Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Cruz had his college life planned with his best friend Xavier for years. But right before college, Xavier changed his plans, leaving Cruz on his own. Playing football is Cruz’s dream, but he also knows he has a slim chance of making it into the NFL, so living in the Honors dorm will help him keep his focus on his studies as well. He has no interest in a new best friend and Liam, his new roommate, isn’t much of a talker anyway.

When an unexpected accident leaves Liam needing help, the caretaker in Cruz is ready to assist. Liam’s past is filled with hurt and, while he’s not hiding the fact that he is gay, he’s not broadcasting it either. However, the sight of Cruz fills Liam’s head with all kinds of thoughts. Cruz hasn’t ever felt true attraction and trying to label himself gives him a headache. But when helping out Liam with some personal matters leaves Cruz turned on, Cruz has to reevaluate a lot of things. Liam knows he can easily fall for Cruz, but Cruz has to decide where his relationship with Liam can ultimately go.

Beautifully Fractured started out as a fun college story where the main characters are athletes and their sport is woven into the story. Cruz plays football on the college team and, while Liam had been recruited for lacrosse, he now plays on a club team. Cruz decided not to live in the team dorm, which is he how he wound up rooming with Liam. Liam has had bad experiences with football athletes and is cold to Cruz to start, although he does notice how hot Cruz is. Liam also is estranged from his parents after a family tragedy and he’s been mostly on his own dealing with his feelings of grief and loss. This is something that the guys have in common, as Cruz is also dealing with a tragic loss. However, I felt both of these storylines were too watered down and weren’t given enough supporting details to make either one flow well into the larger story.

One of the focal points of the book is Cruz’s sexuality, as he feels that he is ace, but then doesn’t know how to figure out his attraction to Liam. Their relationship is cute and thoughtful as they act on their attraction to each other and grow their friendship. The middle of the story lagged some for me, as it seemed to be looping around on the same conversation for a while. There are supporting characters here that added to the story, but their set up for future books didn’t flow smoothly into this one.

The ending started unraveling for me as Liam’s relationship with his father is brought on page. The entire book, his parents were off page and his father came across as an undeveloped caricature. Then, when Liam had to figure out funds for college, from first-hand experience, what the characters came up with felt unlikely to the point of making the ending of the book less enjoyable for me.

Liam and Cruz do get their HEA, but much of the supporting material for them to get there didn’t work out as well for me. With more books in this series being added, I will see about continuing on in the future.