*I received a free copy of The Fractured Heart from via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series: Second Circle Tattoos #2
on 5 January 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Reading Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge
All things, when placed under pressure, eventually break or leave a mark.
Tattoo artist Brody "Cujo" Matthews knows how to keep things simple. In life and in love. Abandoned as a child by a mother who refused to stick around to raise three boys she didn't want, he's intent on staying clear of complicated women. The only things complicated in Cujo’s life are the killer tattoos he designs and inks. That all changes when he’s asked to help organize his best friend Trent's engagement party, which means working with Trent's fiancée's best friend, Drea, the definition of high maintenance and sizzling curves. And the one woman he doesn’t want to walk away from.
Andrea "Drea" Caron is broke and tired. After years of caring for her ailing mom, she's at the end of her rope trying to manage the piling medical bills, two jobs, and a life placed on hold. She certainly doesn’t need the added frustration of a sexy playboy tattoo artist messing up her best friend’s engagement party or her carefully balanced life. But when Drea witnesses the abduction of a woman from the café she works at, she can’t help but turn to Cujo who’s determined to prove to Drea that he’s someone she can count on forever…but as they attempt to bring the truth to light, someone is working to bring that forever to a sudden, deadly halt.
This series is addictive! The Fractured Heart brought a lot of tension and suspense to the table, and I absolutely loved getting to know Brody and Drea better!
I thought I already knew Drea and Cujo (Brody) from their appearances in The Strongest Steel, however, there was so much more to both of them than the bordering on mean teasing, and the way they did their best to stay clear of each other. In The Fractured Heart, I got a very good understanding of why they were both shying away from a relationship. They were both amazing, loyal friends to other people, but they didn’t feel like a romantic relationship was for them. Seeing the reasons behind this, through a series of difficult things they had both gone through in the past – and which followed them in the present made me love them even more than I already did.
Drea showed so many different sides of herself, and I think what touched me the most was her vulnerable side. Usually she was hiding that part behind a prickly exterior and some bordering on rude comments – but it was the best way she had found to keep her heart safe. Caring for her mother and holding down two jobs, while also trying to figure out her feelings for Brody, and who the mystery lady who was chased at gun-point through the café made Drea’s life extremely busy. And it also made her feel like she didn’t even know herself anymore. She couldn’t remember the last time she did something because she wanted to do it. Or what kind of things she enjoyed doing if she did have time off from everything else.
Brody was a lot deeper than I had thought, too, and I loved how he thought things through, and how important it was for him to not repeat his parents’ past. At times, he acted rashly, but those knee-jerk reactions were the only way he found to deal with everything that could potentially hurt him. The chemistry between Drea and Brody was amazing, and I loved their banter! It was sexy at times, and sassy at others. And they were both brutally honest, even if they sometimes didn’t really know what they wanted or how to get about to actually achieve what they were aching for.
The overall storyline was well executed, and I enjoyed that Trent and Harper were a part of the story here, too. The main and sub-plots made it difficult to put my kindle down, I could never find a place where I didn’t have the feeling of needing to now what would happen next. All I can say is that I loved The Fractured Heart, and am already impatient for the next installment in this series.
He’d shaved his head bald in the years since then, but some little half-pint whirling dervish had recently told him he looked like a bully, and for reasons he didn’t care to explore, it had bothered him. So there he was, in the shitty growing-your-hair-out phase, and he hated it.
He closed her folder and pushed it off to one side, replacing it with the BLT. Drea pushed the sandwich toward Cujo. He pushed it back. “What?” Cujo asked, facing her. “It’s a BLT, not a marriage proposal,” he whispered into her ear. “Just eat it. You can stab me with the fork later.”
They carried their beers into the living room, past the small side table he’d chipped a tooth on at six, and took a seat on the brown leather sofa where he’d lost his virginity.