If You Leave (Beautifully Broken #2) by Courtney Cole received from bookbridgr
26-year old Gabriel Vincent is a badass hero. Or he used to be, anyway. As an ex-Army Ranger, Gabe never thought he needed anyone. But after one horrible night in Afghanistan scars him in a way that he can’t get past, he needs someone who can help him heal…even if he doesn’t realize it.
25-year old Madison Hill doesn’t need anybody…or so she thinks. She grew up watching her parents’ messed-up abusive relationship and she knows there’s no way in hell that she’s ever letting that happen to her.
They don’t know it in the beginning, but Gabriel and Madison will soon develop a weakness: Each other.
But Gabriel’s got a secret, a hidden monster that he’s afraid Maddy could never overcome… And Maddy’s got issues that she’s afraid Gabe will never understand. They quickly realize that they need each other to be whole, but at the same time they know that they’ve got demons to fight.
And the problem with demons is that they never die quietly.
I actually enjoyed this more than the first book. We’ve moved on to Mila’s sister for the focus of this book and I liked her a whole lot better. There were some moments where I was confused which of the two was supposed to be older, sometimes Madison seemed much younger than she was supposed to be.
I thought there were a few things that made this book ‘ok’ rather than ‘great’, and these include-
Not quite insta-love but… – Madison and Gabe barely know each other. They nearly hook up, then they hook up.. and then he takes off.. they can’t have spent more than a couple waking hours together, really, but they have it bad, like ‘we’ve been together for ten years’ rather than ten minutes.
Sometimes it’s plausible, but here there just wasn’t enough page time for this ‘ship for me to really believe the depth of emotion that is implied.
Warningly – Don’t you hate it when one teeny tiny thing interrupts an intensely emotional scene, and ruins it? Well, this word did it for me. Suddenly I was out, the main characters could have died at this point and I wouldn’t have been paying attention because I had that niggly word at the front of my mind. Is it even a word? If not, why the heck is it in there?!
PTSD – is a serious issue. I know this. I’ve seen its effects on people. That said, it doesn’t mean I want to read through the therapy process, you know? It’s not really doing anything for character or plot.. not really. We could have skipped to ‘yay! I’ve had the therapy!’ And then I felt guilty for feeling bored.. :s
There were some bits that I thought were real page-turner moments. Like the whole drama with Mila and her pregnancy. And I thought the opening chapter to this book was class. Fast paced and sexy.. I was just a little sad that it didn’t keep this up.
What I will say is that I truly appreciate the presence of contraception in this book. I’ve mentioned it before- I don’t understand why anyone would consider having sex with someone, even if you love them, without appropriate contraception. I mean, regardless of who and what, you’re gonna use a condom for the first time at least, yeah? I was glad to see it handled with maturity in this book.
I enjoyed the story and I like how the characters become interwoven from book to book. I’m looking forward to reading the next one. In the end I gave this book a healthy 3 out of 5 because it didn’t wow me, but I did become invested in the characters.