Thursday, 3 March 2016

Review - Broken by Nicola Haken

Title: Broken
Author: Nicola Haken
Release Date: March 1, 2016

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?

(M/M romance. Not suitable for readers under 18 years of age due to language and sexual content. ***Please note*** This book contains scenes of self harm, mental illness and suicidal ideation which may pose as a trigger, or be uncomfortable for some readers.)

I suspect this is going to be a hard review to write. Because Broken certainly was, for me, a hard book to read. Not because it wasn't an excellent book, let me be completely clear about that. 

It was. It was incredible. 

Heartfelt. Heartbreaking. Hopeful. Hurtful. Honest. I could go on, but I won't. Because what good are adjectives without reason? 

Broken hit awfully close to home. Almost too close, if I am honest—which, in order to do justice to this spellbinding book, I need to be. As someone with experiences similar…the same…as those that are touched on in this book, I could feel my heart shattering as surely as James and Theodore experienced it. I read these words that I believe I could have said, could have written, about my own struggles, and I wanted to cry. 

I did cry. But I also smiled. Laughed. Swooned. 

I want to find Nicola Haken and give her a hug. Squeeze her tight, and say thank you. For her understanding. For opening people’s eyes. For an ending that managed to make me smile and laugh despite the pain, for a middle that touched the deepest, darkest parts of me, and for a beginning that was as sexy and sensual as it was fun and funny. 

Broken is truly a remarkable book. I was blown away by it, by the raw and sincere way Ms. Haken took these men through the roller coaster of living with unrelenting demons. And now, as I sit here wondering if I have to courage to post this review, all I can think about is how far into my heart Theo and James have embedded themselves—and how I hope they never leave. I think it might be too hard to say goodbye…although maybe not as hard as it was find the words that I hope compel you to read this breathtaking book. 
~ Review by Beth

Reading the description of this book I knew there might be a possibility that, with the mental illness aspect, I might have a hard time finishing it (I suffer from clinical depression and anxiety). What I didn’t expect was how deep this book would go; it literally felt as though it touched my soul and left an impression I will treasure forever. 

So, this book blew me out of the water. BLEW. ME. AWAY. And I am not one to say that lightly. There are so many feels in this book. There are also a lot of little hidden meanings (maybe the author didn’t see that when she was writing, but that’s what I took from it). There is the lesson to always trust your instincts, to ask for help when you need it, to not be ashamed of who you are, and most of all, there's UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. That last one is the one that I think many people don’t realize can change a person forever. 

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

Such a poignant statement. It shows just how much pain the characters feel. I still get shivers reading that line. 

I only hope that anyone who loves a good M/M romance will take a chance on this amazing book. Yes, there are some deep issues, but, above and beyond, there is also… LOVE. 

To the author: Thank you. There are some very hard issues in this book and I know it couldn’t have been easy to write, but you did a fantastic job dealing with mental health and self-harm. You did not make light of the issues, instead you made them the focus, and shed light onto them in a way I feel many people will be able to learn and grow from. From a reader/reviewer who lives with many of the same feelings on a daily basis, thank you for this book. 
~ Review by Devlynn

Nicola Haken lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (six if you include the dog and cat!) She is the author of New Adult/Contemporary romance novels Missing Pieces, Saving Amy and the Take My Hand series. She is also the author of the m/m romance Souls of the Knight series. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary book friends (or talking about them with real life friends!) she can usually be found carrying out her ordinary mum/housewife/all round slave duties. Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they're sleeping... Nicola is always looking for new stalkers - oops I meant friends! So why not follow her on Twitter, add her on Goodreads or like her Facebook page!

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