Months of torture and captivity left Gabriel O’Rourke broken and afraid. He’s on the verge of losing all hope when he sees Nick Tanner again at a local club. Nick was the field medic who helped saved Gabriel’s life and one of the few who knows the full extent of what he endured. Nick also happens to be a Dom, something Gabriel desperately needs.
Their chemistry is intense, but starting down the road to recovery takes time. Nick challenges Gabriel on multiple levels and makes therapy a requirement of their relationship. With Nick’s support, Gabriel begins the fragile business of healing. It will take all of his courage to find himself again and to surrender to Nick absolutely.
Broken Wings was a relatively quick read, with a lot of angst, heart, and some frustrations as well. The plot is strong and the story is straightforward. Gabriel has returned from the war with mental and physical injuries that mark him as a survivor. But the submission he craved prior to his torture now terrifies him, though he still needs to submit. Nick knows Gabriel’s pain all too well and agrees to serve as his Dom, working slowly to give Gabriel what he needs within the confines of his new limits. This was a unique perspective on the D/s relationship. How do you dominate a submissive and sometimes masochist who can no longer tolerate bondage, whips, etc.? I think the reasoning for Gabriel’s fear was made very evident, but that Nick’s handling of the situation could have used a bit more fleshing out and detail. Nick clearly cares for Gabriel and vice versa, but their relationship isn’t based on love. Rather they have a history of shared experience and Nick’s role as Dom grounds Gabriel and pushes him towards recovery. As a result, while these characters mesh, it is hard to call this a love story.
There are a lot of important issues tackled in Broken Wings, not the least of which is the very real pain of PTSD and the need for support when you’re drowning. But the story tends to rush through critical decisions on the part of the characters (i.e. Gabriel’s decision to stay with Nick). I don’t see this as a pacing issue, rather a failure to let the characters develop smoothly. There were several instances of this and it gave the story a somewhat jarring tone, which was frustrating to read.
Broken Wings is the first in a new series and it appears the next book will deal with characters introduced in Broken Wings. I hope we get to see more of Gabriel and Nick in the future, if only to see how their relationship evolves. There is a good story here with easy to like characters and plenty of angst. I felt like the BDSM needed fleshing out, given this was such a strong aspect of the connection between Nick and Gabriel. Also the characters weren’t given as much time as they needed to fully develop on page. But if you enjoy heartfelt conversations and wounded men, you’re going to enjoy Broken Wings.