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Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford, Book 2) [Mass Market Paperback]

3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book by Armstrong, Kelley

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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NorthernReader Nov. 25 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read almost all of Kelley Armstrong's books, and this may be the worst. The characters are not believable - a female assassin who kills only "bad" people. Spare me! The plot and complications are predictable - the obligatory love triangle is obvious. I'll give you an example of the poor writing and thought from this book. In the climactic scene the heroine kills all her opponents by shootng them in their foreheads. She then arranges the scene to make it appear that they killed each other. If you've fired a handgun, then you know that aiming is much harder than it appears in the movies. It is simply not credible that a professional, experienced killer, which is how the protagonist is portrayed, would be so stupid as to think that police would believe amateurs are good enough to shoot each other in the foreheads. I wonder if the author has ever fired a handgun. In other words, I don't believe that the author actually did enough research to write credibly. A really poor effort from an otherwise outstanding author.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked reading this book May 7 2009
By Nikita
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book good, and I purchased the 2nd one just to see what happens, but not much there. I was kind of disapointed in the love departement because there was not much.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new series! Sept. 11 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love Kelley Armstrong's other series, so I started this one too, hoping it would be as good. I was not disappointed! She creates a great new character in her first book in this series and this book keeps it going. I can't wait to read the next one!
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  58 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second book in the series doesn't disappoint! March 2 2009
By C. Vandehey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked up the first book in the Nadia Stafford series mainly on the strength of Kelley Armstrong's name - I've been a fan since Bitten first came out in the US. I love her writing, and having enjoyed books by authors like Greg Rucka, I knew a book featuring a female hitman as the point of view character was something I might like.

Since I haven't reviewed the first book, I'll say something brief about it here. You should definitely read it first before picking up this one! Exit Strategy kept me engaged the whole way through, and introduced several complex and richly three-dimensional characters to follow. Nadia is the POV character, the cop who came from a family of cops, only to have to leave her chosen profession under a cloud of disgrace. She turns to her new profession (hitman) as a way to make money, and satisfy the urge she can't quite control for vigilante justice. Then there's her older, experienced, and taciturn mentor, simply known as Jack, with whom she shares an unacknowledged and unresolved tension that could possibly lead to more, if either of them wanted it to. Nadia doesn't get along quite so well with his mentor, the "retired" hitwoman Evelyn, bent on manipulating and controlling everyone around her. And then there's Quinn, the cop who moonlights as a hitman and has instant and palpable chemistry with Nadia, much to Jack's displeasure.

The interplay between them begins in Exit Strategy and picks up again without missing a beat in Made to be Broken. There is still that unspoken tension between Nadia and Jack, something neither of them are comfortable acknowledging, despite Evelyn's pushing. Quinn has remained a presence in Nadia's life, and clearly wants more. Nadia does, too, though her unresolved feelings for Jack interfere.

When one of Nadia's employees disappears along with her three month old baby, Nadia can't let it go like the rest of her small town, who seem content to believe that a 'bad apple' like Sammi just ran off. The case takes on new and deadly implications when Nadia's investigation reveals the involvement of another pro - the sort that like Jack, Nadia, Evelyn, and Quinn, takes a lot of money and the right connections to hire.

The case itself also stirs old memories for Nadia, an incident from her childhood that has haunted her ever since. It's responsible for the events that disgraced her as a cop, and it's a large part of why she is who she is, and why she turned to professional hits in the first place. Only Jack knows some of the details, pieces that she trusted him with in the past. Now, Nadia's remembering more than she ever has about that long ago night, answering some questions for the reader and for Nadia, while also raising new ones.

A satisfying read, this sequel further develops the characters and their relationships, while delivering a solid story for them to work through. The end of this book will leave you eager for more, and wondering when the next Nadia Stafford book is due to hit shelves. Once again, Kelley Armstrong delivers!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made to Be Broken by Kelley Armstrong March 27 2009
By jjmachshev - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Made to Be Broken" is a taut read by Kelley Armstrong. It's book two in her series about a female contract killer and is a far cry from her 'Underworld' paranormal urban fantasy series. These books are a combination of murder, mystery, action, and suspense that grab you from the first page and carry you along as you delve into, not just the mystery, but the psyche of the lead characters and their decision-making processes. As a fan of her 'Underworld' books, when I picked up "Exit Strategy", the first Nadia Stafford book, I was taken aback by how different it was from what I was expecting. But Armstrong's sharp writing and keen character building kept me turning page after page. I just couldn't put the sucker down!

With "Made to Be Broken", I knew what I would be getting into and was curious as to whether the author could keep me reading about a character whose morals and motivations are so different than the norm. In this book, Nadia becomes involved with the disappearance of a local unwed, teen mother and her baby. Other than one friend, nobody in the small town expresses real concern about her disappearance; after all, she's the Canadian version of 'trailer trash'. But for Nadia, this disappearance brings back memories of a tragedy in her childhood and she'll have to face the demons that still haunt her while struggling to come to terms with what her life is now and what her future will look like.

