Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nearly Broken by Devon Ashley

**Rating Is Undecided**

**WARNING:  MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD**

**WARNING:  IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE SITUATIONS WITH RAPE AND THE AFTERMATH DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!  IT’S GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING.  IT MADE ME PHYSICALLY ILL AT TIMES.  IT INVOLVES RAPE, TRAFFICKING, CUTTING, AND ABUSE.  IF YOU CAN’T HANDLE IT PLEASE MOVE ON TO SOMETHING ELSE!**

We’d both gone missing at one point, but Claire had one thing I didn't  Someone to notice. So why was I the one still here and she the one still gone? 

Nineteen year old Megan Smith has spent the past year working in a small town diner in the middle of nowhere. Life is quiet, simple, safe. Then comes the news that her look-a-like has gone missing. 

Claire.

Still damaged both physically and mentally, Megan's not looking to be noticed. Wherever she goes from here, it's a road she needs to take alone. But when Nickolas Ellis takes the job as the new nightshift cook, it scares her how easily her defenses crumble down, down, down for him. But there are secrets she can't bear to share with just anyone, unspeakable acts that continue to haunt, and when the similarities of Claire’s abduction couples with the fear of an unwanted visitor in town, the urge to run before it all happens again intensifies, threatening the only happiness Megan's ever found.

I don’t even know what to say.  This book is…gut wrenchingly heart breaking.  It took my emotions and 
destroyed me.  It ripped my heart out and left me feeling cold and alone.  Yeah all of that from a book.  I can’t even give it a rating right now because I feel like I’m enabling this behavior with even one star.  The writing style is amazing.  I felt every last emotion.  I felt happy, sad, excited, tearful then devastated.  I have never cried this much with a book.  Read at your own rick.  Be warned…this book will destroy your emotions!

Megan is pretty and a little short.  She’s very skiddish for good reason.  She has no plans to get close to anyone.  She keeps a bag packed for emergency exits.  She’s got a nasty past that others wouldn't be able to go through but she’s strong and she’s a survivor.  She works as a waitress in a “middle of nowhere” town.

Nick is beautiful with gorgeous green eyes.  He’s got tattoos.  He’s quiet and very watchful.  He’s also very protective of Megan from the very beginning.  He is hired on as the new cook in the restaurant that Megan works at.

A woman comes in looking for her sister Claire.  Megan is the spitting image of this girl.  Megan assures the woman that she’s not Claire.  Who is Claire then and why do they look so much alike?

Nick and Megan work the night shift together at the diner.  It’s only the two of them and he’s very watchful with the men who come in.  Nick doesn't take kindly to people grabbing her…a shotgun seems to be his answer.  After a few days of working together they decided to move in together.  It’s for financial reasons and to get him out of the hotel he’s living in.  it also means she won’t have to be alone.  She’s scared of being alone because of the past she’s running from…the people she’s running from.

I love their easy banter and flirting.  It’s sweet and innocent.  They are comfortable with each other and she feels safe with him.  The flirting picks up a couple of notches pretty quick.  They have an almost kiss between them that he’s quick to call her on and just plainly asks her how long before she gives in. 

“Just out of curiosity, how long do you think you can hold out until you give in? I’d just like a time frame.”  “Give in to what?” I dared to ask.  
“You wanted it as much as I did,” he declared boldly. “Still do.”

After she has a mental breakdown after leaving a festival she tells him what happened to her.  When her parents died she was left in the care of a family friend.  He tricked her into a room that locked from the outside.  Once she was weak enough from not eating he over powered her and raped her.  He kept her drugged from that point on and repeatedly raped her day after day.  He drugged her through the vents in the floor.  She managed to get the vent sealed off and then bashed his head in with the cover.  She had to set fire to the house to get out.  The fireman got her out of the house but she took off before the police could question her.  The burns on her body are from the fire.

Nick sat the entire time listening to her.  When she looks at him he’s been crying.  I loved this about him.  It showed that he cares a lot about her.  It shows that it hurt him to hear this about her.  It hurt me to read it.  I felt horrible for what she went through.  No human being should ever have to be subjected to that kind of torture.  He tells her to never call herself ugly again and to never feel guilty again.  Even though the guy died in the fire there is a problem.  There is another guy, a friend of the dead guy that also raped her.  She’s convinced he’s out for her.  She’s sure she saw him outside the diner and that’s why she had a breakdown.  Nick tells her no one was out there because he was right behind her the whole time.  He vows that no one will ever hurt her again.


