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Lauren Layne’s New Adult novel tells the story of a girl with secrets, a guy with scars, and a love that could save them both... or destroy them.

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

252 pages, ebook

First published September 2, 2014

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About the author

Lauren Layne

54 books9,920 followers
Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Hot Asset, Hard Sell, and Huge Deal in her 21 Wall Street series, as well as her Central Park Pact series. Her books have sold more than a million copies in nine languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,081 reviews
Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,531 followers
July 20, 2014

"Not so long ago, I was a bona fide romantic. I believed in true love and happy endings. And then I grew up."


It's been around a year now, maybe less since I discovered my addiction to Lauren Layne. It was a whirl wind example of love at first read and since that first book by this author I haven't once looked back. Everything this author puts together suits my tastes perfectly and I've made it no secret that Ms Layne is ones of my most treasured favourite authors. Those who know me will tell you that I have an unhealthy obsession will love, whether it's music about love or a TV series with characters falling for each other or those movies where there are those scenes that get your heart pounding, everything about love I can't help but be a little bit addicted to. Lauren Layne must know the secret to writing stories that fit right in with my love vice because she writes romance so perfectly I can't help but be swept up into her world of affairs of the heart. As for this novel, yet again I was glued to my kindle and predictably I fell straight into love with a story that rivals Disney's beauty and the beast. Readers get ready to met one tortured hero and a loveable pampered princess because Lauren Layne has delivered once again.

What's it all about?
Olivia Middleton is a pampered princess with a Heart of Gold. Living her life as the child of wealthy parents she has never had to worry about her future or security but when a mistake clouds her path of happiness she makes the decision to change the direction of her life and volenteer to assist a war veteran and leave behind her education and wealth. Expecting to be spending her days caring for an elderly war hero, Olivia is shocked to find that she's faced with caring for a moody, broody but exceptionally gorgeous twenty four year old left with scars inside and out from his time serving his country in the war. Paul Langdon is angry, he's angry at the world, his life, his situation and most of all he's angry that his father has recently assigned him a new carer who just happens to be a beautiful girl, a girl who is just another reminder that he can no longer be involved in a world that he once thrived in. But as defences drop and a friendship forms between this duo they may just be the answer to each other's hurt and the key to moving forward but before that can happen they both have to be willing to let go of what is broken in order to find their happy ending together.


What did I love?
From page one I was hooked by this story, nothing appeals to me more than a beauty and the beast storyline and this novel showcases that trope down to an art. For such a harrowing story it felt more romantic and emotional rather than dark and depressing and even though the author included some heart breaking themes I always felt that the healing and love was in the spotlight throughout the storytelling, all of which added to my enjoyment of the book. I've said before in other reviews that a tortured, borderline unlikeable hero is one of my favourites to read about and it's probably a good idea to mention that this hero does some questionable actions throughout the book but i couldn't help but fall for him in all his broken ways. Olivia was thoroughly likeable she was the perfectly relatable and she had a strength of character that was needed to balance out this books hero and all his demanding ways. The dual point of view was written so well, Lauren did an amazing job at keeping the characters voices true to their gender and personality and to top it off the sexual chemistry and build up to a relationship was sexy as well as heartfelt. As you have already guessed I adored this book, from the front cover to the acknowledgements I was won over by themes of healing, forgiveness and love but most of all I fell undeniably in love with one broken man and his story of a love of a lifetime.


Final thoughts ...
Admittedly this story did have a little bit of back and forth drama that may be a little much for some readers tastes but for me it all added to the anticipation of what I knew would be a glorious finale to a romance that had captured my heart. Lauren Layne could fill my reading time up with a book a day and id never tire of her writing style, there's not a release from the author that I'd miss and my only complaint now is that I have read all there is to read by this author and so the wait continues for more. I'm hoping that readers who are as addicted to romance and love as I am will fall in love this novel as much as I have and in addition if you have a penchant for a tortured hero who needs an opportunity to redeem himself then you don't want to miss out on meeting the irresistible but at times disagreeable, Paul Langdon. Finally Lauren Layne a thank you to you, you write stories that make me fall in love over and over again and I simply can't get enough. Go grab it on release day readers ... Enjoy.


*ARC generously provided by random house publishing via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.9k followers
September 11, 2014

"...the story of a girl with secrets, a guy with scars, and a love that could save them both..."

SQUEE!!!! Fun, sexy, and heart-wrenching, with a unique modern-day "Beauty & The Beast" twist to it, this was exactly the kind of book I was looking for!! A story of redemption, forgiveness, healing, and love. With its brooding, tormented, and scarred hero (LOVED him!!) and strong, sassy heroine who would NOT take any of his shit (LOVED her too!!), this is definitely one of my new favorites!!

You know that feeling when you just connect with a book? Yup, well, that happened here. We bonded, the book and I. Instantly. I fell in love with it on the first page, and by the second, I was already squeeing.

While I definitely chuckled my way through many chapters, I also was genuinely intrigued by the deeper story as well. What was this girl's secret? What had made her run from her privileged life? Who was this guy? What kind of person was hidden beneath his scars? What was his story? And why did he come off as such an asshole? And, why was he also making my heart melt? .... In every way, I. WAS. HOOKED.

I'm getting a little ahead of myself here...

Paul Langdon, once a popular, hotshot quarterback, was now a 24-year-old ex-Marine, permanently wounded and scarred both on the inside and outside by a war that also claimed the life of his closest friend. Angry, brooding, and utterly closed off, he wanted nothing more than to retreat from the world, but was forced into an ultimatum by his wealthy father: if he wanted to get his inheritance, he had to play nice and put up with his new caregiver. If it was just for him, he would have walked away in a heart-beat, but he needed the money to help someone else dear to him so he stayed, begrudgingly.

I'm no longer Paul Landgon, hotshot quarterback and all-American hero off to war. I'm Paul Langdon, disfigured recluse and of no use to anyone. Hell, I can't even be of use to myself. I can't even fucking walk.

Olivia Middleton was born into a wealthy family and lived a life of priviledge. But just short of graduating with her degree, she suddenly decided to leave her life of privilege and accepted a job in Maine as a private caregiver to an injured war veteran. For her, this was about penance and redemption.

When Olivia showed up at Paul's house, he was the last thing she expected...

I haven't even seen the guy in full light yet and I'm about fifteen seconds away from asking if his offspring would like to take up residence in my uterus.

I should run. Instead, I move closer.

"Let me guess. You were expecting an old dude in a smoking jacket?" he said gruffly.

... and there she was. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Free to live her life however she pleased. She represented everything he no longer was and everything he was trying to get away from.

This girl is exactly the sort of person I exiled myself to Maine to avoid. She's tempting. Not just in the sexual way… But with that briefest of glimpses, she tempts me with something worse: she makes me long for normal.

Every scene just drew me further and further in. Everything from the addictive writing, to all the secrets, to their explosive chemistry had me desperate to keep flipping the pages and see them fall in love.

He growls and moves closer, pinning me against the door with his body as his tongue slips into my mouth.

I totally loved Paul!! Gah, he was just so grouchy and tormented!! A "golden-boy-meets-jaded-war-hero" with PTSD. He was angry on the outside, seemingly dead on the inside, and yet Olivia sensed something more in him. I loved the way she shook up his world, threw him off his guard, and pulled him out of his downward spiral. And even more, I loved seeing her slowly bring him back to life.

She's touching my scars. And I'm letting her.

Because the story is told in alternating POVs, we genuinely see why Paul is the way he is. I love characters with deeper layers and while he may have come across as quite rough, when I learned the reasons why, it was heart breaking and I couldn't help but feel for him. Don't get me wrong, he really was a complete jerk at times but the damaged guys are my weakness. I love them, even with their mistakes. And, being able to read his thoughts allowed me to remain always sympathetic instead of being angry or frustrated.

She's not mine to protect but… I want her to touch me... I want her to be mine to take. And when she's looking at me like that, I can almost believe it's true.

