December 6, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Broken Mess by Kimberly Lauren

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Jace Riley’s close connection with his identical twin brother, Jaxon, is put to the test when he tries to choose between keeping his promises and following his heart. Is this girl that still haunts his dreams, even after four years, really worth it? Jace can’t help but wonder if he made a huge mistake all that time ago when he let her walk into someone else’s arms, especially since that someone was his twin.
Audrey Mills often wonders at what point she should throw her hands up in defeat and allow all of the horrible circumstances of her life to overtake her. Despite the demons she has faced, however, something inside her won’t give in. When she leaves her small town in Texas to attend college in California, Audrey runs into the one guy who could make her or break her. But is the past they share too painful for them to overcome?
This is the second book in the broken series. While each book can stand on its own, it's recommended you read Beautiful Broken Rules before Beautiful Broken Mess.
New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance - recommended for ages 18 and up.

Beautiful Broken Mess (Broken, #2)Beautiful Broken Mess by Kimberly Lauren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm seriously going through withdrawal right now because I do not know how I'm going to wait until book three in this series comes out in 2014. I am SO TOTALLY HOOKED on these characters and these books. The first book in this series, Beautiful Broken Rules, was amazing - I couldn't put it down. This book was just as good, but in it's own complete and different way.

First of all, I went in thinking there was no way that I was going to love the main characters as much as I loved Emerson and Jaxon from book one. I mean, the female MC was Audrey, the much hated bitch from book one. She was always popping up at the wrong time and nearly ruined everything between Em and Jax. I was not ready to give her a chance. Especially not with Jace. Gorgeous, intelligent, sensitive, HOT, Jace. I might have loved him even more than Jax, which I did not think was possible. Anyway, there was no way that I was going to get behind him and Audrey being a thang, but once I read her story, and about the past that she shared with not only Jace, but Jax too, I was sold. Audrey is so misunderstood, and has lived through way more nasty crap than any one person should have too. It's about time she found someone to love her the way she needed. And not only does she find the man of her dreams in Jace, she also has big old protective Lane in her corner too. (FYI, book three will be Lane's book, and I'm already counting the days until its release!)

I didn't think that this book was quite as angsty and push and pull as Em and Jax's story, but it was still heartbreaking and heavy in its own way. Jace and Audrey have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of trust and love to build before they can get over what they have been through in the past. But just like everything in life that doesn't come easily, it is worth it in the end.

This book still had all of my favorite characters in it: Quinn and Cole, Jax and Em, plus a couple of new faces that I just love, namely Lane and Max (maybe Max will get a book in the future??). I love how the story moves forward and shows all of them growing up and building lives and families together. It doesn't just stagnate in college. It moves along at just the right pace.

Overall, I can't stress how much I have loved this series! Kimberly Lauren is such a talented writer, and these books are a treasure trove of complex and loveable characters. I'm definitely a big fan, and like I've said at least twice, I can't wait to read more in this series.

View all my reviews

Here's My Review of Book One in this series, Beautiful Broken Rules:

Beautiful Broken Rules (Broken, #1)Beautiful Broken Rules by Kimberly Lauren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy crap, I LOVED this book! I have been hoping and praying for a wonderful book to pull me out of my reading funk lately, and THIS WAS IT! It had everything I love it it: angst, heartbreak, flawed main characters, strong and memorable supporting characters, and most of all L-O-V-E. Real, deep, ugly, messy love. *Sigh*

I was caught: hook, line, and sinker on page one. Hell, on line one. This is the first book I have read by Kimberly Lauren, but she sure knows how to grab your attention.
"One thing I know for sure and have come to terms with - I'm the school slut."

If that's not the most shocking and interesting way to be introduced to Emerson, the female main character, I don't know what is. The beautiful thing about Emerson is that she knows she's the school slut and she doesn't care. She owns it - wears it like a big, glowing, letter "S." She is not interested in having a boyfriend, or anything resembling a relationship, so she is breathtakingly honest and upfront about what she does want. And that would be sex. Lots and lots of sex. However, Emerson is not some white trash ho running around sleeping with just anybody. She has principles in the way of her three golden rules.

1.) Never sleep with someone that a friend has feelings for
2.) Never sleep with someone who is in a known relationship
3.) Never sleep with someone more than three times

Obviously these rules are to keep her from being a "homewrecker" and the most hated girl on campus, but they are also more truthfully to keep her from getting her heart broken. I love Emerson, but the girl has some serious issues. (Obviously....)

I love the twist on this story. Usually in New Adult books it's the male character that has the bad reputation. He is usually the womanizer that sleeps around, the bad boy that needs to be tamed. Not in this case. Emerson is the stereotypical philanderer that can't settle down. When we meet Jaxon, the drop dead gorgeous southern transfer student, he makes it clear that while he may have some skeletons in his closet, he only has eyes for Emerson now.
"Before I'd gotten to know you, I knew I had to make you mine. It only got worse the closer we got. When Cole carried you away from me that day, I realized you weren't mine at all. I. AM. YOURS."

Jaxon is the perfect drool-worthy book boyfriend. He coaxes Emerson out of her shell, making her believe that maybe she can trust him and take a chance on a real relationship. He is so sweet and patient and understanding, even without knowing all of the heartbreaking details about Emerson's past. They become best friends first before they venture into relationship territory. But of course as every good story goes, there has to be the moment where the "crap" hits the fan. And this book is no different. The pivotal scene between Jaxon and Emerson is truly heartbreaking and difficult to read. Just when she drops her guard and opens herself up to being vulnerable. BAM!

However, in the words of Jaxon's mom, "It's what you do with it once you've screwed up that matters." Because the truth is, it was obvious from the beginning that Jax and Emerson were going to love each other. It was also just as obvious that they were going to hurt each other really badly too. The real test of their love is how they handle the hurt and anger and love that is still left over after they have crashed and burned. And this is the part of the story that was really great.

I loved these characters. I loved watching them grow and change and succeed and mess up. They were real to me. I connected so much with Emerson, and I was in love with Jax. Kimberly Lauren is one hell of a writer, and she had me totally invested in this book and these people. I loved how the book ended, and the epilogue from Jaxon's POV was the perfect icing on the cake. I can't wait to read the next book in this series and jump right in to Jace's story!

Meet the Author

I'm a wanderer, an adventurer, a traveler.

I want to see it all. I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list.

"She travels the world & home is always in her heart."

Lately if I'm not traveling or chasing a toddler, I'm writing. Which is weird because I hated writing in college. Oh wait, that's because that was boring. Who really wants to sit there and cite all your sources into APA format? Not this girl. Writing for yourself is enjoyable and cathartic. Please try it. Then tell me about because I love indie authors.

When I was 19, I packed up and followed my high school sweetheart from Texas to California. We had a blast living it up in San Diego. Four years later we made a crazy decision and packed up again and moved to Germany. What? Yep, you read that right. Guess what? Best decision ever! We OWNED Europe. For three years we saw as much as we possibly could. We lived an hour outside of France, a couple from Switzerland and Italy. Most amazing time of my life. Please go out there and see the world, you won't regret it. After Europe we moved back to California, and for now we're just debating our next adventure.

I earned a degree in Child Development. And now I write novels. Makes perfect sense! I write because I walk around all day with these stories in my head. It's nice to be able to get them out of my head in an organized fashion. I hope that someone out there enjoys them, because I have enjoyed so many others'.

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