My not-so-secret affair with romance novels
“Mom always told me there are two kinds of love in this world: the steady breeze, and the hurricane. Emerson Ray was my hurricane…”
Juliet McKenzie was an innocent eighteen-year old when she spent the summer in Cedar Cove—and fell head over heels in love with Emerson. Complicated, intense Emerson, the local bad boy. His blue eyes hid dark secrets, and just one touch could set Juliet ablaze. Their love was demanding and all-consuming, but when summer ended, tragedy tore them apart. Juliet swore she’d never go back, and she’s kept that promise… Until now. Four years later, Juliet’s done her best to rebuild the wreckage of her shattered life. She’s got a great boyfriend, and a steady job planned after she graduates. Returning to Cedar Cove to pack up her family’s beach house to prepare it for sale, Juliet is determined that nothing will stand in the way of her future. But one look from Emerson, and all her old desire comes flooding back. He let her go once, but this time, he’s not giving up without a fight. And Emerson fights dirty. A heartbreaking history. An unstoppable passion. Torn between her past and future, Juliet struggles to separate love from desire. But will they find a way to overcome their tragic secrets—together? And after so much damage has been done, can a love remain unbroken?
Unbroken is a fast-paced story about Juliet & Emerson, who fell in love one summer four years ago. Their love was intense and passionate, and it seemed as though they were on the road to forever. But when tragedy struck, it drove them apart… and Juliet hasn’t stepped foot in Cedar Cove ever since.
Four years later, Juliet is 22, grown up, and in a happy place in her life. What happened with Emerson that summer is done. Ancient history. She has a great job lined up, a wonderful boyfriend, and she’s over the past. OVER it. And definitely over him. Or is she?
Breaking the promise she made to herself, Juliet heads back to Cedar Grove where she inevitably runs into Emerson. She can’t deny her feelings for him, and it’s obvious he still desires her. But can they both overcome the heartache from that summer? When the past and present collide, Juliet, alone, must struggle to find out who will be in her future.
Unbroken was one of those reads that I had a love/hate relationship with, similar to the push/pull dynamic between Emerson & Juliet. I had no problems with Melody Grace’s writing – in fact, I absolutely loved it (especially the hurricane metaphors)! But the characters… I didn’t really like or connect with Emerson and Juliet. Sure, Emerson had his moments… For instance:
“This is my favorite place in the world,” Emerson’s voice is low, thick with desire. “Right here. In you.”
Umm, can you say HOT? So, yes, the man is sexy – I’m not denying that! But I also thought he was a mean jerk for a good portion of the story. By the end of Unbroken, we learn the reasoning behind why he acted the way he did, so that might endear him to some readers. As for me, I still can’t get over what he did after their boating adventure. Sorry, I’m stubborn =P
Now Juliet… Boy oh boy, I can’t count how many times I wanted to shake some sense into her! There were plenty of moments when I thought, “NO! She’s so stupid… I can’t read this!” *Closes Kindle* 2 minutes later… *Resumes reading* “Ugh, really… Why would… SERIOUSLY?!!” I really tried to understand where she was coming from. But I like strong, independent female leads, and for me, Juliet just came off as weak. Together, I can’t say that they’re one of my favorite couples. But overall, I think Emerson & Juliet are perfect for one another and I really enjoyed reading their love story.
From the onset, I was captivated by Melody’s beautiful writing style and finish Unbroken in just a few hours. She managed to create such vivid images with her words, I felt like I was in Cedar Grove. Although it was a very quick read, I think that Juliet & Emerson’s past relationship – all that history between them – was what enabled the story to be so fast-paced. When I got to the last few pages, I couldn’t believe that it would end so soon. But now that I’ve finished the story, I’m content. It was the best possible ending for Juliet & Emerson.
Unbroken is a stunning debut novel and I can’t wait to get my hands on more of Melody’s work (hopefully Lacey’s story). If you’re interested in reading about that summer four years ago, keep a look out for the prequel – it’s coming soon!
*NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.*