Broken Open by Lauren Dane

21938163
Grade: B
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Series: The Hurley Boys #2
Published: 11/25/14
Reviewed by Anne
275 pages

“If a woman could come just from being looked at, I’m pretty sure I’d be screaming your name right now.”

He locked his gaze to hers. “You will be soon enough.”  (p. 79)

Tuesday is just starting to stand on solid ground after the death of her husband five years ago.  Ezra is a member of Sweet Hollow Ranch, one of the most famous rock bands in existence.  This just means that his spectacular fall from grace due to drug addiction was a very public one.  Now he’s been clean for years and lives a simple life.  He’s a rancher on his family’s ranch, he helps with the band behind the scenes and spends time with his extended family.  When they meet each other their attraction is instant.  Then it’s just a matter of two people healing from past wounds try to find their way together.

I love, love, love low conflict romance, and this one is definitely low conflict.  However, the first half of the story was even a little slow for me.  That seemed pretty intentional, and it definitely fit with these two wounded characters, but it took me a while to get invested.  About half way through the issues these two had were clear and I didn’t want to set my reader down!

As always, Lauren Dane writes incredibly good and hot sex scenes.  Tuesday is confident in her self and her body and in her enjoyment of sex.  Ezra also knows what he likes.  At the beginning of their relationship they have to figure out if they’re going to fit together sexually.  That’s something you don’t normally see.

In your typical romance you have one partner mention they like to be in control and the response by the other partner is generally excitement and agreement with this power dynamic with no questions.  With Tuesday and Ezra it’s more complicated and more realistic.  Ezra admits he likes control and Tuesday thinks to herself,

“Sex with him?  Yes. Yes and yes again.  Control, though?  What did that mean?  Like something creepy?  Or something hot?  Sometimes people inexplicably found stuff like cell phone tracking and that sort of control to be superhot.  She was not one of them.” (p.31)

And then they go on to have an actual conversation about what they want from their sexual relationship.  How cool is that?

I also want to mention that Tuesday is African American and Ezra is white.  Their race is a factor in their relationship, but not a huge one.  I liked that it was acknowledged, but not the defining conflict in the story.

I really enjoyed Broken Open, despite its slow start.  I’ve read this series in order, including the series that came before it, but I think this one would stand on its own just fine.  In fact, I think having read the previous book actually worked against me in this case.  This story overlaps a bit with the story before it and it left me a little disoriented because it had been a while since I’d read the previous one. It was still a great read.  It wasn’t my favorite book in this series of series, but it was another solid entry.  I’d recommend it for anyone who enjoys contemporary romance, rock stars, strong women, hot sex, and internal conflict.

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