Three knocks on my door.
One surprise visit.
One person, who I thought was gone forever.
Nothing will be the same.
This book contains mature content, and adult situations.
Book One of series.
Best Book Bit:
He is standing with his arms crossed over his chest, and I quickly rake my eyes over him to take in his appearance. His hair is styled in that messy but perfectly placed way. His shirt is stretched across his chest and fits snug to his biceps. It’s a dark blue button up and the sleeves are rolled to just below his elbows, matched with jeans that fit him perfectly and end with black boots. This is the most put together I have seen him. It takes me a moment to remember what I called him up here for.
Clearing my throat, I find my voice. “Um, I just need help with my hair.”
“Okay, what do you need me to do?” he asks as he steps closer.
“Can you help me wash and blow dry it?”
“You gotta be kidding me. I don’t know how to do hair, Rea. You can’t just do it?”
I hold up my splinted hand, giving him a wry look. I stick out my lower lip looking for pity. “Please, I haven’t been out in forever, and I just want to look nice, for once.”
He looks around the room like he can’t decide what to do. I know he won’t tell me no. He’s too good of a guy for that. “Fine, but I can’t promise it will go well.”
“I don’t do anything fancy, it won’t be hard.” I grab his hand and lead him into my bathroom. Once I kneel on the floor, I hang my head over the edge and spray warm water over my hair. “Can you grab the shampoo and work it through my hair? Scrub my scalp really good, I haven’t been able to do a good enough job on my own.”
I hear him sigh and the sound of the cap shutting echoes through the bathroom. Striker’s hands slide over my hair, and then he begins to massage my scalp, working the shampoo into a lather. This feels so good; I can’t help the smile that spreads across my face. He keeps going, and then works the shampoo out to the ends of my hair. I think he is finished, but makes his way back up and is massaging me again.
I don’t even get this much pleasure from the hair salon. Before I know it, a moan slips past my lips. I feel Striker’s hands freeze, for a fraction of a second, before continuing. “You’re really good at this, Strike.”
He pulls away. “Ok, I guess go ahead and rinse, then we can put in the conditioner.” His voice is tight, but I can’t see his face to understand why he sounds off.
“You okay?” I ask, trying to turn my head to see his face, but he steps out of my line of sight.
“Fine, just rinse. I want to get out of here soon. I could really use a drink.”
“Okay, I’m ready for the conditioner now.”
There is some commotion behind me, and then he is working the conditioner through my hair as quickly as he can. “There you go.”
I’m not sure what his hurry is, we can’t drop the boys off for another hour. I take my time rinsing out the conditioner and am about to turn the water off, when I decide to have a little fun. He’s been uptight for most of the day and could use a little laughter. I catch a glimpse of his feet. He’s turned away from me, so I take the opportunity to put down the showerhead and turn the water on cold. Once the temperature has dropped, I pick it back up and turn toward Striker, spraying him with the frigid water.
His back tenses but he doesn’t move. I continue to spray him for a few seconds and then turn the water off. I can’t help but chuckle to myself and reach out to grab a towel for my hair.
“Did you really just fucking do that?” He turns to face me with a stern look as I towel dry my hair.
“Yeah, lighten up. You’ve had a stick up your ass all day. Put a smile on your face and have a little fun. I don’t want to go out with you if you’re going to be grumpy.”
He saunters toward me, crowding my space, my head tilts back so I can watch him contemplate his next move. His jaw is clenched and his eyes roam over my face. Before I know it, his arm is wrapped around my waist, and he is carrying me into the shower. He keeps my body pinned to his as he turns the water on and flicks the switch for the showerhead. I squirm and squeal, trying to break free from his grasp, but there’s no use. I’m nothing against his strength.
Ice-cold water rushes over my head and down my face, my shirt is soaked and the water is traveling down to my jeans, causing everything to stick to my body. I’m shivering from the cold, but he doesn’t let up. Finally I’m able to break free and use my good hand to reach for the nozzle. “Striker, stop! Wait, my splint, it’s getting all wet.” I can’t help but laugh because I feel like a kid again, wrestling over the showerhead. Striker’s laughter resonates around me and we continue to goof around. He gets his arm back around my waist, pulling my back toward his chest, guiding me away from the spray. The sound of running water stops and a second later our feet slip on the wet tile. I yelp as we land hard on the floor.
His arm is still wrapped around me, holding me tight on his lap. We are shaking with laughter.
“Are you okay, Striker?”
“Fine, here let me help you up,” he says, as he slides me off his lap and begins to stand reaching for my hand. “Well, I guess I need to go get ready again.”
“Yeah, me too, but can you help me with my hair first?” I ask.
