I’m a happy girl :) I received an e-arc copy of Breaking Love from the amazing and talented B.B. Reid! The following is my honest and unbiased review.
If you aren’t familiar with this series, “BL” is the fourth book in the Broken Love series. The first two novels are about the first couple and are very dark. The other two couples each have just one book since their back stories are well-established through the series openers and are also not as dark. If you are sensitive to dark themes, you might want to start with this book as a test-run. While I always prefer to read in order, I think the author does enough catch-up that a new reader could jump in here and not feel confused.
Okay, here’s the good stuff.
She’s the girl who got away, but now she’s back…
Four years was all it took.
I told myself I didn’t need friends. I didn’t need family. I sure as fuck didn’t need him.
And you know what?
I was right.
He had been inside of me, coursing through my veins.
So I cut and bled Dash Chambers until I was free.
But the day I returned to Six Forks and was thrown at his feet, I realized I would never forget how it felt to have every inch of him inside me.
…and he’s waiting.
Angel thought if she ran far enough, she’d be free.
What’s mine will always be mine.
This time I do things my way.
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DISCLAIMER: While Breaking Love isn’t dark, the first of the series contains sensitive themes many people aren’t able to swallow.
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This was the come-back book in my opinion. The third really rubbed me the wrong way for various reasons, but Breaking Love was more true to the author’s writing in the first two novels, albeit lighter in content.
I liked how the story unfolded for Dash and Willow and that you could see how they had grown from their teenage selves we were first introduced to. Dash is less likely to lash out and seems to be the most stable man in this series. Considering the parenting that they all had, it is remarkable that the characters weren’t institutionalized, actually.
Willow on the other hand is much more vulnerable than in the past. I felt a lot of empathy for her. She has never really had someone who loved her unconditionally without demanding anything of her. It seems that every time she starts to feel something and take a chance on someone, that person lets her down or makes demands alien to her personality, even her parents. I’m glad that she starts to really connect with the people around her by the end of the novel, people she’d been around for years but never actually connected with before.
I would have preferred the plot to be refined a little more because I did feel like there was a lot going on at times. Despite this, the story was such a vast improvement over the third book, that “BL” was a miraculous joy to read and review in comparison.
I do wish that the author had removed some of the superficial plots to stream line the book. I found it confusing for her to reveal that Willow had been making secret trips home every month for years while in hiding (between book 2 and the start of this one) and never got caught, when she is estranged from her abusive mother and stepfather, and her beloved brother was away at university. What exactly was the point of taking huge chances to go home and visit people she detested when she had run away from everything and everyone in her old life?? This was never explained to my liking and I wish a beta-reader had pointed it out.
By taking out minor things like this, the story could have been made less confusing and opened up word count for the areas where there was VAST room for expansion: Willow’s relationships with the old gang and especially, between her and Keiran. I loved the couple of scenes between these two, about 85% in, and wish that BB Reid had further explored their relationship. I think Keiran was a huge part of why Willow was so hurt and disappeared for years, possibly as responsible as Dash was, so seeing this interaction was hugely important to me. I really like to see main characters interact with characters other than their romantic partner, because you get a much fuller sense of who they are in that way.
I hope you take a chance on this new author, she is doing a great job with very complicated material for a rookie. And she left a little bonus present for her dedicated fans at the end of the book :)
* * * (and a half)