by Hannah McBride
Novella in the Blackwater Pack Series
Rhodes DeWitt has always known he was a lost cause.
The Blackwater beta embraces the bad boy label with open arms, praying that the girl next door will never know that the one thing he wants is the one girl he can’t have.
A heart that’s breaking
After spending years in love with the boy next door, Larkin Dawes is ready to move on. Her head knows this is for the best. Her heart hasn’t quite gotten the memo.
The storm of the century
Trapped and isolated together as a blizzard rages around them, Rhodes will finally have to decide if he’s going to watch Larkin move on with or without him.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy New Adult HAWT
*TRIGGER WARNING* This novella has scenes that depict alcoholism, and suicide. If these subjects are upsetting to you, I do not suggest this read for you.
Broken by Hannah McBride is her second addition to the Blackwater Pack series, and is a novella that takes places between the first and second full length novels. In Broken, we temporarily step away from Skye and Remy, and switch to Larkin and Rhodes. With Rhodes fighting his feelings for Larkin, and Larkin determined to try to move on, things have been awkward for the pair. But when a blizzard shuts down their hometown, and has them snowed in, both are forced to confront their feelings.
Okay first ... whoa! After reading Sanctum, I was convinced I was reading an upper young adult book, and the series would progress that way. But nope. This novella definitely puts this series into new adult territory. I love a good friends to lovers story. It's not a very unique storyline. Childhood best friends, boy/girl next door, girl has perfect family, boy doesn't ... it's all very cliché. It didn't bother me, though, because the story, while short, was good. Their dialogue is great, and the characters chemistry is great. And when they succumb to their feelings, it's hot. Like, seriously hot.
One of the things that I enjoyed about this novella, was that I genuinely liked the characters. Larkin is a sweetheart, and as her character grows, and she begins to stand up for herself more, she becomes that much more likeable. My only wish? That she was older. She is a senior in high school because she skipped a grade, which makes it easy to forget, but at best, she's 17. I'm not naïve, I know teenagers have sex. I was having sex at 16. But reading about it in explicit detail is a bit cringey. Rhodes character is usually a hoot, but we get to see a more melancholy Rhodes this book, which makes sense considering his home life. With a series that heavily focuses on the trauma of abuse, I wasn't surprised to see Hannah McBride tackle the trauma that substance abuse has around those who live with an alcoholic. Rhodes at home is different from the Rhodes at school, and it's easy to see why after meeting his father.
Broken is a quick, but action packed novella that I'm glad I took the time to read before moving on to Prey. We get a friends to lovers trope, which I enjoy, and a bit of an opposites attract thing going on. Plot wise, it's very much on par with Sanctum, and the quality doesn't decrease just because it's short. If you enjoyed Sanctum, you will love Broken.
Rhodes kissing Larkin
Rhodes telling Larkin that it had always been her
Never have I ever
Larkin and Rhodes making love
Remy and Skye coming over to spend time with Rhodes after he finds out his father has died
Rhodes making it back home in time to kiss Larkin for New Years
Even though I knew there weren't any lights on, so she couldn't possibly see me, I still stepped back deeper into the shadows, which was basically the sum of our entire relationship.
Larkin played in the light. I watched from the shadows.
I was fucking tired of watching.
Rhodes: "Tell me to stop."
Larkin: "Don't you dare stop."
The second I tasted her in that first kiss, she was mine. She would always be mine.
Larkin: "I'm sorry he interpreted one date -"
Rhodes: "And a kiss."
Her brows lifted
Larkin: "You know about that?"
Rhodes: "I saw that. I left right after it happened."
Rhodes: "Because it wasn't me you were kissing. Because it should have been me."
Larkin: "You're right. It should have been you. It's always been you."
I was terrified of letting him get too far away. Like the dandelion fluff we made wishes on in the summer.
One strong blow and it would all be over.
Rhodes: "Truth is, I lost track of how many girls, women, I've slept with. But every single time I was with them, I only saw one face. In my mind, I was only ever with one person. Each one stared as a distraction, but it all ended the same way. You. I only ever saw you."
Larkin: "If my life is going to be incredible, it's because you're in it, too."
Larkin: "That's now what I meant at all. I know you don't usually do girlfriends -"
Rhodes: "I don't have girlfriends."
Her mouth snapped shut.
Rhodes: " But you're not just a girlfriend, Larkin."
Larkin: "What am I?"
Rhodes: "Mine. And you can bet your sweet ass I'm telling the entire fucking world you belong to me."
Rhodes: "Baby, laughter isn't something a guy likes to hear when his pants are around his ankles."
With a huff I jerked off my last sock
Rhodes: "Elated. I've always had a huge thing for your toes."
Rhodes: "Are you sure?"
Larkin: "I've been in love with you since I was thirteen. It's always been you."
Larkin: "You have us. You have me."
Rhodes: "Really, Lark? You still want to stick around after this?"
Larkin: "What do you mean?"
Rhodes: "I'm the kid of a deserter and a drunk. Is that really something you want?"
Larkin: "I want you, Rhodes."
Rhodes: "I'm a mess."
Larkin: "Then you're my mess. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere."
Skye: "When someone gets that hopeless, that lost in their own head, the only thing that can pull them out is their own will. People are responsible for their own choices. Their weakness, their faults - they aren't yours, Rhodes. People have to own their own shit."
Check out the rest of the Blackwater Pack Series