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Review: Broken: Kelly Elliott

Broken
Broken Series #1
Kelly Elliott
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Release Date November 19, 2013
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Layton Morris and his brother Mike grew up not knowing what it would be like to live in a normal home. With no running water or electricity in their home, no parents around to protect them, they quickly learned how to survive and depend only on each other.

When a tragic accident takes Mike away from Layton, and the only other person that he ever let into his heart walked away from him, leaving his heart shattered, Layton focuses all of his time and energy into the ranch he and his brother dreamed of. He makes a vow to himself to never let love in again. The last thing Layton needed or wanted was more heartache.

Whitley Reynolds grew up in a privileged home in upstate New York. When she landed the star football player in high school no one was surprised, not even Whitley. She dreamed of a life with Roger living in New York City and happily followed him there. 

The first time Roger hit her for arguing with him about a dinner party, she forgave him. The more it happened, the further Whitley withdrew from her friends and family. One fateful day things go to far. Whitley makes a promise to herself and finds the courage to do the one thing she thought she’d never be able to do.

Fleeing with her best friend Courtney, Whitley was determined to put her past behind her and start a new life in the small town of Llano, Texas, where no one would ever find out about her past.

Will they both ever learn to trust and love again, or will their pasts come back to haunt them, keeping them both alone and…

Broken.

Cover design: Angie Fields - I Love It Design Studio
Photographer : Golden Czermak
Models : Gary Taylor and Tiffany Liller
Kelly Elliott does it again! This book brought out so many emotions. We cycled through highs, lows, and everything in between. And it was humorous and romantic as well. She brings us a whole new cast of characters to fall in love with (and become frustrated with as well).

Whitley escapes an abusive relationship and leaves NY with her best friend Courtney. They settle in  Llano, Texas. Whitley has been damaged and traumatized by the man that was supposed to love her. She wants to just start over and forget her past.  Cattle and horse rancher, Layton has lost the people most important to him. He is also broken, beat down and trying to fill the void in his life in unhealthy ways. Both have serious trust issues and do not think they are looking for love. Their first meeting is definitely not a love connecton...they immediately annoy each other and are snarky, taunting, judgmental, and temperamental. 

She's the only girl who has ever driven me insane with anger and lust at the same time.

"I hardly even know you, and to be honest, you've gotten on my nerves more than anyone ever has in my entire life."

But as they are constantly exposed to each other in their small town, a  begrudging appreciation, attraction and friendship develops. I loved their banter, texts, and interactions. They were funny, flirty, and sexually charged. They kept trying to deny, trying to stay in the friends zone, but they just could not do it. They both had issues with jealousy and eventually it all became out of control. Their attachment and friendship became passionate and all consuming. They had both been so broken and hurt, but had the potential to heal the other and take away the pain. I loved them together. They had chemistry, passion, tenderness, and understanding.

"I see how you look at Whitley, and I see how she looks at you, You're both going to have to learn to let love back in."

Layton...Oh my...He is a hot cowboy with a good sense of humor, caring disposition, and strong feelings. He has fears and insecurities, and a tragic past. But also is not afraid to go after what he wants. What a great book boyfriend.! He also had quite a few interesting and intriguing  friends too. His best friend Reed was by far my favorite, but Kelly threw in quite a few others that have potential for future stories. 

Whitley had been meek and submissive in her previous life. But this city girl is not a stranger to country life. She is now showing her spunky and sassy side, but can also be totally sweet and nurturing. I really loved her personality. Their relationship went through stages even though it did happen a bit quickly, but once it was obvious they were going to be more than friends...they really were quite functional and adorable. And I could see their connection and  feelings. And holy moly their chemistry and passion was off the charts. 

This story took us in so many different directions. It showed how the idea of an idealistic future could be twisted and people could be broken. And how with the right support that it can be overcome and healing can occur. There was enough humor and romance to tone down the heaviness of parts of the story. I loved Layton and Whitley's relationship and  how their missing pieces fit together and made them whole. There was tension, suspense, and angst(This is a Kelly Elliott book so there has to be angst!). I will admit that it was obvious to me that some things were bound to happen in the plot line, but it still did not detract from my enjoyment of the story or my reactions when it did finally happen. And there were other little things that became intricate connections that I felt added more interesting layers to the story.

And I think I was just as invested in their friend's Reed and Courtney's convoluted "anti-relationship" as I was with Whitley and Layton's. I really loved how their feisty characters  played off each other, but I also just wanted to slap both of them or lock them in a room together. Their communication was so messed up and they were both so stubborn. They just kept breaking my heart. I cannot wait for their book Broken Dreams.

Kelly has managed to bring us a whole new set of characters to life that are worthy of falling in love with. She creates these communities with such complex, sweet, funny, strong, people that form such tight relationships and bonds. It was told in both Whitley and Layton's points of view. I loved them individually and as a couple, and also most of the side characters. I felt like I really got to know their multi-faceted personalities. And I hated the villians in this book with a passion(Oh how I wanted to back slap some women and hurt one particular man). This story line had tragedy, heartbreak, and loss. But it also had healing, love, redemption, and hope. I laughed, I swooned, I cringed, I gasped, and I teared up. It was an engaging, moving story that kept me up way past my bedtime in order to finish. A wonderful start to a new series by Kelly Elliott. I have to say that it rivals her Wanted series for me and that is one of my favorites.

Thanks to Kelly Elliott for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. 




Kelly Elliott
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Really I'm just a wife to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has a knack for making me laugh almost daily and supports my crazy ideas and dreams for some unknown reason...he claims it's because he loves me.....so I'll just go with that one!I'm also a mom to an amazing daughter who constantly is asking me to make her something to eat while she has her fingers moving like mad on her cell phone sending out what I'm sure is another very important text message!
Oh...and I like to sit down and write in my spare time!

I live in the Texas hill country and one of my favorite things to do is go for hikes around our property with my second favorite man, Gus....my chocolate lab and my sweet girl Rose, our golden retriever. When I'm not outside helping the hubby haul brush or move rocks or what ever fun chore he has in store for me that day, you will find me inside reading, writing or watching HGTV and soaking in a nice hot bubble bath.....yeah that last one I just made up but it sure does sound nice!!!

Other books by Kelly Elliott: Wanted, Saved, and Faithful


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