Broken is the second in a series devoted to the two Rafferty brothers. Luke Rafferty had his story in Fragile and now it’s his twin brother Quinn’s turn. I started reading but never actually finished Luke’s story because in reality the only reason I was reading it was to get more background on Quinn who intrigued me after I read several reviews about the first book. Quinn is definitely the more unstable, untrusting, and tough on the outside brother who constantly has his guards up and won’t let people in easily. He’s definitely had a very tough upbringing as he lived with his alcoholic and abusive mother while Luke lived with their more loving father. Neither twin knew they were a twin until age 11.
Quinn has been burned once before by love because he wasn’t able it express his feelings to the woman before he lost the chance so he’s reeling from that loss still when he meets Sara, his new and cagey neighbour. There is instant attraction between these two and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship evolve as feeling got in the way. Both characters are similar in that they don’t trust easily. I think in Sara’s case it’s more that she can’t rather than that she won’t. Sara is not the run and from the beginning readers get insight into her past through snippets of past conversation highlighted at the beginning of each chapter. You know the conversation is between Sara and another person but for most of the book up until the end you aren’t told who that other person is. I have to say though that I guessed the reason for Sara’s disappearance very early on in the book. It’s not that there were any huge clues, there weren’t, but for some reason I got a deeper sense of what was driving Sara and by the end I realized I was right. Usually I’m not able to guess until the answers are almost on me.
Quinn was an interesting character, a bit of a contradiction although that’s not necessarily a bad thing. From other reviews I read and from the little I saw of Quinn in his brother’s book I knew that Quinn was supposed to be slightly unhinged, hard to like and very intense. I got the intense part in this book, but overall he just seemed like a very protective, sometimes brisk individual. In a way I wanted to see him battling with himself more. You understand his trauma from a scene in the prologue that details his mother’s abuse of him, but I never really felt like I saw the effects of that trauma in his adulthood. And he definitely hadn’t dealt with all his demons so the trauma should have at least played a greater role as an obstacle in his relationship with Sara. Both characters keep a lot of themselves from the other. They rarely ask personal questions of one another or attempt to glean more insight into their pasts before they met. I wanted there to come a moment where this changed. Where Sara started to open up a bit about herself, or even if this wasn’t possible for the sake of the suspense aspect, I thought it would have built good tension to at least have Quinn try and open himself up to Sara and then maybe get hurt that she wasn’t willing to do the same. I felt like one of them needed to make an attempt to take things farther emotionally because otherwise, in other areas – these two seem to have a really unique connection.
The suspense wasn’t really a suspense. The “villain” wasn’t that dark or dangerous and when Sara finally confronted the villain the person didn’t pose much of a threat to her in a forthright way. That was sort of disappointing as well because you read all the way through and know you’re getting close to having everything unravelled and when it is, it’s all over very quickly and the readers get the sense that the villain was taken out if you will all too easily.
There were some great moments throughout this book and it kept my interest the whole way through. I really liked Quinn and Sara as a couple and thought they balanced each other well, but a certain intensity was missing that would have knocked it up to a 5 star rating. The suspense was a little lack-lustre and I needed more honesty between Quinn and Sara before everything fell apart between them. Like I mentioned, I didn’t finish Fragile but from what I read I got the feeling that it was gearing up to be quite a bit more intense and suspenseful. I had really hoped the same would be true for Quinn who in my opinion was the more attractive and compelling character.