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…
Once again Lauren Dane has crafted a superbly evocative and sexy story with unique and engaging characters. I really enjoyed The Best Kind of Trouble and didn’t possibly think the series could get any better. Well, how wrong I was in that assumption. Broken Open definitely ups the ante with two characters who are perfect together in their brokenness.
Tuesday Eastwood and Ezra Hurley were well thought out and well-rounded as individuals and as a couple. They were both saddled by past experiences and tragedies and I was wholly enjoyable watching them navigate the rocky times in between the smooth and sexy ones. Tuesday was recovering from the premature death of her husband. She lived her life in a state of numbness for several years — only surviving and not thriving. She does give in to the needs of her body and engages in fleeting affairs with men. She meets them at hotels though, never intertwines her life with theirs in any manner. That is until she meets Ezra. Ezra inspires feelings in her that she hasn’t felt since her husband. Actually, and as time goes on, her feelings for Ezra are even stronger than the feelings she has for her husband. As she struggles to deal with her burgeoning feelings and strong desire for Ezra, she also battles her guilt. Guilt for surviving. Guilt for moving on. Guilt for giving her heart to another man. A man who is also struggling with his own personal demons. Ezra Hurley was THE man behind Sweet Hollow. He was the front man and music creator until heroin took it all away from him. With the help of his family, Ezra battled himself back from a very dark place. But he too feels guilt because of the devastation he wreaked on his family. Watching the romance unfold between Ezra and Tuesday was bittersweet with lots of sexy moments woven throughout it. Ezra intentionally kept Tuesday at a distance when it came to all but her body, and Tuesday was subtly pushing her way forward. She gave Ezra the space he needed to process his feelings but that in turn caused her discomfort. As usual, the Hurley family was there to support them as they found their way to a lasting love.
For those who have read and enjoyed Dane’s Brown and Chase series, you will most certainly enjoy The Hurley series as well. She manages to get family and human dynamics spot-on. Her families aren’t perfect and they don’t always have a mom, a dad, and 2.5 children. But what her families do have is love, affection, and support, even for people not born into them. Close friends and lovers are always taken into the family-fold and it is the same with the Hurley’s. I loved, loved, loved, the scene where Michael stood up for Tuesday in the feed store. He was not going to allow someone talk to Tuesday in an unseemly manner. His affection for her was apparent. And then again, at the gallery opening when Tuesday’s in-laws (of her deceased husband) came to call to ruin her night. Michael, Ezra, and her father Greg presented a unified front to protect her. That was one of my most favorite scenes in the story. Another thing that Dane does well is handling unpleasant scenarios. So, as well as she handled Erin, Todd, and Ben relationship in Laid Bare, she handled Ezra and Tuesday’s equally well in Broken Open. Very well, in fact. The challenges of blacks in America and interracial couples was addressed in a manner that made it present but didn’t overwhelm the story. An issue came up, it was addressed, and the couple moved on. The issues were not discounted but I appreciated how the story was very much about the romance between the characters and NOT the color of their skin.
I highly recommend Broken Open and The Best Kind of Trouble for anyone looking for a sweet and sexy contemporary romances that focuses on multidimensional characters with real life issues.
Rating for male protagonist: 5★
Rating for female protagonist: 5★
Rating for secondary characters: 5★
Plot Viability: 5★
General Storyline: 5★
Story Ending: 5★
Ease of Reading: 5★
Heat Level: 5★
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