August 27, 2014

Title:  Broken

Series:  Redemption

Author:  Lauren Layne

Published:  September 2014

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

***Note:  This book was provided to the Book Hookup by the publisher via Net Galley but that in no way affected this review!

Ana and Celeste will put Broken on their top shelf!

Ana:  5 stars!  I pretty much loved everything about this book…the characters, the storyline, the pace, the writing, the love, the chemistry…ya…EVERYTHING!!

Paul and Olivia couldn’t be more different, yet their personalities were so perfect for each other.  Paul was broken and surly but, under that gruff exterior, had a heart of gold.  A man who helped others but didn’t want anyone to know, a man who tried to stay away from what he wanted so that he didn’t hurt anyone…a man who had served his country but now was all alone.  Olivia was more than just a spoiled rich girl.  She had depth and substance.  She wanted more from her life and needed to get away from her past.  She’d been hurt (and had hurt others) but she dug deep and pulled out some strength that she didn’t even know she had.  She was fierce and sassy when she needed to be and I enjoyed how she set Paul off balance more than once! I really enjoyed their interactions and their banter was great.  Now, I’m an angst lover and this book had it in spades.  The raw emotion and the heat between these characters was fantastic.  Their chemistry was perfection…equal parts love and hate, desire and frustration, and want and need that, ultimately, explodes into flame!!  My heart beat along with theirs and exploded with joy as their relationship grew stronger!

The pace of this story and the writing were great and the secondary character, although they didn’t play huge roles in the book, actually added depth to the story. This was definitely one of those books that I call a “job risker”…the kind of book you sneak-read at work even though you know you shouldn’t because you can’t be away from these characters for long and you have to read just one more page!

I guess I don’t have to actually say this after having used the word “love” about a thousand times in this review, but I will anyway…I really recommend this book!  Go read it, you’ll see what all my gushing is about!

Celeste:  5 huge stars! I loved this. But that doesn’t seem to convey how much. I will try again: *sings* I LOVED THIS SO MUCH *twirls around holding kindle in my arms* It’s true. I devoured this book, my friends, devoured.

This book is top notch because of the writing, yes, that’s right…the fabulous writing that was able to take such a simple story, keep it simple, yet make it divine. I was seriously glued to the pages the entire time. I felt like I got to know both Paul and Olivia so well. From the physical details to the emotional, everything was covered. I knew how each character liked to dress, how they looked (down to fantastic details that made me feel the scars on Paul’s face, feel the silkiness of Olivia’s blonde hair), and even the way they walked (limped). But it wasn’t only the outside that I could picture perfectly, the reader was also given access to their inner thoughts… with this combination I was truly thrown right into the middle of the story as if I lived with them myself. The writing style is just that good.

While both Paul and Olivia come from money, they certainly didn’t act that way. Well, Olivia did act that way for most of her life, but when she made a bad choice she let her true colors shine through, which is where we got to me her. She was being eaten alive by guilt, but in the process she became a deep, caring, and sassy woman that I would want to be, or be great friends with. I feel in love with her as much as I did Paul…which brings me to Paul. Sweet lawd, he was my favorite type of book boyfriend: brooding. When I say he was brooding, maybe I should write it in bold to make you know the extent of broodiness. Paul was brooding and cranky and it was very smexy! Yep, we had a live one and he was one sexy mofo because of it.

The attraction between the two is immediate, fierce, raw, and frankly smoking hot. No, this isn’t a naughty book, but every kiss, every touch was fueled by fire. I was on the edge of my couch with my kindle in hand cheering these two on to please please please make out or touch or talk dirty or somethinganythingpleasethrowmeabone. We did get our smexy time and it was totally worth the wait.

Is there anything I didn’t like you ask? Well, let’s bring out my greedy reader to fill you in. I needed more. I felt like “we” (lol) worked so hard to get the happily ever after but the happily ever after ended too soon. The ending wrapped up a little quickly, but I still loved this book so much that it doesn’t change the rating…however, I would have liked just one more scene. Like a kissy scene to completely end the story for me. I wanted just a little bit longer to savor that HEA. However, it was still fantastic and I honestly can’t rec this book enough. If you love romance that will make your heart happy, this is a must for your TBR.

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