Broken Open by Lauren Dane
Series: Hurley Brothers #2
Also in this series: The Best Kind of Trouble, Back to You
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: December 1st 2014
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
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Beyond passion. And beyond their control…
Five years ago, Tuesday Eastwood's life collapsed and left her devastated. After an empty, nomadic existence, she's finally pieced her life back together in the small Oregon town of Hood River. Now Tuesday has everything sorted out. Just so long as men are kept for sex, and only sex…
Then she met him.
Musician and rancher Ezra Hurley isn't the man of Tuesday's dreams. He's a verboten fantasy—a man tortured by past addictions whose dark charisma and long, lean body promise delicious carnality. But this craving goes far beyond chemistry. It's primal. It's insatiable. And it won't be satisfied until they're both consumed, body and soul…
For years Ezra lived the high life of a rock star; partying it up, going crazy and eventually drowning in addiction. He’s been clean for years, but he still struggles with his demons. Though he still makes music with his brothers, he no longer tours with them, or does live shows. He spends his time working the family ranch and writing music. He isn’t looking for a relationship, but he lure of his sister-in-law’s best friend is more than he can resist. Tuesday is the whole package: strong, independent and so sexy he can barely breathe around her. But Ezra has battled addiction in the past and the last thing he wants is to develop another – even one as sexy as she is.
Tuesday had it all once, until tragedy struck and she was left empty and alone. For years she wandered, unable and unwilling to put down roots. Finally she’s made peace with her past, and has settled in Hood River, close to her best friends from college. She’s happy to create jewelry and have casual sex, but she isn’t interested in anything deeper. Ezra is the perfect guy for a fling, except that he’s now related to her best friend through marriage – and she wants him a little more than she should. She doesn’t want to risk her heart, especially on a sexy rocker who has more baggage than she does.
But their chemistry is hard to deny, and they end up forming a friendship despite their intentions. Which is fine, until they start to realize friendship is only the beginning.
I know I say this all the time, but Dane writes the best heroines. They’re strong and capable and have their own lives and thoughts independent of the hero. Tuesday knows her own mind, and refuses to bend for Ezra or anyone else. She can compromise, but she isn’t willing to change herself for anyone. I admired her strength and determination a great deal, especially given her past. She could easily have brushed aside her feelings for Ezra in order to protect herself, but instead she faced them head on. Hell, she faced everything head on.
Ezra’s darkness could have consumed him, but he made it out. He still feels tremendous guilt over his past actions, and harbors a healthy fear of falling back into old habits. Once an addict always an addict, right? He denies himself the things he wants most, so they don’t become addictions. Which includes a relationship with Tuesday. I think for all the healing he did, and all the progress he made in his recovery, he was still broken. He’d gotten clean, but he hadn’t taken the next step in reclaiming his life. That could have been painful or frustrating, but it was hard not to understand where he was coming from. Especially given his previous plummet to rock bottom.
Tuesday and Ezra both had strong support systems. The Hurley family is close, and though Ezra’s brothers frustrated him, they always had his back. Tuesday’s biological family wasn’t close in proximity, but her roommates from college were her best friends, and they were family just as much as her biological ones. I loved how tight they all were, and how quick to jump on – or in front of – one another when needed.
I’m really loving these Hurley boys. Ezra was pretty damaged, but I think Tuesday did a good job of putting him back together. I love how fierce and confident she was, and how strong he was despite his darkness. They suited each other well.
4 out of 5