5/2/2023 0 Comments
Review of Broken Open by Laura Dane (previously published on Heroes & Heartbreakers)
I have two words for you, readers: Beard action!
What I liked best about Broken Open is that it’s actually a love story with three main characters: Tuesday, Ezra and Ezra’s beard. (If beard ménage is not a trope, it should be.) Hipsterish bearded men with tatts are, in the immortal words of Paris Hilton, so hot right now, and whole Pintrest boards dedicated to sexy bearded dudes have sprouted like daisies of late. Laura Dane cleverly capitalizes on this growing beard-fetish movement by paying homage to the beard throughout Broken Open.
“His mouth did a thing and it was impossible to look away.
Mainly because it was perfection. Fringed by a minky pelt of a beard she wanted to get all up in. It was messing with her thinking. Like a magical item. Beard of confusion, ha!
Hear that? She doesn’t just want to get it on with Ezra, she also wants his beard—his minky man pelt—and she wants it bad.
Which brings me to the second thing I liked about this book—the author’s quirkiness and humor, which is mostly delivered through dialogue.
"Holy crap, that's Ezra? He's like a nuclear Testosterone bomb wrapped in velvety smooth hot man skin."
The fact that Ezra has pet pigs is further proof of the author’s quirkiness, and I have to admit that I cannot resist the idea of a hero with pet pigs.
The hero is romance catnip in so many ways, a lover of pet pigs and a rock star turned rancher (if he’d also been a billionaire he’d have won the trifecta). Yes, that’s hot rock star and cowboy action all wrapped up in one hero, leather chaps plus tattoos and piercings. And beard. A heroic beard. Plus he’s dynamite in the sack, rocking the ‘domineering’ thing like nobody’s business (though maybe the beard is the domineering one, who knows?)
As a fan of broken/damaged heroes and heroines, I also enjoyed this one because both hero and heroine get to wear the ‘pants of angst’ a fair bit, with several memorable wedgies of angst delivered. Ezra tortures himself over what he did to his family while a heroin addict and Tuesday, unable to move past her husband’s death, refuses to engage in anything but purely physical relationships.
Another plus for this book is that Ezra and Tuesday are an interracial couple, and while that’s not central to the story, it’s handled well by the author. As a reader, I’d like to see more interracial couples on mainstream covers and stories with interracial couples where their racial difference is not the main conflict. Given that one in ten marriages in the United States in 2010 were interracial, I think readers can readily deal with the concept.
Since Broken Open is book two in Laura Dane’s Hurley Boys series, readers may want to start with book one, The Best Kind of Trouble, in which Tuesday's best friend (Natalie) tangles with one of Ezra's younger brothers, Paddy. Ezra and Tuesday are introduced in the first book of the series because the tie between the three books is the three Hurley siblings (Paddy, Ezra and Kelly) of Sweet Hollow Ranch.
Rhyll Biest is an Australian author writing erotic romance hot enough to melt your e-reader. Living in Prague, Shanghai and Germany has given her a taste for the exotic and her books resemble the United Nations of Hotness, filled as they are with racy Russians, Teutonic hotties and alluring Aussies. She's also one of the tarts on the Bookish Tarts podcast where she and fellow author Georgina Penney discuss romance novels in a high-brow yet potty-mouthed way.
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