Something Shattered

somethingTitle: Something Shattered
Author: Bailey Bradford
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novella (200 PDF pages)
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

A guest review by Tj

Summary Review: A surprisingly sweet and very sexy romance wherein a cop falls for a hurt and damaged agoraphobic man.

The Blurb: Jesse Martin never knew what it meant to belong anywhere until he moved to the small town of El Jardin, NM. Something about the town called to him, and he set about doing what he could to fit in. If that meant keeping some parts of himself separate, tucked away from prying eyes, then that was what he’d do.

Caden Tomas moved to El Jardin to escape the memories of a vicious attack that left him a shattered, broken man. The physical wounds would heal, but the emotional ones seemed insurmountable. Unable to leave his home for more than a brief walk to the mailbox, Caden’s isolation was just one more torment that ate away at his hopes of ever recovering.

Two men, each with their own personal demons, living only yards across from one another. Each is fascinated by the other, but unable to find a way to breach the problems that keep them apart. The solution comes in the form of one yappy little poodle, Loopy. His frequent escapes from Caden’s yard gives Jesse a reason to approach his neighbor, and form a tenuous bond that will heal their wounds and maybe, just maybe, end their lonely nights.

The Review: New Mexico cop Jesse Martin (yeah I know, I kept thinking of the actor too) can’t understand why he is compelled to sit on his front porch everyday at 3:00 waiting for his new neighbor Caden, to come out and get his mail. Could it be the way Caden walked to the mailbox that seemed to take every ounce of his strength? Could it be the obvious bruises that he sported when he moved in? Or maybe it was just that his handsome face and fiery red hair were impossible to ignore? Whatever the reason, here sat Jesse every day watching and waiting.

Okay, so the author caught my attention with this opening scene. I found myself quickly caught up in the lives of these 2 men, and anxious to see what had happened to Caden and where the attraction between them would lead. With a storyline this dramatic, the writing could have easily been over the top or soap opera-ish, but Bailey Bradford did an excellent job of slowly giving us insight into Caden’s life, so as not over dramatize it. As much as Jesse wants to get to know Caden, his first attempt to meet him did not go well. So fate decided to lend a hand to bring our guys together. Jesses finds Caden’s poodle Loopy on his front steps, which provides the perfect excuse to try again to engage Caden.

Once the door is open, little by little Caden starts to trust Jesse, and they begin to build a tenuous friendship, with a strong undertone of attraction that both men felt. But Jesse struggles to keep his attraction under control as he is concerned about taking advantage of Caden’s condition and questions himself on several occasions. This made Jesse seem less like a stereotypical alpha character, and more real – a man not always confident in what he does. For this I say ‘Bravo!’ Ms. Bradford. Well done. It was refreshing to see a little more complexity in a commonly used character.

Of course gossip travels quickly in a small New Mexico town, and soon people are wondering what’s going on with Jesse and Caden. Ms. Bradford dealt realistically with the issues that crop up and the resolution felt believable. Because of their strong physical attraction, of course there is lots of longing, and an oh so slow build up to their first touch, first hesitant kiss, some hot frotting and then the mind blowing sex. Whew!

I really enjoyed Something Shattered. It was a sweet and sexy story that dealt with some very real life issues in a completely believable fashion. The characters were well developed and interesting and the look inside the life of an agoraphobic man had me hooked from the beginning. This is definitely recommended.

11 comments

  • TJ
    This one definitely is going on my TBR. I Love books with a slow build-up toi the romance, it’s like opening the petals of a rose. See you never knew I could be this romantic. lol

    Great job on the review Tj. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thank you Wave. Hmm, a closet romantic? That is so sweet! As I said to Larissa, this isn’t a perfect book, but it has a lot of good things going on that made for an enjoyable experience.

      Reply
  • I like the book, but it was not the author’s best one. Especially the ending… I had to read it twice for it to make sense!

    Great review! I love the insight into the book! 🙂 The openingscene was indeed surprising!

    Reply
    • Thanks Larissa. I would definitely agree that although not a 5 star book, I also did like it and thought it had many good aspects; the slow building relationship, how Jesse deals with Caden’s agoraphobia (I thought that was so sweet) and how Jesse was himself not the perfect alpha male.

      Reply
      • True, I definitely liked the non-conflict part of the story as well as the absence of the big M. It just wasn’t the ending I liked, I guess.

        Reply
  • I’ve read a couple of other stories by this author and enjoyed them. This one sounds really good too. Another one added to my TBB.

    Great review, Tj! 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks Lily. I was impressed with how the author handled the whole damaged agoraphobic man without being too angsty. I’ll be watching out for other books by her.

      Reply
  • Great review, TJ!

    “…there is lots of longing, and an oh so slow build up to their first touch, first hesitant kiss, some hot frotting and then the mind blowing sex.”

    This goes really well with the post that Patric Michael wrote today. Anticipation between two characters is one of my favorite things in m/m. Jumping right into bed can of course be appealing, but I always seem love the characters that have a slow buildup.

    You’ve got me adding another to my TBR pile. Thanks for that TJ, yeesh. Just kidding. Wonderful review, this sounds like a winner.

    Reply
    • Thanks Cole. I’m with you. I love the slow build up, and the author did a good job in this book. Sorry about the TBR pile, but mine is mountainous too, so you have company my friend.

      Reply

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