Something Shattered, by Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: December 29, 2015
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
When something inside him is shattered by an act of violence, Caleb Tomas doesn’t think he can ever be whole again.
Police Officer Jesse Martin has lived in the small town of El Jardin, New Mexico, for a decade, but he’s never seen anything like the mysterious man who moves in in the middle of the night. The house across the street from Jesse’s trailer is no longer empty. There’s a puzzle waiting to be solved there in the form of one sexy, but decidedly different, man.
Bruised and battered inside and out, Caleb Tomas flees to the town of El Jardin in the hopes of escaping the terror that haunts him. Instead, he becomes more of a recluse, scared of everything, unable to get more than a dozen feet past his porch before he panics. His head’s a mess, and he knows he needs help, but that’s a step he doesn’t want to take. It’s easier, safer to stay hidden away with only his adorable puppy, Loopy, and the bird-murdering cat, Mix, for companionship.
But Caleb can’t help but notice the sexy man across the street, and when Loopy escapes from the back yard, it’s Jesse Martin who comes to the rescue.
And he might save more than one bouncy little poodle, if Caleb and Jesse are willing to take the risk.
Reader Advisory: This book contains references to physical assault.
While I feel like this book had a lot of potential, it wasn’t able to live up to that potential and ended up being just average. The blurb sounded fascinating, and I’ll admit that the characters were really interesting. But moments of immaturity, plot holes, and the author’s decision to prioritize superfluous sex scenes over actual plot made this a difficult novel to really sink into.
I don’t mind books with a lot of sex. But I think there needs to be a balance, and having sex scenes almost back to back at the expense of actual plot development is a no-go for me. The entire conflict of the novel was resolved in about three paragraphs, which I almost missed entirely because I was skimming over yet another sex scene.
Also, the dog (Loopy) was supposed to come off as adorable, I think, but instead every scene with the dog felt immature and jolted me out of the actual narrative. Instead of showing how the dog helped Caleb heal, or provided him with a source of comfort, instead it felt childish and out of place.
I think this book could have been really great, but I just really struggled to get into it.
“I don’t know that we have a relationship exactly.” Caleb looked up and met Kez’s probing gaze. “What we have is explosive, combustive, and I don’t want to resist it.”