Back Blurb: Abandoned as a child and raised in a brothel, Gabriel St. Croix has never known tenderness, friendship or affection. Although fluent in sex, he knows nothing of love. Lost and alone inside a nightmare world, all he’s ever wanted was companionship and a place to belong. Hiding physical and emotional scars behind an icy façade, his only relationship is with a young boy he has spent the last five years protecting from the brutal reality of their environment. But all that is about to change. The boy’s family has found him, and they are coming to take him home.
Sarah Munroe blames herself for her brother’s disappearance. When he’s located, safe and unharmed despite where he as been living. Sarah vows to help the man who rescued and protected him in any way she can. With loving patience she helps Gabriel face his demons and teaches him to trust in friendship and love. But when the past catches up with him, Gabriel must face it on his own.
Becoming a mercenary, pirate and a professional gambler, Gabriel travels to London, France, and the Barbary Coast in a desperate attempt to find Sarah again and all he knows of love. On the way, however, he will discover the most dangerous journey, and the greatest gamble of all, is within the darkest reaches of his own heart.
This book has been making its way around the review blogosphere thanks to KristieJ and her campaign for this book. When it came to buying my own copy, I admit to being a bit nervous. It’s only been within the last year or so that I’ve gone back to reading historicals. I’ve had some great experiences (Julia Quinn & Lisa Kleypas) and some not so good experiences.
Thankfully, I won some books from the Book Smugglers and Broken Wing just happened to be one of the books in my stash. I kept it for last and it kept calling my name. I finally sat down to read it and here are some of my thoughts.
Though it is nothing like Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I found some similarities between it and Broken Wing. It’s hard to articulate why I see similarities. The books are written in a completely different way. I think it has to do with the way the books tend to jump thru history rather abruptly. One minute it’s spring, the next it’s three years later.
Gabriel is a very complex character. On one hand he’s very cynical and hard, but on the other he’s almost a total innocent. It’s an odd juxtaposition and makes him seem very unique in the romance world.
Sarah is also an interesting character. She’s a heroine that we see in so many historicals, but she’s also unique in the sense that she isn’t scared of intimacy. She had a bad experience with her husband, but she doesn’t let that rule her life. She sees Gabriel as he truly is, not as he presents himself.
The relationship between the two of them is sweet and innocent. Who knew that a former male prostitute could be so innocent when it comes to romance and all that? Watching the two of them fall in love was very sweet, though I do have a complaint. We see Gabriel fall in love with Sarah. It’s written from his POV and all that. Sarah, on the other hand, seems to fall in love with him pretty abruptly. One minute, he’s a friend and the next she’s declaring her love for him.
I really enjoyed the book up to when Gabriel left. The innocence of the love story was so sweet and gentle. Then Gabriel left and the entire tone of the story changed. It went from being sweet and innocent to dark and jaded. It was such an abrupt change, but that’s okay. It was such an enjoyable story that I couldn’t put down the book.
Gabriel really annoyed me at the end. I understand why he did what he did (at the end of the book), but I felt that he didn’t do Sarah any justice in the way he behaved.
Davey, Ross, Valmont…I cannot wait to read their stories. They BETTER get their own stories. The rolls they played weren’t very big, but they definitely made an impression.
So, what did I actually think of the story? I really enjoyed it. The romance was sweet, the adventure was fun, and I really liked the characters. Was it the best book I’ve ever read? No…I’ve read better, but I thought the story was great, especially for a debut novel. I will definitely read the next book she writes. Here’s hoping it’s one of the characters from this book.
My Rating: A-