Friday, September 25, 2015

ARC Review: Unbreak Broken (Coming About 3) by J.K. Hogan

Rory Donovan’s life is a hot mess. His marriage is failing and he’s in intensive psychotherapy, working through the unfortunate side effects of memories from a childhood trauma. The only thing good in his life right now is his job—teaching photography to gifted high school students.

Harbor Patrol officer Bennett Foster is co-parenting his teenage daughter with his high school best friend Jessie. When he meets Addison’s teacher and realizes they’ve met before, he can’t get the sexy stranger out of his head.

Striking up a sexual-tension-filled friendship, together they must help an angsty teenager deal with a dying friend. Bennett must keep his little family from falling apart while Rory struggles to come to terms with his new reality. Somewhere along the way, most unexpectedly…love happens.

Dani's rating:

This is a tender, hopeful story about second chance, self-discovery, family, and that crazy little thing called love.

This book can be read as a standalone, but if you've read either of the two previous books in the Coming About series, you'll probably remember Rory (Justice's best friend and Rich's roommate) as the even-keeled guy who always has a smile on his face.

Rory, a high school photography teacher, never stood out for me, and now I know why. Rory blends right into the background. He's good ol' reliable Rory. No one knows that his smile hides confusion and pain.

With his recent marriage falling apart, Rory has to do some soul searching.

One thing Rory knows for sure: Lieutenant Bennett Foster makes his heart beat faster.

Bennett is gay but not out on the force. He's tired of hiding though, especially when the slightly nerdy, gorgeous Rory enters the picture. Never mind that Rory is Bennett's daughter's teacher and straight. Maybe.

This is a slow-burn story. For the first third of the book, Rory is married and very much struggling with his identity and sexuality. Talking to a therapist helps him revisit long-buried, painful memories. As his marriage dissolves, Rory seeks human touch, a real connection.

Even though I was a little frustrated with the slow pace of the story initially, I soon found myself completely wrapped up in Rory and Bennett's relationship.

This isn't a very steamy book. Rory's sexual issues mean he's tentative, a little fearful. But the exploration is beautiful. Bennett is so gentle and patient with Rory.

The first time Bennett and Rory come together, they barely touch. There's only a mirror and pleasure and Bennett's rough voice whispering words of encouragement. This was insanely sexy in the most unexpected way.

I loved the secondary characters in this book, especially Bennett's friend and co-parent, Jessie, and his daughter, Addison, wise beyond her years.

There's more to this story than Rory's epiphany and his budding relationship with Bennett. Hogan deals with sensitive issues, including bullying, grief, and teen self-identity. I generally dislike kids in books, but Addy is a fully fleshed out, likable character.

This proved to be an enlightening, enjoyable read, with some suspense, plenty of romance, and an endearing HEA.

Get the book:


Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.
~C.S. Lewis

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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