As per usual, Lee has left me speechless and so angry at myself for not reading this until now. Beautifully Broken is quite different from her other books, and I’m truly blown away that this was only the second book she published.
Her talent knows no bounds; even from the start, her words prove that she excels at creating characters that feel as though you’ve known them your whole life, even though you’ve only just met them. A storyline that immediately pulls you in and gets more mesmerizing with every word.
I went into this not really knowing anything about it. I hadn’t even read the blurb. Within a few pages, you could feel the waves of heartbreak begin to crash against your chest. Kat’s life hadn’t been easy, to say the least.
Now that that’s out of the way, Kat had spent most of her life in and out of foster care. Her mother was an addict and led a life less than desirable, surely one that would traumatize a child who was continuously ripped from her home. She had learned early on that the only person she was able to rely on was herself. She wasn’t really able to be a kid, and that’s something I connected with; although my experience was different than hers, the emotions I’ve had were right there on the pages before my eyes.
She kept her heart locked down like Fort Knox. In her experience, when you let someone in, it is soon followed by heartbreak. Even still, while she kept relationships out of the equation, she wasn’t completely hardened to the world. She was just tired—not like she needed a nap, more like bone-deep exhaustion. She was sassy and incredibly determined to move away from the town and all the judgmental stares from people who only thought they knew who she was.
Gavin was sweet, but don’t let that fool you; he had the growly alpha side too. When he looked at Kat, he didn’t just see her beauty; he had a way of looking deeper and seeing the things she never allowed anyone to see. The pain that she masked—it seemed as though he was the only one who could see what was underneath it all.
It may have started with physical chemistry, but that was merely the ignition that lit the all-consuming, soul-searing connection between Gavin and Kat. The moment they met, it was palpable, and it only grew more intense with every interaction. Even when they knew they shouldn’t and tried to keep some distance between them, it felt as though there was a magnetic force that kept them from doing what they “should.”
I’m not sure there are words to express the emotions these characters feel, and more specifically, the vigorous way they flow through you. The waves come and go; at times it feels as though it’s the calm before the storm, and then it’s a hurricane of emotion until you feel like you can’t breathe. My heart shattered right alongside Gavin and Kat, but in between the angsty turmoil, there was more healing than I could have imagined. Not just with the fictional characters. I was able to find an escape that I needed desperately. I needed to escape reality, and it’s been hard to find it lately.
When an author can not only draw your mind into the world they created, but also have their characters’ emotions take over as if they were your own, I believe it is a true testament to their talent. Lee has that and more. You open the pages, and you aren’t just an observer of the story taking place on the pages. You feel a part of it, and that adds to your ability to allow yourself to escape into the fictional world before you.
I can’t think of a better note to bring my 2022 reading to a close. Maybe there was a reason I continued to push this book down my TBR list. It hadn’t been the right time. I needed the escape that this book offered me on every level, and because of that, I only slightly regret putting it off for so long. I don’t recommend being like me, though. Don’t put it off. Dive in headfirst and don’t look back.
If, for whatever reason, you’ve felt as though you’re broken, then this book is for you. Allow for this story to sweep you away to another place, and while you’re there, take to heart the healing that happens in the pages of this fictional world. Your story may be different, but it doesn’t make the lessons learned throughout Gavin and Kat’s story any less impactful.
Beautifully Broken is a must-read. An unputdownable combination of soul-searing chemistry, a swoony alpha hero, and a sassy and incredibly strong heroine, brimming with angst, wit, healing, and hella hot steam.
One more thing.
I once saw a comment from someone on an author’s post expressing how much she hates when characters have “horrible, disgusting, no-good parents,” and she feels as though it’s a lazy way for an author to create conflict.
I think that she may have been one of the lucky ones who made it through childhood without trauma. We aren’t all that lucky, so when we read a book with people who are going through similar things, we feel connected to the character in a much different way than usual. Not only that, but if the feelings that you’ve had are expressed by the character, even if it’s only the inner monologue, as the character finds a sense of healing, there are times that it helps to heal a little bit of what’s broken inside you.
I think an author being able to help readers connect with a character in such a profound way is the exact opposite of lazy. The comment was a slap in the face to anyone who has connected with a character because they shared similar experiences as the character with “horrible, disgusting, no-good parents.” Sometimes it’s those very things that can help someone not feel so alone.
From USA Today bestselling author, Laura Lee, comes an emotionally raw and gritty forbidden romance filled with second chances.
I KNEW HE WOULD RUIN ME FROM THE MOMENT WE MET.
Everything about the man screamed confidence. Sensuality. Intelligence. Worldliness. But it was how he saved me that ruined me most.
Through him, I learned to end my path of self-destruction. I no longer needed to numb the pain with mindless one-night-stands and drunken blackouts. He made me feel worthy. Treasured. Optimistic about my future.
Here I stand four years later, in a coffee shop a world away, still broken…but beautifully so. My scars no longer hold me back. Instead, they give me strength and enrich my appreciation for the good things in life. I have hopes and dreams…faith that anything is possible. I am no longer the lost little girl fighting for survival. I have direction. I have courage. I am not without possibility.
I’ll always have Gavin to thank for that–Mr. Cooper, I remind myself. That’s who he is to me now: just a former teacher. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry. I was eighteen when we first met. Legally, we did nothing wrong. Morally? Well, I guess that depends on how flexible your morals are.
My name is Kat and this is my story.
*Beautifully Broken is a standalone forbidden/second chance romance. It contains scenes that may be triggering for sensitive readers.