Author: Sage C. Holloway
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: Dar Albert
Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 03/03/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: M/M Romance, Romance
Turns out naked and hungover on the floor is not the most strategically sound place to be when your dad comes home early. Take it from someone who learned the hard way: nineteen-year-old Lysander Shepherd – son of movie stars, spoiled brat, enthusiastic proponent of drugs and orgies… and now, unwilling resident of Oak Hill Manor, a retreat for troubled teenagers.
Before he knows what’s happening, his designer duds have been switched for tie-dye shirts in therapy team colors, and he is surrounded by an assortment of misfits: a timid nerd, a mute girl, a hyperactive kid… and captivating loner Cai Fields, who is admittedly pretty hot, but seems to hate the world in general and Lysander in particular.
Soon Lysander struggles with lies, withdrawal, and several uncomfortable revelations that he never intended to make, but he also gains surprising amounts of support right in the middle of secret late-night parties, fisticuffs over doing the dishes, and, of all things, croissant blackmail. Even as Cai and Lysander finally give in to the irresistible attraction between them and make a grasp for happiness, their darkest secrets remain – secrets with the power to destroy everything they’ve fought so hard to have.
What words can I use to describe Spectacularly Broken?
This was a superb debut novel for Sage C. Holloway and I look forward to reading more of her books.
Lysander Shepherd is a mess, a spoiled rotten rich kid who does nothing but party, do drugs and laze around the house. He seems to have everything he could possibly want but he’s not happy. His father, a movie star, has been an absentee parent for years, but decides it’s time to do something and forces Lysander to go to a retreat for troubled teenagers.
Lysander’s cousin, Finn, has issues of his own and joins him at the retreat. The friendship between the cousins was one of the things I loved. Their relationship went from a rivalry to frenemies to close friends. They supported each other as they opened up about their pasts and it was a refreshing relationship.
There are four people in Lysander’s group at the retreat who play a huge part of his growth. They fit stereotypical descriptions—mute girl, nerd, hyperactive kid and brusque loner asshole—but the author makes them realistic and unique characters. Lexa, Nicky, Jarrett and Cai are so much more than their types.
I’ve been in a 12-step group, but never in rehab or retreat such as portrayed here. However, Oak Hill Manor seemed a more accurate description than what I normally see in books or movies. Knock on wood I don’t have such problems, but if I did, a place like Oak Hill would be my choice.
Over the course of the novel Lysander transforms from the self-centered rich brat to a man who cares more about others than he ever has in his life.
Its more than just falling in love with Cai, it’s his friendship with his cousin and his new friends. He’s so kind to Lexa that when she smiles for the first time in ages it’s because of Lysander.
His relationship with Cai starts out hot and heavy but emotionless. Just sex. Sex that they both need just to survive at the retreat. But it becomes something more and they open up to each other. Love sneaks up on both of them, especially Lysander. He has no clue what love is and even asks his doctor to describe the emotion. The description he gets is perfect:
Suddenly, that person is at the center of your universe. Your mind keeps thinking about them, even if it’s just to wonder what they’re doing right now. Everything is more exciting and interesting with them nearby. The room lights up when they enter.”
I read on a Kindle and when a particular scene strikes me emotionally I highlight it and leave a single word—Wow. I had more such notes with this book than I’ve had in any other for more than a year. There were so many amazing scenes and moments I couldn’t even begin to mention them all here.
The conflict that tears Lysander and Cai apart was heartbreaking. I was almost breathless as I flipped from page to page waiting to see what was going to happen.
And when it ended, I was sad because I want more of these characters. I surely hope the author considers writing more Lysander and Cai or some of the other supporting characters.
If you haven’t read this book go get it now. I guarantee you will enjoy it.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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