Beautiful Broken (University of Branton #2) by Nazarea Andrews
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: A&A Literary
Source: Review Copy from Author
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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.
While I enjoyed This Love (the first book in the series) for what it was—a sweet, fun, and simple romance—Beautiful Broken is a completely different kind of book. For one, there's a lot more heaviness to it. While Avery and Atticus from the first book had their struggles, Scout and Dane are truly troubled with quite a few skeletons lurking in their respective closets.This also isn't anywhere in the realm of a new romance, instead falling in the friends-to-romance/former pseudo-sibling realm (which I am, really and truly, a sucker for). From the get-go, this premise was already totally in my wheelhouse, even more so than This Love. Add to that more developed characters and back story (in large part, I believe, as a result of the longevity of Scout and Dane's romantic tension), and I enjoyed it from start to finish.
Our leading lady, Scout Grimes—Atticus' little sister, who made a brief appearance in This Love as she headed off to rehab—has just been released from treatment for what is presented as a long-running struggle with substance abuse. But it's seeing her outside of her big brother's view and finding out the root of her problems that makes her a compelling character. While it certainly doesn't justify her mistakes, you can't help but feel for her. And even like her. She's spunky and loyal and, thankfully, determined to change.
Which brings us to Dane, who is just as determined to help her. Previously, all we knew about Dane was that he was a successful lawyer and notorious playboy, while remaining fiercely loyal to those he cares about—Scout included. In this book we get to learn where some of that comes from—the good and the bad. And while I really shouldn't, I can't help but swoon over "prowly" Dale...
The progression of their relationship, though, is what I really loved about the book. They have so much history and so many reasons to stay apart because of it, but they just can't manage it. Under the same roof, the tension is only that much higher until they're forced to deal what exactly it means for everyone involved. The build-up between them is delicious—a perfect mixture of sexy, comforting, supportive, and sweet. I became very invested in the two of them together and was engrossed in the story from start to finish.
Beautiful Broken is a great choice for those who love stories about wounded characters overcoming their pasts. It's a sexy, fulfilling read for any new adult romance fan!
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.