Joint Review – Broken Open (The Hurley Boys #2) by Lauren Dane

Broken OpenPublisher: HQN
Publish Date: 25 Nov
Reviewed by: E & MinnChica
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher

Five years ago, Tuesday Eastwood’s life collapsed and left her devastated. After an empty, nomadic existence, she’s finally pieced her life back together in the small Oregon town of Hood River. Now Tuesday has everything sorted out. Just so long as men are kept for sex, and only sex….
Then she met him.
Musician and rancher Ezra Hurley isn’t the man of Tuesday’s dreams. He’s a verboten fantasy—a man tortured by past addictions, whose dark charisma and long, lean body promise delicious carnality. But this craving goes far beyond chemistry. It’s primal. It’s insatiable. And it won’t be satisfied until they’re both consumed, body and soul…
This blurb came from

MinnChica: I’ve really been looking forward to the second book in the Hurley Boys series, and let me just say that Dane did not disappoint. Oh man, there is something that was just so super sexy about Ezra. I don’t know if it’s the broody nature, or the overprotective way he cared for his family, or the rugged handsome features, but Ezra was the kind of hero that made me want to swoon. Mix in Tuesday, who was this fierce and unapologetic heroine that was stronger than any other heroine I’ve read recently, and this book was the right recipe for me!

E: YES! Ezra, his ghosts, his intensity, his hidden darkness, and the control he seemed to always exhibit have drawn me to him since he first appeared briefly. I was super excited to find out his story was upcoming in this series and like always Dane delivered. I also wanted to know about Tuesday’s ghosts and what could make such a strong woman shy away from so much yet push Natalie, her best friend, in the previous book The Best Kind of Trouble. I also noticed what appeared to be an irresistible force between Ezra and Tuesday yet I know with their personalities and strength of will their journey to something more than attraction would be epic.

MinnChica: The attraction between Ezra and Tuesday was almost an indescribable thing. The two of them were drawn together in this way that was so intense and so strong that it really seemed to bind them together in ways that went above and beyond normal attraction and lust and chemistry. In some ways, the force between them almost seemed like some kind of mystical thing that neither one of them could explain or put into words, and while I’m not usually a fan of that kind of romance in my contemporary settings, it really worked for me with these two. Ezra and Tuesday were just so right for each other, so perfect for one another that I didn’t even care that they couldn’t put their finger on WHY.

E: One of the things I enjoy about Dane’s contemporary romances is even when she has rich and famous characters she doesn’t shy away from the dark side. Ezra came from solid grounded roots yet when he got sucked into being a star he flew so high so fast he crashed and burned in a very spectacular way leaving ripples still felt in the Hurley family years after his crash. Ezra himself felt he still needed to pay for what he had done and refused to believe he had regained his place in the family. I enjoyed how he struggled with trying to balance enjoying something and becoming addicted to me. It really allowed me to understand how tightly he controlled everything out of fear and added another dimension to his character. There was just something about watching someone so controlled deal with Tuesday who refused to stay in the nice neat safe category that I loved.

MinnChica: I was really interested to know more about Tuesday as well, and I found her backstory to be totally captivating. I love the struggles she had with moving on with her life, especially in a romantic capacity. I would hate to have to live through what she experienced, but I loved the way that Dane handled everything from the former in-laws and their relationship to the guilt that comes with moving on. It was wonderful and made Tuesday a much stronger heroine, in my opinion.

E: Tuesday was another complex partially broken character. Learning about everything she experienced made me marvel at her strength as she lived to the fullest extent except for matters dealing with her heart. Yet once she decided to see what existed with Ezra it was wonderful to see how she refused to accept the dribs and drabs he felt safe sharing. She demanded it all. It was also great watching her decide to take a chance not just with her professional dreams but with her personal ones. The relationship she continued to have with Natalie and how they supported, loved, pushed, and encouraged either other was another thing I look forward to in Dane’s stories. It is great seeing central characters who do not exist in a vacuum but have lives, relationships, friends outside of the romance. My heart broke for Tuesday during two rather nasty incidents but the way the Hurleys and others rallied around her as they demonstrated certain behavior was not acceptable in their eyes went a long way to healing it and her, bringing home how grounded the family was.

MinnChica: One of the things that I think Dane does so well in all her books is create a sense of family with all the secondary characters. While the Hurley family is such a strong presence in this series, Tuesday also had a wonderful family that was devoted to each other and fun to read about. I loved the dynamics between Tuesday and her parents and brothers and sisters. I loved the way they reacted to her finding love again, taking a risk with her business, and the interactions she had with her previous in-laws. I can just see the way they were and will be in the future with the large Hurley family, and I love it. I hope we get to see some big holiday celebration where they all get together and are loud and loving and supportive. 🙂

E: Tuesday and Ezra were explosive together. I loved discovering everything they kept hidden and yet how deeply they felt and cared for others. Their love for the outdoors, physical activity, and family helped build the bridge started with their physical attraction. Tuesday pushed Ezra to understand for himself how enjoying and wanting more of something wasn’t the same as being addicted to it while wisely refusing to take on the role of his healer. Ezra also helped Tuesday by his open acceptance and enjoyment of who she was and her family’s quirks. They complemented each other so well in addition to their intense attraction.

MinnChica: All in all I think this book was another knock out from Dane. Both Ezra and Tuesday were wonderful characters who shined bright as both individuals and together as a couple. They were absolutely perfect for one another, and I adored that about them. I loved getting to see more of the Hurley family, and can’t wait for the next book in the series!
I give Broken Open a B+

E: **Happy sigh** Broken Open was so worth the wait and the build-up. The overall world development as the secondary characters experienced their own life events and things shifted for the entire family like always brought depth to the story. I loved the way the Hurleys opened their hearts to Tuesday and showed how underneath all of the fame they were a family who loved and supported each other. Meeting Tuesday’s family was also a treat and showed how she was able to continue caring and enjoying life after all of the grief she experienced. Learning about Ezra’s deepest darkest place and comparing that to his emotional and physical place in this story made quite a statement. Ezra and Tuesday’s journey was very enjoyable. Dane has once again demonstrated why she is on my autobuy list and has been for years.

I give Broken Open an A.


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