Review: Broken Open (The Hurley Boys #2) by Lauren Dane

May 13, 2015 "Steamy" Romance, 2015 Review Challenge, 4.5 Stars, alpha male overload, Book Review, Category Romance, category: Harlequin, contemporary, ebook, paperback, Romance, spunky spitfire heroine 0 ★★★★½

Review: Broken Open (The Hurley Boys #2) by Lauren Dane four-half-stars
Broken Open by Lauren Dane
Series: The Hurley Boys #2
Published by Harlequin HQN on November 25, 2014
Genres: Category - Harlequin, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
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Beyond passion. And beyond their control...

Five years ago, Tuesday Eastwood's life collapsed and left her devastated. After an empty, nomadic existence, she's finally pieced her life back together in the small Oregon town of Hood River. Now Tuesday has everything sorted out. Just so long as men are kept for sex, and only sex…

Then she met him.

Musician and rancher Ezra Hurley isn't the man of Tuesday's dreams. He's a verboten fantasy—a man tortured by past addictions, whose dark charisma and long, lean body promise delicious carnality. But this craving goes far beyond chemistry. It's primal. It's insatiable. And it won't be satisfied until they're both consumed, body and soul…

I loved The Best Kind of Trouble so when Broken Open was announced, I was rather excited. THEN I saw the cover for Broken Open and I swooned. Every once in a while publishers get covers right and this one is pretty much on the money! That BEARD. Her HAIR. Those TATS. Practically perfect, I tell you. I decided that I was pre-ordering this bad boy and I wanted it in DTB. So I did. Due to some (read: LOTS) issues with receiving my pre-order, I also have the ebook version of Broken Open.

“No more living in blacks and grays. Loving Ezra has left me broken open. I can’t pull myself back together if he walks away. He’s my missing piece. Don’t get me wrong – if he comes back and says he can’t give me what I need, I’ll survive. That’s how life goes. But I want to move forward with him.”
-page 251

I really, really enjoyed Broken Open! In the beginning I was a little thrown for a loop when dealing with the Tuesday vs Natalie personality differences. Tuesday felt…a little rougher around the edges and much sassier than Natalie. I guess this only surprised me because they are best friends and I re-read The Best Kind of Trouble shortly before reading Broken Open. After I (quickly) got over the differences between Tuesday and Natalie, I was able to buckle down for some entertainment!

I appreciated the fact that Tuesday was very artistic – I kept trying to picture the jewelery pieces that she created in my head. I’ve seen some wonderful handmade jewelery pieces so I was almost drooling at the description of the necklace Tuesday wore to her gallery opening. I was also heartened by the descriptions of Tuesday’s family and how they interacted with each other. I loved how strong and protective Tuesday’s parents were and how close the entire family was. After the [hot] mess that was Natalie’s family I was a little worried that the entire series would be bereft of any family except the Hurley Family. I also loved how together Tuesday was. She consistently walked right up to her shit and handled it. Sometimes she dealt with her issues a little too well: Ezra came across a little…whiny in comparison a few times.

I loved watching Tuesday and Ezra fall in love. Some of it felt a little rushed – it appears that in this series all characters have some pre-existing history prior to the start of their book. in medias res normally works for me and in the case of the Hurley Boys series it allows the author to quickly have her characters become intimate. In this situation…I did wish for a little more: The text often mentions the instant and strong attraction that Ezra and Tuesday have BUT I felt this attraction was discussed more than it was shown.

I liked Ezra a lot. That beard sounds amazing…and I’m not even really into facial hair like that, lol. I loved the way Ezra took responsibility for so many people and things – he truly is someone that can be depended on. I also loved how protective Ezra was: protective of Tuesday, his family and his pets. OMG. I LOVED Ezra’s pets. 😀 I don’t think I quite got the feel of the strength of personality Ezra was said to have – it was more tell than show – but I could see *glimpses* of it. Sometimes I felt the issues that Ezra had regarding his former drug addictions and the related guilt was…a little overdone. I know some former addicts and they normally don’t quite have the crazy immense guilt that Ezra has. All the same, Ezra was super hot. Ugh. That scene where Ezra and Tuesday are having sex and he tells her how much he likes to be in control was HOT. So hot, lol.

As with The Best Kind of Trouble, the biggest issue that I had with Broken Open was the superficial covering of very non-superficial issues. The way major obstacles were swept under the rug, mostly ignored or handled with incredible ease pushes this series closer to a fantasy than a contemporary romance. In Broken Open the major obstacles are racism and Ezra’s stardom: Tuesday is Black and she has natural hair (I *think* the cover is close but no cigar). Ezra is the bad boy of the Hurley Boys so he should be the darling of the paparazzi: the fact that Ezra Hurley is performing live again AND he’s being seen with a woman AND this woman is Black…well, it should have caused a [big] stir. There was one instance of overt racism that was handled promptly and with rather little drama. There are no instances of privacy intrusion – at all. I find this to 100% unrealistic when dealing with a rock star romance BUT I think that this is why I am able to read them. I’m not really fond of rock star romances so the lack of the “star” part works for me a lot.

All in all, this is a pretty fantastic romance. I loved Tuesday. I loved Ezra. I loved Tuesday + Ezra. Recommended!

“It’s a waste of the life you’re blessed with to choose an empty existence over something that makes you feel, because what you and I have is different than what you had with someone else. Big deal. Ezra and Tuesday should be different.

-page 219

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