Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Queer Rep: Gay, Pansexual
Warnings: Depictions of blood play, references to self-harm and date rape within an abusive relationship
[Note: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.]
Despite the rumors about Port Lewis, Michael Gates doesn’t expect the house he rents with his sister on Foxglove Lane to be haunted. An eerie meeting with Victor Lewellyn, the resident witch-turned-demon who is bound to the property by dark magic, changes his mind.
Michael isn’t looking to start a relationship with anyone, let alone someone like Victor, but the intense attraction between them can’t be ignored. As he dives into the world of magical drug rings, demons, witches, and necromancers, Michael also grapples with the complicated past he left behind in Arizona.
A relationship might not be what he wants, but it sparks something in him he didn’t realize he needs—the chance to heal.
You guys should already know how I feel about The Port Lewis Witches Series and Brooklyn Ray (hint: GOOD), and this newest installment only cements this world’s place in my heart. We’ve got broken protagonists, we’ve got pastry chef demons, and we’ve got the same rich backdrop as Brooklyn’s other stories. But even more importantly? We’ve got the very delicately handled processing of trauma through sex and closeness—a subject rarely breached and even more rarely done right.
Brooklyn Ray did it right.
Unbroken is a journey of the self in all its forms, its methods delicate and vicious, its story sexy and emotional. Brooklyn Ray offers readers another beautiful story that tastes like catharsis; once again we fall in love with a damaged hero, and once again Brooklyn makes us stare through the darkness and see light.
You never have to wait around for things to get going in the Port Lewis universe. Michael isn’t in his creepy new house but a few moments before he’s seeing and hearing things he shouldn’t. More surprising is that the resident demon of the house—a charming horned man with a flair for the dramatic—doesn’t toy with Michael’s head long. He appears before him wholly and fully, and the ‘what the fuck’ of Michael’s life really gets going.
I could have gone for a little more taunting, but I had no complaints about the trajectory of the story either. Because of this pacing, our main pair is forced together early and given proper time to grow with one another.
This book can definitely stand alone from the other Port Lewis stories (although I obviously recommend them). That being said, I wish Victor would have outlined things—like the importance of his last name—a bit more thoroughly. It was all done on purpose; the reader experiences things as Michael would, as he knows nothing of the world of witchcraft around him. But I’m a greedy reader, and forgetful, and I wanted things reiterated.
The world of witchcraft also wasn’t the focus of this book, despite the charming demonic MC. This novel was all about Michael, and his past, and the way he processes his trauma. There were a lot of things that hit home here for me—things I’m willing to talk about and things I’m not—so seeing it on the page was both terrifying and freeing. It was unimaginably cathartic to go through this journey with our MC, to feel the pain and torment, but to also feel love and comfort in return.
The rainy town of Port Lewis is beautifully narrated as always. You’ll feel the chilled breeze from the sea, you’ll hear the subdued sounds of the world around them, and you’ll feel the heat of Victor’s breath on your neck. We spent more time inside the house than outside for this particular journey, and it was just as real and touchable as all of Brooklyn’s settings are.
I ADORE Michael and Victor. Michael is relatable in both charming and haunting ways, and Victor is lovable from his feet to his horns. I was rooting for them instantly, and I’m rooting for them still (read: please God give me more of them please I just—)
If the trigger warnings don’t make this book a ‘no’ for you, then it’s probably a yes. And if the trigger warnings make you suspicious or nervous but not instantly repelled, then it’s definitely a yes. Because this book handles things most authors won’t touch, and it does so with perfect grace.
Note: I am an Amazon Associate and I am using affiliate links. These do not affect you or my reviews.
You can preorder UNBROKEN here:
From NineStar Press: ebook