Thursday, January 23, 2014

Book Review: Broken by Kelly Elliott

Layton Morris and his brother Mike grew up not knowing what it would be like to live in a normal home. With no running water or electricity in their home, no parents around to protect them, they quickly learned how to survive and depend only on each other.

When a tragic accident takes Mike away from Layton, and the only other person that he ever let into his heart walked away from him, leaving his heart shattered, Layton focuses all of his time and energy into the ranch he and his brother dreamed of. He makes a vow to himself to never let love in again. The last thing Layton needed or wanted was more heartache.

Whitley Reynolds grew up in a privileged home in upstate New York. When she landed the star football player in high school no one was surprised, not even Whitley. She dreamed of a life with Roger living in New York City and happily followed him there.

The first time Roger hit her for arguing with him about a dinner party, she forgave him. The more it happened, the further Whitley withdrew from her friends and family. One fateful day things go to far. Whitley makes a promise to herself and finds the courage to do the one thing she thought she’d never be able to do.

Fleeing with her best friend Courtney, Whitley was determined to put her past behind her and start a new life in the small town of Llano, Texas, where no one would ever find out about her past.

Will they both ever learn to trust and love again, or will their pasts come back to haunt them, keeping them both alone and…

18+ Years Old. Adult content and language.

Hands down I loved this book. I love all of Elliott's work, but I feel this one stood out. (And the cover! We have Gary Taylor on the cover!)

Once again Elliott brings us a group of twenty something's looking for love. But, she ups the anti. With troubled pasts, domestic abuse, and abandonment, she covers the gamete and deals with each scenario in a really authentic and delicate way.

I take exception to other reviews who posted that the characters were "cookie cutter" from her other series. While they resembled them some, they were different and authentic enough for me to connect with. It's just that down home, unapologetic writing style that I love from Elliott. And frankly if she changed, I wouldn't be as big a fan.

Yes there was language, but don't kid yourself, we all use swears now and then. Especially in the world these characters are coming from. The sex was hot and sweet. The story flowed really well, and I felt a lot more time was spent with the main characters than in previous books Elliott has written. Which was great, not too many story lines vying for attention.

At one time I found myself saying geez, I thought she was going to take the Roger story line this way, but I guess not. Than, low and behold, she took it the way I expected, but it didn't play out how I expected. (A lot of double speak I know, but I'm trying not to give spoilers here. Roger was the perfect villain, a little predictable, but just crazy enough.)

Bottom line. I read and write romance to escape. Who puts a time line on when you fall in love or where? That's why we love these books. Elliott mixes just enough reality with a whole lot of hot escapism to remind us why we fell in love with romance books to begin with. Allow yourself to get lost in Layton and Whitley's world. You won't be sorry. Hell, you will be looking for a tender, romantic cowboy of your own. I give this one 4 1/2 stars :)

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