Thursday, January 24, 2013

Battered Not Broken (by Ranae Rose)

Release Date: December 16, 2012
Battered Not Broken rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ravishing Romances review disagree! 
Read Kristin Anders's review here.
MsRomanticReads blog reviews here.
Guest reviewer KAME reviews here.

How are the sex scenes?
Despite being extremely descriptive, passionate and intense, they were a tad repetitive.

How are the story lines?
The multiple storylines were engrossing, powerful and very well written.

Would you read it again?

Back of the Book

Ryan Moore forged his own path when he defied his wealthy family’s expectations by joining the United States Marine Corps as an enlisted man. After a period of service that’s cut short by an IED explosion, the lingering physical and mental effects of war result in an isolated struggle to exist in the civilian world. He throws himself into competitive MMA fighting – the one thing he’s still able to excel at, even if every match is a risk he can’t afford to take.

His first encounter with amateur female fighter Ally Rivera ignites a spark of desire he hasn’t felt since before a bomb left its marks on his life and his body, but his flirtation with her turns out to be anything but harmless. She’s struggling to hold together a family ravaged by violence – a feat that isn’t easy when her father has been imprisoned, leaving her vulnerable to relatives who run a local gang. Can two unrelenting fighters overcome challenges they couldn’t defeat alone, or do the wounds of war and crime run too deep for even love to heal?


Battered not Broken by Ranae Rose is a sizzling contemporary romance about two incredibly different people who have been battered by life’s traumas, feeling discouraged and alone, yet throughout the story, endeavoured to rediscover hope, meaning, purpose and love.

Worldly wise, heartrending Ally Rivera, is a passionate, self contained young woman. From a sickening incident in her teens, her family core had been shattered beyond repair. Ally was crippled by guilt. Survivor’s guilt. Carrying her burdens institutionally  she justified their permanence with ‘what ifs’, believing that she was responsible for the chain of events that the crime created. Ally’s life was repetitive and predictable. Her only visible passion was as a fighter in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in her city of Baltimore. That is until Ryan literally bumps into her at the gym at which she trains.

Seriously gorgeous with a mix of mischief, reserved Ryan Moore was a former Marine turned MMA fighter, having recently returned from Afghanistan. Having ‘survived’ an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blast, like Ally, he suffers from re-curing nightmares as well as debilitating migraines. Ryan was stubborn, trustworthy, gallant and scarred, both internally and externally. Yet, Ryan seemed contradictory to Ally. On one hand, his meticulous attention to detail especially toward his spotless car, yet on the other hand, his total disregard for his health; fighting in the ring, which could literally kill him. His decision to start afresh in Baltimore, forging his own path, defying his unsupportive, wealthy family, proves to be a fated move. Ostensibly, he is trying to rebuild his life. In reality, he was trying to find a reason to live.

As their relationship progressed, it was a poignant and momentous moment when Ally believed she could be "someone who healed instead of hindered." In many ways, this woke her up out of her quiet, derailed existence. Ryan made her feel. Ally loved selflessly, was mature beyond her years, and was gutsy; especially evidenced when she tackled Ryan’s rejection, while common sense urged retreat. In Ally, Ryan found purpose, direction, joy, and saw the chance to heal.

Their love-making was sensuous and described in explicit detail. Frequently.

“He worked his tongue over and below her clitoris, running the tip of it between her lips, teasing her entrance. The glide of his tongue over her sensitive skin was wet, hot and explosively intimate. He took the time to get acquainted with her every fold and swell, as if he wouldn’t rest until he’d tasted every bit of her.” OH!

The story was told from Ally’s POV, although, at times, I would have loved to have been inside Ryan’s head. Occasional repetitive phrasing proved distracting as I read. (How many times do we need to read how blue Ryan’s eyes were?) Greater variety in the sex scenes would have sweetened the deal too. Despite this, Battered not Broken was an engaging and engrossing book. There was mystery, tension, pain, joy and danger all vying for and receiving thorough attention.

Renae Rose has a wonderfully descriptive prose.

Their bodies were so close that the sound of his pleasure seemed to physically permeate her, making her every nerve ending in her body hum with the thrill of his gratification.”

The title was apt (and I have to say, I loved the cover–so realistic!). Her comprehensive research into all things related to sufferers from, and carers of those afflicted by TBI’s must be applauded. In addition, she skilfully enabled the reader to have a terrific grasp on the angst and sorrow of those who return from war. 

This was not a light read, but one that is sad yet hopeful, ascetic yet sensual, sorrowful yet jubilant. If this is an example of Ranae Rose’s writing, I can fervently say that I’ll be back for more.

Learn more about Ranae Rose and upcoming titles on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

This review provided by:

Published by Ranae Rose
Disclaimer:  No compensation was received for this review.  
ARC received from author in exchange for honest review.

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