tasting ‘broken wing’

Orannia’s Broken Wing Challenge and Kris’ New Year’s Readolution 3 all tied up in to one neat package.

Broken Wing by Judith James

The Blurb:

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.

About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in historical, judith james, kristie j, m/f, My 2009 Readolution 3, orannia, tasting. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to tasting ‘broken wing’

  1. Tam says:

    Well, doesn't sound like a total loss. Not my cup of tea though. Well done on meeting two goals. Gold star for you.

  2. Tracy says:

    I had the exact same feeling…a good book but I didn't love it…nor did I hate it. This happens so often where one person LOVES a book and another is meh about it. Different strokes.

    I'm so proud of you for reading the whole thing! 🙂

  3. Kris says:

    *fists on hips, chest thrust out and chin in the air* I bought, I read, I CONQUERED! I AM A BOOK GODDESS!!


    Tam: It wasn't a total loss by any stretch of the imagination. I had several issues with it that impacted by overall enjoyment of the book; however, there are a gazillion others before me who absolutely loved it. As Tracy said, different strokes.

    Tracy: Exactly! I'm glad I read it because I don't think I've ever read an m/f historical romance that took on such challenging themes with regard to the male main protag and that actually went a step further and told his story.

    “I'm so proud of you for reading the whole thing! :)”

    *cough* Well, I think I already admitted to not reading the letters so 'the whole thing' isn't entirely true.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Well done Sissy…

    But do I really have to take it on holiday with a baggage limit etc?

  5. Ingrid says:

    Kudo's to you Kris.

    It will be a while till I pick up a m/f romance book again. Have been reading those for nearly 20 years and I am bit tired of them.

    This book does not sound like a typical historical romance, that is nice for a change.

  6. Tam says:

    Mumma, they have great stores in Europe. Anything you need you can buy. That's my philosophy and dragging heavy bags through airports is no fun. Hope you have an amazing trip though.

  7. Ingrid says:

    Yup, I can confirm we do have (big) shops in Europe that sell everything *g*

  8. Kris says:

    Mumma: You are the one who wanted books to read on the plane!

    Ingrid: Thanks hun. It definitely wasn't typical and I think I've proved(en?) that I like the different. 😉

    Tam & Ingrid: *sigh* Don't encourage her.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Tam and Ingrid – I am sure that I will come back broke and need the assistance of my *dear and delightful daughter*. Who, might I just say, wants me to bring back a Sony E Reader!

    Sissy – I am up to seven books with this one. I can't carry all of them, any that I take will be left in the hotel room when I leave.


  10. orannia says:

    You didn't read the letters?

    I probably shouldn't have read your review until I've written mind *hangs head* but I couldn't resist 🙂 I too had issues with the hint of darkness not coming to fulfilment IMO. More in my review, which I must write 🙂

    This might be a silly question, but have you read Sarah Monette?

  11. Kris says:

    I skipped 'em. They were just too friggin' long.

    Phew. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the same about the gritty aspect of it. 🙂 But… you haven't written your review yet?! Well, get on with it, girlie!

    I have read Sarah Monette. Why do you ask?

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