Throwback Thursday Review/Rant: Shattered by Joan Johnston

Posted October 22, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 15 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review/Rant: Shattered by Joan JohnstonReviewer: Casee
Shattered by Joan Johnston
Series: Bitter Creek #8
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: December 29, 2009
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 423
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Series Rating: one-star

Nine years ago Kate Grayhawk Pendelton walked into Wyatt Shaw's life--and out of it the next morning. Now Wyatt's back--and has the power to shatter Kate's future with the man she loves.

By reputation, Wyatt Shaw is a brutal killer who always gets what he wants. And he wants Kate and her twin eight-year-old sons.

Texas Ranger Jack McKinley is hot on Wyatt Shaw's trail. The presumed heir to the D'Amato crime syndicate is threatening to steal the woman he loves.

Holly McKinley is fighting to keep Jack from leaving her for another woman. Now the secret she's kept for over twenty years may save their son's life, and cost her the only man she's ever loved.

This review was originally published December 30, 2009

Warning! Spoilers Ahead!


I can’t tell you exactly what I was saying as I was reading this book. What I can say is that Joan Johnston really screwed her readers on this one. Shattered is the newest book in Johnston’s Bitter Creek series. I have doggedly stuck with it (waiting for Jack and Kate to FINALLY get together) only to end up feeling completely screwed over at the end. I felt like Johnston was giving the proverbial finger to her readers while writing this book.

The Bitter Creek series started way back in 2000. In 2005, The Next Mrs. Blackthorne was released. It was supposed to be the story of Clay Blackthorne and Libby Grayhawk (which it was to a certain extent). It was either in this book or the one before it (The Rivals) that Kate and Jack first meet. Kate is nineteen and instantly falls for Jack. Sparks fly, etc. Jack is older and more jaded. He rejects Kate, which sends her into the arms of another man. Nine years later, they meet again. Kate is widowed (or so she thinks) with twin boys. Jack is going through a divorce. It’s finally their time. At the end of A Stranger’s Game (2009), Kate and Jack are as good as together. Then Kate’s husband comes back from the dead. Obviously you think that is the obstacle that will come between Kate and Jack. Nope.

The bottom line is that Kate and Jack DON’T END UP TOGETHER. OMGWTFBBQ. It’s bull shit. The story would have been good if JACK AND KATE WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO END UP TOGETHER. There is no sense to be made from the fact that Kate and Jack END UP WITH OTHER PEOPLE. And who they end up with is so fucking cliched. Jack ends up with the wife he was going to divorce. Kate ends up with the man she had a one night stand with, resulting in the birth of her twins.

In the midst of all that, Kate’s husband decides that he wants revenge on his bitch of a wife and her lover. Then he decides to blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blabety blah.

The end.

1 out of 5.

The series:

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15 responses to “Throwback Thursday Review/Rant: Shattered by Joan Johnston

  1. I’ve never read the series…but all that build up so that they can be with other people?

    Sorry it didn’t go well for you Casee!

  2. Rowena

    Holy shit on a stick, that frickin’ sucks! I would have been royally pissed had I read this series. I’m glad I didn’t.

  3. I was unfortunate enough to be one of those people who has been waiting for this book since 2005! I went over to barnes and noble ready to pick up the book, but i have this thing where i like to read the epilogues before i buy the book. it was a good thing that i did! when i found out that kate and jack didn’t get together my heart plunged to the ground! i walked out of the store thoroughly and completely depressed! i can’t believe joan johnston did this to her loyal fans!!!!!!

  4. ouch! I read and liked this book, but I had not read any of the previous books and did not realize the extent of the history between Kate and Jack; I didn’t like Jack at all based soley on his actions in this book.

  5. Anonymous

    So here it is December 2011. I just read my first Joan Johnston book, a strangers game, is there any reason to keep reading the sequel and or sequels????

  6. Maralee

    So glad I read all these reviews. Just finished A Stranager’s Game and was looking to find the sequel – a long time coming but after reading the reviews, I won’t bother – don’t like being betrayed by the author. It has taken so long to get to the sequel, maybe someone else is actually writing in Johnston’s name!

    I was so sorry to hear some of you were disappointed after reading SHATTERED because the heroes and heroines who end up together aren’t the ones you expected. It was one of the most satisfying books I’ve ever written. The title was prophetic. Both the characters’ and the reader’s expectations are SHATTERED.
    I had to think long and hard before I decided to have Kate end up with someone besides Jack. But I went back over their relationship history during the three or four books in which they appear, and it was plain that what Kate had at 19 was a teenage infatuation on 38-year-old Jack. Kate and Jack do little more than kiss before SHATTERED, despite all the opportunities to consummate their relationship physically. They never do. I think, as an author, subconsciously I never intended for them to be together.
    Jack marries his high school sweetheart and Kate marries someone she met in college. Even when they’re dating after Kate recovers from being shot, Kate and Jack still don’t have sex! Kate is with Wyatt Shaw for one day after they reunite and they have amazing transformative sex.
    When you learn that Jack was really in love with Holly (to whom he’s married in SHATTERED) from the time he was a teenager, and we know how powerful first loves can be, it seemed obvious to me he should end up with the woman he’s always loved.
    Both characters, by the way, end up with the partners who are the parents of their children. That seemed to me a win-win for the characters and the kids.
    And yes, I’m as disappointed as you are when a writer doesn’t give me the story I was expecting, but I hope you’ll re-read this book for the powerful, emotional love stories it provides, rather than the love story you didn’t get.
    I’ll understand if you’re too disappointed to continue reading my books. But I hope you’ll understand that an author has to follow her muse, and this is the direction mine took me.
    Take care and happy reading,

  8. Kareni

    Thanks for sharing this review, Casee. It was interesting to read your thoughts and to read the author’s comment as well.

  9. DiscoDollyDeb

    I think the fact that the author had to drop by and explain her rationale for why the main characters didn’t belong together is indicative of the fact that she didn’t lay enough groundwork in the previous books to make it obvious that the characters were not headed in the direction of an HEA with each other. Also, I find it somewhat puzzling that the author says that 19-year-old Kate’s feelings for Jack couldn’t stand the test of time, but that Jack’s feelings for a woman he’d loved since high school (when he was presumably younger than 19) could. Hmmmm.

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