ARC Review: Anything But Broken by Joelle Knox

Posted August 24, 2015 by Francesca in Reviews / 5 Comments

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: Anything But Broken by Joelle Knox
Anything But Broken
by Joelle Knox

3.5 Stars

BOOK INFO


Released: August 25th 2015
Series: Hurricane Creek #1
Published by Self Published
Pages: 237
Format: eARC
 

“ANYTHING BUT BROKEN is packed full of angst and lies and the process to uncover and work through that to get to an HEA.”
~ Under the Covers

Well this is certainly different!  Many may know this writing duo as Kit Rocha or Moira Rogers, but here they are again writing together and bringing a very different type of story.  The Hurricane Creek series is pretty much standard new adult.  That could be good for some, and not so great for others.  ANYTHING BUT BROKEN is packed full of angst and lies and the process to uncover and work through that to get to an HEA.

Hannah hasn’t come back to Hurricane Creek for years.  She never came back home when her sister died.  And now she’s home after her parents died.  To deal with a house that brings nothing but bad memories, lies and the ghosts of the past to her.  Dealing with all that and the fact that she no longer has the pressure of her parents to keep up appearances leave her unsettled about her future and what she should do next.

There to help her figure things out is Sean, her sister’s ex-boyfriend.  Eeeekkkk.  But it’s not as creepy as you may think.  It’s been years since her sister died, and they had a rocky relationship.  Hannah always had a crush on her older sisters’ boyfriend, so having him show any interest on her now is everything she ever hoped for.  But there are many secrets and lies between them before they can make it go.

I enjoyed Sean and Hannah together, they had great chemistry both as friends and as lovers.  He’s the wild to her tamed.  She’s the rich girl from a “reputable” family and he’s the boy from the wrong side of the tracks, with tattoos and a liking for motor oil.  But he fits dirtying her up.  I enjoyed that.

I did find the story a bit too angsty for my liking and when the big reveals came they felt anticlimactic at times.  The pace of the story was also a bit slow at times, which made me lose interest about half way through, only to get back into it later on.

What I loved?  The aspect of Sean owning his own auto repair shop and the fact that he also races cars.  But this wasn’t a big focus of the book, more like a side thing and that left me a bit disappointed.  I hope it gets explored more in future books in this series.

The side characters in this book (Sean and Hannah’s best friends Gibb and Evie) leave the next book perfectly setup and have left me definitely wanting more!

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EXCERPT

I don’t stay in bed. By the time Sean comes knocking on Evie’s front door, I’ve washed my face, brushed my teeth, and torn through my room, kicking dirty clothes into the closet and wondering how I made such a damn mess when I don’t even have all my things with me.​

I’m at the door before I remember I forgot to change, and it’s too late now. So I answer the door in my pajamas—cotton shorts and a tank top that feels transparent right now.

“Hey. Come on in.”

“Good morning.” He actually did something, one of the bright blue boxes from the bakery down the street from the boutique, and he hands it to me as he walks in.

“Thank you.” I carry the box into the living room, where my quilting supplies are spread out on the floor in front of the TV. Evie helped me sort scraps last night, and I went to bed without putting anything away. “Are you thirsty? I can make coffee, or we have some Cokes.”

“The bakery thinks of everything.” He tilts his head toward the box, and I open it to find two covered cups of coffee nestled inside along with the pastries.

“You’re going to spoil me,” I tell him as I sit on the couch. The coffee table is another of those pieces that looks either cosmetically distressed or lovingly salvaged—only now I know which. Evie finds them at flea markets and yard sales, dropping ten dollars on pieces of furniture no one wants, only to turn around and make them beautiful.

Just like Sean and his car—or me with my scrap quilts, I guess. Maybe we’re all obsessed with rescuing broken things.

Sean takes one of the coffees and sprawls out beside me, one arm looped casually around my shoulders. “Got any plans for today?”

Just the hospital later, but I don’t feel like bringing it up. So I reach for one of the pastries instead, breaking off a corner to nibble. “Not really. I need to open up my laptop and actually deal with some of my email, I guess.”

“Sounds fun.” He wrinkles his nose as he leans his head back and closes his eyes. “I left Gibb alone at the garage.”

