Those looking for an intense read with lots of angst will find just that when Lauren Layne makes a return visit today with her upcoming release, Broken. Keep reading to get my impressions of it and learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour. Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC and swag from Loveswept Publishing too!
Lauren Layne’s New Adult novel tells the story of a girl with secrets, a guy with scars, and a love that could save them both... or destroy them.
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?
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
I've read and enjoyed Ms. Layne's previous books and with this upcoming release she has yet another winner. With its modern-day take on the classic Beauty and the Beast story readers are introduced to two young adults from rich families who had it all and who are now left floundering in guilt and pain. Together a friendship develops that morphs into more as their emotional barriers come down and they both start accepting each other and themselves unconditionally. From desperation and loneliness to support and triumph, this book grabbed my attention from page one and never let go.
Olivia was first seen in Ms. Layne's Isn't She Lovely? as the girlfriend who cheated with the friend. She's come a long way since then and Ms. Layne has done an admirable job is redeeming her. Olivia has been wracked with guilt since hurting Ethan the way she did, she discovered a shallowness she never thought she possessed and wants to get away from her past to make herself into someone better. She has no illusions about herself and the kind of people surrounding her but she is trying to reform and be less snobby, judgmental, and superior and with her self-deprecating humor I found her delightful. Meeting the scarred and angry Paul gives her insight into true pain and suffering and instead of handling him with kid's gloves she treats him like a man which is what he's desperate for. She's attracted to him from the get-go but it's a difficult journey to HEA as he's built some very tall emotional barriers, but she's a stronger person now and watching their battle of the sexes is both heartwarming and entertaining in its playfulness and sexual tension.
Paul was the handsome and popular quarterback who was on the road to success in the family business. Tired of fitting into his father's mold he went off to war and came home completely transformed. With facial scars, a damaged leg, and a lot of hidden emotional pain and guilt Paul is a true beast in attitude and demeanor and pushing everyone away. He's struggling to live one day to the next and it's only his obligation to his dead friend's family that's keeping him going. Meeting the strong-willed and sexy Olivia gives him yet another reason to live though as she challenges him and makes him feel alive again. She sees past the scars to the man still residing inside no matter how hard he tries to push her away. I love damaged heroes and watching them recover with the love of a good woman and Paul fits this description to a tee. Paul's issues are believable and his actions understandable. He's been on his own for so long, with a father who's clueless to his needs, that he's desperate for someone to truly see him and Olivia does just that which makes their coupling perfect as both of them need to be saved.
This story is ultimately about two imperfect people looking for acceptance and happiness. The story is told in their alternating POVs which gives us great insight into each of their thoughts. Ms. Layne depicts the horrors of war in a way that makes us feel empathy towards Paul and impressed by his survival no matter what the cost. Olivia has earned her redemption through her strong will and unwavering acceptance of Paul and by story's end I'd completely forgotten about her past. The connection between the two of them crackled with sexual tension and witty banter that quickly morphed into some steamy interludes. From start to finish I found this story an engaging read with a compelling couple and highly recommend it to those looking for a story full of triumph and tears along the way!
My rating for this is an A.
*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-sizepomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.
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