Their banter was PURE GOLD!!! It perfectly balanced the more emotional side of the story. Every time things got serious, suddenly I'd be laughing at something one of them said. Then add in the sexy, intense hotness and the love/hate, push/pull vibe between them and, of course, the emotional undercurrents of Paul's painful past and this whole book was just a delightful mix of everything I love to read about.

"Oh I'm sorry. Were your bear growl and caveman antics supposed to send me running away? Did you expect that I'd faint at your glower?"

I also really loved this author's writing style! Not only was the way she conveyed emotions and described scenes so vivid but her specific word choices also made me smile over and over again.

My only complaint is that I wanted just a little bit more from the last few chapters. Don't get me wrong, it's a standalone with a resolved ending, but I really would have wanted an epilogue. Still, this is absolutely a new favorite for me!! Such an awesome story and I'm SO glad I read it!! :-)

No matter where I look, my walls are crumbling, and this damned girl keeps presenting me with the most dangerous element of all.


Rating: 4.5 stars. Standalone romance.

(PS: I debated a lot between marking 4 or 5 stars on here... I mark 4, then I mark 5, then back to 4, then back to 5... To be accurate, it would be a real 4.5, right in the middle of 4 and 5.)


For more of my reviews, book news and updates:
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Profile Image for Mysza.
476 reviews396 followers
April 14, 2015
**** 4,5 stars ****

Once again Lauren Layne delivered wonderful love story with wonderful characters. As much as I loved Isn't She Lovely, I didn't think this one would be as good, mainly because of Olivia. I didn't have much sympathy for her after what happened with Ethan in the first book and was very sceptical about her redemption. But oh man, was I wrong, because this book was beautiful.

This is a story story about rich, spoiled, fed with a silver spoon her whole life, preppy princess from Manhattan and about broken, broody, grumpy, scarred inside and out ex-military.

Olivia has it easy her whole life, until she makes a big mistake, she is looking for forgiveness and ends up taking up a job as a caretaker for war veteran. What she doesn't expect is him to be this young, arrogant and though scarred, extremely handsome, she didn't expect for him to have this pull on her.

Paul is angry and mad, he is no longer star quarterback with beautiful girlfriend on his arm, no, he is a broken man who after having returned from Afghanistan became reclusive and didn't want anyone around. He definitely doesn't want another caretaker in his life. What he doesn't expect is Olivia to be this young and gorgeous, with no bullshit attitude.

They have three months together, and while Paul makes it hard to be around, Olivia never gives up on him and slowly breaks his walls and encourages him to open up. Although Paul had really cruel moments and sometimes I wanted to smack him, I couldn't help but like him. Olivia did very well on redemption, when I started a book, I wasn't a fan, but at the end, I can say, she was very likeable character.

They are both attracted to each other and there is great chemistry there. The sexual tension is very much present. I also enjoyed the pull and push and back and forth. Their relationship was difficult and intense, but oh so beautiful. The ending was sweet and satisfied me, though I wouldn't mind some kind of epilogue. Another great book from LL, which I recommend. Enjoy!

Updated 04/14/2015
We have that epilogue that I was missing and you can find it here:
Broken epilogue
Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,974 followers
March 14, 2015
4,5 Redeeming Stars.

In this modern twist of the “Beauty and the Beast”, Paul is an ex-marine who was badly hurt in a mission, and now lives recluse in his own mansion ashamed of how he looks and his physical complications. Olivia is a girl who made some mistakes in the past and now she’s looking for redemption. She decides that that best way to get it is to help a war veteran to recover. What she wasn’t expecting was the veteran be close to her in age, and quite good-looking despite the scars and the arrogance
Both a little scared, neither one prepared (Ahn? See what I did here?!) they start to develop feelings for each other. But when of both of them are broken, can they find healing on the other?


This was an extremely written love story. As always is with Lauren Layne. She always writes the best slow-burn stories that leave you addictive from the first page and make you root for the protagonist from the first moment.
My only problem with Lauren Layne (and the sole reason I didn’t rate this five stars) is because Lauren must hate epilogues. I’m a complete epilogue sucker and I almost live for them, so as you can imagine books that don’t have one (even small) doesn’t sit well with me.
This was sweet, romantic, heartbreaking at some times and with real sexy moments. A book you shouldn’t definitely miss!


Rating: 4,5 Stars.
Characters Development: After having some trouble with Olivia after the previous book, I’m glad to say we make peace with each other. It was nice to see the things from her point of view and after all… what young adult doesn’t err? Paul was harder. In the beginning we was quite the asshole but it clear he was fighting a war with himself, so it was impossible not to like. And he grew up so much as a character that towards the end, it was impossible not to love him. There were some strong supporting characters, and I can say I’m very curious to read Michael’s story next!
Steam: Some heated scenes.
Sensible Subjects:
Love Triangle:
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,052 reviews12.2k followers
July 28, 2014
4.5 Beauty and the Beast Stars

I almost want to laugh at how messed up we are.
Two completely shattered souls doing a weird approach-and-recoil dance around each other.

Remember Olivia from Isn't She Lovely? She was Ethan's ex girlfriend who broke his heart. Ring a bell? What started out with a lighthearted take on Pygmalion, now continues with an angsty and emotional take of Beauty and the Beast with Broken. This is the story of 2 damaged souls, Olivia and Paul. One is seeking penance while the other seeks oblivion. Can they heal each other without shattering their already broken pieces?

I wasn't sure how I would like Olivia in her own book since saying that I liked her in Isn't She Lovely would be an understatement. Lauren Layne certainly managed to redeem her in my eyes. With a deeper look into who she really is and the things that drive, you can tell that beneath the rich society girl is a also a girl that made a mistake and is looking for any way to redeem herself. She's also running. Running from her daily life and her daily reminders of what she did and can no longer fix. So she takes a job in Maine caring for a war veteran. She just didn't see Paul coming...

Paul is scarred and angry. He's angry at the world, he's angry at his life, and he's angry at anyone that breaks his reclusive routine. So when his father announce that the new caretaker after the many before that he's already run off is his last chance, he's less than thrilled about it.

Ladies, let me just tell you, if you like your heroes to be colossal (and I mean COLOSSAL assholes) prepare to fall for Paul. Paul is the epitome of broken. He's scarred inside and out, and his road to redemption is not a fast one. This is not someone that lays their eyes on Olivia and insto presto he's smitten. Oh no. He was downright callous, but you still can't help but fall for him. Your heart will hurt for him at the same time you will want to throttle the living daylights out of him and his treatment of Olivia.

The author gives the reader just the right amount of small tidbits and tiny morsels of the man that he can be, that will leave you almost torn between loving and hating him at the same time.

But don't be fooled, because those few morsels are rare and few in between.
You want me?" he asks against my mouth. "You want my hands on you?"
Little alarm bells are going off in the back of my head. There's no warmth in his words. No kindness, or even desire. He's playing some sort of cruel game in which my body is definitely the playing board. And I'm a willing participant.

At times my head would be spinning between his rage and the small glimpses at the broken soul he hides beneath the cold and broken exterior.

Little by little Olivia begins to do what no other caretaker before her has accomplished; she begins to chip away at his walls. But will he let them down enough to let her into his heart?
Somewhere inside of me, a demon is telling me that I'm going to disappoint her. That I'm going to destroy her.

This book had a much more serious, emotional, and angsty undercurrent. And when I say angsty, I mean ANGSTY. But there's also a small dose of steam to break it up

Soon followed by more angst.

What can I possibly tell you about this book other than it's a must read? What else do you need? Read it and see for yourself. I know I for one cannot wait to see what this incredibly talented author has in store for the next book in the series. Dare I hope for Michael's book next?

**ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

All quotes taken from the Advanced Reader Copy of book and may differ from the finished published version

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Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,796 followers
November 16, 2014

Title: Broken
Series: Redemption #1
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Rating: 4. 5 stars
Cliffhanger:. No

Broken is another sweet, cute and totally off the charts hot read written by Lauren Layne. Just like in Isn’t She Lovely, Lauren delivered fabulous new adult read that consumed me from the beginning. I flew through this story quickly: only pausing for a minute or two when emotions started to overwhelm me or when I couldn’t stop laughing at the crazy, witty banter between two main characters. I simply adored how easily this story seemed to flow, chapter after chapter, I was filled with all this fuzzy, warm feelings that just would not let me go. My face hurt from smiling so much.

