BROKEN EMBRACE gives us a second chance romance with some suspense mixed in.
Brian and Melissa were high school sweethearts who had their life together planned out. But everything changed when Melissa went away to college and a drunken night out with a mutual friend lead to a new family for Brian. Seventeen years later Brian's world falls apart and it's Melissa who helps he put back the pieces of his family and the life he let go of.
I really liked Brian in PRECIOUS EMBRACE (book 2 in the Embrace series). He was a guy who would do what he needed to for his life long friends. He was a guy who protected his own. So it was hard to find him falling apart in BROKEN EMBRACE. His marriage to Julie had fallen apart and then he fell apart just when his kids needed him. But I could also understand how the stress of finding out everything you believed it may not have been in reality could cause him to spiral downward. He gets his act together pretty quickly and becomes that man I knew he was, protecting his loved ones no matter what.
Melissa was a bit different than when we were introduced to her in PEFECT EMBRACE too. She and Brian definitely had hostility towards each other, even though we didn't know why, but it was strange to find out Melissa had reconnected with Brian's wife Julie after everything that had happened. If she was going to be openly hostile to Brian, she should have been just as hostile to Julie. The both broke her heart, but it she was more willing to forgive Julie than she was Brian. That was hard to understand to me and didn't endear her to me. But I liked how, despite what she might be feeling for Brian, she was there for him and his kids, when they needed her. That had to have been incredibly hard, and it took a level of bravery I don't think I would have possessed.
I liked the twist and turns with the story, especially the very creepy swim coach. Dana Mason did a great job of keeping me guessing with that storyline. She had the perfect mixture of emotional angst, romance and suspense to keep me turning the pages late into the night.