by Anna Brooks
“It’s so easy, the way we fit, how fast we both ignite. It’s not normal … it’s extraordinary, and I can’t stop.”
Break is the 8th book in the “Guarding Her” series by Anna Brooks. They are well-written interconnected stand-alone stories. This one takes up right after the last one, Gone. At the end of that story, Brody is grievously injured. I’ve been waiting impatiently see what happened to him, and it was so totally worth the wait! After nearly dying and spending months in the hospital because of something that happens while working as an elite bodyguard, Brody has hit his breaking point. Physically broken and mentally shaken up, he decides to resign from his job with Royal Ace Security and go home to Texas. He plans to continue physical therapy, and figure out how to chart a new course in his life as part of the family business.
Once he’s back in his Texas hometown, Brody is reunited with Molly, the best friend of his younger brother, Baker. Brody and Molly shared one hot night together when Brody was in college, but then after college he moved away. Molly is a young woman trying to make her place in the world, chafing under the overbearing attentions of her Dad and 3 older brothers. Kind-hearted to a fault, and somewhat insecure, she generally prefers the company of animals over spending time with people. Baker has been her platonic friend her whole life, but her romantic interest always been directed at Brody.
The dynamic between Molly and Brody is simultaneously wonderful and torturous. They are both trying to be good people, and because of that they can’t seem to get out of their own way. Neither of them believe themselves worthy of the other. Further complicating everything, Brody comes to the conclusion that for years Baker has actually been in love with Molly as more than just a friend. Then in the midst of all that, someone is after Molly, apparently to do her harm. I thought the author did a great job balancing tension with light-hearted moments, tears with passion, and yearning with satisfaction.
Excellent secondary characters add a lot of depth to the story. I liked that the families of the main characters didn’t always agree with them, but always loved them. I was happy to learn at the end of the book that In addition to more to come in this series, another series is coming about Molly’s family. Warning: You may need a couple of tissues and a cold drink when you read this book.