Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: BROKEN SOLDIER by Jamie Lynn Miller

Title: Broken Soldier
Author: Jamie Lynn Miller
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: March 5, 2016

Sergeant Connor Finley and Sergeant Shawn Weller are dedicated soldiers working covert ops for Shadow Unit -- a joint UK/US anti-terrorism task force.

Partners in the field and out, they had been through hell together for the last four years and made it through standing side by side. But when their latest undercover op to bring down an arms dealer plunges them into a world of drugs, sex and violence, Shawn must literally get in bed with the enemy in order to complete the mission. And Connor is forced to watch, helpless, as his partner is broken into pieces.

Will love be enough to put them both back together or will this be their final mission?

WARNING: Contains scenes of drug use, graphic sex and realistic situations.

Connor cut himself off as Shawn let out an angry yell and swung a wild punch at him. Connor was forced to release Shawn’s wrist to avoid his partner’s fist, which would have caught him right in the face. He stumbled back a step, hitting the refrigerator, nearly losing his footing on the items strewn about on the floor. Just as he straightened up, Shawn grabbed a coffee mug off the counter and hurled it at Connor’s head. Connor dropped to a crouch and the mug smashed into the refrigerator.

Keeping low, Connor went at Shawn like an American football player, ducking under his partner’s arms and catching him around his middle. Shawn’s back hit the edge of the counter and both of them slid to the floor. Shawn’s fists began pummeling at Connor’s arms and chest as Connor got Shawn first onto his back then flipped over onto his stomach, straddling his waist. Shawn tried to buck him off, yelling angrily and Connor was amazed at the strength the desperate craving for the heroin gave him.

“Please, Connor, please,” Shawn pleaded with him, breathing hard. “I just need a little bit. Just a little and I’ll be fine…”

Connor quickly pulled the syringe out of his pocket and used his mouth to pull off the cap, which he spit out onto the floor.

He swallowed hard. “I’m so sorry, mate,” he said, voice rough, then injected Shawn with the sedative.

“I need it, Connor, I need it…” Shawn mumbled as his eyes closed moments later, succumbing to the effects of the sedative.

Connor slid off of Shawn’s body then, slumping against the counter next to him, his face in his hands, gutted to the core by what had just transpired. A lump formed in his throat as he lifted his head and looked at his partner, lying there unconscious. Shawn’s face was drawn, flushed and wet with sweat, battered and bruised with dark circles under his eyes that had looked at him with such pain and desperation.

Shawn was the strongest, bravest man Connor had ever known, now reduced to this broken soldier before him.

All because of duty and loyalty to his unit and his mission. For the first time Connor feared that Shawn had been shattered into too many pieces to ever be put back together again.

His chest constricted at the thought, the grief and anger inside him suddenly too much to contain any longer. He grabbed for Shawn’s hand and held on tight as he broke down, the first sob tearing through him. He cried for Shawn, who was fighting a battle he might not be able to win and he cried for the two of them, wondering how they’d survive if Shawn didn’t.

He cried until there was nothing left inside him, until his eyes ran dry and his throat burned. He gathered Shawn into his arms then and held him tight, wishing he could take his place, but instead willing every ounce of strength he had into him, the only thing he could do.

Carra's Review

Whoever thought up the phrase "light reading" sure did not have Broken Soldier in mind.  With subject matter that is frankly a bit disturbing and characters who you will immediately become invested in, this is a serious, dramatic read that will take you into some very dark corners and tear you up a bit while you're there.  

As the story begins, our lead characters, Connor and Shawn, are headed undercover into what we already expect to be a very shady situation.  The book's synopsis already lets us know there's drugs, sex and arms dealing...but what you'll also find is the destruction of not just one but two men along the way.  The story fully dragged me into the depths of their situation to the point where I was deeply troubled about the circumstances Connor and Shawn-particularly Shawn-were in.  Honestly, if these types of undercover operations happen in the real world, I would find it utterly unconscionable that this would occur and be condoned. 

The writing and storyline really grabs a hold of you and immerses you in this world.  I can't see anyone reading this and not being disturbed by what happens to Shawn as things spiral out of control for him.  In addition, the way it affected Connor had my heart aching.  While the op itself was full of suspense and drama, the aftermath as Shawn has to heal from what he went through is emotional, heart-wrenching and shows what not only an addict has to go through to get clean (even for a short stint of drug use), but how that also affects someone who loves them.  

Both Shawn and Connor become broken by what happens, and they both help each other to overcome the consequences.  Watching as events unfold had me riveted to the book, and suffering a bit of a book hangover once I was done.

4.5 disturbed stars for Broken Soldier.  I'd recommend this to M/M romance fans who prefer their subject matter on the darker, more dramatic side.  This is strictly for readers 18+ due to adult language, drug use and other illegal activities, and explicit M/M sexual content.  This is the first time I've read one of this author's books, and I've now added her entire backlist to my TBR list...fantastic work!

eBook copy of any backlist title

Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.

Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.

If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.


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