Book & Author Details:
Broken Down by Amanda K. Byrne
(Hidden Scars #2)
Publication date: April 12th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
The one thing he could do for her was let her go. Until he couldn’t.
When Thieves’ guitarist Shane Jones lost his close friend to a freak accident, Krista Conner helped him through the worst of his grief. He kept their late-night trysts a secret to protect her from the tabloids, and when she broke up with him, he let her go.
But he never got over her.
Months later, his world is rocked again by the death of his brother mere weeks before the biggest Thieves album yet. Grieving and desperate for peace, he tracks Krista down, craving the salvation he found in her sweet spirit. Only this time, he’s determined not to leave.
Krista left Shane because her life was a mess. She’s rebuilt it, piece by challenging piece, making some hard decisions along the way. She’s settled into a new city and a new life, and for the first time in a long time, she’s content and happy. Then Shane turns up, promising to stay, promising to care. Promising everything.
Shane’s the one she wants, but the toughest choice she made could drive him away for good.
I really enjoy Ms Byrne’s writing style. Although the two books I have read from her before have had very different settings, one thing remains consistent – the strength of the characters in the story and the depth of emotions evoked by the narrative.
This book is no exception.
This is not a clichéd rock star romance, this is a story of a couple struggling to deal with their personal demons, a story which is dealt with in a manner which makes the characters real and which make the reader care about the outcome.
Although this book, for me, didn’t quite reach the same level as book 1, it was very close to it. And I await the author’s next release with eager, grabby hands.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
“What do you mean, ‘put everything together’?” She gave him her back, attention seemingly on the French toast in front of her. Her shoulders gave her away. Straight and tense, she was listening, and listening hard.
Shit. She wanted words, and while he’d figured out enough to make a plan, he didn’t have it all figured out. “Those nights I’d come over and we didn’t have sex,” he said slowly, wondering how much to give away. “We’d ride up the canyon on the bike or you’d sit with me while I ate whatever you fixed. I thought for a while it was about losing myself in sex. It wasn’t. It didn’t matter we barely spoke, that I didn’t know how you took your coffee in the morning or if you even drank it. Those nights meant more than the ones where we’d fuck each other blind. I came up here hoping for that, the calm I felt. Took me two days to figure out it wasn’t what I wanted. I want you. I just didn’t want to admit it.”
She flipped the bread, a tremor wracking her body. Nerves? Fear? Fucking ankle, getting in the way. If it didn’t hurt so bad, he’d be on his feet and standing next to her, ready to hold her until whatever it was faded. “And if I told you that you couldn’t have me?”
“I’d call bullshit and tell you to prove you don’t want the same thing. You know why I’ve got the contract? I want out.”
She turned around, gripping the spatula like a lifeline. “You think telling me that is going to make it better? I’ve seen how people react to you, Shane. Your fame increases with each album. And I’ve been to your shows. You love it up there. Can you honestly look me in the eye and tell me you won’t miss it?” She blew out a breath. “Do you honestly think I could ask you to give that up?”
In the lights, the blinding, harsh heat of them, the rising pulse of Thad’s bass and Eric’s drums, Remy’s chords clinching tight with his… “It’s one of the best feelings in the world. You’re a god, you’re invincible, you’re running on pure adrenaline. You feel like your skin’s about to burst and you’re ready to make your own sacrifice to some higher being, to the creature who’d blessed you. There were so many nights we’d get up there, sweat and bleed and give everything we had, and we were rewarded. I’ll miss it, Krista. I might miss it to the point I have to go back out and chase that high again. There’s no rehab for it.”
He hated the fear in her eyes. “I might miss it,” he repeated. “But I’d miss you more.”
Her mouth trembled open, then shut again with an abrupt click. She faced the stove, preparing the rest of the toast in silence. For a minute he considered the possibility he’d scared her off and he’d actually have to find a different place to stay while he went through surgery and started therapy.
Bullshit. He wanted her. Wanted all of her. The want was dangerously close to love, and while he wasn’t ready to think about it, it would happen, and he’d let it happen. Actions meant more than words, but actions backed by words were potent.
So he’d make his promise, and he’d show her. He wasn’t going anywhere.
She finished making breakfast and brought a plate full of French toast to the table, going back for butter and jam. “I don’t have any syrup,” she said, placing the raspberry jam in front of him.
Catching her off balance, he tumbled her onto his lap, the resident ache in his chest lessening as his arms came around her. “You have this sweetness to you that makes it impossible not to want it for myself,” he murmured.
She tipped her forehead to rest against his, easing some of his uncertainty. Part of her wanted this. Wanted them. “If sitting around watching TV meant that much to you, why didn’t you ever want to go out? We didn’t have to stay inside. Or was I your dirty little secret?”
Remy’s words came back to him, and his mouth pulled in a half-smile. “Not so secret. The whole band knew. So did Max. I imagine if the band knew, there were a handful of others who guessed. No one knew who you were. Paps were everywhere after Adrian was killed, and I didn’t want them intruding on your life.” I wanted you all to myself. The vicious possessiveness hadn’t dissipated. Krista was his. “Would you have come out with us? Stood off to the side during the publicity blitz when the new album was announced? Gone to the parties and shook hands with people you’d likely never see again?”
Guilt swept over her face like a shadow. “No. Going out, being seen with you… I was willing to give that a try. But being on the road or backstage, hanging out at parties surrounded by temptation? That part holds no appeal.” She shrugged. “A little selfish of me, possibly hypocritical, but I don’t care. Besides, there’s probably plenty of rock star girlfriends who avoid the spotlight.”
If he’d intended to go back, pick up where he left off, her statement would have killed something in him. As it was, it still stung. He pressed a kiss to her mouth, her lush, ripe mouth, releasing her and nudging her from his lap before he could push for more. “Breakfast is getting cold.”
The woman refused to budge, her gaze intent on his. “I missed you, too.”
He smothered a grin. She wanted this. Another quick kiss, and a smack on the butt. “Eat your breakfast.”
When she’s not plotting ways to sneak her latest shoe purchase past her partner, Amanda writes sexy, snarky romance and urban fantasy. She likes her heroines smart and unafraid to make mistakes, and her heroes strong enough to take them on.
If she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking hot chocolate, and trying not to destroy her house with her newest DIY project. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and no, it really doesn’t rain that much.