Oliva is Ethan’s ex-girlfriend. We met her in Isn’t She Lovely as this horrible girl who cheated on her boyfriend with his best friend… After that she wanted to go away for a while, where nobody (especially Michael) could bother her and make her remember what she’s done.

”I had two best friends in the world, and I managed to treat both of them like garbage: Ethan by betraying him, Michael by walking away.”

That’s how this beautiful, spoiled princess got a job as a caretaker of war veteran named Paul. Surprisingly, the man she is supposed to care for is not old, immobile man. Her employer is only two years older than her and definitely able to move around. He also has many physical and mental issues; not only his leg isn’t in very good shape, one side of his face is scarred and his soul is broken.

Paul, rough around the edges and complete asshole, blackmailed by his father agreed to let Olivia be his “caretaker”. It was that or no money.

Now both of them have to learn how to cope with each other and survive three months together.

“It’s just so romantic. The beautiful angel swooping in to save the surly dickwad who’s quite possibly a murderous recluse.”

The introduction to the main heroine made me not sure if I would be able to like Olivia or even tolerate her, but thanks to Lauren Layne’s amazing storytelling ways I quickly learned that she is not as bad as I have pictured her. She did redeem herself in my eyes very quickly; which let me relax and start to enjoy myself.

I’m a great fan of love/hate relationships or just those couples who are full of wit and sass. There is nothing better than great sexual chemistry mixed with funny banter and silly situations; Broken was full of that, so instantly I’ve fallen in love with this story.

“You want me?" he asks against my mouth. "You want my hands on you?"

Broken is also filled with laugh out loud moments, quite a few smoldering, sexy times and lots of sexual tension. And while Paul is definitely a jerk, he’s loveable too. So, yes I think Lauren Layne has done great job with this story and I highly recommend it to all new adult fans.

***Review copy provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest review ***


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Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,409 reviews4,662 followers
July 18, 2014
3.75 Stars - 4 Stars

”I had two best friends in the world, and I managed to treat both of them like garbage: Ethan by betraying him, Michael by walking away.”


Attention fans of Isn’t She Lovely Isn't She Lovely (Redemption, #0.5) by Lauren Layne this is Olivia’s book (Ethan’s former girlfriend) who got caught kissing his best friend. Olivia is completely down on herself since things fell apart with Ethan. She decides to drop out of NYU and do penance for her sins by taking care of a war veteran in Middle-of-Nowhere Maine.

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Much to Olivia’s surprise the war veteran is a hot young male named Paul Langdorn. Paul is one angry and broken man who used to be the quarterback of his football team and babe magnetic. The tragedies he faced while serving our country have crippled him and have left both visible and invisible scars.

”I don’t need a gorgeous blond to remind me of all the things I can’t have.”

Paul and Olivia’s attraction and chemistry was evident from their first encounter while Olivia may not be medically qualified on any level, her presence does get to Paul and soon he finds himself making strides.

”I want to show him that he’s not a monster. That he’s not a thing to be laughed at. I want him to know that he is desirable, even with scars.

Sadly, Paul shows his anger towards Olivia and can be pretty cruel. Olivia was such a likable character and the story had steam, while and the writing was enjoyable with a nice ending. However, I needed more. Perhaps an epilogue? I would have liked to see how Paul can handle life outside his father’s compound.

*ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
August 9, 2014
Wow this was really good! I loved it! The truth is these kind of books are my favorite! A guy with scars in his face is exactly what I'm looking for. From the beginning I couldn't put it down! The sexual tension between Paul and Olivia was off the charts! I loved the writing and the story was interesting! This is my first book from Lauren Lane and now I'm sure I will read her other books too!

This is Olivia's and Paul's story. Olivia has made a mistake and now she needs an escape. She wants to get away from her previous life, so she makes the decision to take a job as a caretaker. She thinks that the man she will meet is an old man instead she finds a beautiful man but still arrogant.

How will she deal with him?
Can she manage to make things work for her?


Paul doesn’t think of himself as the good looking football hero anymore but a disgusting man. Returning home from Afghanistan he's a completely changed man. Paul no longer wants to be around anyone. His father has sent many caretakers to try and help him but he didn't make it with anyone...
But now it is so different when he meets his new caretaker who is around his age with blonde hair and long legs....
Can he resist her?
Is she going to put away the walls he has created around himself?

"She makes me forget to breathe. She makes me forget everything."


Their relationship was at times times was scorching hot between them! I loved them both!! Oh poor Paul was broken inside and out.. I loved him so much! I love when books have both POVS because we can see what they both think! Olivia was tough and funny! Exactly what Paul needs!

A really beautiful book for everyone!

**ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
903 reviews1,812 followers
August 10, 2018
Paul is a war veteran and Olivia was on way to earn a management degree from a prestigious college but fate had different plans for them and throw them together for three months.

Paul's face has seriously damaged and now want to stay away from crowd. After multiple tries on his father's part to bring him back to normal fails and Paul was given a deadline of three months to keep the next babysitter else he would be cut off from his wealth. Paul has a secret and he couldn't manage to scare away Olivia. While they both had broken past but together they try to mend each other..

This story took me back to Making Faces, which has similar story but a much much better execution. Olivia was on rebound after the man she was in love with since forever broke up with her and falls hard for Paul in first meeting.. Paul couldn't stop thinking about this beautiful girl and yet he treated like shit. This insta-lust and then the degrading behavior made me roll my eyes. I also didn't like how Olivia never cleared things with her ex before jumping on in with Paul.

this simply didn't work for me.
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,458 followers
July 25, 2014

“It’s just so romantic. The beautiful angel swooping in to save the surly dickwad who’s quite possibly a murderous recluse.”

We have the beauty, Olivia....who we met in Isn't She Lovely, though I didn't remember her at all. Olivia cheated on her long time boyfriend Ethan, with their best friend Michael. As a result she drops out of school and signs on to be a caretaker for Paul, the beast.

Paul was injured at war and for the last two years has lived a life of seclusion. He has a bum leg, scarring on his face and an overall piss poor attitude about life in general.

Boy does Olivia have her work cut out for her. Despite Paul's extremely brooding, and at times downright hateful, attitude....I couldn't help but like him. Paul was dealt a pretty shitty hand...he just hasn't done anything to climb his way out.

"Olivia’s future is glamorous Hamptons parties and pretty boys in suits. Mine is solitude and hole-in-the-wall bars like Frenchy’s."

Paul hasn't wanted to move on. He hasn't wanted to get help. I really enjoyed the back and forth banter between Olivia and Paul. She didn't put up with his shit when there were many times I would have given up. But she never gives up on Paul. And that's the one thing tha t Paul needed most. Someone to want to know what happened to him. Someone to believe in him.

Olivia finally starts to break down some of Paul's carefully constructed walls. He opens up about what happended to him. He starts to go out, even if it is just into town. He smiles more, he laughs. And it's all thanks to Olivia.

"I love Paul, the person. I love his darkness and his shadows. I love his smile and the kindness he tries so hard to hide. I love the boyish quarterback beneath the war veteran, and I love the scarred right side of his face even more than the perfection of his left.
I love him."

But is that enough? Enough for Paul to live a "normal" life? A life where he and Olivia go on dates? Where he visits NY with her? Where Paul can walk amongst a crowd of strangers and not fear what people's reactions will be?

"I can live in the light without you, or stay here in the dark with you.”

I really enjoyed this one. I can't say the storyline was completely original but I liked that there wasn't a bunch of outside drama. Just two people...both carrying guilt from their pasts, looking for something more...something different. Absolution. Resolution. Forgiveness. Love.

This one wasn't super steamy but had some hot moments. A few LOL moments and a few teary moments. I'd definitely recommend!
Profile Image for Sandy ღCoffee Addict Booksღ.
229 reviews242 followers
June 29, 2016
“5 Disney stars”

I loveeeeeed it!!!