As it turns out, Nick has a secret of his own.  He’s there because of the missing girl Claire.  He’s working at the diner and living with her to get to know her.  He tells her he’s there just to watch over her.  He claims that she is Claire (saw this coming a mile away).  He’s telling her that she’s so close to figuring it out.  He knows her.  He was with her when she went to get her tattoo when she was 17.  They had talked about it earlier but her reasons for getting it are different. 

Claire was 17 when she was taken by human traffickers.  The nightmares she’s been having about him begin to tell a story.  The people she thinks are her parents are actually her handlers.  They brainwashed her until she forgot her reality.  This is extremely messed up by the way!  She’s not completely convinced she’s Claire but the stories line up with the holes in her memory.  He’s not there just to watch her, she was something to him.  Reinserting himself into her life caused her subconscious to remember him that’s why she knew his full name and why he showed up in her dreams.  So the big question is who is he exactly to her?  She asks and he tells her that he thinks she already knows the answer to that.  He doesn't come out and say it but it’s obvious he loves her.  He’s the boyfriend that her mind can’t remember and her heart can’t forget. 
She was headed to Portland when she lost track and ended up where she is now after her escape.  She didn't know why that was where she was headed but knew she needed to get there.  When Nick tells her that’s where he lives she begins to see it clearly.  She was headed to Portland for the boyfriend she left behind without realizing it.  She was headed to find him.  I guess the heart never really does forget.  She wants to be Claire, to be the girl Nick could never stop looking for.  He never moved on and he never dated anyone after she went missing.

He takes her home to Portland.  The first thing that caught my attention was the way he referred to his apartment.  He said “our apartment” as in she lived there with him.  So she didn't actually live with him there but he did choose it after she was taken because of the security measures if he ever found her.  He takes her for a DNA test to prove she’s Claire but he already knows it.  He gets a look at her body and the damage and goes off.  He’s angry and hurt.  He can’t stand the thought that while he was still living his life someone had her and was doing things to her he couldn't protect her from.  He’s struggling with it. 

The results come back and she is officially Claire.  She’s free to start the rest of her life…or get back to her old life.  He takes her to meet his mom.  I love her!  She tells Megan the reason he’s a chef is because she played dumb about cooking once she figured out he was good at it.  The woman is a hoot!  Her meeting with her family was a little uncomfortable but she did remember something. 

One night while Nick’s at work and she’s home alone a cop comes banging on her door.  The police want to question her about the night she escaped.  They tell her something that makes her physically ill.  Her being taken wasn't by accident.  They had been following her for a long time.
 

<--This is exactly how I felt while reading the next part of this book!

As they were coming in one night the other guy finds them.  Nick is hurt, the guy shot him.  Instead of running she tries to help Nick.  The guy tells her she’s got to go with him or he’s going to put a final bullet into Nick.  She agrees to keep him alive and goes with the guy.  She’s not the same girl that was taken the first time though. 

If this psycho thought I was going to just shut up and take it, he had another thing coming. There was a good chance Nick was still alive, and I wasn't going to live my life without him.

I’m not going into what he does to her…it just makes me sick.  All I will say is that the police find her.  She goes into hiding and it’s 41 days later.  She’s living in a house that can’t be traced to her and still living in fear.  The silver lining in it all is that Nick survived and he’s with her.  She didn't tell him about the rapes until they tried having sex for the first time.  He broke a lot of glass and put his hand through the drywall.  There are no marriage proposals or happy endings.  Nick is by her side and will always be but they are starting over with wounds deeper than before.

I don’t even know how many stars to give this book.  It feels like giving it 5 stars is enabling what happened in this book.  I’m heart broken and angry. I'm surprised my Kindle is still working...seriously! I feel just blah after reading this.  I just don’t know…

 This was me after I read this book...














My Nick/Megan


Favorite Quotes

You know that moment when you know someone truly loves you? That one was mine…


“Megan, all you need to know is that the day I met you, I knew right then and there that you were the girl for me, and that I was going to do everything possible to spend the rest of my life with you.”