Author: Nazarea Andrews
Pages: 273 paperback
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Source: I received this book in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review as part of a blog tour hosted by Inkslinger PR
She’s been broken by her past. He’s been breaking for as long as he can remember.
Together, they can make each other whole–or destroy each other.
When his best friend asks for something, Dane rarely says no. But babysitting a newly sober Scout Grimes for three weeks isn’t exactly a normal request. And with their history, it’s a recipe for disaster. Not to mention, she’s drop dead gorgeous and he can’t touch her.
There are few people Scout trusts as much as Dane Guillot. He’s always been her safe place, where nothing can hurt her. He’s also been the only man she’s never let herself want–screwing up their friendship isn’t worth one amazing night together.
They have too much history, and too much personal baggage to ever work. But if they are willing to take a chance on love–it might be worth the risk.
When I read the first book in the University of Branton series, This Love, I was introduced to two characters I was dying to know more about. It just so happens that I was not alone! I am thanking the book Gods and Goddesses today because Nazarea thought these two characters deserved their own book as well and thus Beautiful Broken was born…err published.
We first meet Dane and Scout in This Love. With that being said, these two books can definitely be enjoyed separately but for the full effect, I do think you should read that one first. Anyways, moving on…in This Love you get little glimpses of just who Dane and Scout are and what their relationship appears to be. And then you start Beautiful Broken and Nazarea shows us that there is so much more to these two characters hiding behind the surface.
This particular book starts off sometime after This Love ends. Scout is just getting out of rehab and Dane is there to take care of her just like always. It is easy to tell that Scout has had a troubled, troubled life. From drugs to many failed stints in rehab, to a life of partying and recklessness, and of course that one tragic night long ago that started it all. Even though Scout has tried and failed in the past to stay clean, she really means it this time and she works hard to stay away from drugs despite how hard it is for her. In this book she struggled with her addiction and deep scars from her past…a lot, but that never stopped her from trying to stay clean. Even though she saw herself as this broken person, I couldn’t help but think the opposite, that she was a strong, determined character. What I appreciated most about Scout, even more than her determination and strength, was the fact that she was so very human. She made mistakes, she struggled, she had moments in this book were she was almost at the breaking point. As crazy is it sounds for those things to be my favorite part, it is the truth. Nazarea has such a talent for writing characters that are flawed in the best way possible.
Now here I am going on and on about Scout. And as great of a character as she is, I cannot forget about the one and only Dane. Let me start off by saying I HATED him in This Love. Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but he dumped coffee on Avery. It’s hard to forget something like that! Despite my initial feelings regarding Dane, I couldn’t help but fall for him in this book. The same fierce protectiveness he has over his best friend, Atticus in This Love, is perhaps shadowed by his feelings for Scout in Beautiful Broken. I love, love, loved how much he clearly cares for her and how much he wants to protect her from the pain of her past. Dane proved to be as strong of a character as Scout. We learn that he is perhaps just as broken as she is but instead of turning to drugs now, he turns to women to cope with the loss of his mother and sister. Watching him support and take care of Scout during her time of need while also dealing with his own demons definitely redeemed him for me and made me almost totally forget the whole dumping of the coffee incident.
The connection between these two was undeniably strong. Dane and Scout have known each other practically their entire lives. Dane has been almost like a second big brother to Scout and considering the fact that he was there to pick up the pieces every time she crumbled apart, you could even say he was much more than a big brother figure to her, he was more like her hero. Dane is just as loyal as he is protective towards his best friend. Seeing how torn he is between his growing feelings for Scout in the not-so-little-sister-way and his promise to Atticus that he would keep Scout safe only solidified that. With a whole lifetime of memories between them and of course Atticus, it would seem like a romance between these two is unlikely. But they each harbor such deep feeling for one another that when the romance does show up, it really shows up. It is no secret that my favorite types of romance is the “I really like you and we shouldn’t be together but we’re going to be anyway” kind and Nazarea hit it head on with these two. I could practically feel their passion for one another through the buttons on my nook.
I adored Scout as a character, adored Dane as a character, and of course adored the history between them. And as much as I adored the romance and sexy times between them as well, I wish this story focused a little less than that and a little more on the underlying, deeper issues in the book. I LOVED that Nazarea focused on addiction and I LOVE that she also focused on rape. I thought she handled both topics, which can both be touchy, with such great care but it still felt a bit unfinished for me. The ending came somewhat abruptly and there was a whole lot going on in the last few chapters so perhaps that’s why I am feeling this way but at the same time, Dane’s issues with his father are left unresolved, Scout, drug free, yes, still has what I am assuming are tons of pent-up feelings after facing her rapist, and then there’s the whole Atticus finding out about them thing that still seemed unfinished to me. The story is great regardless, I just wish a few of those things were addressed a bit more in the last few chapters of the book.
Beautiful Broken proved to be yet another great NA book by Nazarea Andrews. I didn’t think it would be possible but I fell for Dane and Scout’s story just a bit more than Atticus and Avery’s. I appreciated that there was a past between these two. Knowing each other and being there for one another for so many years allowed for a greater level of understanding between them. I loved the romance that built between Dane and Scout but even more, I loved that these two seemingly broken characters were there for one another when they each needed it most. If you read and loved This Love then you need to do yourself a favor and pick up Beautiful Broken real soon!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.
Site – http://www.nazareaandrews.com/
Blog – http://www.nazarea-andrews.blogspot.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/NazareaAndrews
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nazarea-Andrews/43623123516
PURCHASE THE BOOK:
One very lucky person will be able to win a loaded MP3 player, 2 signed bookmarks, bookplates, and the first 25 pages of Beautiful Broken with editing marks and special extras from Nazarea. All you have to do is fill out this Rafflecopter form! Best of luck!