It was everything I needed, everything I was looking for in a book- it made me feel soooo romantic. This happens to be my second 5 star book this year (Ya, no surprise there!) and for once, I didn’t want to judge a book, just wanted to feel the love and enjoy it. Story was simple yet so full of life, there was so much depth to it and characters were so real and relatable, not all gooey or charming; the kind that makes you want to cuddle with them but the ones who are broken, sarcastic and most probably at their worst. It’s like you are stuck between reaching out to hug them and slap some sense into them.

What can I say about the author which I haven’t said before? Her writing is simply beautiful; she has some kind of magical portal in her books that just sucks you in and trust me, I didn’t want the fairy tale to ever end!
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews9,996 followers
August 22, 2014
*****4.5 STARS*****
(ARC Provided by Random House Publishing Group-Loveswept via Netgalley)
{BR with Melissa}

 photo c5823aba59cf5fe413e71d03776490d5_zps2f0b531f.jpg

Lauren Layne has done it again!
I am always pretty positive when I pick up one of her books, it is going to be a really good story that keeps me entertained.
She normally writes romantic comedies, but "Broken" was definitely a bit darker than her usual stories.
I didn't realize this story was linked to "Isn't She Lovely", which I ADORED!!!

Olivia Middleton, is looking to change her life.
She is Ethan Price's ex-girlfriend. They broke up when Ethan walked in on her and his best friend, Michael, kissing in his bedroom.
Heart broken over their break-up, and feeling an excessive amount of self loathing, Olivia drops out of NYU her senior year, to become a care giver to a war veteran in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Paul Langdon, is an ex marine, who was disfigured while stationed in Afghanistan. He has slashes on the right side of his face and one of his legs was badly injured. He's been hiding out in his family's mansion in Bar Harbor, Maine for the past two years.
Paul has become very bitter with his circumstances and he's not the easiest person to get along with.
He has forced numerous care givers in the past to quit within a day due to his surly demeanor.

Paul's father issues an ultimatum. The new caregiver stays on for a minimum of three months, if she leaves before then, Paul will be kicked out and cut off financially.
He agrees to behave but there is a truly selfless reason why he gives in to his father's demands.

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When these two meet, they are both pretty taken aback.
Neither expected the other to be so young and attractive.
Olivia and Paul are instantly attracted to each other, but Paul puts up his walls and does everything in his power to be as rude as possible to her. Olivia, for the most part, doesn't let his behavior affect her.
She challenges him, like no one else has in the past two years.

It was a slow build to the sexy time between these two.
I am talking, these two didn't get it on till about the 75% mark, and the sex was worth the wait!!

I really liked Olivia.
She was sweet and feisty. I really didn't understand why she thought she was a horrible person. Kissing another man while having a boyfriend doesn't make you the devil. But I guess, maybe to a 22 year old it seems more tragic than it really is.
She was falling hard for Paul but not convinced that she was good enough for him.

It's not the easy love I had for Ethan, or the warm, uncomplicated love I felt for Michael as a friend. I love Paul, the person. I love his darkness and his shadows. I love his smile and the kindness he tries so hard to hide. I love the boyish quarterback beneath the war veteran, and I love the scarred right side of his face even more than the perfection of his left. I love him.

Paul was gorgeous and broken, which are one of the combinations I love in a book boyfriend.
There were times I wanted to kick his butt, however, he was still utterly swoon worthy!!!

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There's a good amount of angst and my heart broke for these two.
I hoped that they would find a way to overcome their insecurities and pain, and give in to the love they felt for each other.

This is a book not to be missed.
Lauren Layne is definitely a "GO TO" author for me.
Profile Image for Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️.
819 reviews842 followers
March 3, 2015
4 Redeeming Stars

I will confess- I have had this book sitting at NG for quite awhile. Why I didn't read it soon is a mystery but boy was I pleasantly surprised by how good this book was. It was a book that made me feel good all over.

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This is a wonderful beauty and the beast story. Paul is a war veteran from Afghanistan who returned home with both external and internal scars. He has been hiding from the world, only living to help the families of the men he served with who didn't come home. His scars, his guilt, his fears keep him from reentering society- he's broken. He's fine with living at his family's summer estate away from the world. Paul is mean, nasty, bitter, borderline drunk and doesn't want or need a caregiver. He's gotten rid of all the others with his meanness. But his father has set up parameters this time, if Paul's caregiver doesn't stay for 3 months, he will be cut off from all his money. If he wants to still help his brother's families, he has to put up with this next caregiver for 3 months. He can do it, for them...

Olivia is the beauty who has been asked to work as Paul's caregiver to help him return to the land of the living. Olivia has her own guilt's and demons that she is running from. She's hoping that helping Paul will help to heal her - she's broken as well. But Olivia is bold, irreverent and brave, and she can hold her own. She was expecting an old man to take care of, not a 24 yr old man whom she is wildly attracted to.

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So three months.....Paul finds that his disposition is slowly changing. Olivia is doing something to him. Olivia makes him want "normalcy" but he knows he can't have it and it only intensifies his torment. He has days where the mean and cruel Paul wants to resurface; his demons are deep and are always close at hand. Paul and Olivia go toe to toe. She overlooks his aggression, knowing that it comes from deep inside. The tormented man is hard to resist. She wants to help Paul so that she can fix her brokenness. They settle into a routine. They run in the morning or Olivia runs and Paul walks. Besides his scars on his face his leg is wounded as well. They work out, they read in the library, they eat together, they spend time together.....these two broken souls seems to have Hope.

They eventually break to one another. Paul's story is sad and tragic and heartbreaking but he finally opens up. He is starting to live and he wants and needs Olivia. Olivia also opens up about her brokenness. She tells Paul and in doing so, they fall in deep. Their connection is intense and powerful and loving. But is their love enough to really pull Paul into the real world? Can Olivia be happy living at the estate never leaving his safety net?

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This story was told in dual POV's. It was very well written. It tugs on so many emotions- sadness, loneliness, grief, guilt, happiness, sorrow, love, and hope. It's hard not to love a tormented man who wants redemption but doesn't feel he deserves it. Olivia is strong and determined and believes that Paul can be unbroken. These two together eventually see beyond their brokenness and truly redeem one another. It's a beautiful love story that I would recommend to all.

*ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest review*

Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews796 followers
September 2, 2014
LIVE: http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Redempti...

4.5 Broken Stars

Olivia Middleton is an only child and who grew up with wealth and privilege. For years she was what everyone expected her to be the perfect student, daughter, and girlfriend to Ethan. Then one day she made a mistake. A mistake she can’t forgive herself for, so she decides to drop out of NYU the summer before her senior year and pursue a more philanthropic life. Her parents find her to a job in Maine caring for a wounded veteran, this isn’t exactly what Olivia had in mind, but she agrees to make her parents happy.

Paul Langdon is a damaged man, he has visible scars, but the worse of his scars are the ones you can’t see. He has been back from Afghanistan for 3 year and ran off numerous caregivers and nurses, but his father has given him an ultimatum: make it work with Olivia for at least three months or he will be kicked out of his home.

Olivia and Paul are both running and hiding from their past, both in need of repair. What will become of this pair can they help each other overcome the past or will they both just end up more damaged?

I have read a couple of books by Lauren Layne and this one is definitely my favorite. I loved seeing the journey and transformation in both characters. Paul and Olivia fought and bickered and it felt real to me. It wasn’t an insta-love connection, it was a relationship that took time, effort and patience.

I highly recommend this book. It is short, had some hot sexy times, angst, and some super sweet moments too.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for ~♡AB♡~.
974 reviews667 followers
May 8, 2015
★★★ 3 Stars ★★★

This was my least favourite book out of the 3, I'm sorry to say it but I just didn't connect to Paul or the romance. Olivia was an OK heroine, but nothing that stood out. I still love Lauren Layne though!

Isn't She Lovely & Crushed had a completely different feel, this was much more serious and sombre and that's probably what put me off.

