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.
Why I bought it:
Kristie J praises this book to the heavens. Although historical romance is not really my genre of choice, I was intrigued and had it on order when Orannia instigated her reading challenge. It was fate.
Dislike/like (ending on a high note):
Dislike~ This book started with a bang. A terrific prologue from the POV of Gabriel, the main male protag. It was dark, deep and gritty with some very heavy themes such as sexual and child abuse, prostitution, depression and self-harm. All in all, pretty awesome. So, why the dislike?? The prologue gave me the expectation I would really get into Gabriel’s head (his feelings, his motivations, etc); however, for me, this insight did not follow through to the same extent in the remainder of the book. I was disappointed.
Like~ Here’s where I do a bit of a back flip and say what stood out for me about Broken Wing was its focus on Gabriel’s story. I have a deep fondness for m/f romance stories which concentrate on the male protag’s POV and I was particularly impressed by the fact the author chose the historical romance genre in which to do this. Very refreshing.
Dislike~ I think this probably stems from my being, let’s face it, a bitch, but I could not believe Sarah forgave Gabriel so easily at the end. I know that he explains his motivations to her and these are extremely believable to both Sarah and the reader, who has travelled with him all this time. Added to this, is the couple’s devotion to each other and their longing to be together. I still reckon she should have kicked his arse and made him suffer. *mutterstupidmalemutter*
Like~ Wasn’t it great that the main characters were separated for a large part of the story? Granted it could be the nasty cow thing again and the reader knows there will be a HEA (after all it IS a romance), but it was all so deliciously angsty. Although I wasn’t totally convinced by the passage of time, Gabriel’s journey was certainly an interesting one albeit fraught with much drama and danger.
So, what I think:
I obviously have mixed feelings about Broken Wing. While I didn’t hate it, I certainly didn’t love it either. I think what definitely saves it from being being shelved on my fence was that it was essentially Gabriel’s story, which is very different from the stock standard m/f historical romance we’ve all come to know and
hate love. I would probably recommend it for this reason alone.
Tasting’ is my version of a mini-review where I talk a (very) little about what I liked and disliked about a book as well as who I think the story will appeal to. Oh, and I’ve added a bit about why I picked up the book in the first place – sometimes this can be interesting to know.