“If you’re broken, I’ll fix you…”
I’m only twenty-one and already damaged goods. A slut. A failure. A disappointment to my picture-perfect family as long as I can remember. I called off my wedding to William Bailey, the only man who thought I was worth fixing. A year later and he’s marrying my sister. Unless I ask him not to…
“If you shatter, I’ll find you…”
But now there’s Asher Logan, a broken man who sees the fractures in my façade and doesn’t want to fix me at all. Asher wants me to stop hiding, to stop pretending. Asher wants to break down my walls. But that means letting him see my ugly secrets and forgiving him for his.
With my past weighing down on me, do I want the man who holds me together or the man who gives me permission to break?
If you can imagine page one of a book being the crest of a roller coaster hill then you have a pretty good idea of how Lexi Ryan’s novel Unbreak Me begins. Oh yes, shortly after page one and a disastrous almost-wedding you plummet, at breakneck speed to the foot of the hill and then begin the whole ride over again. Welcome to Unbreak Me . . . .
WOW!! Maggie is some kind of screwed up: she is a bridesmaid in her sister’s wedding to her (Maggie’s) former fiancé; the entire town knows she’s a raging slut; her former fiancé is still totally and completely in love with her but marrying her (again, Maggie’s) sister and; after a year away, Maggie has moved back to her painfully small hometown where memories are long and the past isn’t ever far enough behind you.
Maggie has come home to attempt a sort of reinvention of herself but almost immediately her plans are thwarted. First of all, there is the almost wedding; of course, Maggie is so damn damaged she truly believes everyone in attendance is sure she ruined the ceremony so she could have her ex back. As if! Second, in order to clear her head, Maggie decides to take a little midnight skinny dip in her rich neighbors’ pool, and he catches her. Third, she is insta-attracted to the rich neighbor (aka Asher) and comes on to him. Epic. Fail. Finally, confused by both her thoughts and feelings about Asher and his reaction, or non-reaction as the case may be, Maggie decides to barrel ahead and see what fate has in store for her. So much for the new Maggie 😦
The bulk of Unbreak Me is Maggie’s story more than anyone else’s and in the beginning it is really, really hard to like her. Maggie has let what others think of her sink into her skin and her psyche and she has come to believe that everyone must be right about her. To Maggie’s way of thinking, she is a slut so why not jump Asher, give him what he wants, and then move on with her life? That’s what she does, right? Maggie sleeps with anyone and everyone regardless of their marital status and social position/standing. The notches on Maggie’s twenty-one-year-old bedpost include her ex-fiancé, the married and significantly older town sheriff, and her married professor. But everything is not as it seems and Maggie has to face her past, the truth, and her current situation before she can give Asher what he really wants and that is, just Maggie.
While Asher certainly plays a significant role in Unbreak Me, it is hard to see him as equal to Maggie in terms of significance. This is not a bad thing at all: Asher is a good man with a few bad moments in his past who adores Maggie and wants to help her break down the barriers that are keeping her from moving forward. Asher is so strong, so solid, and so smoldering hot; he is perfect for Maggie if she can just get out into the open all the things that haunt her. In time and with more than a little patience on Asher’s part, Maggie begins to open up and finds that with Asher by her side, she can face her past, heal and, move forward toward a happy future.
The Bottom Line: Unbreak Me is an emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish. Liking Maggie (and I did in the end!), wanting to lick Asher (and choke the life out of him at one point), and wanting to bitch-slap a few other characters (William the pathetic ex, Maggie’s mom, and her old professor) took it out of me and by the end I felt wrung out. Please note, dear reader, I mean this in a good way! Ryan has created a book with very high emotional intensity that revolves around one very dominant personality. If you like this kind of read as well as some naughty bits then Unbreak Me is definitely for you.
*Due to the naughty bits, I cannot recommend this read to those under the age of 18**
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Ryan writes romances with humor, heat, and heart. Her books are described as fun, flirty, and wickedly sexy. A lover of learning, Lexi has been in the classroom all her life and currently holds the title of assistant professor of English at her local community college. Lexi is a proud member of Romance Writers of America. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband and two children.