Laying It On The Line: Lauren Dane’s BROKEN OPEN

After the death of her husband, Tuesday Eastwood spent years drifting through life. It wasn’t until her best friend Natalie asked her to come stay with her a while in Hood River that she managed to leave the worst of the grief behind and start forming a new life for herself.

Ezra Hurley knows all about grief. He’s caused his loved ones plenty of it in the past. He’s determined not to fail his family again, and the surest way to do that is to avoid situations where he might. Tuesday’s definitely a situation to avoid, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their attraction goes – and sooner or later they’re going to have to deal with the consequences.

One of the things I’ve always loved about Lauren Dane’s books is the strong female friendships, and the one between Tuesday and Natalie is one of the strongest yet. There’s so much bantery goodness in their exchanges I found myself snort laughing on a regular basis. Tues and Nat know each other inside and out and compliment each other well. Widening their circle to include Kelly, Vaughn’s ex-wife, was an interesting twist, and one I appreciated. Tuesday knew there was drama between the two, but she got to know Kelly on her own merits and didn’t let herself get pulled in one direction or another by her association with the Hurley family.

Another source of bantery goodness? Ezra’s conversations with his pets. No, seriously. I loved these, especially when he got all why am I talking to the cat about this?

Ezra and Tuesday never try to play off their attraction as anything other than what it is – chemistry strong enough to bust through walls. And at first, both accept that what started as a super strong itch needing to be scratched is more than that. When it morphs yet again, though, Ezra reacts in a manner totally in character for her. Tuesday? Her reaction surprised me, mostly because I didn’t see the shift coming.

The reason it was so surprising is the amount of talking that happens in this book. It’s a quiet book, not a lot of action, because Tuesday and Ezra have demons to battle and need the time and space to do it. They talk, not just to each other, but to their friends and family. These two have no issues with communication. But there wasn’t enough for me to illustrate the change in Tuesday’s feelings about the whole situation.

Overall, though, I liked the slower pace, and I loved the characters. Hanging out with the Hurleys’ is always a good time. We’re being treated to a peek into the lives of Ezra and Tuesday, and it’s fun, sweet, and plenty sultry. There’ll be more bumps and bruises along their road, but I’m sure they’ll turn out just fine.

Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for review.

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