Book Review: Break My Bones

Break My Bones

  • Title: Break My Bones
  • Author: Rachael Tamayo
  • Series: A Deadly Sins Novel, #1
  • Genre: Psychological Thriller
  • Publishing Date: October 19th, 2019
  • Publishing Co.: Tangled Tee Publishing
  • Length: 228 pages
  • Format: Kindle, Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free digital copy in exchange for an honest review

Kindle Link

Paperback Link

Sticks and stones do break bones, and words will surely hurt you.

Staring down the barrel of a loaded 9mm is a wake-up call, especially when it’s your husband’s finger on the trigger. Brooklyn James’s only thought is to take her baby and run. It’s better to end up on the streets than suffer one more day beneath her husband’s hand.

Finally back on her feet, Brooklyn is stronger, better prepared, and determined not to run. That is until she gets the call that her husband has been released from prison after serving his three years for DWI.

Cain James has his wife on his mind, always. With his friend Donovan at his side, anything is possible. He can find her, bring her home, make her love him again. While Cain has serious anger issues, Donovan is much worse. Cain can’t control his friend’s sick, twisted mind and even sicker actions.

Donovan has Cain’s best interest at heart, and he’ll do whatever it takes to help Cain bring his wife home—including murder. After his time in prison, Cain doesn’t want to hurt his wife again and becomes a man torn—divided between the darkness inside him, his twisted love, and his lifelong protector, Donovan.

As Cain tries to convince his wife that he’s changed, he watches the bodies hit the floor one by one at the hands of his sidekick. Enraged by his estranged wife’s new love and conflicted by his own anger and need to protect his family, Cain unravels.

He can’t live without her, and he won’t let her live without him.

Final Judgment: 3.5 Stars

Trigger Warning: Suicidal ideation, abuse, adult language, sexual content, rape, mental health

Brooklyn, a wife with a child, has been beaten–physically and mentally–one too many times. She flees her husband with her baby girl and tries to create a new life for them far away from him. Luckily, he is currently in prison for a DWI. But, just as Brooklyn is finally making something for herself at her new job, her husband is released. Old emotions–both good and bad–swallow Brooklyn as he tries to win her back. Can she retain this new independence and confidence that she’s built around herself these past few months? Even if it means bodies continue to litter her husband’s footsteps?

Tamayo creates an emotional whirlwind with this twisted book of abuse, rape, and romance. It is enlightening to see into the mind of a woman abused, see how her thought process allows her to stay with–or get back with–a man who causes her so much pain and suffering, both mentally and physically. A lot of times, the victim is blamed because those on the outside cannot see what kind of emotional turmoil they are in. They cannot see the effect that the abuse has on their self-esteem, brain, body. Brooklyn knows, logically, that Cain is bad for her. But they have so much history, good memories, chemistry, and more that clouds that judgment. Cain knows exactly how to manipulate her into doubting her own brain. 

“Everyone hurts. It’s the strong ones who pull up and show the rest of us how pathetic we are for bitching about traffic lights or whatever else people whine about. Maybe people like you make people like me ashamed of ourselves.”

Even within this dark story, there is a bit of light. Brooklyn finds some romance in a man who seems to be good for her. This aspect allows the readers to continue the story–along with Brook–without diving too deeply down into depression and fear. It gives us something to root for, and that kept me going.

The plot was fast-paced and continually moving. There never seemed to be a dull moment, and this made for a very quick read, even with the heavy content. Brooklyn has quite a bit of internal musings, but Tamayo pairs that with external action, and a lot of murder.

One thing that bothered me was the big “twist” at the end. I called it from the minute it was introduced, in the beginning of the book. So, I did not get to experience the grand reveal–I had known all along. I think that this could have been much subtler, and weaved into the story a bit more. Instead, it was obvious–however I don’t want to spoil anything, just in case it isn’t obvious to other readers! Perhaps with my background in Psychology, I am more attuned to the way that people act.

“I need to keep my mouth shut. It’s never done anything but get me into trouble with Cain. I don’t know why I never learn.”

I also did not quite buy in to the characters. Many times, their actions did not quite add up with the picture that I had in my head, and it shook the believability of the story. Brandon, the love interest, seemed a bit random and too easily placed. He was more a plot tool than an actual character. Brooklyn, I can understand with her history of trauma. Cain, I can maybe understand with all of his problems. But there just didn’t seem to be much of a connection between all of them. Their actions seemed a bit too arbitrary, a bit too easy.

In the end, this novel was heavy, but not too overbearing. It was a quick read and entertained me in a night when I wanted to forget the world around me. Overall, a decent thriller read, and enough for me to jump into the next book of the series, Carnal Knowledge!

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