This is a standalone, told in dual POV

Profile Image for [~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥ .
501 reviews454 followers
July 25, 2014
3 stars

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Olivia leaves her secrets behind and starts work as a caretaker for injured veteran, Paul. One has scars. One has secrets. Will they be able to help each other?

I liked the way Olivia stood up for herself. Now Paul, I understand he has PTSD but he was such a moody ass!!! I just wanted to kick him. Strangle him. Slap him. Maybe Just a thought!

There was good bickering, maybe a bit too much back and forth. Good sexual tension. The insta lust was a little random at the beginning but when I got past that it was okay-likeable-ish.

ARC provided by NetGalley

BR with Harriet
Profile Image for Brandi.
634 reviews1,274 followers
August 13, 2016
3.5 Stars

After making some bad decisions, Olivia Middleton is trying to ease her guilty conscience. So she leaves her glamorous Upper East Side life behind and accepts a caretaker position for an injured veteran. Hoping to find redemption.


Paul Langdon is a 24 year old, broken man, with internal and external battle scars. He is surly and defiant, refusing to move forward. He just wants to continue he being a broody recluse.


From the moment Olivia and Paul meet, they realize this arrangement is more than they expected. They are both young and attractive - a bit of insta-lust, but they try to fight it. Welcome to the push and pull. Between forceful kisses and hateful comments, these two go from one extreme to the other. But Olivia is tough, she challenges Paul in a way no one ever has. He may push her, but she pushes right back and refuses to let his wallow in self pity.


Feelings develop and they find themselves trusting one other. Will Olivia bring Paul out of the darkness? Or will he pull her in?


Broken was steamy, angsty romance with a good amount of humor. While at times both characters seemed dramatic and immature, this was an enjoyable, well-paced read.

*ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
971 reviews142 followers
August 7, 2014
5 Stars!

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I just adore this author! Lauren Layne has become my go to author when I need a fun, sweet, steamy with a bit of angst read. This one had a little more angst than the other books I have read by LL but she gives you just the right amount of everything. The story will tug at your heart yet keep it in tack. ❤

Broken is a story about two people who are damaged. Olivia is damaged by a choice she made. But she wants her redemption. She wants to feel better about herself. Paul is damage from the repercussions of war. He is angry and indignant. But it is not just about being damaged and needing to be fixed. Olivia and Paul may not admit it but they both need to be wanted in ways they didn’t realize.

Paul was such a jackass. Or you could say he was an asshole. Here it comes…BUT it is important to understand his pain. He was suffocating under his physical scares as well as emotional scares. Paul has lost pieces of his identity and has given in to his anger, deciding living a life of isolation is the answer to everything. I wanted to hate him, I really did but I found myself quickly falling for him. Buried deep within, was a part of him that wasn’t tainted. He was a man who deserved to be happy and whole again.

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“I wanted to show him that he’s not a monster. That he is not a thing to be laughed at. I wanted him to know that he is desirable, even with scars.” – Olivia

Olivia had a secret, her reason for why she was looking for redemption. It didn’t take much for me to like Olivia. I know she made a mistake but her resolve to be better, to do something good made her shine. It takes a strong person to tolerate the verbal attacks that Paul dished and it wasn’t easy for her. Olivia hid her sadness. She didn’t give up or give in and little by little she was able to break down his walls.

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”The thought should elate me, but I can’t shake the dark sense of foreboding. No matter where I look, my walls are crumbling, and this damned girl keeps presenting me the most dangerous element of all. Hope.” – Paul

A little bit about the story ~

Olivia has it all. She has been given all the material things that come from a wealthy family. But something is still missing. She needs to cleanse herself for what she did. She needs to be her own person and stand on her own two feet. In her quest for all of this Olivia has signed on to be a caretaker of a Veteran. She didn’t know what to expect but what Olivia finds is so much more. She wasn’t prepared for Paul and all his anger.

But I am not sure who was more unprepared. Paul had his routine to get rid of each caretaker his father sent his way but the minute he laid eyes on Olivia he knew he was in trouble. But he wasn’t about to give in to this beautiful girl. He wasn’t going to let anyone into his life of solitude. One way or not he would drive her away. But Paul was in for a rude awakening.

Watching Paul and Olivia go to battle each time they were together broke my heart. Olivia was trying so hard to gain just an inch of kindness from him but all she got was bitterness. But beneath the bitterness she saw something in him that she desperately wanted to unlock.

Paul was trying to let go of his pain. He wanted to grab hold of something good. But he didn’t know how to be the man he used to be, the man that deserved someone like Olivia. For Paul it was just easier to be hateful and alone.

It was getting harder and harder for Paul to resist his desire for Olivia. As things between Paul and Olivia start to change you could feel it coming. And with one last hateful attempt to push her away something changes in Paul. He abandons some of his anger and gives in.

Finally!!! Things get pretty sexy and pretty hot quickly. You feel the intensity of their connection. Olivia desperate to get all of Paul and Paul wanting to believe he can find happiness. But this is just he beginning. Will they both be strong enough to make it out the other side?

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Once again Lauren Layne did not disappointment. This time around she gave me the sweetness and the sexiness I come to love in her books but she also gave me more angst than she normally has in her books and I loved it.

Broken is a must read if you’re a lover of LL and if you’re not grab hold of this book and give her writing a try.

*ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

All quotes taken from the Advanced Reader Copy of book and may differ from the finished published version

September 12, 2014

3.5 Stars

Broken is a story about hope; one man’s journey to survival and a girl who’s made mistakes.
“Carrying for a war veteran isn’t about
philanthropy. It’s about penance.”
Paul Langdon returns from war a shadow of the man he once was, both physically and emotionally. Everything has changed, the way he moves, the way he looks and the way he feels. His father sends him carer after carer to help rehabilitate his body, and more importantly, his mind.... But to accept help, to move on, Paul has to want it. He needs a reason to motivate himself out of the dark. Is there anything or anyone who can make a difference? Change Paul's mindset? Give him hope of a future worth living?

Enter sassy and beautiful, Olivia Middleton. Paul's newest companion/carer.

Will Olivia be able to keep his nightmares at bay?

Our leading characters experience an immediate and fierce attraction to each other. There’s insta lust but that doesn't mean it's all sweet love and plain sailing. There’s a dose of enjoyable angst and drama added to the mix and the build of a beautiful friendship; a routine with each other where they begin to share some lovely habits.

My wishes for more stars
I wish there hadn't been so many jumps in the time line. There were sections where it moved on by weeks and I felt like I was left with gaps in my knowledge and emotions. I wanted to completely experience the build of their relationship, not every single minute but, for me, the missing time was slightly too much.

I wish some of the happenings towards the end had been a little different. It didn't always feel completely true to the characters and story, but equally Mrs pedantic here kind of liked the drama.... It felt just about plausible, if slightly dramatic in terms of motivation.


Despite my two wishes, my love for this story grew and grew; I found myself smiling and loving many elements of it. Olivia's enthusiasm for Paul is infectious and their growth as characters immense.

Olivia and Paul have sweet moments of sexy, hotness and romance....

The story has a delightful, pureness to it which I really enjoyed and made my book heart happy. It's a wonderful example of how everything happens for a reason, even if it doesn't always feel that way. Fate and life brings people together and it's beautiful.

Broken is a lovely example of a New Adult story, so if this is where your true book heart lies, Lauren Layne is an author you need in your life. It has all the ingredients necessary to feed our sweet romantic needs. A treat for those who love a truthfully broken hero, and a determined heroine who’s ready to aid the healing. If you fancy a NA feast, one-click your copy of Broken, smile and enjoy.

Note: Broken is told from the dual perspective of our hero and heroine and is a standalone story.

Complimentary copy received from Random House Publishing Group, via NetGalley, for my honest review

Guest reviewed for Four Chicks Flipping Pages
Profile Image for Jo ★The Book Sloth★.
485 reviews432 followers
September 28, 2014
5 Lauren Layne Stars

ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Everyone thinks that Olivia Middleton is the default nice girl. The girl that do can never do wrong to anyone. Everyone is wrong. Olivia did a terrible mistake that hurt three people very much, including herself. Now Olivia is determined to do penance and what better way than doing a good deed and helping an elderly war veteran reenter society? Only when she gets to Bar Harbor, Maine she doesn't find an elderly, she finds Paul, a 24 year old, scarred inside and out but definitely hot guy.

Paul Langdon has been dead inside for a long time. He doesn't particularly care about his life. He just spends his life drinking and wasting away. He never really recovered from his time in Afghanistan. His once beautiful face is now scarred beyond repair, his once quarterback leg is now a shot mess and his once alive soul is now dying. He is a recluse, a loner, a mean guy cut off from the world by his own choice. Now his father has given him an ultimatum. He will either put up with Olivia for 3 months or he will lose all his inheritance.

The moment they meet sparks fly and maybe, just maybe Olivia is the right person to lead Paul back from his self-imposed exile from society.

This is a beauty and the beast kind of story and I admit I am a sucker for those. What I didn't notice before starting the book was that the heroine was none other than Olivia, Ethan's ex from Isn't She Lovely.

I love tortured heroes and Paul falls right into that category. His physical scars are nothing compared to the weight of guilt and pain he carries in his soul. Despite the fact that he has become bitter and angry at the whole world, Paul is a nice person. He cares about other people even though he doesn't want them around him. Maybe all he needs is someone to show him that life is still worth living and that a few scars do not cripple him for life.

Olivia carries a lot of guilt for what she did to Ethan and Michael. She thinks that by helping Paul she may discover how to help herself. To be honest I kind of sympathised with Olivia. The girl felt suffocated in the worlds expectations and she saw an out on Michael and took it. Not to say that what she did wasn't wrong but I'm willing to give her credit for owning up to her mistakes.

I loved how the story progressed and how we could see Olivia and Paul coming closer together and opening up to each other. I also liked how much more mature they both came out in the end.

I hope the next book is a HEA for Michael and that the 3 friends make up!:)
Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,397 reviews661 followers
August 21, 2015

***4.5*** Stars

Two completely shattered souls doing a weird approach-and-recoil dance around each other.

Who just discovered a great author sitting on their kindle??


I can't believe I've let Lauren Layne sit on my kindle for so long!

I decided to start with this book since I'm a sucker for a good Beauty and Beast-esque story and let me tell you, Lauren Layne created that beautifully here.

Olivia could have easily come off as a spoiled and entitled rich bitch from New York, but she didn't. She fully acknowledged her wealthy upbringing, extravagant lifestyle and privileged life. She may have over-dramatized her need for penance a little too much for my liking, but it wasn't something that weighed the story down.

Olivia's first encounter with Paul is rough. Paul has had many caretakers come and go, but he is completely unnerved by his reaction to Olivia. So he does what comes naturally...he goes for a reaction.

"Sounds like my father forgot to mention the most important part of your job. But then, he never tells my babysitters what they're really doing here."

"And what's that?" I ask, narrowing my eyes.

"Suicide watch."

The door slams in my face.

But Olivia doesn't take the bait. She all too well understands what it's like to hide. She sees that Paul hides his insecurities behind a surly attitude...and she plans to overcome every hurdle he throws her way.

Paul is completely baffled by Olivia. She doesn't take any of his shit, she doesn't look at him with pity or disgust, she isn't careful not to poke the beast...she treats him normal...she treats him like a human.

The worst of my scars aren't the ones I see in the mirror...


She trades him barb for barb. She doesn't treat his scarred face, damaged leg and bad attitude like something that should be avoided.

Olivia quickly realizes that Paul's limitations are more in his head than with his body, and it's time that someone helped him heal both.

"Also, fun little trivia for this morning?"

"No thanks."

"That cane? All for show. You haven't used it once to support your weight this entire time."

Every time Paul begins to feel Olivia cracking his resolve, he lashes out and cruelly pushes her away. He turns her growing affection towards him into something ugly, something dark...something cold.

Maybe he really is as dead inside as he looks, as he wants everyone to believe. Maybe I'm doing little more than babysitting a statue with a sadistic streak.

Olivia forgives him (a little too easily if you ask me) and sees his treatment of her as part of her redemption, part of the penance she must pay for her betrayal back home.

With every barrier Olivia breaks through, Paul slowly begins to realize how truly lonely he is. How much he's isolated himself and how much he needs someone to connect to. And that scares him just as much.

I wish someone would ask what happened. How I am. Something other than the vapid Need something?

Hell yes, I need something. I need someone to care.


Their relationship turns into a constant push and pull, with a sizzling undercurrent of sexual attraction and lust. Paul does whatever he can think of to do or say to push Olivia away. He's terrified that she'll give him the one thing he's closed himself off from...hope.

My self-hatred threatens to choke me. I hang on to the anger like it's a lifeline, because the alternative is despair. And despair might kill me.

However, little by little Paul and Olivia let their guards down. A friendship is formed that blooms into something more.

I love his darkness and his shadows. I love his smile and the kindness he tries so hard to hide. I love the boyish quarterback beneath the war veteran, and I love the scarred right side of his face even more than the perfection of his left.

This is my first Lauren Layne book and I can say with certainty it won't be my last. There's just something about her storytelling that feels so effortless and authentic. Not once did the story drag or a detail feel out of place. The characters were well developed and everything about their journey felt natural.

However, I will say I feel that the ending was a little bit on the rushed side. And I think the story would have greatly benefited from an epilogue...nothing too extravagant...even a one page peak of a month down the line would suffice.

But even my little grievances can't overshadow how much I enjoyed this book. I got a sassy heroine, a vulnerable and damaged leading man, fantastic banter, endearing secondary characters and a beautiful story about love and redemption.

Olivia hasn't just taught me how to love. She's done something much bigger. She's taught me how to live.

"You made me whole. You took a wretched, broken soul and showed him how to take his life back."
Profile Image for Kelli C .
1,044 reviews352 followers
October 19, 2014
*ARC provided per publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review*

This is my first time reading Lauren Lane, and I have to say I was very impressed! This read was a swift modern day take of Beauty and the Beast and it was executed beautifully!

This is the tale of a young rich girl where everything is given and an injured soldier where nothing is wanted. Olivia Middleton is blonde perfection. She comes from an affluent family and is on the path to greatness, but one mistake wrecks her with guilt and has her running to Bar Harbor Maine undertaking the task of caring for an injured Veteran.

Paul Langdon is not some old cripple...No he is 24 year old specimen of beauty and strength, with the exception of those scars that have left him a recluse.

No one has been able to handle his broody defiance. It is time for a challenge...something has to bring him to life.

One look...one encounter and both Paul and Olivia know that this arrangement is more than they bargained for! So begins the games of push and pull. Paul is unfriendly, crass and plain rude so it is a good thing that Olivia has the will of a steel curtain! She takes him in stride and pushes him into trying.

The banter between the two is fabulous. From secret looks and knowing stares to full one body against body, they find something in one another that has always been missing.

But what happens when this chemistry can only exist in the realm of seclusion? Has Olivia really made a difference in Paul or has she just given him pleasure in his solitude?

This is not a easy boy meets girl romance...it has harsh reality and stubborn characters, but no miscommunication or annoying acts. What Layne delivered was a fabulous tale of instant attraction that began beyond stereotypes. She wrote of a true beauty that broke through the hard exterior of a beast and made him embrace life. With Olivia in his life those stares and those questions aren't so harsh when true beauty sees past the ugly and into the heart of the man!
Profile Image for Jeanne .
305 reviews
February 27, 2019
"I love his darkness and his shadows. I love his smile and the kindness he tries so hard to hide. I love the boyish quarterback beneath the war veteran, and I love the scarred right side of his face even more than the perfection of his left"

I ended up really loving this book, and I even find myself thinking about it today even though I finished it last night. It's been a while since I read Isn't She Lovely, so I have to admit I didn't remember who Olivia was, but it did slowly come back to me. Olivia is the ex-girlfriend of Ethan from the first book, you know? The one who cheated on him with his best friend. It was kind of interesting to get her story, because it seems like you never really get the perspective of the one who cheats in a relationship.

Olivia feels so guilty about what happened between her and Ethan, she drops out of college her senior year and takes a job caring for an injured war veteran in Maine. She basically wants to run away and hide from constant reminders of her relationship with Ethan. Paul is living in complete isolation, depressed and battling PTSD. The last thing he wants is to have a beautiful, young companion move in to remind him of what he feels he can't have, but his father has forced the situation on him.

I have to be honest, I didn't bond with this book right away. The story line itself didn't seem all that plausible to me, and my feelings for Olivia were kind of lukewarm. As the story went on though, I ended up enjoying it, and I thought the last 40% or so was really good. This was a book where it was very important to have the dual POV, because Paul could really behave like an ass at times. I couldn't ever be mad at him though, because I understood his insecurities and the walls he put up to protect himself. Paul and Olivia complemented each other well, and it was sweet to see their relationship develop when he finally opened up to her.

I do like Lauren Layne's writing style. I love when authors write quality sex scenes over quantity. This isn't one of those books that is filled with constant sex, but what it does have, it was hot and impressive. It was well written and she avoided using the typical cheesy dialogue, which I appreciate. I also think she writes great dialogue between her characters, which is always a big plus.

Overall, it was a great book and I would love to read more books by this author:)

4.5 stars * arc provided by Netgalley.
Profile Image for Ilze.
264 reviews196 followers
December 12, 2015
WOW, I completely and utterly loved it ♥

It was such a refreshing new adult read and I couldn't put it down till I was finished.


The story is about Olivia and Paul, who both are broken in different ways. After a bad decision Olivia leaves her life at Park Avenue for a small town in Maine, where she is supposed to be a caregiver for an injured war veteran. What Olivia is not expecting is that 'injured war veteran' is stunning 24-year-old man and he is not welcoming Olivia in his home kindly. Paul believes that he is messed up not only on the outside, but also on the inside. However, Olivia quickly slips past his defenses by surprising him with her bold attitude and even though she reminds him of something he can't have, he can't ignore her either.

"I love Paul, the person. I love his darkness and his shadows. I love his smile and the kindness he tries so hard to hide."

'Broken' really took me by surprise. It was such a fulfilling story -made me cry and laugh. Olivia's and Paul's interactions were super fun and I liked that they didn't lose the meaning of the story which ultimately were forgiveness, redemption and healing.

"Is there a yoga position that involves her beneath me, hands pinned above her head, clothing optional? Because then I might rethink her yoga offer."

I cannot say that 'Broken' was very unique read because, let's face it, messed-up main characters are very common in the new adult genre. However, I totally loved the execution of this story. It was very refreshing and it reminded me why I used to love these kind of stories. I didn't have to read about unnecessary drama or the usual cliches new adult novels have, but I had a beautiful love story with two very lovable MCs who seek redemption and realizes that the only person who can heal them are themselves!

"It's because Olivia hasn't just taught me how to love. She's done something much bigger. She's taught me how to live."

I highly recommend adding this book now and reading it when it comes out on 2nd of September, 2014. I promise you won't have to deal with immature heroine and meaningless drama, but you will have fantastic dual POV and wonderful love story!

*ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Profile Image for aksana .
308 reviews136 followers
August 5, 2014
4.5 Stars

- a moody grade-A asshole
- sassy heroine
- great banter
- sexual tension

This story is about Olivia (ex-girlfriend of Ethan). She has done something terrible and is now feeling very guilty.

She is looking for redemption. So she takes up on an offer to be a caretaker for an injured veteran.

But she never expected to take care of the 24 year old Paul, who is, apart from his scars, more injured from the inside than outside.

Paul has scared away a lot of caretaker over the last months. He actually doesn't need a caretaker. But his dad disagrees and always insists on hiring new ones. Paul is planning to continue to scare them away.

But this time his dad gives him an ultimatum. The new caretaker has to stay at least for 3 months or he will cut off his money and kick him out of his home.

Paul doesn't care about the money or the mansion he is living in. But he cares for somebody else who is in desperate need of this money. Nobody knows this, but the money he receives from his dad Paul gives somebody else.. And thats why Paul needs to play nice with the caretaker this time.

Little does he know that his new caretaker is a stunning blonde. But her presence displeases him immediately.

His problem is that Olivia reminds him of the life he once had and can't have again.. or so he thinks.

Olivia was a strong female lead and she had to be that way, because some of the things Paul said to her made me

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but Olivia had always a good retort. And thats what made the banter so great in this book.


No matter what he did or said, in the end I loved him so much. And I loved reading his POV.

Even though this book was more serious than Isn't she lovely, because it was about a young veteran who experienced the worst in Afghanistan, the story never made me feel miserable or depressed, which I was glad for.

My only complaint was the ending. I think it was a little too anti-climatic. And an epilogue would have been great too.

ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for honest review
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,905 reviews851 followers
September 8, 2014
I’m a huge fan of Lauren Layne because she shines in writing witty, chemistry laden romances guaranteed to tug at your heart! I loved the first in this series, Isn’t She Lovely, so I was thrilled to have Olivia’s story. Even though she was technically the cheating girlfriend (not as bad as it sounds, I promise) I felt bad for her.

Olivia is trying to escape and redeem herself for a mistake that cost her longtime boyfriend. Taking a job as a caretaker for an injured veteran satisfies her need for penance and to get away from all her friends, but Olivia doesn’t really know what she’s gotten herself into. Thinking she’ll be caring for an old injured man, she’s shocked when she finds out that she’s the paid companion to a hostile man just a few years older than her. Paul has horrible jagged facial scars on one side of his face and an injured leg, but that doesn’t hide the fact that he is gorgeous, and in spite of his horrible attitude Olivia is intensely attracted to him.

Paul is an ex-soldier suffering from a major dose of survivor’s guilt. His only purpose in the world at this point is to provide for a fallen teammate’s spouse and sick daughter. So when Paul’s father makes sticking with his new caretaker/companion for three months a requirement for keeping his payments and house, he has to make nice with Olivia instead of scaring her off like he’s done with all the others. He’s a smidge less hostile to Olivia. And I do mean just a smidge!

Paul is “rude, angry and generally unpleasant” but even so there is combustible sexual tension between these two! He had no idea Olivia would be around his age and beautiful. She’s exactly the type of girl he’d date before his injury and facial scars, and it unsettles him. Plus, Olivia gives as good as she gets and doesn’t tip toe around Paul with pity. She was blunt and rude right back, and it stunned him, spurred him onto rising to her challenges, and making positive changes. Soon Paul is coming back to the land of the living while falling a little more for Olivia every day. But he’s afraid once her time is up and once she realizes she could do better than a washed up, scarred vet, he’ll be alone, and the difference is, this time he cares.

Paul was moody, broody and sometimes downright cruel in his treatment of Olivia! He’d act like a petulant child and one of his tantrums was a completely disproportionate, over-the-top reaction to Olivia’s supposed transgression. I wanted to knee him, good and hard for Olivia a couple of times! But then I thought about being in his head. Paul was depressed and angry, and he had pretty much cut himself off from socialization, so some of his reactions were not coming from a mentally well-adjusted person. Olivia is the first person he was actually opening up to in a very long time, so I could understand how a relatively small matter would come off as a huge betrayal to Paul. Thankfully, Olivia recognizes this to some degree and cuts him a break.

Olivia and Paul’s interactions were the: “I hate you, I hate you, but really I want to tear your clothes off and ravage you!” type. Paul’s rough, gruff and uncivilized manner was completely tantalizing to Olivia! That dark and dangerous vibe he broadcasted was completely sexy!

I lick my lips nervously, noting the way his eyes follow the motion of my tongue, and I finally accept that in spite of myself—in spite of the fear—I’m ridiculously attracted to him. Attracted in a fierce, animalistic way that I’ve never felt ever.

