The Broken RoadRating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

Apparently, no good deed goes unpunished, as Kason finds out when he is hit by a drunk driver, leaving him in a wheelchair.  A year after the accident, Kason’s boyfriend, Blake, dumps him, unable to handle the new life fate has dealt them.  One day while meeting his sister, Kason spies Ryen, the gorgeous owner of the coffee shop. Repeat visits are not for the coffee, but rather to ogle the man behind the counter.

Ryen, a former Marine, lost his brother overseas and has given up his own dream of being a chef to help his family.  Ryen is intrigued by and attracted to the frequent visitor to his shop, and decides that enough is enough. He approaches Kason, and when Ryen establishes that the interest is mutual, the men agree to a dinner date.

A chance encounter with Blake leaves Ryen angry and Kason emotionally devastated and wondering why would someone like Ryen be interested in him.  The men quickly get to know each other and all the while, Blake just won’t leave Kason alone, showing up and harassing Kason, a definite threat to Kason and Ryen’s weeks old relationship.

It feels like The Broken Road had too much going on for a short story, and none of the subplots felt fully formed or complete. With each of the characters surprising each other with the perfect “date” activity, and the family gathering that felt like the two groups had been friends for years, it felt like a case of too much of a good thing.

Both Ryen and Kason were likeable guys, even if their names were a bit ridiculous, and their relationship progressed very quickly (light speed is the term that came to mind). Yet Kason’s new outlook and set of priorities makes perfect sense to me and felt real to me, as any major medical scare will have a significant impact on one’s view of life. However, Blake’s behavior and threats? Really? The premise that the one who dumped Kason would care about him a year later, and escalate harassing behavior felt outlandish.

I did like how the story began with a quick narrative to bring us up to speed and noticed that there was some “tell” to advance the story, which happened to work well, but at other times, the tell could have been show. I also felt the dialogue was a bit hokey, smooth and well written, but still hokey.

Overall, there was just too much going on for me to have truly enjoyed The Broken Road. The concepts addressed in the story could have been pared down and expanded, and would have made for a cleaner, simpler, and more enjoyable read.

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