money…a sick brother she now is in college trying to go on with her life when she comes across Gabe.

I liked Gabe even though he was a little crude most of the time. I learned early on that crudeness is usually just a defense mechanism. Gabe was sexy as hell and very talented so it was easy to overlook the crude behavior. While Saylor’s independent and determined personality was the perfect complement to tone down Gabe. At first they didn’t see eye to eye they soon learned that things aren’t always as they seem. Ms. Van Dyken rounded out this emotional second story by adding good friends Wes, Kiersten and Lisa into the mix helping to bring calmness to my tattered emotions.

This is another story that is gut wrenching and in need of the Kleenex’s being readily available. I look forward to the next story which will detail Lisa’s life as I feel tied to her the most. I enjoy how Ms. Van Dyken just pulls me in making me care for these characters. I think I have known them all my life. It is fun to watch as the characters evolve becoming more impressionable with each story.