C.J. Pinard has provided us with a new beautiful, military romance with Beneath Broken. The characters and storyline will reach any romance fan in a very natural way, being written with a perfect balance of tragedy, romance and suspense. Beneath Broken is certainly my favourite of the series so far!
Author: C.J. Pinard
Genre: Contemporary, Military Romance, Chick-lit
Date released: July 5th, 2016
Length: 322 pages
Blurb: He’s a clean-cut cop who loves a good challenge.
She’s a smart executive with no interest in falling in love.
It won’t take long for the flames of desire to scorch them both, forcing them to either douse the blaze, or succumb to the fire.
I don’t give up easily. My personality and training taught me that failure is not an option, and getting the attention of the beautiful executive president Harper Mathis is going to be my biggest challenge yet. But first I’ve got to find out why she’s so withdrawn. A woman that stunning must have secrets and I’m going to find out what’s hiding behind those baby blue eyes of hers. She’ll quickly see how much I love a good game of chase.
I’ve gone through hell and am not ashamed to admit that I’m broken. Damaged goods. Used up and empty. I want nothing to do with men or love, especially not a cop and a veteran – one who puts his life in danger every day. I’ve been there, done that, and my heart has no interest in someone like Detective Mason Oliver. Even if he’s the hottest thing I’ve laid eyes on in a very long time. I get the feeling Mason always gets what he wants, though. Well, he hasn’t seen my stubborn side.
Beneath Broken is book 2 in the IMPERFECT HEROES series and is for readers 18+.
REVIEW ***** (5* rating)
The second book of the Imperfect Heroes series, Beneath Broken, brings us two new love interests to follow in Mason and Harper. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and feel that it is even stronger than the first of the series, Above Protection. Mason and Harper are perfect for each other, and despite their fears and doubts, the story is written extremely well whereby the characters are so compatible in a very realistic way.
For the best part of 18 months or more Harper Mathis has been spending her evenings watching bad tv and eating ice cream since the death of her military husband, Keith. It takes all the energy she has to go to work, but her private life has hit rock bottom. If it wasn’t for her best friend, Adria, dragging her to the gym some evenings she really wouldn’t be doing anything with her personal time, apart from wallowing. Adria is the one person she can truly depend upon.
“… Adria, she was still here when everyone else had left and things were dark and ugly, when all the other friends had disappeared. She was a true friend, and had proved it.”
Her job, working at the company that Keith and herself had set up, helping veterans ‘find jobs, get counselling, and reintegrate back into society’ was the one area of her life she gave her all to; partly in remembrance for her husband, and partly to help these courageous guys at a very sensitive point in their life. And, when her non-profit organization is targeted by a thief it is Detectives Oliver and Jenkins that arrive to investigate the situation.
The story is told from both Harper and Mason’s point of view. I am a fan of this style as the reader can understand the thoughts and actions of the main characters in this way. While Harper is still grieving and extremely low, Detective Mason Oliver, ex military himself, has his own demons to deal with. One of which was his last love. He has a way of dealing with his anger issues with his detective partner at the gym when they spar (sometimes quite aggressively).
However, both Harper and Mason find something else to keep their minds occupied after their first meet… each other. A little unsure at first just how the other sees them, it isn’t too long before they begin to spend more and more time together. Mason is aware that Harper is holding back. Meanwhile, Harper begins to go on an emotional rollercoaster; feeling a sense of happiness when with Mason, and yet with this comes guilt. Mason handles the situation well, in my opinion, by giving her the space she needs even though he isn’t aware of her situation to begin with. Although being urged to almost throw himself at her by his partner, Jenkins, Mason treats her with respect and patience, whilst still being attentive. The balance is perfect.
One of my favourite aspects of Beneath Broken is how the author has written Harper’s feelings towards her deceased husband, Keith. Even as the story progresses and Harper appears to be moving on from the death of him at times, there is still a connection that she has with her memories of him as well as good contact with his family. This , above all other areas of the story, really stands out and struck a nerve with me as being extremely real. It reads quite natural as one would expect a friend of theirs to deal with a situation like this in exactly the same way. We read about the guilt, the awkwardness and the doubt that Harper feels when she thinks of being with Mason. Is she betraying Keith? His family?
Beneath Broken is ultimately a story of strength and love. The strength of a woman to deal with the death of a loved one. To be able to love again. And also, to support a friend who has always been supportive of her through thick and thin. I cannot wait to read the next in the series as we follow Harper’s best friend, Adria, who was a strong character in this story and provided Harper with the rock she really needed to lean on. I’d certainly recommend this read for any romance fan.
A copy of Beneath Broken was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker
You can also check out my reviews for previous releases of the Imperfect Heroes series:
Antihero (Imperfect Heroes prequel) (please note that Antihero is now sold only alone, and not part of the advertised limited edition box set)