I have been looking forward to reading this story since I first read the blurb. I loved the cover and was really excited to read about this broken soldier and the girl that would heal him. Broken by Lauren Layne was really great, and I am so glad that I got to know Paul and Olivia. If you are looking for a story about healing and moving forward with a Beauty and the Beast feel, you should definitely check this one out. It was everything I had hoped for, and I can't wait to read more from Lauren Layne in the future.
After making a mistake and hurting a few of the closest people to her, Olivia gives up her NY life and decides to get away for awhile. She should be finishing her final year at NYU and on her way to a business degree, but decides to help out a war vet that needs a caretaker. Her parents help set up the position and when she shows up in Maine, the last thing she expects to find is someone close to her age. Paul is scarred on the outside, but it is even more clear that the real damage is underneath the surface. Olivia knows that the only way to get through to him is to treat him as though he is anyone else and to not show him how he affects her. They both feel attraction to one another, but with Olivia working for his father and Paul determined to keep up his facade things don't go well. But as they begin to get to know one another, they realize that their connection is stronger than they first thought and soon are finding it harder to fight what is between them. But can Paul open up to Olivia and trust that she won't run and leave him? Can Olivia convince Paul that what she feels for him is worth taking a chance on and that he should get back to living his life rather than holing up in his house like a recluse?
I really liked Paul, even when he wasn't always the nicest. He was filled with guilt and pain from what he went through and he was clearly struggling with everything. He had been used to being athletic and running was his passion, but he was also used to looking a certain way. He had never had problems before everything happened, and he needed someone to show him that it didn't matter what he looked like on the outside. I was really glad that Olivia was able to dish it right back when Paul would give her crap. She treated him normal from the very start, and I think that went so far in helping him heal. It was clear that he needed someone to get him out of his funk, and I really enjoyed seeing him as he started to lighten up. He was a lot of fun and was really likable once he stopped trying to push her away. I really liked Olivia. She was also filled with guilt and pain and was punishing herself for a mistake that she made. But I loved her with Paul, and I think that he was as good for her as she was for him. He helped her to move on from the past and start to find a new her. She was able to discover more about herself and I think the time out of the city really helped her to see what was possible for her in the future. Things between them weren't always easy, and they both hurt each other and made some bad decisions. But they also had an undeniable chemistry and you could see the bond they shared grow as the book progressed.
Overall, this book was really enjoyable and I loved watching Olivia and Paul not only heal but fall in love with one another. I think that they both deserved a second chance at happiness after everything that they had been through and I was glad that they were able to be there for one another. I thought that the ending was great, and I really loved that they were able to start on a new path with each other. I really loved Lauren Layne's writing style and the story kept me interested and not wanting to put the book down. I can't wait to read more from Lauren in the future, and I would definitely recommend this book to romance and NA fans. I think that this book has a lot that more people can identify with, and the characters are easy to relate to and root for.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**
Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |