Broken (LOST #1) by Cynthia Eden-a review

BROKEN (LOST #1) by Cynthia Eden-a review

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 31, 2015

The first novel in New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Eden’s sizzling LOST series introduces the Last Option Search Team, an elite unit that must protect the only surviving victim of a serial killer.

Ex-SEAL and LOST founder Gabe Spencer is accustomed to the unusual in his job. But when knockout Eve Gray steps into his office, he’s rattled. For the mysterious woman is a dead ringer for the heiress thought to be the latest prey of the serial killer who goes by the name Lady Killer.

When Eve awoke in an Atlanta hospital, her past was a blank slate. Then she recognized her own face in the newspaper and vowed to learn the truth. Determined to confront the nightmares hidden in her mind, she never expects to find a partner in Gabe.

As Gabe and Eve work together, their explosive attraction becomes irresistible. Gabe knows that his desire for Eve is growing too strong, bordering on a dangerous obsession, but nothing pulls him away from her. And when another Eve lookalike disappears, Gabe vows to protect Eve at all costs. While Eve may have forgotten the killer in her past, it’s clear he hasn’t forgotten her.


REVIEW: BROKEN is the first installment in Cynthia Eden’s adult, contemporary LOST romantic suspense series focusing on the men and women of LOST (Last Option Search Team). This is former Navy SEAL and LOST founder Gabe Spencer, and artist/painter Eve Gray’s storyline.

Told from several third person perspectives the storyline follows Eve Gray as she endeavors to uncover her past, her memories, and truth about what happened years before. A tortured and concussed Eve awoke in an Atlanta hospital with no memory and no idea what had happened; her only clue is a newspaper photo where a missing heiress who looks identical to Eve is said to be a victim of a serial murderer dubbed the Lady Killer. When the authorities refuse to believe her story, Eve seeks out the one person she hopes will help-Gabe Spencer-a virtual stranger but a man she knows will ‘find’ the truth. As Gabe begins to piece together what little information Eve can supply, our couple find themselves on Dauphin Island, Alabama where everyone knows Eve as Jessica Montgomery. What ensues is the unraveling of a suspense filled mystery, where a serial killer has targeted women who look exactly like the woman in question. As Eve’s memory returns, the killer strikes again leaving a path of clues in his wake. I guessed the identity of the killer almost immediately upon introduction although some readers may interpret differently the information and clues.

The relationship between Eve and Gabe is one of immediate attraction but Gabe refuses to become involved with his client-even a beautiful and broken client such as Eve Gray. When Gabe suspects that the killer is close, his only recourse is to keep Eve closer; so close that our couple with eventually act upon their mutual attraction and sexual desires. The $ex scenes are intimate, realistic and moving. There are no erotic, graphic depictions but there is some definite fire and heat.

The spirited secondary and supporting characters include the members and agents of LOST: ex FBI agent Dean Bannon, forensic specialist Victoria Palmer, psychiatrist and profiler Sarah Jacobs, and former detective Wade Monroe. We are introduced to the inhabitants of Dauphin Island including Jessica’s ex boyfriend police chief Trey Wallace, and her brother Pierce Montgomery. Many of the locals have a colorful history; Trey and Pierce are all too willing to reveal Jessica’s sordid past. Cynthia takes us into the mind of a killer: his thoughts, his desires, his need for revenge all the while he plans and searches for his next intended victim.

BROKEN is a story of suspense; a murder mystery where a series of missing and murdered women resemble the one who got away. Cynthia Eden writes with passion and imagination. Her characters are real; their emotions tangible; and their histories heartbreaking. BROKEN is a fantastic start to a new series.

Copy supplied by Edelweiss.

Reviewed by Sandy


Broken by Laura Wright – Review & Giveaway

Broken by Laura Wright – Review & Giveaway


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For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls…

Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Tired of rejection, she’s ready to swear off men. But after being rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her resolve wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed…




Broken by Laura Wright is the 2nd book in her The Cavanaugh Brothers series. The first book in this series, Branded was a wonderful story, with a bit of mystery and a fabulous couple. I didn’t think Laura Wright could match Deacon and Mac, but I am happy to say I didn’t need to worry. Broken is just as good, with another fabulous couple.

James Cavanaugh is our hero, and the second brother, who is another hottie. James is a horse whisperer, and at the end of the first book, he decided to stay longer to help find a place for the wild mustangs. Sheridan O’Neil is our heroine, and I loved her from the get go. Sheridan (don’t call her Sheri), is Deac’s assistant, and a very good one. She is a smart, tough, savvy business woman, and loves her job. At the end of the first book, she met James and immediately they both felt the attraction. Well in Broken, the attraction between them is burning up, and they both have difficulties trying to ignore the heat. James doesn’t want to get involved, as he has his own demons, where he blames himself for various things that have happened over the years to the women he has cared for. One of course, was his sister Cass, whom we learned in the first book, was killed 20 years ago, with the case still unsolved.

Sheridan besides her normal job, is helping Mac with her wedding plans. I enjoyed seeing Sheridan and Mac becomes fast friends. What I loved about Laura Wright’s writing of this series is how she handles this wonderful romance. Through more than half the book, we see and feel the explosive chemistry between James and Sheridan. Wright lights the fire, and lets it slowly build, reaching a point that we were so ready for them to succumb to the lust between them. The steamy sex between them was so wonderfully done, and my kindle had to be cooled off often. This was a fantastic sexy romance, between a couple meant for each other, even with the demons holding one of them back. I loved loved James and Sheridan together.

What I also loved about this romance was the build-up of this romance, that was hot from the beginning, but Laura Wright allowed us to feel the heat, and suffer the wait too. Lol So much fun, and so worth the wait. I am not a big fan of instant romance and sex on page 2 of a book. Broken is how it should be done. Bravo to Laura Wright for a fabulous story, and series that has every thing you would want; Super romance with a sexy couple; hot steamy sex, mystery, family atmosphere in a ranch town, great secondary characters. Well done.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher



Laura’s publisher is graciously offering a paper copy of BROKEN  to 1 (One) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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Broken by Traci L. Slatton-Review and Guest Post

Broken by Traci L. Slatton-Review and Guest Post

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 5, 2014

Power is pornographic

Can love sustain light when the forces of evil close in?

Paris, 1939-1942. A fallen angel is trapped in the web of German Occupation. The deadly noose of Nazi control grows ever tighter, ensnaring her and two of her lovers, a bullfighter and a musician working in the fledgling Resistance. Can she save them and the Jewish widow and her child that she has come to love, or will betrayal take them all?


REVIEW: BROKEN is an historical, fictionalized, paranormal storyline that focuses on a fallen angel known as Alia. In the weeks and months leading up to the Nazi occupation of Paris, France during WW II, Alia and her Bohemian friends party like no one is watching. Alia is a watcher-a fallen angel who can see what humans cannot-and a being who absorbs the essence and energy from the people around her.

The storyline is awash in a considerable amount of historical fact and fiction. Beginning in 1939 Alia and her friends take full advantage of the Paris night life and everything it has to offer-plenty of alcohol, plenty of sex and a lifestyle acquainted with the rich, the famous and the infamous. But all too soon, the once fabled Fuhrer and his Nazi party take control of Paris while Alia and her friends must take refuge before their true identities and heritage are revealed.

Traci L. Slatton has written a storyline that is extensively detailed in both WWII and Holocaust history as well as religious overtones and Christian beliefs. Not only does a fallen angel find herself at the mercy of the Nazi party but she discovers that she is fallible to the party demands.

The numerous secondary characters are Bohemian and aristocratic in nature-almost Bourgeoisie. Their artistic lifestyle sets the backdrop for a group of people (the famous and unknown) who believe they are excluded from the incoming hell only to realize, sometimes too late, that no one is safe from the storm. While Europe prepares for war, Alia and her friends wax philosophical the finer points of religion, politics and the Nazi Party. With the introduction of some real-life famous characters and artistes of the twentieth century the storyline spun in a decidedly different direction.

One concern is the paranormal aspect of the storyline and the lack of any real connection to the actual premise. The supernatural element is secondary and does not add anything to the overall plot-it does not play a significant or important role in the overall presentation. Alia is a fallen angel whose human façade enjoys the pleasures of the flesh but an Angel who knows that her time on earth is limited.

Traci L Slatton is an amazing writer whose storylines are infinitely detailed with both fact and fiction; fantasy and reality. Her style of writing is intense; the historical research impressive; and the overall premise is a flight into the fantastic and uncoventional.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy


Guest Post beige

Writing Historical Romances, Accuracy and History
By Traci L. Slatton, author of BROKEN

War, famine, storms, invention, exodus, heroism, sadism, love, and cycles of despair and enlightenment: it sounds like the kind of novel anyone would be thrilled to pick up and read. In fact, it’s human history. We as a species have struggled with nature and with ourselves—our best and our worst impulses—since we stood upright and picked up a piece of charcoal to draw ourselves, a spear, and a beast on a cave wall.

Text books can render history into dry recitations of dates, personages, and events, but when you ponder what was happening and how it must have actually felt to the people of the time, people like me and you, everything changes. History becomes the most breath-taking, intimate portrait of how we have lived and loved and suffered and vanquished and survived and thrived. It’s a natural resource for storytellers.

Clearly, this topic excites me. I was enthusiastic when Sandy suggested it.

A good story is told with conflict and obstacle, which, as I’ve just pointed out, define history. I try to write stories that are cohesive and focused, so I like to choose a specific era in a specific place. For my first novel Immortal, I chose Renaissance Florence, which was still a broad swathe of time—almost two hundred years. There was so much rich material that had to be left out that for Broken, my latest novel, I selected Paris under Nazi occupation, and I narrowed it even further to three years, 1939-1942, the year before the Nazis marched into Paris and the first two years of occupation.

Winnowing down the horrific German occupation of the City of Lights this way provided an opportunity for me to deeply relate my characters to very specific events. Alia, an angel who fell from heaven, experiences the oppression of the time personally and with great intensity. She and her beloved friends suffer through food shortages, lack, loss, and sacrifices in minute detail.

In one scene, Alia walks with Pablo Picasso, the celebrated modernist painter who stayed in Paris during occupation, and she carries a bag of food containing a few leaves of lettuce, some rutabagas, and three veal sausages. In her mind, as she converses with Picasso, she performs mental food math: these groceries must stretch to feed five people, perhaps for more than one day.

Her calculations were historically accurate. Food was scarce for Parisians, who had to pay for the privilege of German occupation with both money and resources like foodstuffs. Researching Paris under Nazi Occupation, I learned that the French ate about 800 calories per day. Over and over again in documents from the time, I read the same descriptions of Parisians as “skinny.”

I enjoy writing historical novels and I enjoy the research that is required because I look for ways to personalize an era for my characters. Before occupation, rutabagas weren’t prized as food; Parisians acquired a taste for them during occupation. The Nazis took almost everything so Parisians made do with what was left. They became very resourceful about finding protein, and bred white rabbits throughout the city, for both their food and their meat. In fact, they were so resourceful that warnings had to be put up against eating cats and diseased pigeons from the parks.

Sometimes I depart from historical fact to make a story truthful, to make it work. Truthfulness and accuracy in fiction are different matters, and truth is the foremost value. However, I do this with care. For example, in Broken, Sartre and Camus are shown at the same party. There are conflicting reports about when these great philosophers met, but it’s widely agreed that they met after the war. For purposes of the novel’s themes and its structure, I placed them together in Alia’s apartment, drinking wine, reading their work, and arguing about the prejudices of the time. Sartre wants the other guests to pay attention to him; Camus wants to hear music. They serve both as characters with all the inherent flaws and foibles of any person and as eloquent voices of their time.

History is a story bonanza for a novelist. It provides a dazzling array of drama as well as opportunities to craft a story with precision. Ultimately, any good story is an argument for a specific value, and writing historical novels gives me a chance to ask myself, What do I care about? What do I value? Answering those questions while metabolizing history is my job as a novelist—and, I hope, gives the reader something that absorbs and enriches her.


About The Author beige

Traci L SlattonTraci L. Slatton, author of FALLEN and COLD LIGHT, is a graduate of Yale and Columbia. She lives in Manhattan, and her love for Renaissance Italy inspired her historical novel IMMORTAL and her contemporary vampire art history mystery THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR. FALLEN is the first in a romantic trilogy set during the end times; COLD LIGHT and FAR SHORE further the dystopian tale. DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE is her first book of poetry. She also wrote a sculpture book, THE ART OF LIFE, with her husband. THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE is a bittersweet rom-com that addresses the question: What worlds would you move to be with your soulmate?

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Debt Collector Series 1-3 by Susan Kaye Quinn-Guest Post and Kindle Giveaway

Debt Collector Series 1-3 by Susan Kaye Quinn-Guest Post and Kindle Giveaway

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Guest Post by Susan Kaye Quinn

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What’s a Serial and Why Would I Read One?
by Susan Kaye Quinn, author of a new future-noir serial called The Debt Collector

Debt Collector 1-3

A serial is a series of episodes – or short stories – that are connected to tell a larger story.

Must Read TV

Serials are actually a lot like a TV series, which themselves vary a lot in type. Series like Law&Order and House are more self-contained, with only a few character storylines carrying over from episode to episode. Series like Lost or Heroes would be difficult to watch out of order because the storylines carry more strongly, sometimes with cliffhangers, sometimes not.

Some readers like the week-by-week suspense of Must Watch TV; others would rather wait until the season is done and get it from netflix so they can watch it back-to-back. Likewise, some readers enjoy the suspense of reading a serial episode-by-episode as they’re released. Others would rather wait until the entire serial is complete and read it all at once. Either is fine!

Is a Serial a New Idea?

Ebook serials are a new thing, because ebooks are a new thing – but serials have been around since Charles Dickens wrote and released Great Expectations (self-published through his own literary magazine!) in 6,000 word “installments” every week for nine months. Readers today aren’t accustomed to reading in serial format because publishing serials was restricted to magazines, which didn’t have wide circulation. Now with ebooks, the cost of transmission is low and the distribution is wide. Ebooks have revived the short story form! But for readers raised on novels, who crave longer works and more in-depth stories, serials are the next natural step.

Is a Serial a Novel Cut Into Pieces?

No. A serial is not a chopped up novel, just like a TV episode is not a chopped up movie. It’s a different way of telling stories. In a way, it’s more demanding to write than novels – you need to immediately draw the reader in, you have to reach some kind of reader-satisfaction-level by the end of the episode (even if you have a cliff-hanger), and you have to maintain that pace and storytelling arc over multiple episodes. But all that hard work on the part of the author makes it (potentially) more enjoyable for the reader.

Can You Name Some Successful Serials?


Hugh Howey’s Wool
RaShelle Workman’sBlood and Snow
Platt &Wright’sYesterday’s Gone

These are all recent bestselling serials that drew audiences in and helped revitalize the serial form.

Why Would I Read a Serial?

Readers tell me that they’re enjoying the short episodes – they can read them quickly over lunch or in an evening and get a full “story” worth of entertainment. The fast pacing means there’s a lot of story packed into a short number of words. Readers also say they enjoy the anticipation of finding out “what will happen next” much like a TV series where you get invested in the characters. Think about how a favorite TV series will sometimes focus one episode on one character or another, diving into their backstory. As a writer, I like that I can go in-depth a little more in each “episode” than I could in a novel, giving a richness to the story and characters that might be more difficult to do in a novel format.

All serials eventually come to an end, just like a “season” of your favorite TV series. Whether you enjoy reading serials as they release, or want to wait until the complete season is out so you can read the episodes back-to-back, serials are a fast-paced, exciting way to enjoy a story.

As a writer, I find serials are the hardest writing I’ve ever loved.

About The Author Black and White

Susan Kaye Quinn

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA SF Mindjack series. Her new Debt Collector serial is her more grown-up SF. Her steampunk fantasy romance is temporarily on hold while she madly writes episodes to keep Lirium (the titular Debt Collector) happy.

Plus she needs to leave time to play on Facebook. Susan has a lot of degrees in engineering, which come in handy when dreaming up dangerous mind powers, future dystopias, and slightly plausible steampunk inventions. Mostly she sits around in her pajamas in awe that she gets make stuff up full-time. You can find her at

Author Links:


Series Spotlight Black and White
The Debt Collector Book 1-3 by Susan Kaye Quinn
Delirium (Debt Collector #1)
by Susan K. Quinn
Release Date:  March 20, 2013

Order Now: .99cents or less / / Barnes and Noble/ KOBO

What’s your life worth on the open market? 
A debt collector can tell you precisely.Lirium plays the part of the grim reaper well, with his dark trenchcoat, jackboots, and the black marks on his soul that every debt collector carries. He’s just in it for his cut, the ten percent of the life energy he collects before he transfers it on to the high potentials, the people who will make the world a better place with their brains, their work, and their lives. That hit of life energy, a bottle of vodka, and a visit from one of Madam Anastazja’s sex workers keep him alive, stable, and mostly sane… until he collects again. But when his recovery ritual is disrupted by a sex worker who isn’t what she seems, he has to choose between doing an illegal hit for a girl whose story has more holes than his soul or facing the bottle alone—a dark pit he’s not sure he’ll be able to climb out of again.Contains mature content and themes.




Agony (Debt Collector #2)
by Susan Kaye Quinn
Release Date:  March 25, 2013

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AgonyWhat’s your life worth on the open market?
A debt collector can tell you precisely.Lirium tries to forget Apple Girl, but a rough collection finds him spiraling deeper into the abyss. He faces a one-way ticket to The Retirement Home for debt collectors, until his psych officer offers a way out.Agony is approximately 11,000 words or 44 pages, and is the second of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. For more about the Debt Collector serial, see




Ecstasy (Debt Collector #3)
By Susan Kaye Quinn
Release Date:  April 1, 2013

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Lirium’s attempts to find Ophelia take him to the last place he wants to be.

Ecstasy is approximately 15,000 words or 60 pages, and is the third of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. For more about the Debt Collector serial, see




The Debt Collector Box Set

By Susan Kaye Quinn

Debt Collector Box set

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Broken (Debt Collector #4)
by Susan Kaye Quinn
Release Date: April 17, 2013

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What’s your life worth on the open market?
A debt collector can tell you precisely.

Lirium tries to free himself and Ophelia from the Kolek mob, but Valac has other plans for him.

Broken is approximately 15,000 words or 60 pages, and is the fourth of nine episodes in the first season of The Debt Collector serial. This dark and gritty future-noir is about a world where your life-worth is tabulated on the open market and going into debt risks a lot more than your credit rating. Episode 5, Driven, releases 5/1/13




Susan is offering an ecopy of the first book in the Debt Collector series-DELIRIUM to one lucky reader at each of the tour stops including The Reading Cafe.

1. Please register using the log-in at the top of the page or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. To obtain a BONUS entry, sign up for Susan’s newsletter HERE and let us know in the comment section

3. Giveaway is OPEN internationally

4. Giveaway runs from May 1 to May 13, 2013.

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GRAND PRIZE Giveaway: Susan is offering a KINDLE and the Debt Collector 1-3 ebook set to ONE lucky reader. Open to US residents only.

