Saturday 20 August 2016

Review ~ Broken by Nicola Haken

Book Description:

When Theodore Davenport decides to switch his mundane job for a career, he walks into Holden House Publishing with enthusiasm and determination to succeed. As he settles into his new role, makes new friends, and dreams of making it to the top, everything is going to plan.

Until he meets James Holden, CEO of Holden House.

James Holden hasn’t been able to stop thinking about his encounter with the timid man he met in a club bathroom last week, and when he discovers the one haunting his dreams is an employee, he can’t seem to stop himself from pursuing him.

Just a little fun - that’s what James tells himself. He can’t afford to care for someone who can never reciprocate, not once they find out who he really is. James believes nobody deserves the burden of being attached to him. He’s a complicated man. Damaged. Difficult. Demanding. 


Is Theodore strong enough to confront James’ demons? More importantly, is James? 

Please note:This book contains scenes of self harm, mental illness and suicidal ideation which may be uncomfortable for some readers.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars

“…broken crayons can still colour.”

So, I am on a M/M kick at the moment. I get into these fazes where I really fancy reading one and then one is never enough, this was the second one in my run and it broke it. I had to have a break because this book killed me.

“We can’t live on what if’s.”

I went into this one blind as I love to do and from the prologue I knew that this was going to be one heck of an emotional read, I just didn’t realise how much. Most people these days are touched by some form of mental illness, whether it be yourself, a relative, a friend or a friend of a friend.  Mental illness is rife and yet still kind of taboo, no-one admits to it for fear of weakness, it is deemed dirty and all in the head, literally. But, it is real, it affects more people than you realise and what Nicola Haken delivered here was a book with both sides of the coin, you heard with painful honesty the thoughts of the sufferer and then the heart-breaking agony of the man that had to watch his boyfriend suffer in silence. It was agonising to read, it was emotional, it was real, it was honest and it rocked me to my core.

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

Theo is at a crossroads in his life and constantly changing direction, in his late twenties he finds himself starting at the bottom in a huge publishing house, but books are his passion and for him, the dream job and a start to maybe greater things. Theo was gay and was the relationship kinda guy, never had a one night stand in his life until he meets “David Gandy.” Theo meets this handsome stranger and ends up having filthy, hot sex in a toilet. Totally out of character and one that he immediately regrets. There was something about the man that Theo was instantly attracted to, he called to him and yet he was a cocky, egocentric, enigma, definitely not Theo’s norm. Days later and “David” still hasn’t left Theo’s mind, until he has to meet the CEO of the company he works for and comes face to face with the man that turned him into a slut.

“Why didn’t you talk to me?”

James Holden was the CEO of Holden publishing, he was a dark and brooding character and so damn intriguing. He hid himself behind his man slut fa├žade, he was the king of the one nighters that gave him the ability to stay detached and alone. He was a man that had no spark behind his eyes, he seemed to have everything but underneath he really had nothing at all. THIS MAN broke my heart. Such torment, demons and inner turmoil that kept this man on a knifes edge, just waiting for that one little slip that will have him tumbling down a deep mental abyss. His story is tragic, his mother deserves a throat punch but thank god that his one night of filthy toilet sex leaves him for once in his life wanting more…he wanted seconds, thirds and fourths.

“I’ve been playing the leading role in a movie about a normal person. And I’m not normal. I’m fucked-up. Broken. Irreparable.”

Theodore and James’s story is by no means pretty, these two have mountains to climb, like Everest high. But what these two had was a soul deep connection that anchored them together, despite the peaks and troughs. James was a tough nut to crack but once he starts to open up his story will steal your heart and soul. The unlovable becomes lovable, the lone ranger realises he needs his trusty steed, James finally realises that two are better than one.

“Solitude is addictive. Once you discover how peaceful it is, you no longer want or need to deal with people anymore.”

Theodore was an outstanding character, where most would have walked away he chipped away at the man that he knew was underneath. He loved James unconditionally, in sickness and in health and it was his belief and his dedication to James and their relationship that really cemented these two as one of my favourite M/M couples.

“I think you’re hiding, and I’m scared that if I find you, I won’t be able to handle it.”

Nicola Haken delivers a story with fantastic character connection, steaming hot sexual chemistry and a roller coaster ride that will tug every single emotion out of you with ease. I had tears, a lot of tears but most of all I had hope. This book was brutally honest and really gives you an insight into mental illness from many perspectives, from the outside looking in and the inside looking out, often in fear. But this was by no means all doom and gloom, despite the obstacles we are treated to one of the most endearing, engaging and stunningly beautiful love stories, it may have begun seedy but seeds grow and these two did just that, they grew, together, they blossomed and while flowers die you can bet that these two were a hardy perennial that just never gave up and despite the conditions surrounding them, flourished. Totally unforgettable.

“When your boat is drifting from the shore, it’s okay to use an anchor for support. We all need an anchor. Without people to love us, we’d drift further and further away.”

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