Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Unbroken by Melody Grace

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Unbroken (Beachwood Bay #1)
   by: Melody Grace

Publication Date: Mar. 11, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: Purchased for Nook
Page Count: 170 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

"Mom always told me there are two kinds of love in this world: the steady breeze, and the hurricane. Emerson Ray was my hurricane...."

Juliet McKenzie was an innocent eighteen-year old when she spent the summer in Beachwood Bay—and fell head over heels in love with Emerson. Complicated, intense Emerson, the local bad boy. His blue eyes hid dark secrets, and just one touch could set Juliet ablaze. Their love was demanding and all-consuming, but when summer ended, tragedy tore them apart. Juliet swore she’d never go back, and she’s kept that promise… Until now.

Four years later, Juliet’s done her best to rebuild the wreckage of her shattered life. She’s got a great boyfriend, and a steady job planned after she graduates. Returning to Beachwood to pack up her family’s beach house to prepare it for sale, Juliet is determined that nothing will stand in the way of her future. But one look from Emerson, and all her old desire comes flooding back. He let her go once, but this time, he’s not giving up without a fight. And Emerson fights dirty.

A heartbreaking history. An unstoppable passion. Torn between her past and future, Juliet struggles to separate love from desire. But will they find a way to overcome their tragic secrets—together? And after so much damage has been done, can a love remain unbroken?

*This book contains adult situations and explicit content.*

Looking back, I wonder if mom saw it in my eyes: the storm clouds gathering, the dry crackle of electricity in the air. But it was already too late. No warning sirens were going to save me. I guess you never really know the danger, not until you’re the one left, huddled on the ground, surrounded by the pieces of your broken heart.”   

After reading Juliet and Emerson's prequel novella, Untouched, I knew I was in for some heartache in Unbroken. And oh boy did my heart break. There were quite a few times that my heart felt shattered for Juliet and I was ready to throttle Emerson. I love romances where the main characters already have history together. It makes the book that much more emotional, knowing that they have had a past and something has happened to separate them, but now they have found their way back to one another.

This is exactly what happened with Juliet and Emerson. There is an undeniable attraction between these two upon first meeting and they spent an incredible summer together in Beachwood Bay. However, as most summers do, it comes to an end. However, the end of that summer is wrought with heartache, pain, and loss, as Juliet must face the grief of losing her mother. Emerson, who has been Juliet's pillar, suddenly breaks up with her, leaving her shattered and broken beyond repair. Juliet managed to pick herself up just enough to attend school and slowly start to move on with her life. Though, it doesn't come easily or without help. 

I really liked Juliet's character. She is very real to me and I like how Grace portrayed her. She is strong, yet still shows weakness and emotion. She hasn't become a machine after such loss and heartbreak. Instead, she has forged forward and with the help of her best friend Lacey, and her new boyfriend Daniel, she has been slowly healing and putting the pieces of her broken heart back together. The novel begins 4 years after Juliet and Emerson's last encounter in Beachwood Bay, and Juliet is headed back there to pack up her family's beach house. She of course could have gotten someone else to do it, but I think Juliet makes the decision to go because she needs closure. She is terrified of running into Emerson, yet there's a part of her that secretly longs to. She can't hide from the memories of what they had and she tries to shake herself out of it. 

Emerson. He really is a hurricane, sweeping in and throwing Juliet's life into chaos. And I absolutely loved him. Yes, there were moments I wanted to kick him and shake him, and there was one scene in particular that absolutely had my heart ripped out of my chest. I feel bad for him though. He did what he thought was right and in the end lost the one girl he loved more than life. He is bitter and angry over their break up and really acts like a jerk to her in the beginning. 

These two have that whole 'Notebook' romance going on. It's passion and fire, tenderness and recklessness all rolled into one and seriously every scene together gave me chills. Every touch, every look is heated and enough to set your blood on fire. Juliet was screwed the moment she crossed into Beachwood territory. She didn't stand a chance against the storm that was Emerson. I respect the hell out of Juliet for taking care of her life the way she does. She knows being with Emerson while still with Daniel would be wrong and I'm glad she did right by both of them. 

