The Broken Road Cafe (Broken Road Cafe #1)

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Title & Link: The Broken Road Cafe (Broken Road Cafe #1)
Author: T.A. Webb
Publisher: Self-Published
Buy Link: Amazon.com The Broken Road Cafe (The Broken Road Cafe #1)
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance
Length: Novella
Rating: 5+ stars

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A Guest Review by Sammy

Review Summary: A first installment in a new series that kept me up all night racing to the finish and then hungry for more!

Blurb: What happens when you get everything you’ve worked for, only to discover it’s not what you really want?

Dan O’Leary worked night and day to finish law school, join a top firm, and make partner all before the age of thirty-five. He’s found a man who swept him off his feet, and his best friend of twenty years has his back.

His growing discontent with his job has Dan considering a change, but a series of betrayals, professional and personal, lead Dan to reconsider his whole life.

Making a fresh start, Dan meets the people of Blue Ridge, Georgia, including Chief of Police Nick Oliver, and, perhaps, finds a new home. But danger from his old life follows him and puts not only his life, but that of his new friends, at risk.

Broken Road Cafe Series

Review: Take a healthy dose of intrigue, suspense and betrayal, along with a hot chief of police and the most winsome group of secondary characters a novella has ever seen and you have the perfect blend for a top notch series opener. The Broken Road Cafe by T.A. Webb has all that and then some, and quite frankly it is the then some that makes this story stand out in all the right ways!

Dan O’Leary has not always been the best of boyfriends. He works long and exhausting hours as a partner in a law firm that now wants to throw him under the bus and force him to defend the scum the same law firm has secretly been aiding and abetting. So when he comes home after delivering his resignation to find his partner Abe in flagrante with his two best friends, he realizes it is time for a change–a big change.

Leaving behind his old life, he moves out of Atlanta and pursues the one thing that has always been a comfort for him, the satisfaction of a good, home-cooked meal. the Blue Moon Cafe stands in a small town chocked full of some of the quirkiest and sweetest folks Dan has ever met. Within just a few days, Dan realizes that for the first time since losing his parents, he is home. Before he can change his mind, Dan has purchased the diner and renamed it the Broken Road Cafe.  There is a rightness to the place and a sense of peace that had always been elusive at best now holds him firmly in its grip–as does one very hot, yet conflicted police chief, Nick Oliver.

Nick has a reputation to uphold and being in the closet suits him just fine. What he did not count on was the strong pull he feels for the very out and outspoken Dan. For Nick, Dan’s relocation to his small corner of the world brings with it the possibility of a relationship he had never planned on, a push out of his comfortable closet that he does not necessarily want and danger in the form of a drug running gunman that he never anticipated. For, you see, the very client that made Dan walk away from his partnership at the law firm has followed him out of Atlanta to Blue Ridge and is hot on Dan’s heels bringing with him a tangled web of drugs, human trafficking and attempted murder.

Dan has inadvertently brought harm to the doorstep of the people he has grown fond of so very quickly. Now he and Nick must move to solve the mystery of how and where the drugs are being moved through the small town and somehow manage to not lose their lives or each other in the process.

There is so much to talk about when one reviews a novel by author T.A. Webb. His characters that are so very familiar, as if you have known them all your life. The way in which he writes about lost love and wounded hearts with such compassion and infinite care that draws you immediately into the life of the amazing men and women he creates. The twists and turns he weaves into his intricately drawn story keeps you on the edge of your seat and awake long into the night in order to finish his compelling novella that pulls you right in to the action and makes you turn page after frantic page seeking to solve the mystery he has so carefully crafted. However it is that “then some” I referred to above that really sets this author apart from so many others.

Mr. Webb writes about humanity like no other. He lays bare our pain and sorrow, and our not so pretty faults and then gently pats us on the back and says he has been there too and assures us that life will get better…that we will heal and somehow move on despite the deep hurt we have just experienced. He does not excuse those who do us wrong, but instead, allows forgiveness to be the high road his characters long to embrace and somehow find their way along. It may not be quick, in fact, it may be a mere whisper of something to come, but this author understands that burning bridges is never wise and that a measure of grace extended to an enemy may be difficult but will restore our own humanity. This is the real beauty of Mr. Webb’s writing and the reason words like “exquisite” and “touching” are often mentioned hand in hand with his work.

The Broken Road Cafe is the first in what I hope will be a long and healthy series of novellas by T.A. Webb. The author leaves just enough dangling plot points to make us growl just a bit in frustration at novel’s end and then beg for the next installment. This is a series to watch from an author who knows how to write. A winning combination in anyone’s book!

Author

A mature woman, gracefully growing older, who lives with 12 cats and talks to imaginary people–had ya going there for a minute didn’t I? I am an avid lover of all things m/m who delights in occasionally teasing Wave!

18 comments

  • I’ve read this one and I really loved Tom Webb’s other stories (okay, I don’t know about City Knights because I got so mad at ending the story in the middle that I never bought the next ones).
    It isn’t as bad this time but I still think that this story also ends with a major cliffhanger. Actually, this is what I wrote in my own review at GR:
    “I know this is the first book of a series. And I know that in a series some threads will go over more than one book. But this is kind of more than a thread, this is some of the main action. The story starts with the dumbass at the lawfirm and the douchebag of boyfriend and this conflict goes over the whole novella. The resulting move may be finished, the additional lovestory and the whole “where are the kids”-business have just started.

    I admit, I don’t like series that make me feel like I just have read the first chapters of a longer story. Even in a serie I want my books to feel complete, the main story in it finished. I don’t get the feeling from this one, so now, what am I supposed to do?”

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading the book, Tom really can write and creates great characters. But if I disect this story I have several threads. Let’s take a look at them:
    conflict with collegue – starts the book and is not solved at the end, cliffhanger
    boyfriend is an ass – next action, also not solved at the end, cliffhanger
    intention and execution of the move and the Broken Road Cafe – starts somewhere in the middle of the book and is established at the end
    lovestory – last storyline to start, comes to an “okay, let’s try” at the end but really does not feel as if it’s already strong/secure enough and also doesn’t feel like the main storyline.

    Oh, and about “solve the mystery of how and where the drugs are being moved through the small town”? This is also of course not solved.

    Okay, again, I love Tom Webbs writing and I’ll buy the next one because obviously I have read this one and I want to know how the story is going to continue – but this is a book with cliffhangers.

    • Sunne,

      I understand your thoughts on this but I really have to disagree with some of them. I felt that the relationship between Nick and Dan was fairly firmly established–the comment about the “a place to lock up my gun” seemed to me to settle any idea that these two guys were not working toward something lasting. I realize they will have things to work out but I didn’t get the feel that their relationship was hanging with a knife poised over it. I also thought the cafe’s surprise welcome/party fairly well established their acceptance of Dan as the new owner and an indication that all was well there.

      It is very apparent with the title alone that this is going to be a series. Inherent in a series is the idea that there are going to be loose threads and plot points that need to be left open and not resolved. I think for the author to have made sweeping conclusions/resolutions to the drug racketeering and the ex-boyfriend’s culpability would have damaged the story overall.

      I guess I would say this to those of you who are concerned you will be left hanging to the point that it will put you off reading any more installments in this series. I felt where the story ended was hopeful, established the premise for the next novella and did not leave me “dying” to read it tomorrow. I felt it did the job it set out to do, establish a cast of characters and several plot points that could be developed further, yet were sufficient enough to make for a good story if I never picked up another installment.

      I hope this helps everyone. Honestly–if you stuck with something like the Cut and Run series- or the Adrien English series then this is much much easier to handle, to me they were tremendously angsty and iffy. But, in the end, I really think whether you can go for this one comes down to a matter of taste!

      Thanks everyone for giving your thoughts on this one–I am truly honored you guys read my reviews!! LOL!!

      • Sammy, of course this is a matter of personal perception. I’m very sure a lot of people will think like you and are happy the way the book ended. I was partially happy myself and of course “a place to lock up my gun” shows a commitment from Nick’s side. And if nor for Dan’s “promise he had no intention of keeping” I’d be a happy girl. But a relationship starting on already lying?

        I admit immediately that I’m really glad that I’ve read the Adrian English series when it already had been finished so I never had to wait for the next book. And I’m also frustrated with the Cut&Run series. But – and that is the great difference between these series and this book – they have two main arcs and one is closed in every book:
        The crime story – which is always solved at the end of the book
        The love story – which is a continuing thread through all the books.

        In Tom Webb’s book I don’t have the feeling any of these arcs is closed. Why?
        The crime story – everything is still open
        The love story – while Nick commits to it, Dan already lies to him? Doesn’t feel right and defintely not like now they will live happily ever after. I say, the conflict is already in sight.

        So, it’s a case of personal percaption, I’ve read a few reviews on GR and amazon who feel the same way as I do. It’s funny but if he had left the message from Abe out at the end, I’d felt much better about it.
        But this aside, it is a good book.

  • Okay Sammy you got me again. I should know better than to read your damn reviews because they always cost me. :wallbash: :cash:

    Thank you for this lovely review even though I have no money. 👿

  • Bought, read and waiting for the next. T. A. Webb is one of my all time favorites. Good review as always.

  • “Dangling plot points” is not a cliffhanger. Right? I enjoyed T.A.Webb’s stories before (City Knight series) and I actually bought this book, but if it ends on cliffhanger (like some of his series book do), I’d rather wait for the next one.

    Great review, BTW, and thanks. 🙂

  • Just finished and am patiently waiting for the next installment, his City Knights series is also a must read.

  • Looks like I found my weekend read! The combo of hot cop, suspense & romance gets me every time! So glad you reviewed this, Thanks!

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