In Broken Bastard we meet Tyler, a young man who just might have the worst luck in the world.
BROKEN BASTARD by A.L. Simpson
Publication Date: September 2, 2017 Genre: MM Romance, Contemporary Romance Publisher: Cocky Romance Publishing Source: Gay Book Promotions Purchase: Amazon Story Rating: 4/ 5 Romance Rating: 3/5
My name is Tyler Maxwell Alexander. I’m twenty-eight years old. A few months ago, I had it all. An executive job in a prestigious investment firm owned by my father. Ha! Yeah, right – father. I’ll explain about that later. I lived in a waterfront apartment overlooking the harbor and drove a Mercedes convertible. Then, in the blink of an eye, it was gone. All of it. Everything, except the fucking clothes on my back. I was broken. A bastard. Did I mention, I’m gay? No? Oh well, I have now.
This is the story of how my fairytale life turned to shit in the blink of an eye…….
I knew I would read this book as soon as I saw the cover. It didn’t matter what the book was about; I needed to know about those abs. Look at them, can you blame me? It’s totally ok if you want to spend a few minutes or hours staring at them. Clean up your own drool and I promise I won’t judge you.
As much as I make book decisions based on the cover (model), it only works out about half the time. Let me tell you, this is one of those times when it worked out wonderfully.
There were a lot of things I liked about this one:
It was flawlessly formatted – I know it sounds like a little thing but it makes the reading experience so much better.
The synopsis tells us everything we need to know but doesn’t tell us where the books is going. I was very surprised to learn the direction this story took. It was one of those things that made me think eek, maybe I don’t want to read this but I couldn’t put the book down. I cared about Tyler and I needed to know what happened.
The romance was sweet; the author appeared comfortable with what they were writing – again a little thing, but so important. The steamy scenes were emotionally charged and hot as heck.
This is the first MM romance I’ve read (granted I don’t read all that much) that incorporates the insta-love trope. Generally, I don’t enjoy the insta-love thing and if I’m being honest I didn’t exactly enjoy it here either. However, it was a welcome change of pace.
There were a few things I’m not sure how to feel about.
Let me start by saying this book was much darker than I would normally entertain. Thankfully it does have a happy ending which was much appreciated after the darkness I had to endure to get to the end. It’s not a secret that bad things happen in prisons, those things are especially bad if you’re a gay man. I hated reading about those parts and I wish this book had a trigger warning so I could have prepared myself for it. At times, I wanted to throw my Kindle down and say it’s not worth it. Those parts were quite graphic and horrifying. But, I couldn’t bring myself to look away either. This book had me hooked, and I needed to know how it ended – I needed Tyler to get his happily ever after.
Lastly, there were a couple things I didn’t like.
The last 30% of the book looks like the editor ran out of coffee. The quotation marks are misused or not used at all. It didn’t take away from the story, but it messed with my reading groove and had that occurred at the beginning instead of the end, I wouldn’t have finished the book.
The main source of tension throughout this book resolved much too easily for my liking. It was a journey, it was just so convenient and neatly tied up. It left me unsatisfied.
I feel as though I’m constantly repeating myself with this. But when you’re with a new partner, the decision regarding whether to use a condom should never be made in the heat of the moment. That is not a decision to make when you aren’t thinking straight. This is especially important when one, or both of parties (as was the case in this book) have spent time in prison. HIV and Hepatitis are both quickly spread in that environment and although both men said they had clean tests, I’m not sure enough time had passed for them to be able to say that for sure. I cared about Tyler, and it makes me sad that he put himself at risk in that way.
Although reasonable, both characters cried way too much for my liking. Whether happy, sad or scared it seemed their default response was to cry.
Overall, Broken Bastard was a unique tale that kept me interested from beginning to end. The author took the tried and true insta-love trope and set in in a prison, which I think is very unique. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a steamy read that’s a little dark but still provides the much needed happily ever after.