Updated: Jan 22, 2021
Too Beautiful to Break
by Tessa Bailey
Published by Forever
Book #4 in the Romancing the Clarksons series
A love of a lifetime . . .
Leaving Belmont Clarkson is the hardest thing Sage Alexander has ever done. From the moment they met, she knew Belmont was the one, and getting up close and personal with him on his family's epic road trip has taken her desire to a new, even hotter level. But there's no way she can go there---not without revealing secrets that could devastate them both.
Losing Sage is not an option. Belmont's heart is hers, has always been hers. He knows she's hiding something from him, but nothing will stand in his way of telling her just how much she means to him. Finding her is easy---saving her from her past could cost him everything.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Romance Feel Good
Too Beautiful to Break by Tessa Bailey is the fourth and final book in the Romancing the Clarkson's series. It continues the Clarkson sibling road trip, where Rita, Aaron, Peggy, Belmont, and Peggy's best friend Sage drove across country to fulfill their mother's final wish. It picks up shortly after the third books ending, and now all that's left is Belmont, the oldest, and most complex character of the Clarkson family, and Sage, the most secretive of the bunch.
There is no denying that this is a very unique romance. I can't really pin it. By the time we meet Belmont and Sage in the first book, they have known each other for a while, but we learn that their connection began right away, and for Belmont is was love at first sight. They are friends of a sort, providing each other, especially Sage providing Belmont, comfort in times of anxiety. There is also a first love aspect to this story, and a sweet innocence, which isn't typical for a modern romance with adults. Despite Belmont being incredibly intense, and bordering on creepy sometimes with his possessiveness, Sage wasn't put off from it. It's hard to define what kind of romance this is, which makes it rather unique. Hard not to be different with characters like Belmont and Sage. The story itself was good. I couldn't put it down, and my own anxiety was prickling while reading. The story flowed nicely between Sage and Belmont's POV's and there wasn't any point in the book where I was bored. Altogether, it was really well written.
I particularly had trouble reading the part when Belmont goes into the mine on Sage's behalf. Reading that he looked shaky going down was bad enough, but when we get to his POV of actually being underground, its awful. My anxiety was through the roof. Tessa Bailey did a good job portraying what PTSD can do to person, and how it can make a person, even one as strong as Belmont, crumble.
The characters are a whole other level of unique. Especially Belmont. While he is the way he is mostly due to his trauma from being pushed into a well as a child by his stepfather (by the way, didn't see that coming at all until Belmont's story began), and dealing with the overbearing PTSD effects from being trapped underground for four days, on top of shouldering this secret so his siblings wouldn't lose their father figure, I often wonder if perhaps he was written as someone on the spectrum. There is no one thing that makes me think this. I have three daughters on the spectrum. Sometimes I just get a feeling. His intense emotions, especially towards Sage, can be very intimidating to the reader. While some of the things he says border on the obsessive-creepy side, I was able to put that aside, because it doesn't bother Sage. She enjoys it. Belmont loves fiercely. His naturally protective, and obsesses about the safety of those he loves. We learn that every day, he calls his siblings places of work, or checks their social media, to make sure they are safe, and does so with Sage as well. It's a bit quirky, but it's so ... Belmont. He says how he feels, despite the intensity of those feelings. And while sometimes he came off as creepy, the amount of respect he shows Sage is phenomenal.