Let’s start with this amazing cover. I get all excited every time I see it because covers are SO important and, sadly, not always given the attention they deserve. Not Broken has an absolutely gorgeous cover that also just so happens to make me squee because… well you’ll see when you read the story.
In Fiendish, Calida is embroiled in a massive love-gone-wrong story. Ms. James is a brilliant author who weaves in enough details of Calida’s past for the reader to know she is struggling to come out of a very dark place, however she doesn’t retell the entire Fiendish story. It’s seamless and organic and feels very natural to the reader making Not Broken work well as a standalone. I didn’t personally read Fiendish prior to reading Not Broken, however I didn’t feel like I missed anything.
I will, however, admit to a grievous mistake I made in an effort to keep other readers from following my path. I spent probably the first 5 – 10 chapters slightly (okay, sometimes very) angry with Malcolm for pushing Calida too much, taking away her ability to make decisions, and a whole host of other things. Dear reader, this is an egregious error. Just love Mal. Just love him from the very first word because I promise you will regret ever being upset with him. There are things he has to learn along the way and he does. And he is perfect and amazing. He also belongs to me so, look but don’t touch.
Calida has a journey of her own in Not Broken. Finding her voice, her worth, and discovering that she deserves a love that doesn’t hurt. Most of the time as she winds through her path of self-realization, Malcolm is a strong and steady and patient partner. Occasionally he pushes, sometimes too hard, but sometimes just enough to pull Calida out of the dark places her mind wanders.
In addition to developing amazing and connectible leading characters, Ms. James very accurately portrays Calida’s rebirth. Growing from abuse isn’t an uphill climb, it’s more like a roller coaster. There are good days and bad days and awful days. Calida’s first breakthrough moment was so heartbreakingly realistic it has stuck with me ever since.
I spent an entire night, wide awake, just to finish this book. It grabbed my heart, squeezed, twisted, and wouldn’t let it go.
Can we also discuss the ridiculously hot sex scenes? Yes, multiple. Yes, amazing. Yes, Malcolm is still mine.
If I could possibly give Not Broken anything above five stars, I’d do it. You need to make sure you RUN to your computer, tablet, or phone and buy this book ASAP. You will not regret one moment of Malcolm and Calida’s amazing journey from extreme pain to breathtaking love.