One Night Stand: Broken by Megan Hart


Broken by Megan Hart
Harlequin MIRA (September 4, 2012)

Rating: A+
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Sadie – Psychologist, Wife 
Hero: Adam – Poet, Quadriplegic
Hero: Joe – Lawyer, Womanizer 
Setting: USA



“There are many things I don't know, but quite a few I do. I know you can't be lost if you know where you are. I know that life is full of precious and fragile things, and not all of them are pretty. I know that the sun follows the moon and makes days, one after another. Time passes. The world turns, and we turn with it, and though we can never go back to the beginning, sometimes, we can start again.” – Sadie

Sadie and Adam’s story:
This story is told from Sadie’s POV. When Sadie met Adam at a college frat party, she became quickly captivated with the charismatic, handsome, and charming young man. After becoming friends-turned-lovers, they married quickly. They have the kind of fierce love that romance fairytales are based on. But then, after only being married for five years, they suffer a tragedy. Adam breaks his neck in a skiing accident which paralyzes him from the shoulders down and leaves him a quadriplegic. Both of their lives have changed forever.

Sadie is now facing a future of taking care of her husband, who she deeply loves but will never have a “normal” marriage with again. Whether it’s from the accident or because they’ve both changed, things are not the same between Adam and Sadie anymore. As the years go by, their marriage begins to deteriorate. Adam's passion for poetry and writing has diminished. He has mood swings and instigates arguments with Sadie. He’s angry and with good cause. He can’t touch his wife. He can’t feed himself. He can’t use the bathroom in private. The simplest tasks and pleasures in life we take for granted have all been taken from him. And now Adam is drowning in his depression.

Sadie is exhausted by this life. She’s also lonely and craves to be touched. She can’t make love to her husband in the traditional way a husband and wife would make love. Even though they make the best of it, Sadie misses making love with her husband. They are both trying to stay strong for each other, especially Sadie who wears a mask of happiness every time she sees her husband. However, staying strong for Adam has become more of a chore lately. The love they share is still there, but it's become more of an obligation to stay together. And unfortunately, there is now a lot of unspoken resentment that is suffocating their marriage.

And then one day, while trying to escape the rain during lunch, Sadie meets Joe on a bench in an atrium. This accidental meeting turns into a regular meeting on the first day of every month. Their tentative friendship turns into a little more than just friendship. But this friendship never crosses any boundaries. Sadie continues to stay true to her husband, even when faced with her feelings for Joe.

“I know everything and nothing about him all at the same time.” – Sadie

Joe’s story:
Joe is a single, very good looking, successful, suit and tie wearing, nice guy. He's a womanizer and women flock to him. The first day of every month, Joe meets Sadie and tells her a story about a tryst that he’s had with a woman. Every month it’s a different woman. These stories are told by Joe from the woman’s POV. He never dates them. He never spends the night. He doesn’t kiss them on the lips nor or does he ever take them home. But he does treat them with respect. He listens when they speak. He makes them feel wanted, attractive. Joe has no preference in the women he sleeps with either.

Through these stories, Sadie lives vicariously through his life, fantasizing about being one of Joe’s women. Where he has more than enough human touch and sex, he doesn’t have the kind of love Sadie has with her husband. But there is something much deeper going on with Joe. He's lonely. And through these women, he's looking for a companion. Someone to share his life with. But the woman he truly wants is the one he can't have. So, he continues to seek out companionship with all these women even though they never fill the void.

“Sometimes,” Joe said after a bit, “it’s just easier to keep being what everyone expects you to be. Even if that’s what you’re not, anymore.” – Joe

This honest, thought-provoking, deeply painful, extremely erotic, gut-wrenching story is unlike anything I’ve read before. It surprised me by how deeply attached I became to these character’s lives. All of these characters are broken, in different ways for different reasons. It's hard to imagine going through the motions every day loving a man who couldn’t touch me, make love to me, or just be with me as a husband should be. I can understand how resentment can grow in this relationship. I can also understand why she felt obligated to make things work with Adam. I felt for Joe, who filled his life with mindless, emotionless sex to feel less lonely. I felt for Sadie who loves her husband but wishes for more in her life. I felt for Adam who lost his ability to function normally. I never felt anger towards any one of these characters for the choices they made. Mostly I felt sorrow, pity, frustration, and rage at how unfair life can be.

Broken is a compelling, beautifully written story. This story and its characters stayed with me days after I finished the book. I absolutely love Megan Hart’s writing. Her poetic words have a way with reaching inside my heart and pulling every single emotion out of me and leaves me emotionally and mentally exhausted. Ms. Hart, you are a truly a goddess with words. If you’ve never read anything by Ms. Hart, I strongly suggest reading this book.

Thoughts While Reading:



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