NOTE:  The Rafflecopter Giveaway is NOT the responsibility of The Reading Cafe.  If you have any questions, please contact the author or the tour promoter.

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BROKEN (WOTO #6) by Kelley Armstrong-WOTO Challenge


August is the 6th month in the Women of the Otherworld Challenge hosted by MOONLIGHT GLEAM’S BOOKSHELF. THIRTEEN (released July 2012) was the final full-length novel for Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series while the author puts Elena, Clay and Savannah on hiatus. This month’s challenge is BROKEN.

BROKEN by Kelley Armstrong-a review

BROKEN is the 6th novel in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. BROKEN continues the story of Elena, Clay and the other werewolves, but this time Elena is pregnant. As the only known female werewolf, Elena isn’t sure what to expect—literally. But when someone from her past calls in a favor, Elena knows this could be her final chance for adventure, before giving birth.

Ever since Elena Michaels discovered she was pregnant, she has been unable to concentrate. As the months pass and the pregnancy advances, shape-shifting, her ability to fight and running with the other Pack members has become increasingly difficult and worrisome. Without the benefit of prior knowledge or experience, Elena, Clay and Jeremy are cautious and reticent—if news were to spread about her pregnancy, she would become a bigger target than just Clay’s mate. When Xavier Reese, a former ‘inmate ‘ from Ty Winsloe’s compound of supernatural beings, calls in a favor, Elena jumps at the chance for the distraction. Xavier has been commissioned to find and retrieve the “From Hell” letter, supposedly one of the last known pieces of evidence and DNA from Jack the Ripper, but he requires Elena’s expertise—basically, the werewolves are the only beings who could pass through the sorcerer’s ‘spell’ protecting the document. One problem-the “From Hell” letter is currently owned by Patrick Shanahan, a sorcerer living in Toronto, and there are many ‘beings’ looking for the “letter”.

Once the letter is in their possession, a series of catastrophic events take place in the Canadian city. Witnesses report missing people, zombie-like beings, an outbreak of cholera and typhoid as well as a string of unexplained murders. It is not until the trio learns that part of the curse of the ‘From Hell’ letter, that whom ever is in possession, must make a ‘blood sacrifice’ to trigger the release of “Jack”, do they realize they may be responsible for the strange events happening in the city. And the only blood sacrifice that was made—Elena killed a mosquito containing her own blood. Meanwhile, a confused and lost soul exits the portal into the 21st century

With the blood sacrifice, a portal is opened into the otherworld, where zombies exit and people fall victim to its’ curse. But while tracking and fighting the zombies, Clay’s arm is puncture by one of the ‘undead’ and without thought of the consequences, he ignores his wounds. Without giving away too much of the plot, zombie scratches can be fatal, and a very sick and ailing Clay has only a couple of options—amputate the arm or die from infection.

When a very pregnant Elena is abducted, they come to realize, that Elena is now the target and no longer the ‘letter’. Clay and Elena’s children will be the ultimate sacrifice in a game of evil, between the mystery man from the portal and zombies wreaking havoc throughout Toronto.

Once again, Kelley introduces a few new supernatural beings such as Zoe Takana , a female vampire with eyes for Elena, and brings back the characters we love. Nick and Antonio Sorrentino are called to Canada to assist with the hunt for “Jack the Ripper”, and Jaime Vegas, a beautiful clairvoyant and necromancer (and a burr up Clay’s backside), aids the werewolves with the eradication and the return of the ‘undead’ back to their own time.

Broken is one of my favorite Women of the Otherworld storylines. Clay’s spiral into a fevered delirium is not without its’ scary moments and we watch Elena and Clay become a family with the birth of their child(ren) as we are drawn deeper into the lives of everyone involved. The birthing scene is heart warming and humorous, and you can almost hear the panic in their voices. Paige as their ‘long-distance’ birthing coach is something that can only be imagined by a writer like Kelley.

Reviewed by Sandy