By K.C. Wells and Parker Williams
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.
There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.
Before You Break is one of those books that you become so absorbed by the characters and engrossed in their stories that it seems as if you’re living right alongside them, breathing the same air, shadowing their footsteps, experiencing the same emotions…
Wayne and Ellis are ordinary people, someone you could very easily be working alongside, living next door to, or pass in the street. These two are so natural together… even though they were friends from the start, one wonders how either one of them was able to live without the other by his side, day in and day out, morning, noon, and night.
I absolutely, positively loved this book. That said, I’ve struggled to write a review, if for no other reason than I simply wasn’t sure how to adequately convey the many layers, the depth, the breadth, and the essence of the story. It was extremely well written, and the complexity of the story blended the dynamics of everyday real life with the threads of history woven throughout it.
In an attempt to capture the full flavor of how I viewed the story, I’ve chosen to narrow it down to a few key elements that stood out to me:
- Powerful emotions that almost leapt tangibly off the page – I was entranced by the Wayne’s tender strength and Ellis’s strong but vulnerable nature
- Absolutely enthralled with Jarod’s and Ellis’s friendship – it was so kind, heartfelt, honest, and sincere
- Ellis’s angst with his parents and sister offers a true example of dysfunction
- Mesmerized by the storyline’s emphasis on problem-solving, growth, and respect
- Appreciated how the authors chose to avoid using Ellis’s injury as a stressor/plot tool, and instead allowed the story to unfold
- Captivated by the depth of the characters, and their deep-rooted emotions and true love
- The combination of romance, friendship, and a business relationship worked, and it was never played off as anything other than who these two were at their core
- Wayne knew how to treasure Ellis; there was steam, sensuality, sizzle, and respect, and not once would the reader ever question either one’s true feelings or intentions
- The only confusion for me was the segue early on to Eli and Jarod – new characters for me since I have yet to read their story – but I was pulled in by the authors’ vivid descriptions and true-to-life storytelling
- The HEA/epilogue leaves me anxious to read the next installment.
Before You Break is breathtaking, haunting, raw, and romantic. The journey is as or more fulfilling than the destination.
Oh, and I’d also contend that Before You Break would make one scorching audio book. I know without a doubt I would listen!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Before You Break.
Review originally posted on Amazon and Goodreads on June 26, 2017.