About Perfectly Broken:
Even after years of trauma therapy, Peyton still believes she’s broken. She has little desire to date or show off her natural beauty, content simply to hang out with her best friends and run her pie shop in New Orleans. But her world turns upside-down when a handsome architect and self-confessed player shows up in her shop and thinks she’s perfect, much more than the usual hook-up. While Peyton does her best to resist his charms, believing she could never be enough for him, she can’t deny the obvious heat between them. With Reed determined to have her, Peyton must decide whether to continue to hide behind her apron and baggy clothes or take a chance and share her scars with Reed, a man with a playboy reputation and scars of his own -- a dark past he can’t possibly share with Peyton, not after learning the horrors she’s endured. But if they can find a way to trust each other, and themselves, they just might be able to heal, to save each other, to live perfectly broken together.
Available for purchase: Amazon
This story definitely has a lot of depth to it. I would warn any readers, ahead of time, that there is reference to a past traumatic event, so if you have a difficult time reading about sexual abuse or trauma, read with caution. Peyton owns a pie shop, which she began after inheriting a love of baking from her grandmother. She was attacked several years ago and has been living in fear since that time. I will say that it is impressive how hard she has fought to come back from that incident and not just be a victim, and I feel that much of her reaction and her fight to be a survivor felt very realistic.
Her best friend, Quinn, has been dating a guy named Bret, and he introduces his best friend, Reed, to her one day. Peyton has not gone on a date in about four years, as she often fights against blaming dating and how she dressed at the time of the attack on it happening to begin with. She does feel an attraction for Reed, however, and he for her, which shocks him. Reed has the reputation for being a player, which he has had since he was a teenager due to some of his father's reputation falling to him.
Much of this story is about Peyton working with her therapist and Reed to learn how to open herself up again - to dating, to dressing the way that she wants to, to accepting herself as a woman, and to accepting that she has her own sexuality. I really enjoyed watching Peyton go through this journey, and Reed really surprised me with how strong he fought for Peyton and their relationship. It did reach a point, however, where Peyton runs away, again, and it felt like a little too much. It was hard to get behind her at that point, and I actually felt like she should have had to fight for Reed at that point, but he continued to fight for her.
The main thing that was difficult with this book was that the point of view switched very often, even sometimes from one paragraph to another. I got used to it, but it was confusing, at first. There was even one or two occassions where one of the other characters voice was heard, but it wasn't consistent throughout the book, so that feels odd. All in all, however, Peyton and Reed have a very sweet as pie story. Peyton works so hard to develop herself as a person again, and this author did a great job of walking her through that.
“Peyton can pick for you.”
“Yeah, she’s got some weird sixth sense about pie,” Bret said. “She can tell what pie you like just by looking at you.”
“We call it the ‘Pie Personality Gift,’” Quinn said.
“I think I’ll just take the apple,” Reed said.
“That’s no fun,” Peyton teased. “How about I give you the apple and also what I think you’d like, and then we’ll see?”
“Sure,” Reed said with a shrug. “How can you tell?”
“Let me see your hand,” Peyton said, a twinkle in her eyes.
“Are you some kind of palm reader?” Reed held out his hand and gave a smirk to Bret — as if this was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever done.
“It’s nice you do what you’re told,” Bret quipped.
Peyton slipped her hand into Reed’s, and a sudden electrical charge shot between them. She flinched at the contact, her baby blue eyes flying wide open, but he gently closed his fingers around hers, never letting slip a chance to hold a pretty girl’s hand, even if he didn’t believe any of her pie witchcraft bullshit. Quinn cleared her throat to voice her disapproval. But Peyton and Reed both ignored her, leaving Quinn to frown and grab a nearby table with Bret.
Reed studied her as she worked, or whatever the hell she was doing. She was a natural beauty — her baby blue eyes, long brown hair, and fair skin, without a stitch of makeup — a far cry from the overtly sexy model he usually went for. He memorized her perfect pink lips, knowing what they could do for him, and the curve of her neck, a silver locket dangling from it. He saw something else, too — at least he thought he did. There appeared to be some complication about her, some sadness behind her pretty eyes, something she was trying to hide. I could make you happy.
Peyton examined the shape and lines of his hands but found it hard to focus, a part of her wanting to run and hide, another wanting to run her hands through his dark, messy hair, to feel the slight stubble on his face, imagining his hands running down her body, her breasts against his washboard abs. Then she caught herself and drew a deep breath, her stomach churning, a million butterflies floating around. She looked up from his hands, into his steel blue eyes, shocked by her attraction to a man she knew nothing about. “You are devil’s food chocolate praline.”
About Prescott Lane: