Once Pure by Cecy Robson Book Review

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

Once Pure

by Cecy Robson

Published by Loveswept

Book #3 of Shattered Past series

She bears the scars of the past. He blames himself for things he can’t control.

Their defenses are up, but in Cecy Robson’s latest Shattered Past novel—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—true love lands a knockout punch. Sofia Tres Santos remembers a time before her life went sour, before her innocence was ripped away, before she began punishing herself with risky behaviors and unworthy men. Now, at twenty, she just hopes she’s ready to rebuild some of what she lost. One way or another, it always comes back to her childhood friend and longtime crush, Killian O’Brien. As strong as Killian is, Sofia has always been his one weakness. He knows Sofia has suffered and wants to ensure she’s never hurt again—not like before, and definitely not under his watch. When Sofia agrees to work at his mixed martial arts gym, Killian seizes the opportunity to help and protect the sweet girl he’s always cared for. And yet, as he trains Sofia to defend herself using his hard-hitting MMA techniques, he’s drawn to the vulnerable beauty in ways he never expected. As Sofia grows stronger, she also grows brave enough to open herself up to love. And along the way, she challenges everything Killian believes to be true, showing him that no matter how much he dominates in the ring, the real battle is fought in the heart


Steamy Romance Climatic

*TRIGGER Drama Happy Ending

Remember, this nerd posts spoilers, so only read ahead if you don't mind. Also, trigger warning! This book contains subject matter relating to rape.

Once Pure is the third and final book in the Shattered Past series written by Cecy Robson. It focuses on the youngest Tres Santos sibling Sofia, and he childhood best friend and crush Killian O'Brian.

I will admit, I have been curious about Sofia throughout the past two books. We learn in Once Perfect (Mateo and Evie's story), that she was raped at 14 years old, but no other details. It was also hinted that Killian has some possible guilt over what happened to Sofia, but as to why, no clues are given. It splintered Killian's and Mateo's friendship though. Sofia has been very quiet, and nervous throughout the series, so I was wondering how this book would play out. In short, the story is wonderful, despite the dark content. For a romance, its just so different. I really couldn't put it down.

As I mentioned above, Sofia has been very quiet, and painfully shy in this series. It's no surprise that this continues at the start of this book. At this point though, she is no longer a teenager. She is a twenty year old adult, hired to create a program to help Killian keep track of his books, and redesign a website for his gym. Through this, her and Killian slowly bond, and things heat up. Slowly. Normally, I would be annoyed that their relationship is going at a slow pace, but knowing her history, it didn't bother be in the least, and was very consistent with how a rape victim would act. With Killian's support, she overcomes some big obstacles. The obvious being learning to trust and be comfortable with Killian to be sexually active. The less obvious, is her confidence in herself. She is actually very smart, and makes a great business woman, to the point that Killian looks to her for help with his business. Her strength is another one. Before, she was weak, and too frightened to stand up for herself. By the end of the book, thanks to Killian and the rest of his siblings training her, she is able to fight back when her and Evie are attacked. She learns to be brave, not only in fighting back, but admitting how she feels, and fighting for who she wants.

We don't get a whole lot of Killian in the first two books. We are aware that he harbors some guilt over Sofia's rape, and Mateo and his friendship is strained because of whatever happened. We know he has feelings for Sofia, despite her being too nervous around him to hold a conversation. I was worried that we were going to get a carbon copy of Mateo. In some ways we did, but Killian does stand apart in others. Not going to lie ... I kinda fell for Killian. His absolute devotion to Sofia, and his remarkable patience with her is beautiful to read. The little ways he comes up with to help her build trust in