And Olivia’s irreverent rebuttals draw Paul in like a magnet! They couldn’t seem to keep their lips or hands off each other! Oh my!

Lauren Layne once again impresses with Broken. Paul and Olivia’s romance was filled with passion and heart, and was a pure pleasure to experience!

A copy was provided by Random House-Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

You can find this review and more at The Readers Den.
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,360 reviews1,442 followers
September 4, 2014
4.5 You're Beautiful Stars!
(ARC provided by Netgalley)
(BR with Patty)

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Olivia Middleton is a 22 yr. old woman from a prestigious wealthy family in Manhattan, New York. She recently dropped out of NYU, and split up with her boyfriend. She has all kinds of personal drama going on, and wants to escape her Park Avenue life, & run away from it all. She flees NY after taking a job in the middle of nowhere as a home care specialist. Her family spins her leaving town as some big philanthropic thing, like she is a do-gooder, which isn't true. She is no saint, but just wants a fresh start, & to hide out for a while.

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Olivia arrives in Bar Harbor, Maine ready to care for what she assumes is an elderly war veteran. Expecting a crippled middle aged invalid, she meets Paul Langdon who is a 24 yr. old hot as hell, muscular, gorgeous, hostile man with a scarred face & an injured leg. His nasty disposition shocks her a bit, but more unnerving is how beautiful he is. She feels drawn to him & has an instant attraction to this man like she's never experienced before.

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Paul Langdon was in the Marine Corps, and since returning from Afghanistan two years ago he is angry, bitter, & feels like everything that was once good in his life is now gone. Once the start quarterback & the popular social guy, he is now suffering from PTSD, & hiding in the shadows with no social life or human interaction except for his father & his servants. His dad is worried about him & how he shuts everyone out & pushes them away. He hides in his huge compound drinking, reading, & moping around. His dad wants him to return to the living, so he hires a beautiful blond caregiver around Paul's age. His dad wants to remind him he's still a man. Paul doesn't want a babysitter, or anyone feeling sorry for him, but he agrees to tolerate her for 3 months so his dad doesn't take away his financial support.

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Paul is expecting an elderly nurse like the last 8 he's run off, but instead the new companion is the type of woman he once would have dated. She reminds him of all the things he can't have. This woman doesn't seem to care that Paul is dead inside & wants to hide from the world. He continues to be cold towards Olivia, but she just continues to push him & expect more from him than he thinks he's capable of. She keeps trying to reach him and help with his recovery. She doesn't go along with him exiling himself to his house, and challenges him daily. She believes in him & has hope that he will see like she does that his life isn't over. She see's beyond his scars, and wants him. They both have issues & are damaged, but together are able to heal & see a future worth fighting for. This was a beautiful love story & another fabulous book by Lauren Layne! She really is becoming a go to author for me! Just love her writing! :D

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-This woman- this girl- is exactly the sort of person I exiled myself to Maine to avoid. She's tempting. Not just in the sexual way, although yeah, there's that. But with that briefest of glimpses, she tempts me with something worse: she makes me long for normal.

-Why is my mouth watering? I haven't even seen the guy in full light yet and I'm about fifteen seconds away from asking if his offspring would like to take up residence in my uterus. I should run. Instead, I move closer. "Let me guess. You were expecting an old dude in a smoking jacket?"

-I lick my lips nervously, noting the way his eyes follow the motion of my tongue, and I finally accept that in spite of myself- in spite of the fear- I'm ridiculously attracted to him. Attracted in a fierce, animalistic way that I've never felt ever.

-"It would do you some good to remember that even though you don't look the same or move the same, you're still the same person."

-What bothers me is that I want her to be mine to take. And when she's looking at me like that, I can almost believe it's true. I can almost believe that all I have to do is reach out to pull her to me, to devour her...and that she'll come willingly.

-She makes me forget to breathe.

-She makes me forget everything.

-Maybe it's time to let the old Paul back in.

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-I wanted that elusive yearning for another person. It's here. I yearn for Paul. Only him.

-She tilts her head up to look at me, her eyes close to adoring, and I feel a punch of longing so intense it almost takes my breathe away. Not longing for her body...although that's always there, just beneath the surface. Longing for her, and her laughter, and the simple way she expects good things of me because she thinks I'm good.

-I love Paul, the person. I love his darkness and his shadows. I love his smile and the kindness he tries so hard to hide. I love the boyish quarterback beneath the war veteran, and I love the scarred right side of his face even more than the perfection of his left. I love him.

-I need Olivia, however I can have her.

-She's everything.

-You made me whole. You took a wretched, broken soul and showed him how to take his life back."
Profile Image for Jasmine.
269 reviews668 followers
September 12, 2016

"I want her. But more than that, I want her to want me."

I’ve heard praises for Lauren Layne’s writings, so the inevitable finally came & I decided I should pick up one of her books and tried it.

Broken starts off with Olivia Middleton, the beauty from the Upper East Side but chooses to leave that life behind as she drops out of school to be a caretaker for a war veteran in Maine. Everyone thinks she’s out doing philanthropy, but she’s on her way looking for redemption.

Then we have, Paul Langdon, 24-year old war veteran in Maine with a broken soul and scars that run deep internally and externally. He’s reclusive, angry and scares away all of the caretakers that has ever been assigned to him by his father. He doesn’t want anyone to help or pity him, but he accepts the care given by his dad in exchange for the forgiveness he seeks from his tragedy.

This “Beauty & The Beast” story took me by surprise as it started out a little slow & initially I didn’t feel the insta-lust between these two on their first encounter. Paul was acting like an arse for a while there, but it could be justified that he’s shunning himself from the love and care that he thinks he doesn’t deserve after the war tragedy. Slowly, Paul started growing on me and I loved how they both challenged each other with neither of them backing down sometimes.

I enjoyed the banters between these two and despite the tough times that Paul put her through, Olivia was strong enough to put up with him and slowly break down his walls. Two seemingly broken souls, they soon find it in themselves to trust each other and allow love to enter into their hearts.

"I love Paul, the person. I love his darkness and his shadows. I love his smile and the kindness he tries so hard to hide. I love the boyish quarterback beneath the war veteran, and I love the scarred right side of his face even more than the perfection of his left.

Overall, an enjoyable sweet read with some witty bantering between these two. I laughed, I smiled and my heart ached a bit hearing Paul’s tragedy. An okay ending although I did expected more with probably an epilogue chapter on Paul & Olivia’s life.

I would recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy a light fluffy read without too much emotional drama ♥

*ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for ❃**✿【Yasmine】✿**❃.
810 reviews597 followers
September 2, 2014
*ARC received by Netgalley*

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Cover: 6/10
Writing: 7/10
Heroine: 7/10
Hero: 7/10
Humour: 1/10
Hotness: 3/10
Romance: 5/10
Extra book Details: Dual POV; 1st person. Stand-alone.

After a horrific ordeal in Afghanistan, scarred and broken 24 year old Paul hides himself away in his father's isolated mansion. Refusing to live in society, he's living with guilt, his deformed face and leg, and shutting everyone out.

22 year old Olivia is tormented by her own actions. She needs penance. Helping the needy is her idea of repenting, but her meddling parents see that she's off to help a wounded soldier.

Paul's father is trying to throw him back into the real world, bringing the beautiful Olivia into his life to be his 'caregiver', but he doesn't know whether to fuck her or throw her out.

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'Broken' dedicated itself to nothing but the lead characters; their interactions and thoughts. So don't expect any action or outside drama, this book is literally about their feelings.

Olivia, at the beginning, came off as rather vapid, but her confrontations with Paul kicks her up the ass and she comes off as very feisty and determined. She also is very clever, knowing exactly how to work Paul to make him human again.

Paul, however, could be... very - dare I say it – nasty? 95% of the time he was broody, assholey and rude. Olivia and I, understood why, but it may be something that will put a lot of others off him. Paul was very masochistic, and being horrid to Olivia meant he could punish himself too.

3.5 stars because it did keep me entertained, and despite Paul's meanness, I enjoyed their arguments, I felt for Olivia but I didn't feel the romance.
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