Broken by Shiloh Walker
Why this one: I've read some good buzz on this one plus I met her last year in Washington and shared a pint or two - though I don't know if she remembers me.
Steam Level: Oooh, it warmed my insides and I didn't mind even though we went through an early April hot spell.
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.
Sara Davis 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 Sara 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…
My Thoughts: The reason for the preamble at the top of this review is since I'm not having time to do as many reviews as I hoped, I'd rather concentrate on books I loved. It's not that I'm a Pollyanna, and will give singing praises to every book I read - Harriet Klausner I ain't. But it is about sharing the love - and I loved this book.
I read the previous book, Fragile, and while I liked it, I didn't loooovvee it. Not so with this one. I was intrigued by Quinn in Fragile - I'll always take a bad boy over a good guy in my heroes. And Quinn was oh so deliciously bad.
He grew up as an abused child, neglected and beaten by his alcoholic, druggie mother. When she dies, he discovers he has another family including a loving father and a twin brother. Because of his ugly early years though, he is unable to trust them and even when he does slowly realize that they aren't out to hurt him, he still can't let his walls down and really let them in. All this makes for just my kind of hero!!
He is working as a bounty hunter when he meets his new neighbour Sara. Sara is running, from what we don't know for the longest time. But when a kindly woman notices that Sara is on edge she offers to let Sara move into an apartment at her place. Sara is tough and strong and though we don't know what she is hiding from, at least I found myself routing for her. We have our suspicions, but it's never confirmed.
So Quinn and Sarah, due to different reasons hold a lot back from each other and neither wants to get involved. But they can't keep their attraction in check. It's touching seeing this wounded, gruff, self-contained Quinn get all protective of Sara, even though he doesn't know from what or who he thinks she needs protection from. And Sara knows she needs to move on, but she just can't seem to leave her new life - and Quinn - behind.
These are two wonderful wounded, lonely people who find and need each other and I absolutely loved this book.
A word of caution though for those end peekers like myself.
I read the end way before I got to it and there is a twist that's probably better left until the end. Knowing in advance didn't spoil the book for me at all, but I do wonder how it would have been if I didn't already know :-)
Grade: 5 out of 5
And now I'm off to take my car in for a check up before my long drive to Columbus (YES!!) in a couple of weeks - hopefully it won't be too bad