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I Belong


Review: Broken by Laura Wright

BrokenTitle: Broken

Author: Laura Wright

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Cavanaugh Brothers (Book #2)

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Format: Paperback, 336 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451464990 (Signet/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0451464996 (Signet/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

The Cavanaugh brothers left behind River Black, Texas, long ago. But after their father dies, bequeathing them the Triple C, a cattle ranch that sustains their small town, they return—and confront the painful memories of their childhood home and the truth about their sister’s murder…

For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls…

Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Tired of rejection, she’s ready to swear off men. But after being rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her resolve wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed…

Quick & Dirty: While not much happens in terms of the overarching mystery, this is still a fun follow up to book one, full of engaging characters and a wonderful romance.

Opening Sentence: I saw Sweet again today.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Ever since her father left her mother, Sheridan has sworn that she will never let a man be in a position to do that to her. That means no serious relationships, and definitely no marriage. Ever since arriving at the Triple C Ranch and meeting her boss’ brother, her resolve has been faltering. James Cavanaugh is the type of man who would make any woman stop in her tracks. The fact that he seems to also be attracted to her doesn’t help matters any. Sheridan really doesn’t want to cross the line between a professional relationship and a personal one, but James is making it really hard to stay strong.

James has his own reasons for not wanting a serious relationship. His sister’s murder still hangs over his head, and other events in his life have led him to believe every woman who cares for him gets hurt. So, it’s really in Sheridan’s best interest that they not become involved. James just can’t stay away from her though, and they both find themselves falling more and more under the other’s spell. Will these two people be able to put aside their pasts in order to make a future together?

I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was very much looking forward to continuing the series with this book. My expectations were met with a fast paced and sweet romance, full of great characters. I will say though that, in terms of the overarching mystery over Cass’ murder, not much happens. We get some more clues, but it doesn’t really feel like the plot moves forward much, if at all. It’s too Laura Wright’s credit that I can say this and still give the book 4 stars because she just has a way of writing that draws me in, and her characters seem very genuine.

One issue I did have concerned James. It almost felt sometimes as if there were a wall between him and the reader. We find out about his baggage, but it was never given in enough detail for me to truly understand why he was so standoffish about having a serious relationship. It made it a little harder for me to connect to him, whereas I connected to Sheridan very easily.

We get to see a lot of Mac (the heroine from book one), which I enjoyed. I love it when the main characters from previous books make appearances later on in a series and getting to see Mac attempting to plan a wedding was a lot of fun.

All in all, while it didn’t seem like much happened, this was still a fun, fast follow up to book one. I believe fans of the first book will greatly enjoy this one as well. I’m looking forward to book three!

Notable Scene:

“I work for your brother.”

“Right.”

“And I love my job.”

“Well, that’s a good thing.”

She gave him a look of extreme impatience.

“Come on, I know you understand what I’m saying.”

“You can’t think Deacon would fire you if we…hung out together. If we were…” He paused, cleared his throat. “Friends.”

“Having a hard time getting that word out?” she observed, the lightness and humor back in her gaze.

“Not at all.” He dropped his chin and lifted his brows. “Friend.”

Her gaze shifted to the coming sunset. “Look, I don’t believe Mr. Cavanaugh would take issue with us being friends, if that’s truly what it was. But, come on -“

James didn’t let her finish. He stuck his hand out. “Then it’s settled. Friends.”

She stared at his hand.

“I ain’t gonna bite, Sheridan,” he said. He’d meant it as a joke, but when her eyes lifted to meet his, he saw a struggle there.

“You wanna stop hanging out with me?” he asked gently.

“No, but -“

He shrugged. “We both know where we stand. Both know neither one of us is staying here permanent. No expectations. Just fun.”

“Just fun?” she asked. “Words are easy like the wind,” she said.

Heat slashed through him. Quoting Shakespeare from those lips…”What can I say, Miss O’Neil? ‘I do desire we be better strangers.'”

Her eyes brightened and for a moment he though she might return his quote with another. Maybe something about rejection of the heart. But instead, she started to laugh.

“All right, Mr. Cavanaugh.” She slipped her hand in his and pumped it a couple of times.

“Friends it is.”

Cavanaugh Brothers:

1. Branded

2. Broken

3. Brash

4. Bonded

crow4

FTC Advisory: Signet/Penguin provided me with a copy of Broken. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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