UNBROKEN by Maisey Yates
In Unbroken, Cade Mitchell, former Rodeo star, finally finds a purpose in life after an accident forces him to retire. And while he leans on his best friend, Amber Johnson, to help him realize his dream, he discovers that the love of a good woman can heal all sorts of wounds.
Amber and Cade are best friends and have been for a long time. I was a bit skeptical on how the friends to lovers storyline was going to work. But I was pleased with how Maisey Yates developed their story. There has always been a deep love between the two, but it took a rouse to ward off a potential threat to Amber’s family ranch to discover the love they share was so much more than they imagined.
Amber was a tough character to get connected to and a lot of that had to do with just who she is. As an orphan shuttled around to different foster homes, she developed a protective wall to save herself from hurt and rejection. She may let Cade and her grandfather in to a certain extent, but she still holds part of herself back. The wall comes across to the reader as well, because it’s hard to like Amber as she pushes people away who just want to help her. But you can see the cracks in her armor as she slowly lets Cade in. You can see Amber start to understand that she has the roots she so desperately craves as well as people willing to do just about anything to make sure she’s happy.
It was hard not to like Cade. Despite the chip he had on his shoulder when it came to helping run the family ranch and his ideas, he was a guy who longed to belong. Despite his need for revenge or to prove he could help his brother with more than just his money, Cade also needed to realize that he wasn’t like his father…even though he kept his secrets. He was a good man and he could love just one woman for the rest of his life…as long as it was Amber.
Things are not easy for our hero and heroine. Both of them are extremely stubborn and practically egg the other on to prove them wrong. But beneath it all, they truly love each other. Their relationship didn’t develop in the traditional way, but it’s hard to argue with spending the rest of your life with your best friend and building a family together. It’s what both Cade and Amber have always wanted — and after they got out of their own way, it’s what they ended up with.
If you’re a reader of contemporary Western romances, this is a book that will be right up your alley with larger than life cowboys with huge egos and plenty of testosterone — tamed by a female strong enough to break a cowboy.