Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Irreparably Broken by K.J. Bell

Irreparably Broken by K.J. Bell is a beautiful book about love.  It's about finding out things that you don't want to know and understanding that sometimes the very things that may break you are also the things that give you strength greater than you ever thought possible.

Sometimes outward appearances do not always represent reality…

That’s what twenty-year old Tori discovers when she moves in with her best friend Liv for the summer. Liv’s older brother Brady is everything Tori knows is wrong for her, yet he invokes feelings deep in her soul that she’s never felt with anyone else. When the two eventually succumb to their irrefutable feelings, Tori realizes Brady’s not the same confident guy she’s secretly loved for years. Tori desperately wants Brady to confide in her, but he refuses to talk about the secrets that have drastically changed his life.

Turning to the one person that always makes her laugh, she begins spending time with Liv and Brady’s younger brother Tug. While the two spend more and more time together, Tori wonders if her feelings for Tug run deeper than the “just buddies” status they’ve always shared. As she begins to explore her feelings, the conflict between brothers she’d hoped to avoid erupts. She knows she has to choose.

When Brady finally reveals his secrets, Tori makes her decision; one that may leave them all Irreparably Broken.

Eyes dark, he looks right at me. It’s unnerving, but I refuse to look away. “Tori, I don’t want you to see him again.” His voice is rigid and sends shards of anger through me.

I bite back hurtful words. I like our newfound friendship, but he’s pushing it. “Brady, I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear you say that.”

“He’s dangerous!” 

“Funny.” I half laugh. “That’s what he says about you.”

His chair squeaks when he slides it out from under the table and stands up. He comes over to stand close beside me. I can already sense the heightened charge in the air with his nearness. “What did he tell you?” His tone is bitter.

“Nothing specific. You want to tell me what’s going on between the two of you?”

He pushes off the counter and pinches the bridge of his nose again. “I can’t.”

“Why not?” I ask, urging him to explain.

“I just can’t,” he answers, and his body is suddenly close to me, caging me in. His hands are on each side of me, gripping the counter, and I have no choice but to look into the depths of his green eyes. His hard warm body brushes against my breast and I let out a small whimper. “He’s wrong for you, and I don’t want him touching you,” he says brutally, his words hitting my gut like a brick.

So I've literally just finished reading Irreparably Broken and wanted to get straight to my review.  I usually sit on a book for a least a couple of hours before I try and write how I felt about it, but I enjoyed Irreparably Broken so much that I don't feel the need to distill my feelings, just to write about how much I loved it!  

K.J. Bell has created a suite of amazing characters in this book but what I loved, loved, loved about Irreparably Broken was that it concludes in a way that was satisfying - the book is a stand alone read and they seem to be relatively rare occurrences these days.  There is definitely scope for books centered around other characters in this book, but Tori and Brady's story had a start, middle and ending that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

On the face of it, some could dismiss Irreparably Broken as having a 'predictable' plot - but I encourage you not to make that assumption based on the synopsis.  Yes there is the whole crushing on the best friends older 'bad boy' brother and heart broken by the ex boyfriend (not to mention the confusion at how 'comfortable' Tori is with her crushes younger brother) - but there are twists and turns and surprises in this story that you're unlikely to predict. 

Tori has had her heart broken by Jake, her first love - it's not just the fact that he cheated on her that hurts, it's the way Brady, her best friends older brother, had a hand in making sure she knew about Jake's cheating that has caused Tori to swear off guys and relationships generally.  Her family has relocated due to her dad's work and rather than go to “Minn-e-fuckin-sota" with them, she moves in with her "BFFAA" (best friend forever and always) Liv and her family.  Having been friends forever, Liv's family is like Tori's own.  In fact, she's always harboured some envy at just how perfect Liv's parents are and at the family environment Liv has.  Tori has also harboured a crush on Brady, Liv's older brother, for many years and unbeknownst to her, he will be home for the summer!

What Tori also doesn't know is that she is the reason for Brady’s decision to spend summer at home as he's decided to be up front about how he feels about her.  Having reached that decision, his execution is not as perfect as you'd hope and there are times when you could cut the emotional tension between the two with a knife.  Sadly, nothing is straight forward for them – Tori is struggling with wanting to guard her heart from another hurt; Brady has history and doesn't think he is worthy of ... well, much actually:
Christ, look, I'm toxic, like fucking poison, nothing instant though - I'm something slow and painful, and you don't need that in your life.
As Brady battles with his past and the demons he carries around he inevitably hurts Tori, which is the last thing he wants to do.  Through all of this Tori has the unending support of Tug, Brady and Liv's younger brother.  Tug is just adorable - only 9 months younger than Tori and Liv - he is always asking Tori out and she is always responding with "I'd rather ..." comments - some of which are both revolting and downright hilarious.  Tug is a great friend to Tori, but it's also clear that there is something unexplored about the relationship between the two and how that evolves throughout the story is just beautiful.
Liv is the sort of best friend everyone should have.  In one scene she deals with Tori's ex so beautifully I laughed out loud at her tenacity and ferocious protectiveness of her friend.  She's gorgeous, outspoken, loyal and hell bent on getting Tori laid!

There are elements to this story that were completely unexpected.  The tragedy that strikes has consequences for everyone that will change the course of their lives forever.  K.J. Bell has done a fabulous job, she's created a couple of swoon worthy characters in Brady and Tug (and Harrison probably warrants a mention too).  In amongst everything there are some steamy sex scenes, humour and an engrossing story line.  I read Irreparably Broken in one sitting as I just couldn't wait to find out how it was going to end.  I'd love to see a follow up book about Tug or Liv as the next installment from K.J. Bell, but the great thing is I haven’t been left hanging, wondering what the future holds for anyone in the story, least of all Tori and Brady.

4 out of 5 stars

K J Bell grew up in California and has spent the last eight years living in Massachusetts with her husband and three children.

After years of working in the corporate world, she took on her most rewarding job as a full time mom.

People often ask, what made her decide to write? And the answer is…she didn’t. Writing found her. She was inspired to write when her daughter innocently waved at people in an empty cemetery, but didn’t know where to begin. After years of debating, she finally put fingers to keys bringing her first novel, a paranormal romance titled The Locket, to life.
Irreparably Broken is her first new adult novel.

Writing is a passion she simply can’t live without and looks forward to publishing many books in the near future; including the second book to The Locket Story, Shadowed, and another new adult novel, Cut too Deep.

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