Striker is running his eyes down my body, taking in my soaked appearance. I look over and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Not much is left to the imagination. I hadn’t gotten around to putting on a bra yet, and my soaked white t-shirt is clinging to my cold wet skin. The darker flesh of my hardened nipples shows through and the flatness of my stomach is defined, causing me to appear almost naked in front of him.
I catch his eyes with mine and see the desire darken his stare. My breath quickens as we stand feet apart, neither one of us moving.
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This reviewer highly recommends this book, but does advise a box of tissue be kept nearby. Happy reading.
Reagan and Dalton have a good relationship as far as marriages go and Dalton would probably keep his secrets forever if fate hadn't intervened.
Reagan has to confront ghosts from her past and that's where the story picks up.
But I saw what would happen (very rarely a book surprises). The story unfolds as I expected. This is part one and ends on a cliffhanger. Overall a 3 star read for me.
I received this as an ARC and my review is volunteer.
Fractured Affections by Elizabeth Wills examines this question of how life comes full circle by looking at three people whose destinies were linked since childhood and whose present lives are now unraveling under the weight of lies, secrets and revelations.
Reagan is a mother of three boys who she adores and the wife of Dalton, a man who has been her rock since childhood. Yet, she has also been in love with Striker (Dalton's cousin) since the three of them were young. Reagan and Striker are kindred spirits in heartache; both of them have experienced issues of abandonment and loneliness. When a serious misunderstanding has Striker leaving a teenaged Reagan behind, Dalton comes to her rescue. Now (after more than a decade away), circumstances have dictated Striker's return to Reagan's life: What will this mean to the already complicated relationship between these three people?
Wills gives readers some very emotional scenes in the journeys of Reagan, Striker and Dalton. Even though Dalton is a significant character, the focus here is on Reagan and Striker. Wills constructed her book by using a first person approach; chapters are seen from Reagan and Striker's points of view. Both characters are damaged in some ways. In addition, Wills does a nice job in examining Reagan's issues with anxiety and depression.
Fractured Affections is an effective title for a book about love, loss, growth and survival. My one criticism is that I felt that Dalton wasn't as fully fleshed out as a character as Reagan and Striker. Since the book ends on a cliffhanger, I look forward to continuing the tale in the next book in the series, Mended Affections. I give Fractured Affections a Gold Book Worm Rating.
The story line was compelling, not forced, easy to follow, and believable. And if you want a romance novel with plot twists, this is it! This author offered several plot twists in this story and tied them all together nicely in the end.
My favorite thing about this story was that EVERYONE was a protagonist and antagonist at different times. It blew my mind how the author intertwined the main characters' pasts and had their emotions from those pasts play out in the present. Just when I wanted to despise a character for being selfish or "the bad guy", the author used flashbacks or narrative to explain those characters' motives and my heart bled for all of them.
Here are a few of my favorite lines from this book:
**Real love is something that wraps itself around that muscle, beating deep within your chest, and feeds life to every part of your body. You can't escape it, even if you try, because once it's taken root, you will die without it.
**How do you regret any decisions that were made, when good things came from those decisions?
(And the bar scene with Reagan and Striker playing the truth or dare game, was awesome. I'll just leave it at that.)
I enjoyed this book so much that I immediately jumped into the sequel Mended Affections. Be sure to see my review for it as well.
I highly recommend this story for anyone who enjoys compelling romance novels with lots of emotion and angst. I will definitely be reading more of this author's work!
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves romance stories! Without giving away too much detail, this story has a high level of emotional writing and many plot twists that I didn't see coming.
Overall I would recommend this book to others who love romance books. I do plan to read the second book in this series, "Mended Affections".
“Fractured Affections” is the story of Reagan and Striker, and the whole book alternates between their points of view.
Reagan is a happy woman, married to her best friend and the mother of three wonderful boys. She chose to stay home to take care of them. Like any stay-home mom, there are days that she’s happy with her choice, but others not so much. Reagan had a sad childhood, marked by her father’s abandonment and the lack of motherly care. She simply *survived* life growing up.
Striker is a former military man, who 11 years ago left his homeland and his best friends to follow his career. His childhood was marked by the tragic death of his parents but also by great friendships created with Reagan and Dalton. He was in love with Reagan, but something made him flee.
Can a friendship survive an absence of 11 years without any contact? I honestly cannot find a word that does this book justice. I was overwhelmed, anxious, and upset throughout the whole thing. The level of emotion found in this book is astonishing. And LOVE?? Love is in every word you read.
To what extent can we sacrifice our true desires so that our loved one is happy? Can we give up true happiness by experiencing love in secret?
“Fractured Affections” ended with a shocking revelation that left me excited to start reading the second book “Mended Affections” right away. I couldn’t go to bed without at least reading the first chapter. If you want an intense and remarkable read, grab your copy of this book now.