Quinn Rafferty is working as a bounty hunter and bail bondsman in St. Louis when a new neighbor catches his eye. He’s tempted by her beauty—but he knows from experience that anyone desperate enough to live in his building is damaged goods. Besides, he has his own soul to mend before he can worry about anyone else.
Sarah McElya is on the run, but not for the usual reasons a woman goes on the lam. She’s not an abused wife, and she’s not a criminal. But she does have a plan for her future. And as much as she finds herself attracted to her gruff, tough neighbor, she can’t risk telling him the secrets she’s hiding. There’s just too much at stake.
DRIVEN TO DESIRE…
But Quinn must get closer to Sarah when she turns out to be the target of his new missing persons case, and he discovers that there is something more complex and dangerous to her than he thought. Now, both Quinn and Sara will have to expose their true feelings—as well as their fragile hearts—if they hope their love will survive…
When I won the ARC of BROKEN in an ARC-contest on Shiloh Walker’s blog and found out it was the sequel to FRAGILE I knew I had to read the story about Luke first, which turned out to be a perfect read for me (click here for my Quick ‘n Dirty review of it). I assumed I was prepared for Quinn after reading FRAGILE but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Nothing could have prepared me for the impact Quinn and Sara and their story had on me. They took romance, struggle, pain, and suffering to another level.
BROKEN is the sequel to FRAGILE and tells the story of Quinn Rafferty. The quiet, brooding twin who lives and breathes Army life, who comes across as cold, uncaring and void of compassion but he definitely isn’t. He was just messed up as a kid by his addicted and abusive mother. Quinn is a loner, distrustful and gruff. He’s blunt and direct and not a man of many words. Talk is overrated in Quinn’s opinion. He is also a fighter. With his past, it’s not strange that Quinn distrusts people and keeps away from them. Until he meets a woman he can’t stay away from, despites his efforts to do just so.
Sara Davis is quick-witted and a tough cookie. She’s very cautious and on her guard 24/7. She can’t afford not to be. If there is one characters I’ve read lately who is not who she seems to be, it’s definitely Sara. Fairly soon in the story it’s clear that she is on the run from something or someone, never staying in one place, never letting people get to know her. Never letting others come close. Until she meets a man who makes her want to stay and be more than passing ships.
Even though I enjoyed BROKEN immensely and it was just as amazing and mind-blowing a read as FRAGILE was, I do think that FRAGILE was better for me in two aspects: the suspense and the hero. Both have to do with personal preferences and likings. I liked the suspense plot in FRAGILE just a tad better than the one in BROKEN and this had to do with how the build up was wrapped up. As for the heroes I am all for dark and brooding heroes like Quinn but I prefer heroes like Luke who are a bit more open and talkative.
The suspense plot of BROKEN is that of Sara on the run and from who and why is disclosed slowly throughout the book. This suspense plot is built with small clues and flashbacks, which all contributed to speculations about what was going on. Shiloh Walker did this in a way that was absolutely superb. She is amazing at giving the reader the plot in small doses, building up the suspense, keeping the reader riveted on finding out what the deal is. When the answers were given and everything fell into place, I was surprised that I was only partially right with my speculations.
Shiloh Walker is an artist with words. She weaves them together perfectly to convey emotions so powerful that they vividly paint the picture she wants you to see. Without getting overly bombastic or flowery she writes about love, hurt, trust and passion beautifully and without over-embellishments. And then she effortlessly combines that with nail-biting suspense. The excellent build-up of the suspense is equally excellently done in the romance and the eroticism. She does that going from little clues to the full story, from subtle flirting and teasing to intense emotions and almost desperate passion.
BROKEN is about learning to trust when people who should be supportive pillars in your life have mowed down your ability to trust. Sara and Quinn are two lost souls trying to find their way in the world and finding their souls and destiny in each other. I loved reading this book and if the suspense had been as good as I found it to be in FRAGILE this would have been another perfect read. But almost perfect isn’t too shabby either, right?
BROKEN is a must-read for readers who love emotional intensity in their reading combined with a good dose of suspense. I know FRAGILE and BROKEN were an amazing start for me to get to know Shiloh Walker’s work and they were just that, a start, because I am definitely going to read more of Ms. Walker’s work.
Small talk. He was making small talk with his gorgeous neighbor. He was actually engaging in a fucking conversation.
Shit, he was either hornier than he thought or he was still asleep. Quinn didn’t do small talk. Quinn hated small talk.
When he lowered his head to kiss her, she tried to brace herself…it just wasn’t possible. It wasn’t the sort of kiss a woman could brace herself for. The sort of kiss that a man should give a woman in a public place. The sort of kiss that should happen anywhere outside of a bedroom. Because it left her wanting to strip out of her clothes, tear his away, and then climb on and ride him, ride him until that long, powerful body shuddered and quivered under hers.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10