A girl with secrets…
A guy with scars…
And a love that could save them both.
SQUEE!!!! I loved this book!!!
Fun, sexy, and heart-wrenching, with a unique modern-day “Beauty & The Beast” twist to it, this was exactly the kind of book I was looking for!! A story of redemption, forgiveness, healing, and love. With its brooding, tormented, and scarred hero (LOVED him!!) and strong, sassy heroine who would NOT take any of his shit (LOVED her too!!), this is definitely one of my new favorites!!
You know that feeling when you just connect with a book? Yup, well, that happened here. We bonded, the book and I. Instantly. I fell in love with it on the first page, and by the second, I was already squeeing.
While I definitely chuckled my way through many chapters, I also was genuinely intrigued by the deeper story as well. What was this girl’s secret? What had made her run from her privileged life? Who was this guy? What kind of person was hidden beneath his scars? What was his story? And why did he come off as such an asshole? And, why was he also making my heart melt? …. In every way, I. WAS. HOOKED.
I’m getting a little ahead of myself here…
Paul Langdon, once a popular, hotshot quarterback, was now a 24-year-old ex-Marine, permanently wounded and scarred both on the inside and outside by a war that also claimed the life of his closest friend. Angry, brooding, and utterly closed off, he wanted nothing more than to retreat from the world, but was forced into an ultimatum by his wealthy father: if he wanted to get his inheritance, he had to play nice and put up with his new caregiver. If it was just for him, he would have walked away in a heart-beat, but he needed the money to help someone else dear to him so he stayed, begrudgingly.
I’m no longer Paul Landgon, hotshot quarterback and all-American hero off to war. I’m Paul Langdon, disfigured recluse and of no use to anyone. Hell, I can’t even be of use to myself. I can’t even fucking walk.
Olivia Middleton was born into a wealthy family and lived a life of priviledge. But just short of graduating with her degree, she suddenly decided to leave her life of privilege and accepted a job in Maine as a private caregiver to an injured war veteran. For her, this was about penance and redemption.
When Olivia showed up at Paul’s house, he was the last thing she expected…
I haven’t even seen the guy in full light yet and I’m about fifteen seconds away from asking if his offspring would like to take up residence in my uterus.
I should run. Instead, I move closer.
“Let me guess. You were expecting an old dude in a smoking jacket?” he said gruffly.
… and there she was. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Free to live her life however she pleased. She represented everything he no longer was and everything he was trying to get away from.
This girl is exactly the sort of person I exiled myself to Maine to avoid. She’s tempting. Not just in the sexual way… But with that briefest of glimpses, she tempts me with something worse: she makes me long for normal.
Every scene just drew me further and further in. Everything from the addictive writing, to all the secrets, to their explosive chemistry had me desperate to keep flipping the pages and see them fall in love.
He growls and moves closer, pinning me against the door with his body as his tongue slips into my mouth.
I totally loved Paul!! Gah, he was just so grouchy and tormented!! A “golden-boy-meets-jaded-war-hero” with PTSD. He was angry on the outside, seemingly dead on the inside, and yet Olivia sensed something more in him. I loved the way she shook up his world, threw him off his guard, and pulled him out of his downward spiral. And even more, I loved seeing her slowly bring him back to life.
She’s touching my scars. And I’m letting her.
Because the story is told in alternating POVs, we genuinely see why Paul is the way he is. I love characters with deeper layers and while he may have come across as quite rough, when I learned the reasons why, it was heart breaking and I couldn’t help but feel for him. Don’t get me wrong, he really was a complete jerk at times but the damaged guys are my weakness. I love them, even with their mistakes. And, being able to read his thoughts allowed me to remain always sympathetic instead of being angry or frustrated.
She’s not mine to protect but… I want her to touch me… I want her to be mine to take. And when she’s looking at me like that, I can almost believe it’s true.
Their banter was PURE GOLD!!! It perfectly balanced the more emotional side of the story. Every time things got serious, suddenly I’d be laughing at something one of them said. Then add in the sexy, intense hotness and the love/hate, push/pull vibe between them and, of course, the emotional undercurrents of Paul’s painful past and this whole book was just a delightful mix of everything I love to read about.
“Oh I’m sorry. Were your bear growl and caveman antics supposed to send me running away? Did you expect that I’d faint at your glower?”
I also really loved this author’s writing style! Not only was the way she conveyed emotions and described scenes so vivid but her specific word choices also made me smile over and over again. My only complaint is that I wanted just a little bit more from the last few chapters. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a standalone with a resolved ending, but I really would have wanted an epilogue. Still, this is absolutely a new favorite for me!! Such an awesome story and I’m SO glad I read it!! Highly recommended! 😀
No matter where I look, my walls are crumbling, and this damned girl keeps presenting me with the most dangerous element of all.
Rating: 4.5 stars. Standalone romance.
PS: there is another related book in the series called Isn’t She Lovely. But my recommendation is to start with this book (Broken). It was my first book by this author and it’s meant to be readable on its own.