Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Broken by Lauren Layne

Title: Broken
Author: Lauren Layne
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Redemption #1
Main Characters: Olivia and Paul
Release Date: September 2014
Publisher: Random House Flirt
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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?
My Review:
Wow, this book was good! On the surface Olivia has it all. She's young, she's gorgeous, she's rich, and she can afford to take a year off from NYU just because she's stressed and sad. On the other hand, Paul was wounded and scarred in Afghanistan and now lives the life of a hermit in his father's mansion in Maine. His father brings in companions to keep him from committing suicide, but Paul keeps chasing them off with his grumpy and cruel attitude. 

But Paul isn't ready for Olivia when she shows up...gorgeous, his age, and she won't take his crap. Olivia is just what he needs. But Paul is what Olivia needs too, because under all the pretty wrapping she is just as broken as he is.

This is an angst-filled, emotionally riveting book. Paul is what he's lost and by what happened to him. He's left physically scarred...both his face and his leg and as a result has hidden himself away. He's been this way for two years and refuses to accept hope for life again. But Olivia sees past all that. She sees the hurt, scared, but beautiful man below the surface and they form a sort of friendship that is also heavily laced with sexual chemistry. But Paul does everything he can to push her away. And Olivia is human...a lot of what he says makes its mark, but she still refuses to give up on him. 

While anyone's heart would hurt for what Paul has gone through, Olivia is a bit harder to connect with. But she hates herself so much for what she did to her boyfriend Ethan and ultimately to Michael, that you can't help but feel for her too. She's not a bad person. She simply made a mistake and is doing what she can to rectify that now. Both of these characters are ones that make it so easy to fall in love with them. As a reader, I needed both of them to find hope and worried that it wouldn't happen. (Take note of my note below...I've been burned before by a similar story line.) 

But ultimately it is a happy story. I cried along the way,but they were happy tears at the end and I adored this emotion-filled book. It was a great one. And now that I see there was a prequel with Ethan...must read that and am hoping that Michael will find happiness in Lauren Layne's fictional world someday too. 

Note: this book CLOSELY resembles Me Before You by JoJo Moyes with the overall storyline. As an author, I'm a little uncomfortable with that. As a reader, I love it. I also adored that book, but the unhappy ending KILLED ME. I'm happy to say that although this story resembles that one, the outcome is much happier in this book. Thank goodness, because I really couldn't have handled another book like that one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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