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“I’ve accepted who I am. The girl who will never become serious about anyone, who will enjoy life, have fun with guys along the way and never get her heart broken.”
Meet Emerson. College party girl, and unapologetic campus slut. Honestly, I found it a bit weird to begin with, but why the hell shouldn’t there be a book about a girl who likes to sleep around? We always fall in love with man-whores, it’s refreshing to see the old formula get switched up a bit!
Em lives her life by three rules – never sleep with someone that a friend has feelings for, never sleep with someone who is in a known relationship, and never sleep with someone more than three times. And those rules work well for her. The guys she is with know this about her up front, she jokes and banters about her sex life, and her behaviour and her rules are well known to all. So it’s all safe, nobody gets hurt, everybody is happy – in theory.
And then Em’s life is completely shaken up by the arrival of Jaxon Riley. Jaxon and his brother, Jace, are the childhood friends of Em’s best friend, Cole, and they have just arrived in town to start their junior year at College, and the three boys move in next door to Em and her best friend / half sister, Quinn. And here we have the sensational set up for this fantastic group of characters.
Em and Jaxon have an immediate attraction to each other, and the flirting and banter is fantastic. They become friends, they joke, they flirt, and it doesn’t take long before things get physical between them. They abide by Em’s rules, and everything is fine, until they start to have feelings for each other.
“Please stop running from me,” he whispered.
“Please stop trying to catch me.”
And he’s not easily deterred.
“Damn it, Emerson, just stop!” he yelled. “Stop pretending you don’t care. Why won’t you let me in? Why won’t you let me care about you? Because for some maddening reason, I do!”
I love how determined Jax is in trying to get Em to break her rules for him, and even though Em has her rules in place for a reason, she can’t resist her feelings, and I was so proud of her for being brave and taking a chance to be with him. It’s nothing she’s ever experienced before, and she is absolutely terrified, but she is strong enough to let go of her rules and be with him, and the two of them together are absolutely beautiful.
“You have to stop worrying that you’ll lose me. There’s nowhere else in this world that I want to be. I love you, beautiful girl”
There is a lot of time spent seeing them happy together, which I loved, but also some big drama, and moments of devastating heartbreak as Em tries to work through her issues and the two of them try and be together. I did get annoyed with the lack of communication at times, but it is true to their characters, and there is a gorgeous HEA, and even an epilogue from Jax’s POV to finish the story off beautifully.
Shout out to the relationship dynamic between the five friends. It’s absolutely sensational! These guys are up front and honest with each other, they’re open, they joke, they laugh, and they’re not afraid to stick it to each other when required. But they all deeply care about each other, and are there for each other 100%. They each play a big part of the story, including a great second storyline, and I adored the scenes where they were all together and bantering back and forth.
“Ew, guys, stop it. Not on the couch.” Quinn was right next to us, batting me off of Jaxon.
“Oh, like we haven’t gotten plenty of fluids on this couch already, sweetheart,” Cole laughed from behind her.
“All of you are disgusting, shut up, push play, and keep your fluids to yourselves,” Jace complained.
I had heard before I started reading that this book reminded people of Beautiful Disaster (it’s actually what made me pick it up in the first place). And I can see how people would make that connection. The characters are very different, but the college setting, the whole basis of their relationship (flirty friendship and becoming best friends before coming together), and some of the plot details are very similar. But as an overarching story, it stands very separate, and I really enjoyed it.
The drama is a bit extreme at times, but the character development is fantastic, and I loved Emerson’s story. Her relationship with Jaxon is gorgeous, and I got completely swept up in the emotion of it all.
“One day you are going to discover how beautiful and strong you are.
I hope that I’m standing right next to you holding your hand when you do.”
The Broken Series
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