Juliet's best friend, Lacey, is a spitfire and I loved her outgoing, fearless attitude. She is a good friend to Juliet, but I was a bit angry at her for not encouraging Juliet to stay true to herself when it came down to who she needed to choose. Instead, Lacey was about the logical choice- the safe choice. Love isn't logical and its a risk, but for Juliet it's one she had to take. Lacey will learn this later on, as she gets her own novella. 

I have to take a minute and talk about Melody's writing. I've read ALOT of contemporary romances and she just has this way with words that I can't even explain. The tension between her characters is so electrically charged and the way she described the emotional scenes between Juliet and Emerson left me desperate for more. 

I am in love with this series and I would have to say it's one of my favorites. The next book in the series, Unafraid, follows Emerson's younger sister Brit, who we get a glimpse of in this book. She is just like her brother in the sense that she's reckless and hardened by her past. She's also young, and she hasn't made the best choices in her life. Her story is also an emotional one and you can read my review of it here

Lacey also gets her story in a novella and her love interest was quite the pleasant surprise! Finally, the latest book in the series is Unconditional, which follows Juliet's sister, Carina and Garrett, Brit's best friend and bartender at Emerson's bar. (This will release on 3/17/14).

Juliet's relationship with her family is strained at best. She does not get along with her sister and is hurt that Carina left her to deal with her grief alone, while she went out and did her own thing. Daniel doesn't know about Juliet's past and how messed up her family is. He thinks he's doing right by her by trying to bring them together, when really he's just pushing Juliet away. Juliet's relationship with her father is also an issue and has completely separated herself from him and refuses to take his calls. He was never a good father to her and Carina and wasn't a good husband to their mother either. Where Daniel is unknowing of Juliet's family, Emerson is the one Juliet never had to hide from. He also knows what it's like to have a crazy family life, so she connects with him on that level, where she can't with Daniel, who has a good upbringing and loving parents.

So how would I describe Unbroken? This book is passionate and fierce- it's about love and loss, hope and determination, and it's about fighting for what you want and love most in the world. I highly recommend this series.

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  1. This sounds really great! In truth, I always worry about self-published books, and never give them enough of a chance. You didn't find the storyline a little cliche though?
    Esty @ Boarding with Books

    1. I love self-pubbed books. Or at least the ones I've read. I've only had a few I didn't care for. I didn't find it cliched, because she's such a talented writer. The cliches didn't even register for me.

  2. Oh gosh, I read this before it came out and I remember liking it a lot. Emerson and Juliet could both be pretty frustrating, but that ending was soooo good.
    Nice review!

    1. Thanks Andrea! I really liked this one! They did drive me a little crazy, but not as bad as some other couples have.

  3. So I'm pretty sure I've had this book on my kindle since its release day and I have yet to pick it up! Bad Teresa! Hopefully I can fix that soon because clearly you loved this one. Great review!

    1. Aww! I hope you read it Teresa! It's so good!

  4. Beautiful Review Jess! The Notebook is my favorite movie, so I need to read this! I love that Juliet came to life for you with the "realness" of her character! Emerson sounds like a great character as well! I loved that his character made you feel so much that you wanted to kick and shake him as well. It's always a gift when an author's writing touches you and has a special way with words! It becomes harder and harder to find, when we, as bloggers read so much! Emotional and electrically charged stories are my absolute favorite! I can't wait to dive in to this series!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    1. Yes! I think you'd love these Lindy! I agree- Melody has such an amazing writing style and she really makes you feel everything the characters do!

  5. I see you like to mention The Notebook a lot! Liked it, did you? ;) I personally was not a fan of the movie, but that's just me. That could also be related to why I disliked so many NA contemporary romance novels lol. I'm definitely glad that you liked this novel! It's done so well, I kind of want to pick it up. I might actually have an eARC somewhere... maybe not, actually. Well, you let me know how the series goes, and perhaps I shall try it :D

    Fabulous review, Jess!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. LOL. I am a huge Notebook fangirl. I really love this series. I've read all of the books now, so I definitely recommend them. I know NA is pretty hit or miss with you, so I'm not sure if you would like them or not. :)


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