Author ~ Nicola Haken
Published ~ 29th February 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
When Theodore Davenport decides to switch his mundane job for a career, he walks into Holden House Publishing with enthusiasm and determination to succeed. As he settles into his new role, makes new friends, and dreams of making it to the top, everything is going to plan.
Until he meets James Holden, CEO of Holden House.
James Holden hasn’t been able to stop thinking about his encounter with the timid man he met in a club bathroom last week, and when he discovers the one haunting his dreams is an employee, he can’t seem to stop himself from pursuing him.
Just a little fun - that’s what James tells himself. He can’t afford to care for someone who can never reciprocate, not once they find out who he really is. James believes nobody deserves the burden of being attached to him. He’s a complicated man. Damaged. Difficult. Demanding.
James Holden, CEO of Holden House and Theo Davenports boss, is a complete and utter selfish prick. All hard edges and super charged ego, with an abundance of confidence and arrogance. However, he is also quite charismatic and Theo intrigues him enough to use his charm and determination to break down Theo’s walls of prickly indifference, which is really the shame and humiliation he feels for not only being stupid enough to have a bathroom fuck, but to find out later that his hook up was his new boss!
I really enjoyed the push, pull between these two men, observing Theo slowly give in and warm to the persistent irritation that is James Holden. Mostly because Theo see’s deeper than the surface persona projected by James and it was delightful witnessing the playful side of James, that part of his personality that’s kept hidden from the rest of the world… we get a glimpse of the warmth inside not the cold exterior.
There was just something about James and Theo I loved.
How shy and nervous Theo is and despite his confident demeanour and how scared shitless James is. The chemistry between them is magnetic and after taking stock of their early fuck and flee start, I was totally mush at their decision to court and so desperate for it to work between them.
To Theo, James is a fascinating mystery, one he wants to unravel, a multi-layered personality with so many facets. But it’s the true and real part of himself that James is unable to reveal, the part with no hope, no future, the person inside that’s broken.
I have to take my hat off to Nicola Haken and applaud her very real and sympathetic understanding of mental illness, of not only how it affects the individual but also those close to them. It’s powerful, compelling and unbelievably painful to read and heart-breaking to watch someone so lost within themselves.
For James it was that tentative unease and anxiety of being vulnerable, to let someone in and rescue him, almost too afraid to love for fear of the consequences. But Theo is perfect for James because he has enough hope and optimism for both of them, pragmatic and true to himself but most of all true to James, and when they both finally open up, oh my… it was just so beautiful.
In Broken Nicola Haken perfectly balances and paces the humour and the emotional and sexual connection she strives for, with pitch perfect dialogue, before hitting every raw nerve and fissure as she compassionately deals with the pain of living with bipolar disorder, with a finale that was exquisite and stunningly executed.
At the heart of this book is love and hope… finding it, learning to accept it and treasure it for the gift it is. Broken is a beautifully moving and an excellently penned novel by an author I am hoping will explore more of the depth of emotional conflict she so effortlessly managed to capture and achieve on page.
As a newbie to Nicola Haken, I was suitably impressed and will most definitely be keeping a close eye on any upcoming releases. I wholeheartedly recommend this book, it’s a fabulous read!
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