Broken by Nicola Haken ~ Book Review by Caroline

20646135Title: Broken

Author: Nicola Haken

Publisher: Self Published

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 02/29/2016

Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)

Genre: Gay Romance


When Theodore Davenport decides to switch his mundane job for a career, he walks into Holden House Publishing with enthusiasm and determination to succeed. As he settles into his new role, makes new friends, and dreams of making it to the top, everything is going to plan.

Until he meets James Holden, CEO of Holden House.

James Holden hasn’t been able to stop thinking about his encounter with the timid man he met in a club bathroom last week, and when he discovers the one haunting his dreams is an employee, he can’t seem to stop himself from pursuing him.

Just a little fun – that’s what James tells himself. He can’t afford to care for someone who can never reciprocate, not once they find out who he really is. James believes nobody deserves the burden of being attached to him. He’s a complicated man. Damaged. Difficult. Demanding.


Is Theodore strong enough to confront James’ demons? More importantly, is James?

Please note:This book contains scenes of self harm, mental illness and suicidal ideation which may be uncomfortable for some readers.

My View:

When the man you had fast and furious sex in a club bathroom turns out to be the CEO at your new place of employment….then shit. Theo and James get to know each other intimately before they even really get to say hello. One night of drunken shenanigans will change their lives irrevocably.

James Holden is CEO of Holden House a role he had to step up and into when his father, a man who was his main support system, passes away suddenly. James is a man who will stay with you as a reader for a long time after you read the final words of this story. At first glance he is a man that appears to want for nothing. A cocky officious man who comes across as cold and hardnosed. A man determined to follow in his father’s footsteps but who never seems to reach quite where he wants to be. James is all of those things and more but he is barely holding it all together. James is haunted, he is sick with an illness that no one can see, he is falling apart with an illness that he is determined to keep hidden, he is swinging high and low and will inevitably crash but not many people see past what he permits them to – until Theo comes along – he seems to see right into his very soul.

Theo Davenport has made some pretty big changes to his life recently, the biggest of them was a switch in jobs and he is now at the bottom of the ladder but doing something that he has a personal interest in. He has just started at Holden House Publishing and it has filled him with renewed energy and excitement – until he discovers the CEO is the hottie he got down and dirty with at the weekend and that the other man seems to make a habit of sleeping with all the newer members of staff. Determined not to let it tarnish his new job his plan is to avoid James as much as possible and keep his head down but between a departmental heads jealousy and the CEO’s determination to see him again his plan looks set to fail from the start.

Broken gets dark quite quickly. James and Theo seem unable to stay away from each other and their lives become entwined quickly but James is ill and that subject can only be avoided for so long. There comes a point when this book becomes impossible to put down. Just as James’ illness grabs him so the story grabbed me and this is especially true when you are reading from James’ POV. As he spirals out of control you can’t help but be dragged along. When James is completely honest with Theo the story seems almost hopeful but the fact that Theo now has a word, a diagnosis, for what James is living with doesn’t mean he really understands. No google search could prepare Theo for what James is about to put himself and the man he loves through but Theo steps up, recovers from his shock and desperation and proves that he can cope but it’s messy and it hurts and there are times when it would definitely be easier just to turn around and run away.

There are some lighter and steamier parts to the story too. Both men have brothers who provide support and are well worth a mention. Where Theo’s family were a great support I could have easily slapped the woman who gave birth to James – to me a mother nurtures their children especially when they are struggling – this woman did not and I felt angry every time she was on page. Broken is a story I will certainly read again and one that I highly recommend.


Broken on Goodreads

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

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