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Book Reviews by Lynn

I am a copy editor and proofreader and an avid reader. Some would call me a bookworm. My favourite genres are: Romance, Romantic Erotica, Mystery, Thrillers, YA, Paranormal, Supernatural, Science Fiction, General Fiction and Children's Books. I also have a Facebook page where I put all my reviews: Book Reviews by Lynn. You are welcome to join me there too. You are welcome to follow, comment and enquire.

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Book Review of Broken Lights by Dianna Hardy

Broken Lights - Dianna Hardy

What's really worth fighting for, when one second is all you have left?

Norman Smithson is at the end of the line. His wife left him, women don't look at him, he was made redundant, and at forty, he could be just that little bit slimmer. He would be a has-been if he'd ever been a 'was' in the first place. He's not the Alpha male of the 21st century - or of any century. He was the chubby oddball who used to sit silently at the back of the class so he wouldn't get picked on.

Rosa is a dreadlocked, tattooed and pierced twenty-something, who uses her image as armour to keep everyone away from every broken thing about her. But her past is about to catch up with her ... at the exact moment Norman finds himself in completely the wrong place, at the worst possible time.

One gunshot, one scramble for life, one unlikely couple, one very long night ... can one damaged woman and one ordinary man, find the extraordinary in the very last second they're given?

Broken Lights is a standalone story of what's really worth fighting for, when one second is all you have left.

NOTES: This is a novella at just under 40,000 words, packed with emotion and heat. Contains strong language. Written in British English.

Review 5*****

This is a fantastic, dark and gritty contemporary romance, which happens to be a short novel or novella. I absolutely loved it.

Norman Smithson is a fantastic character, although he doesn't see himself in that way. He sees himself as a nobody. However, I didn't see him in that light at all. He has something special in his character which I found charming and appealing. He is steady and dependable, and is genuinely a nice man, who has had a really bad run of luck - he's been made redundant and finds out that his wife has been cheating on him. But, one moment of danger will change his life forever.

Rosa is also a wonderful character. I liked her spunk and determination. She is a waitress in a bar and has not had an easy life; she has been trapped in an abusive situation. When a stranger rescues her from her abuser, will she find her "happily ever after"?

I downloaded a copy of this book as soon as it was released and started to read it as soon as I could. I didn't put it down until I had finished it; I was hooked from the first page!

The story is told from both Norman's and Rosa's points of view, although Norman seems to be the main character. The characters are very lifelike and the situations they find themselves in are quite realistic. The descriptions of the events and situations brought the story to life and I could picture them with ease.

I could relate somewhat to Norman's character; his feelings of inadequacy and impotent rage at the hand that life had dealt him struck a chord in me. However, I have never really been in the same situations as he, so I cannot say whether or not I would have reacted in the same way. I really enjoyed the first scene, where Norman is made redundant. I know that the scene where he was made redundant is not really meant to be comical, or even enjoyable, but it was the juxtaposition of the seriousness of the situation and Norman's thoughts which I found really entertaining. Don't get me wrong, I could feel my heart wrench when his life gets turned upside down, but the way it was written lightened the darkness of the moment wonderfully.

The danger Rosa faces in the alleyway is something that a lot of women who are abused are aware of - they live it every day. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a "Norman" rescue them though, and many end up dead or worse, hooked on drugs and still living in Hell. What surprised me about Rosa's character is that, although she has been living in her own Hell, she still manages to keep her independent and stubborn streak; she is a fighter and a strong survivor. I found myself in awe of her strength of character as she tries to survive one day at a time.

The two main characters both have broken lives, but when they come together and begin to get to know each other, they make each other whole. This story is about loss, hope, love, and finding that one special someone who is worth fighting for. What I love about this story is that these two characters actually rescue each other. It has been a privilege to journey with them as they try to fix their shattered lives.

Dianna Hardy has written a fantastic story that touched me deeply.I loved her fast paced writing style and the flow of the story was wonderful. I love reading this author's books, whether in the contemporary or paranormal genres; she has a way of weaving a story together which makes it not only believable, but extremely entertaining. She is one of my favourite authors and I can't wait to read more of her books in the future.

Due to scenes of physical abuse and a sensual scene which is a little on the explicit side, I do not recommend this book to younger readers or those of a nervous disposition. I do, however, highly recommend this book as a MUST READ if you love dark, gritty contemporary or new adult romances. - Lynn Worton