Secrets and Broken Pieces (Kirstin’s Review)

Title: Secrets and Broken Pieces (Promises #1)
Author: Karen Botha
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: March 21, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 175
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


When hate turns to love, on multiple levels…

The day I started as the first junior ever to be employed at Judd Racing, I never expected to fall in love. I arrived there with vengeance in my heart. And I set about delivering my plan to right the wrongs of my past.
Or, so I thought.

Axel turned up, and it was like a whirlwind walked in and snatched away my rational thoughts. Not only was he hot, hot, hot, but he had an emptiness in his soul that was crying out to be filled.
And, I knew I was just the person to do it.

The road to true love for Axel and Florian was never going to be simple though, and in this book, which is a spin-off to the Commitment series, we follow these lesser-known characters and understand exactly what makes them tick.

We cry for the pain that Axel simultaneously hides too well, and doesn’t hide at all. We root for Florian to work out the kinks and bring out Axel’s true character that we can all see hidden away under his iron-clad surface.

Axel fears what would happen if he reveals his true character while Florian fears for their future if he doesn’t.

Then we cheer for their happy ever after when they eventually work out what the hell they need to do to make their lives work.
As one.

I’ve spent some time in Karen Botha’s world of fast cars, hot guys and scorching romance. It’s quite a ride, forgive the pun…And I have to mention that COVER!!! So HOT!

This is the first book in a new series, but it’s a relative of the Commitment series, as it mentions Kyle Beaumont and Elliot Judd.

Axel is starting his first day of work at Judd Racing. He’s gotten the job based on his qualifications, but it’s also given him the opportunity to get off the streets and have a bit of stability. Day one he meets Florian, who works in the gym on the Racing campus.

There’s an instant connection between them, which Axel tries to take advantage of, but Florian attempts to be a bit more professional…even if he’s naked at the time.

As far as the story went, the pacing was off to me. I couldn’t get my head around the passing of time. We’d travel days in one chapter, then switch POV’s and move back days again. It was distracting and I felt displaced throughout the read. I also felt like major discussions and changes took place off page or were completely left in the past.

Everything just felt really disjointed. I wanted Florian to give Axel some stability, but he kept letting him down. Even when Axel stepped up. But then it was like nothing happened and they forgave and forgot.

I was really hoping for great things, but this story just didn’t play out for me like I’d hoped. I loved Axel and his courage. I loved how strong he was in fighting his past and forging ahead with trusting people he wanted to rely on. He had so much character. I’m hoping the next chapter in this series will help solidify Axel and Florian’s story.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Secrets and Broken Pieces provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


Reading has become such a huge part of my life as an adult. I love the escape, but I also try to take something from each story for myself. I am a lover of words. I love dialogue. I love a slow burn and a happy ever after.

Favorite Authors: Garrett Leigh, Amy Lane, Mary Calmes, Lane Hayes, T.J. Klune, Roan Parrish, N.R. Walker, Cara Dee, Anyta Sunday

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