Something Shattered by Bailey Bradford

Title : Something Shattered                Word Count : 64,448
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : When something inside him is shattered by an act of violence, Caleb Tomas doesn’t think he can ever be whole again.

Police Officer Jesse Martin has lived in the small town of El Jardin, New Mexico, for a decade, but he’s never seen anything like the mysterious man who moves in in the middle of the night. The house across the street from Jesse’s trailer is no longer empty. There’s a puzzle waiting to be solved there in the form of one sexy, but decidedly different, man.

Bruised and battered inside and out, Caleb Tomas flees to the town of El Jardin in the hopes of escaping the terror that haunts him. Instead, he becomes more of a recluse, scared of everything, unable to get more than a dozen feet past his porch before he panics. His head’s a mess, and he knows he needs help, but that’s a step he doesn’t want to take. It’s easier, safer to stay hidden away with only his adorable puppy, Loopy, and the bird-murdering cat, Mix, for companionship.

But Caleb can’t help but notice the sexy man across the street, and when Loopy escapes from the back yard, it’s Jesse Martin who comes to the rescue.

And he might save more than one bouncy little poodle, if Caleb and Jesse are willing to take the risk.

My Review : All the tongues are wagging in the small town of El Jardin, everyone is wondering about the new resident Caleb who moved there in the dead of night. Caleb is in a very fragile state of mind when he meets Jesse Martin. Jesse Martin is a police officer and also Caleb’s neighbour. He has heard the rumours and he has some speculations of his own. He has caught glimpses of Caleb and he knows right away that the young man has been through something very traumatic. Caleb is bruised and battered and seems to be afraid to come outside. Jesse is the only one that Caleb allows to get close to him. To Caleb, Jesse represents strength and safety, two things that he desperately needs.
Jesse slowly inserts himself into Caleb’s life by coaxing him out to the mailbox. Everyday, he walks him the few feet to the mailbox, just to help him get over his fear. As much as Jesse would like to know what happened to this beautiful young man, he tries not to pry and doesn’t prod beyond what Caleb is comfortable with. This somehow strengthens Caleb’s resolve to get back to the person he once was. Although he has that residual fear of the outside world which is a memento from the violent assault he recently experienced , Caleb does not fear Jesse. He eagerly awaits the minutes until he sees Jesse. The relationship doesn’t take long to be forged between these two lovers. Caleb is a bit sweet and shy but underneath that lies a sexy vixen which allows Jesse’s dominant side to come out and play. The chemistry between them is explosive and leads to some really hot scenes. Whether it is a quick romp on Jesse’s lunch break or a lengthy session in Caleb’s bedroom, they attack each other passionately and voraciously.
With the encouragement of his sister, Caleb decides to open up and tell Jesse what he’s been running and hiding from. Jesse wraps Caleb up in his strong arms and knows that he will protect him from any harm. Their wills are soon tested and they face adversity in the form of smallminded police officers. They all come together as a family and stand strong against the actions of a few. Caleb also appeals to his audience, since he’s a writer. He discloses all his hidden truths and exposes his life and all the problems and hurt that he has been through . This sheds light on the homophobic jackasses in their lives and they soon realize that they can’t win in the face of such strength. Jesse and Caleb work seemlessly as a couple and even though small town life will not be perfect, their love for each other will see them through . I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

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