fractured hope coverRating: 3.5 stars
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Length: Novel


Bodhi has been living with his abusive boyfriend, Derek, for five years and he has finally saved the money and worked up the nerve to break free. Derek is a cop and no one believes that he is the one causing all of Bodhi’s injuries, so Bodhi knows his only chance to get away is to flee town. So he sneaks out and gets on the first bus he can, desperate to get far away and start a new life. He ends up in the small town of Hope’s Ridge hoping to start over.

Unfortunately, with limited money and lingering injuries, Bodhi is at a loss for how to even get started. Things are made even worse when he falls in the street, injuring himself further. Fortunately, he is aided by a sweet mechanic named Atticus. Bodhi is in a panic about how he is going to pay for his medical treatment and how to move forward, but Atticus is such a warm, calming presence. He assures Bodhi that he will help however is needed, even bringing Bodhi to his own home to recover. Atticus introduces Bodhi to his large and loving Greek family, including his brothers with whom he runs the local garage.

Soon, Bodhi is feeling a part of life in Hope’s Ridge and beginning to imagine a real future for himself in the new town. He is also beginning to envision a life with Atticus. The two have fallen so seamlessly into a relationship and Bodhi is dreaming of a future between them. But Bodhi’s past may not be as far behind him as he hoped. However, with Atticus’ support, and that of his new friends in town, Bodhi has the love and connection that he needs to move into his new beginning.

Fractured Hope is the first book in Kady Cordova’s Hope’s Ridge series. This is a sweet hurt/comfort story between Bodhi and Atticus, two kind, warm, and friendly men. Bodhi is barely hanging on emotionally, having survived years of emotional and physical abuse. He grew up in foster care and has no reference for anyone loving or caring about him. It takes Bodhi some time to trust and to believe that he has anyone in his corner, but slowly he grows to accept that people are there for him, especially Atticus. Atticus is a big teddy bear of a man, doting on Bodhi from the very start. He is there for whatever Bodhi needs and helps him gain some stability, as well as showing him how much people care about him.

This one is definitely a sugary sweet story, and honestly, a little too much so for me. There is zero conflict between Atticus and Bodhi. They meet, Atticus immediately jumps in to take care of Bodhi in every possible way — physical, financial, emotional. He pays for his medical treatments, moves Bodhi into his house, gives him a job, introduces him to family and friends. Atticus sweetly and tenderly cares for every one of Bodhi’s needs, even when they are complete strangers. There isn’t any real developing the relationship over the course of the story, because these guys are basically together from the moment they meet. And it is not just Bodhi and Atticus who are these incredible people. Everyone they meet in town is perfectly sweet, kind, loving, wonderful, and supportive. Atticus’ brothers are fun and charming, his mother and grandmother are feisty and loving, their friends are sweet and caring, the locals are all friendly and helpful. It just felt like too much for me. I think for the right reader, or even perhaps for me at the right time, the tone of this story would hit the right notes, but I found it over the top with this endless perfection and no real opportunity to see the relationship grow.

The only dark moments here come with regard to Bodhi’s past. Be aware that this story does deal with the subject of emotional and physical abuse by a partner and there are a couple of scenes where Bodhi recalls past abuse. Cordova does a nice job showing how it has all impacted Bodhi and how he is slower to trust or have confidence in other people’s love and care. The ending is pretty well telegraphed from the start, and everyone seems a little less worried about it all than I feel like they should have been. Nothing is going to be a big surprise here, but we do get a nice resolution.

We meet Atticus’ brothers and there is a pretty clear set up for their stories with each having some “issues” that seem to be leading into their books. One brother, in particular, has a serious injury that is the focus of the end of the book, so I assume his story is up next. I did find the brothers interesting and I liked the family, so there is some potential here for the series. And I did think the writing here is good overall. I just found things too overly sweet and easy, everyone just a little too perfect in a way that took away from the story and the character development for me. But I think this book will be appealing to a lot of readers who wants something warm and easy.

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