The Broken by Shelley Coriell: Review, Excerpt + GIVEAWAY

Hello everyone,
Today, I have a romantic suspense to share with you all. It's called The Broken by Shelley Coriell. If you're a YA reader, you might recognize Shelley Coriell's name because she wrote Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe and Good Bye, Rebel Blue.

Here's the description of The Broken.

Format: ARC from publisher Forever (Hatchette)
Pages: 416 pages
Series: The Apostles #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

He took her life, but left her alive.

Three years ago, reporter Kate Johnson was the first victim—and only survivor—of the Broadcast Butcher. Scarred both physically and psychologically by the brutal serial killer, Kate lives life on the run, knowing that one day, he will find her and finish what he started.

In the pursuit of justice, you sometimes have to step outside the law.

Agent Hayden Reed spends his life chasing monsters. The only way to stay sane is to detach, but the second the Broadcast Butcher case crosses his desk, Hayden knows this is the case that might just cost him his soul. To catch this vicious murderer before he strikes again, Hayden must find Kate and earn her trust. For it's her darkest secrets that hold the key to stopping this madman once and for all...

Scroll on to read an excerpt and enter to win a copy of The Broken. But first my thoughts.

What I liked--

The suspense!
Oh man! This book kept me guessing throughout. I am usually good at guessing who the killer is but this one... Omigod, there were so many twists and turn and I didn't know where it was going to go. The Broken has the best mystery plot I've read in a romantic suspense in a long time.

The writing
The Broken is very well-written. Coriell introduces a lot of characters (I especially love Smokey Joe, the blind elderly veteran Kate looks after) and the story is told in multiple POVs, including the killer's. This book could've been very violent if those scenes weren't "fade to black." There was just this heightened sense of danger and tension that leaves you at the edge throughout the book and that made it a really exciting, hard to put down read.

Hayden and Kate
I liked them both. Hayden Reed, FBI profiler, was different from many brooding, alpha male romantic suspense heroes that I've read because while he's a hard man, he was also a genuinely nice smart guy who used his brain to catch the killer. I liked Kate's character as well. She distrust the justice system and who wouldn't after all she's been through. She's tough and a survivor but she also had her vulnerable side. There was a connection between them right from the start but I wished we saw more of that.

My issues--

The romance (or the lack of it)
Okay, so I like my romantic suspense equal parts romantic and suspenseful. The Broken definitely had the suspense part in spades. But the romance really took a back seat on this one. Kate and Hayden's relationship did grow and develop but I just wanted them to hook up already! I like my romances to be steamy and hot--if you're like me, you're not going to get your romance fix here. 

Overall reaction--

I really enjoy reading romantic suspense and my favorite author is Laura Griffin. I'm always on the look out for an author who can blend an interesting/unique/exciting/twisty mystery WITH a scorching hot romance just like Griffin can. While The Broken does have an interesting/unique/exciting/twisty well-written mystery (which I really enjoyed!), sadly, it lacked the romance I was looking for. If you like your romantic suspense heavy on the suspense and mystery but light and subtle on the romance, The Broken is perfect for you.

Here's an excerpt from The Broken to give you a little taste.
A glacial cold, like the waters of the lake outside her window, washed over her. “The Butcher’s still on the loose.”

“And he won’t stop until he—”

As Hayden’s voice broke off, something hovered at the far edges of her mind. For nearly a week she’d lived and breathed this case with Hayden, who now stood before her, his face twisted in anger and something more unsettling: fear.

“Kills me,” she said with a gasp. “He has to break all the mirrors. He has to finish the job.” Her finger slid along the scar on her neck to the scar on her breast. “I’m the job he never finished. He has to kill me.”

Hayden didn’t argue. He couldn’t. He intimately knew the Butcher.

Adrenaline shot through her legs. After a few hours of precious peace, it was time tohead back to the shadowy back roads where the Butcher couldn’t find her.

Before she could make a run for the door, Hayden reached for her.

Her feet tensed. Her hands fisted. Ready to fight. Ready to flee.

She expected the jingle of cuffs. Instead, skin brushed against skin as he slipped his arms around her. Every muscle in her body tightened. It would be so easy to smack away his arms, to head-butt him in the chin, to duck and run. She pulled back her arm.

His lips brushed against the top of her head, and his arms dropped to his side.

The unexpected freedom left her off balance. She grabbed the bedpost. This was one of his head games. He was giving her a choice, giving her power. Right now she could walk away, duck into the shadows.

She shifted from one bare foot to the other. But that wouldn’t stop the Butcher. He would continue to kill, continue to hunt for her because she was the one who got away.

She took a single step, not toward the door but toward Hayden, and rested her cheek against the crisp coolness of his shirt, his heart beating calm and steady.

Click. His arms locked about her. Then came his words, delivered with a heat that surprised her. “This is one job he’s not going to finish.”
Intrigued? You can learn more about The Broken and the author Shelley Coriell with other readers tonight!
Click on the image above or click here to join the Spreecast chat.

Now for the giveaway (which is created by the publisher--we do not own the Rafflecopter below)! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading,

P.S. If you want more chances to win, Shelley Coriell is hosting a big giveaway to celebrate the release to The Broken on her blog. Go forth and enter!

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