Broken Angels Paperback – Aug 2 2011
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o “His (Zach’s) devotion to Rebecca is very touching, and I found myself grinning at the changes that overcame him throughout the book. This is the first time I have read one of Ms. Hope’s stories and I can say that she did a really nice job. The way she wrote the plot is very well done, she kept me reading to figure out the villain and, boy, was I surprised.” (Literary Nymphs Reviews, 4 Nymphs)
o “I liked the message about happiness and grabbing hold of it with all your might and never letting go; live with no regrets. BROKEN ANGELS shows the growth of the characters as they come to realize the mistakes that they have all made in their lives.” (Joyfully Reviewed)
Nothing could have prepared Zach Ryler for his sister’s murder, let alone being named guardian of her three children. Now, the only person who can help is the one woman he vowed never to touch again.
Rebecca never stopped loving Zach, even after her infertility crushed her spirit and destroyed their marriage. Suddenly Fate has dropped her dream in her lap: a family.
As Zach and Rebecca struggle to help the children heal, they rediscover the passion they thought they’d lost. But a lethal predator is waiting and watching. One who will stop at nothing to protect his secrets…even murder.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But tragedy of a different sort has struck this estranged couple. Zach's sister and husband have been murdered, leaving behind three children - Noah 9, Kristen 5, and Will just 15 months. In the will, Zach and Rebecca have been named legal guardians. They decide to put away their differences and do what is best for raising these kids - live together.
Living together is not the only struggle they are going to have to deal with. Besides being thrown into raising three kids, in which neither of them having any experience in that area, there is a sinister force lurking around. The children's parents didn't just die by random means. The father, Liam had uncovered something horrific, and had been gathering evidence. He and his wife's murder was planned, and the murderer is not done with the family yet.
I was so pleasantly surprised with Broken Angels. I had never heard of this author but I tend to like Samhain books, and I decided to take a chance. This book surprised me in many ways. I tend not to overly enjoy books when lots of kids are involved or if we get parts in their point of view but Anne Hope does a nice job weaving their story in. Nine year old Noah plays a big role in this book. He is the child most affected by his parent's death, having witnessed the brutal scene from the shadows. He is traumatized and not thrilled that his new guardians are his aunt and uncle. At times I thought he acted VERY mature for a nine year old boy. He acts out and has his moments, but in the actual moment of crisis, when everything is caving in around him, I think he acts way past his nine year old self. Otherwise, I think the kids are written into the story nicely.
While this is a romantic suspense, for 3/4 of the book, the suspense part is very underplayed. What we really get are two people reuniting. Zach and Rebecca divorced due to not communicating. Rebecca couldn't deal with the fact she couldn't have kids and Zach couldn't deal with Rebecca hurting herself any longer. It is not so much they fell out of love, they just couldn't deal with the stress. Coming back together - their relationship builds up really nice. I found myself really enjoying their quiet, romantic build-up. I really enjoyed Zach - his total confusion on how to handle three small children is cute and his slow seduction of Rebecca works really well in this story.
After a kind of quiet, romantic book, the last quarter is where all the suspense occurs. I kind of wish it has been spread through the book a little more. I liked where the story went - although at times I questioned the lack of police involvement. The crime in this story is a big one, and it seemed Zach and Rebecca took on a lot themselves.
Overall, Broken Angels is a different kind of read for me, but one that worked. I wavered between giving this book a 3.5 or a 4. I definitely think the suspense could have been played differently and Noah would have worked better for me if he was a little older. But I also found myself not wanting to put this book down. For that reason, I'm giving it a 4.
By Anne Hope
Tragedy gave them a second chance. Now they’ve got everything to lose.
Zach Ryler always prided himself on his ability to handle anything life flung at him. Nothing could have prepared him for his sister’s brutal murder, let alone being named legal guardian of her three children. Now, the only person who can help him is the one woman he vowed never to touch again. The one woman his love couldn’t fix.
Rebecca James never stopped loving Zach, even after her infertility slowly crushed her spirit and destroyed their marriage. Suddenly Fate has dropped her dream in her lap: a family. But opening her heart to them—and to Zach—is a risk she wonders if she’s ready to take.
As Zach and Rebecca struggle to help the children deal with their grief, they slowly begin to rediscover the passion they thought they’d lost. Just as they believe that this time they can get it right, shadows from the past close in, tearing at the fragile bonds they’ve forged. And a lethal predator is waiting and watching, one who will stop at nothing to protect his secrets…even murder.
Warning: This title contains sex, violence, gut-wrenching emotion, three children and a puppy who risk stealing your heart, and an evil villain guaranteed to keep you up at night.
I could feel the tension between Zach and Rebecca as they come to the aid of the children. Rebecca’s tension around children is evident and sets a lot of conflict up between the characters. Readers though can’t help but fall for the children. They are broken after the death of their parents. The son is trying to remain strong but he’s holding in a lot of anger. The daughter is lost. Her health issues combine. Yet even while they continue to fight and act like children, this tragedy draws them together.
I loved how Ms. Hope shows us the internal conflict with the killer. We learn his actions and motivations as well as begin to doubt the people around Zach and Rebecca. No one is safe because a killer still stalks the family. I even began to question who could the secret killer, the puppetmaster could be. Would it be the brother in law who is schmarmy? Or the “old friends” who suddenly show up at the beach?
If you love a mystery story filled with compelling characters and a secondary cast sure to melt your heart (kids and dog), you’re going to love Broken Angels.
Rebecca can't believe what's being asked of her. She's to become guardian, with her ex-husband, of her friend's children. She's never been able to have children of her own, and her infertility has made her skittish around kids in general. Will she be able to pull this off and be the loving aunt these grieving children need? And will she be able to remain in close proximity to the man she's never stopped loving with all her heart?
Then it becomes clear that Liam and Lindsay's death wasn't a robbery gone wrong, but one with much more murderous intent. The killer is still at large, wanting to make sure his secrets stay buried, even if it means killing whoever gets in his way and Zach and Rebecca will do anything to keep their children safe.
What a situation to be in! Even though the hero and heroine clearly love one another and regret the divorce each believe it's somehow better they're not together. Both have dealt with pain and tragedy and misunderstanding in the relationship but seem mature enough to put aside their own selfish issues to deal with and love these three young children who've just lost their parents. The tension between this couple is pretty palpable as they try to live under the same roof without letting their true feelings show, but just as all secrets must come out, so do their feelings.
When Rebecca and Zach finally give in to their desire and love, it's nothing short of explosive, and thoroughly satisfying to see that perhaps they'll get their happily ever after, after all. The mystery surrounding Liam and Lindsay's death only intensifies the plot, which already flies along at a brisk pace. A thoroughly enjoyable read.