I should probably feel guilty about that, but it’s hard to when he’s here, next to me, and I get to snuggle into his side as I eat breakfast. “I’m sure he can handle it. He seems really good at his job. Evie says he is, anyway.”

“She’s right.” Sean tilts his head my way and opens one eye. “You look good.”

My cheeks aren’t the only part of me that heat at the compliment. I abandon the pastry and coffee in favor of curling closer to him, because every point of contact means another giddy spark of anticipation.

It’s easier to flirt with him in text messages, but I try to capture a hint of that mischief as

I smile at him. “I stayed in my pajamas just for you.”

“I like it.” The back of his hand brushes my bare thigh.

An accident? I don’t want it to be. Holding my breath, I shift closer, chasing his fingers.

But he hasn’t moved, so I wind up rubbing my leg against his hand.
Sean is watching me now. “Does Evie come home for lunch?”

I don’t think I’ve been here long enough to know for sure, and I can’t remember right now, anyway. Because that’s not what he’s really asking. This isn’t safe like the lake, with people nearby to keep us from going too far.

Whatever too far means.

“I think she might be meeting Sawyer for lunch,” I tell him, because I know she talked about it. Was it today? God, I hope so, because I can’t think with Sean watching me.

He slides his free hand into my hair and cups my neck. He doesn’t say anything, but he’s utterly focused on my mouth, and he draws in a sharp breath when I lick my lips.

It’s the reminder I need—that I’m not the only one caught in the grip of needy hunger. I press my hand to his chest, splaying my fingers wide. Not to hold him back, but to brace myself as I lean in.

He lifts me into his lap instead, his steely grip a shocking reminder of his strength. I end up perched on his thighs, my knees riding alongside his hips. Straddling him, and it’s nothing like the lake. We might be wearing more clothing—well, he is—but there’s no darkness or water to hide behind.

He can watch my cheeks flush, and he can watch that warmth spread. My tank top is too thin to hide the tightening tips of my nipples, so I crush my chest to his and kiss him before reality can catch up with me.

But it isn’t reality that crashes into me a heartbeat later. It’s sensation, the tightness spreading into a deeper heat as his tongue slicks over mine, and his fingertips edge beneath the hem of my tank top.

I want to melt. Everything inside me is screaming for it, but I break away and pant against his cheek. “I should tell you. That I still don’t—that I’m not ready—”

“For sex?” His voice is low, hoarse. Filthy.

I never thought anything could weaken my resolve. But I didn’t know I could feel like this—flustered and turned on and achy. Empty, and just thinking that makes me feel debauched. “Can we still do other stuff?”

His chest rumbles beneath mine, and his hands slide higher up my back. “Hell, yeah.”

 

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TEASERS

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READING ORDER & BUY LINKS

Click on the covers to buy the books

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About Joelle Knox

Joelle Knox is the penname of co-writing team Donna Herren and Bree Bridges. Best friends for years, they’ve been collaborating and publishing together since 2008. As Kit Rocha they write the award winning dystopian erotic romance Beyond series, and as Moira Rogers they’ve penned dozens of paranormal novels, novellas and stories.

Anything but Broken is their first contemporary romance and their first new adult romance.

Why so many pennames?

So readers know what they’re getting–and what they’re not.

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Francesca

Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m a 30 something sun lover living in the Big Apple (read New York).I’m a book and coffee addict and lover of all things elephants.

I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!

I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.
Francesca
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Throw Back the Covers (20): August 30, 2015 - Under the Covers Book BlogAmy RChris AlexanderTimitraElizabeth Recent comment authors
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Elizabeth

Thanks for the review francesca

Timitra
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Timitra

I love Kit Rocha’s books so I’m definitely going to check this out…thanks for the review Francesca

Chris Alexander
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Chris Alexander

This this is one of those rare authors that I trust to write a new adult that I’ll actually read.

Amy R
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Amy R

Thanks for the review, I’m planning on reading this soon.

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Throw Back the Covers (20): August 30, 2015 - Under the Covers Book Blog

[…] and lies and the process to uncover and work through that to get to an HEA.” ~ Under the Covers Read full review | Purchase on […]