I was riveted to the scenes of Nadia's equivalent of soul-searching. So far, all her kills have been 'bad' people. But to be a contract killer and protect her 'other', normal life...will that have to change? Can she justify killing on demand? And if not, where exactly does she draw the line?

All this is wrapped up in the mystery of the teen mom and baby. Nadia's also dealing with two men, both of whom she has feelings for...but different feelings. Both men can accept Nadia for what she is, both now know about her two separate lives, and both want something from her. But figuring out what they want and what she herself wants is part of this story, so I'll just leave it there.

I wasn't in the least disappointed with book two of Nadia's story. In fact, I'm greedy now for book three. If tense, pseudo-psychological murder mysteries interest you, I highly recommend Kelley Armstrong's Nadia Stafford series.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars refreshing March 7 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
To finance her Red Oak Lodge in the Kawathas, two hours from Toronto, she is a part time hit-woman contracted mostly by the Tomassinis mob. Nadia Stafford's partner on her current job is a Federal Agent, but Quinn sees that justice is done by playing vigilante. Nadia's mentor in how to be a successful hit-woman is Jack, a mercenary for hire with few scruples.

When Nadia returns to her prime business she has a fight with her employee. Seventeen year old Sammi Ernst lives with her little daughter Destiny who accompanies her on her job. Sammi pays more attention to her child than her work so a frustrated Nadia explains her duties to the teen mother. When the mother and daughter vanish, Nadia searches for a grave. With Jack's help she finds it, but Destiny remains missing. Since the cops believe Sammi ran away, they refuse to look for her. Nadia, Jack, and Quinn discover there are other crimes when a disenfranchised teenage mom with a baby disappears. Mindful of an incident in her past, Nadia wants to take out those who caused Sammi's death and find the still missing infant. Jack and Quinn assist her on her avenging quest for justice.

Known for her Otherworld tales, Kelly Armstrong also writes exciting refreshing and enthralling sagas that are every bit as great as her urban fantasy sagas. The protagonist believes everyone she kills deserves their fate so when the Canadian legal system fails she becomes an avenging Lady Justice if the case is personal. However, she is not someone to role model after as she also kills in cold blood as a means of making money. Though not admirable, she is refreshing and fascinating as are her two cronies. MADE TO BE BROKEN is filled with twists and blind cul de sacs, but it is the lead trio especially the lodge owner who turn this into an entertaining thriller.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't fight destiny Feb. 20 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading Exit Strategy I was quite excited to discover that there was a sequel.

When I finished the last book Nadia was still in the air about becoming a vigilante for hire. Made to be Broken opens with Nadia (or Dee to her colleagues) helping vigilante for hire Quinn take out one of his targets who had escaped the law. Quinn and Nadia had met in Exit Strategy and their relationship forms one of the subplots of this book.

Nadia then returns to her regular life running her wilderness lodge and dealing with a problem new employee Sammi Ernst. Sammi is a teenaged single mother from the worst family in town. When Sammi and her baby disappear nobody seems to notice or even care, everyone had written Sammi off from birth but Nadia is determined track down her missing employee.

At the same time, Nadia offers her mentor Jack a place to recover from a broken foot and he soon joins the investigation.

Nadia and Jack eventually find Sammi without her baby Destiny and the rest of the story is trying to track down the baby. Quinn joins the team and helps them. To say more than that would being giving too much away.

Matters are complicated by the arrival of Evelyn with a possible offer of a vigilante gig with a mysterious group called The Contrapasso Fellowship. Whilst Nadia rejects the offer, the idea of a group that exist to make the punishment fit the crime is intriguing and hopefully they will appear in any sequels.

One theme that ran through the book was that of destiny. Sammi's daughter is named Destiny. Nadia talks about Sammi was "made to be broken" and it was essentially Sammi's destiny to end up that way. Nadia compares Sammi to her cousin Amy, another girl everyone had written off and seemingly destined for the fate that awaited her. Nadia at one point ponders her own destiny questioning the vigilante darkness that makes her hunt down evil men.

Once again Armstrong has delivered a book with strong action scenes and soul seraching. I found myself pondering if we are too quick to judge people based on their background and what level of crime is okay to take a life. I went into the book expecting that Nadia would make a decision one way or the other about a vigilante lifestyle but I was not disappointed with the outcome.

Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 3 information May 12 2010
By D. Politis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love Nadia. She's funny, she's tough, and I admit I like when she kills the "bad" people. That said, I really want there to be another book. I have to know how certain...issues get resolved.

Kelley Armstrong's website on her discussion board, she wrote on Jan. 26, 2010, "I definitely plan to write at least one more... Because I've been a little over-scheduled, I want to write the next Nadia before I have a contract for it, so I'm not rushing the book to meet a deadline. That's my plan then -write it, then hope to sell it."

All I can say is, I'll definitely buy this book. Hopefully we all get the chance. I love reading about Nadia's life at the lodge and how she plans her hits and executes them (pun intended). I am on her mentor's side.
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