Series: Off Limits
on July 19, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Second Chance Romance
She was my foster sister, her luxurious house the only home I'd ever known. I fell in love with Evie before her doctor parents signed my adoption papers. They threw me out the day they caught us. Now I'm Dr. Jones, so far removed from who I used to be, it seems like a bad dream. I tell myself nothing can touch me. Until I see the residency roster at Rockies University Hospital. There's only two incoming neurosurgery residents each year. This year it's Landon Jones—and Evie Rutherford.
“You’re the kind of good girl bad guys always go for.”
Second chance romances aren’t one of my favourite tropes ever – I know, I’m in the minority – but then there’s sometimes where I stumble upon a really well written second chance, and it changes my perspective. If you want to make me believe that these characters had a past and loved each other, you need to SHOW me! I’m a show, not tell type of gal. Pretty words won’t fool me, give me proof. That’s exactly what the author does in Fractured Love.
This book is rightfully broken down into two parts, part one, the past, and part two, the present (logic, I love it). Starting as teenagers, I loved every scene and detail that this author created for these characters. I fell so fast and hard into their world, I didn’t care if I ever got out. And please, you can’t tell me that you’ve never been tempted by something deemed as forbidden…
“I know—as he holds me in his hard, strong arms, as our frantic mouths wage tender war—why they call it falling.”
In a romance book, I always want to see the characters meet and ultimately, fall for each other. This is especially important in a second chance book, so don’t try to skip out on the details, I’ll notice! But Fractured Love felt exactly like those sweet YA books I can’t help but swoon over. Troubled boy meets golden girl. Can you see how this story is going to go? Sure, you get the unlikely friends and bonding moments but it was so much more than that. I could feel Landon’s struggles through the page. He almost felt haunted, in a way. And Evie, with her caring soul, jumps in head first to bring him some calm, some happiness in his tragic life. There were the monumental changes in their relationship, through car rides and soccer practices to late night conversations, but I felt every moment that the relationship shifted. The tender, the scared, the aloof, the heartbroken, the joy, all of it. And too I really appreciate that Landon didn’t show up at school and become the new kid who all of the girls wanted and instantly became popular. He has his issues and he found his people but in a far from cliched, overdone way.
“Stay with me forever, okay,” he says softly. “I don’t ever want to live without you, Evie.”
“You won’t have to.”
“Never leave me.”
Now moving into the present day when the characters face each other for the first time in ten years. Based on how their story ended as teenagers, I was so flipping excited to see how this would go down. Would there be tears? Guilt? Reservations? Ignorance? Flippancy? THERE ARE SO MANY OPTIONS! I could’ve cared for a bit more emotion but ultimately like how this ordeal was handled. Even the two of them moving forward with work and each other was nice to see, but then I feel like nothing really happened? It sort of coasted, in my opinion. Now for those who read the book, yes, stuff actually does happen, otherwise this would’ve been pretty boring, but there just wasn’t anything that sucked me in like it did in the first half. I didn’t care for the characters like I did in their teen years.
“I’m sorry,” I say softly. “I’m a mess.” I don’t even plan the words, they just roll out, because I’m me and he’s Landon.”
I’m not usually one to point out mistakes, especially when reading an ARC because, well, it could be changed by the final copy, but there was something that didn’t add up here for me and it’s the ages/time apart/year. It’s math! LOL. This tripped me up. It’s mentioned in the blurb that Evie is 16. The story starts in 2006. Okay, so far so good. Nothing is mentioned of Evie’s age at first, though we know she has her own car and can drive on her own. For where I live, the teen either has to be 17 or very close to 17 (like within a few months of their birthday) for this to happen. Enter Landon: Landon is 17, in a class with Evie and they are the ‘same age’. Okay, so from here I expected her to be 17. Maybe she has a late birthday that wasn’t mentioned?. Small difference from the blurb, so whatever, but then it’s mentioned that she’s 16. I just ignored it from here on out. So now we get to present day (I’m assuming 2017, unless this is written for a time in the future and I just didn’t know?) and the characters are 29 (the blurb said, they never did). I would’ve expected 27 or 28, you know, depending on when in the year their birthday is. 😉 I’m a smart ass, don’t worry, I’m aware. SO then, they talk about how they have been separated for 10 years. Basically what I’m getting at is you can’t be 16 in 2006, 29 in 2017, and have been separated for 10 years because, well, math.
So being my first book from this author, I did enjoy it. If things stayed as emotionally charged as the first half, I probably would even become her new biggest fan. Alas, I also know that not every story will always be as heartbreaking and angsty as I want them. <3 All is fair though. And if you discount my little math rant, all is well that ends well! I do though feel a need to buy some of her other books like right this moment.
“I left the day he left. He took my heart. I’ve never found it.”
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.