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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blog Tour! A Review of Broken by Lauren Layne, Plus an Interview with the Author!

Broken (Redemption #2) by Lauren Layne 
Genre: New Adult (Contemporary Romance/Fractured Fairytale)
Date Published: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Flirt

Lauren Layne’s New Adult novel tells the story of a girl with secrets, a guy with scars, and a love that could save them both... or destroy them.

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

Broken is the second book in the Redemption Series by Lauren Layne. I absolutely loved this book! This is a story of two broken people trying to live. Actually, Paul, doesn't care too much about living or at least having a life worth living. He's just existing as a grumpy, scarred, recluse. He is angry, mean, and he knows just what to say to hurt you the most, but he sure knows how to turn on the steam. Olivia has a secret that she is letting dictate her life, so she is basically running away from herself. Put these two together and you have something explosive with its addictive bantering, tension that will make you weak in the knees, and a story that pulls you right into the lives of the characters. There was definite lust at first site, but the pain and anger between the two characters kept them from jumping into a relationship. Broken was an exceptional re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, and it kept me lost in its world until the very last page.

The ARC of Broken by Lauren Layne was kindly provided to me by publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.

How long have you been writing?
I started dabbling in 2008/2009, but didn’t sit down to seriously pursue it as a career until 2011. I wish I would have started earlier!

What inspired you to write Broken?
I’ve always wanted to write a Beauty & the Beast story, and I realized I had the perfect heroine in Olivia (from my book, Isn’t She Lovely). She really puts a fresh twist on Beauty & the Beast because she’s beautiful on the outside, but has ugly on the inside (at least as she sees it). My hero, on the other hand, has some outward scar with some really pure inner motives. It was a fun take on an old theme.

When you first started writing Broken, did you plan for it to be aseries?
Sort of? It’s a little bit tricky because this is technically book 1 of a series (Redemption), but it’s also a follow up to Isn’t She Lovely, which is not a Redemption book. Mostly I trust my publisher to figure these things out.

Which of your characters (in any of your books) do you relate to most and why?
Brynn from Made for You (Oct 28, 2014). She’s more introverted than my other heroines, and is a bit like me in that she’s hyper-organized to the point of sometimes slipping into “rigid” territory.

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
Hmmm … I have a secret desire to write a non-fiction book, but don’t have enough “expertise” on any one topic. I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that!

What book have you read too many times to count?
It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas. I don’t know why, but I just can’t get sick of that book! I keep going back to it, even though historical’s not my general genre of choice.

What is the best piece of writing advice you everreceived?
“I can fix a bad page, but I can’t fix a blank one.” – Nora Roberts
Or, put simply: Sit down, shut up and write.

If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Hmmm, probably one of Julie James’ heroines. They’re all so smart and driven!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That writing never gets easier. I used to think that it was just the first book or two that would be hard to finish because I was “learning.” That is so not the case. EVERY book is hard. But worth it.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m a pretty simple creature. I like to read. Sometimes run. Happy hour with my husband, walks with my dog … I’m not very social, so I spend a lot of time alone, and can’t say I ever get lonely.

Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Generally speaking, it’s all from my imagination, although settings are very often based from places I’ve been in real life. But in terms of whether my characters are inspired my people I know, or plots inspired by experiences I’ve had, definitely not. I try to figure out what would make a compelling story and write that, regardless of the “real” factor. I’d say my books are more in the fantasy category than the realist category, and I’m okay with that.

Don't forget to read my reviews of the other books in this series!

Check out my reviews of some of this author's other books!

Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in political science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Layne moved to New York City, where she now writes full-time. She lives with her husband and their plus-size pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.

To learn more about Lauren Layne and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

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