My Review: Beautifully Broken by Em Frances

My Review:  Beautifully Broken by Em FrancesBeautifully Broken by Em Frances
Series: A St. Anne Story #1
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Friends to Lovers, Romance
Amazon Goodreads



The loss of her mother turned her world upside down and revealed a truth she had never known. Her entire life felt like a lie.

Now, she lives on her own terms. She does what – and who – she wants, when she wants. She can’t get hurt if she doesn’t let anyone get close enough. Being lonely is just the price she has to pay. She isn’t about to let a man like Brig get to her, no matter how good his looks or intentions.

As one of St. Anne’s favorite sons, he has lived a charmed life, never wanting for anything. Family, friends, business – he is wealthy in ways that mean more than dollar signs. He doesn’t know what it means to fail. Foul-mouthed and beautiful, yet cautious, Sonny is everything he never knew he wanted. But when it comes to her, want has become need, and for the first time in his life, he has to fight for something.

Sonny has spent so much time keeping people out that the idea of letting Brig in feels dangerous.

But danger is already coming for her.

My Review

Beautifully Broken by Author Em Frances is her debut novel. It is a contemporary romance novel and, although the beginning of a series, is meant to be read as a a standalone.

“I’m coming for you, Sonny, so you better get used to it. And you better get ready.”

Emerson “Sonny” Decker is just becoming part of the St. Anne’s community, leaving an unwelcome past and acclimating to this small town.   Brigham “Brig” O’Neal goes against Sonny’s number one rule of dating, but his attentive and persistent nature strike her interest, again and again, making her want to break her own rule.

“Sweetheart, broken things aren’t always meant to be fixed.  Sometimes, broken things get put back together with the pieces that are left and end up being more beautiful than the original.  I don’t want to fix you.  I just want you to see that even with pieces missing, you deserve to be cherished.”

I absolutely LOVED this book!  Sometimes, when reading a debut novel, a reader can tell that an author may not have easily connected to their characters.  However, Author Em Frances proved with her dialogue that she channeled the people of St. Anne’s, giving us character interactions that were tight and flowed with ease. Beautifully Broken had snarky, sassy, in-your-face primary and secondary characters that welcomed me into the story and intensified all of the laughing, swooning, and gasping, tickling my funny bone and taking a piece of my heart. My ultimate  adoration goes out to Brigham O’Neal, “Brig”. He was hot and sweet Iike a savory treat.  His larger-than-life presence was a chic magnet and drawing card for inappropriate lust-filled thoughts.  But, when he spied out Emerson Decker, she became the axis on which his world rotated. She was sly and strong, a female not to be messed with or pushed around. Their banter brought fast amusement to the story, which made their heat burn brighter as the story progressed.  At one point, it was baby cherubs flying, rainbows, and unicorns. And the really cool thing was that in the midst of sexy thoughts and heat-filled moments, this author added a mix of old-fashioned ideas and family values that brought authenticity to the small-town feel, the setting closely resembling one of my most favorite locations; small, quaint, and friendly.  Em Frances also included some high emotional points in the plot which answered meaningful questions about the past that shaped our hero and heroine.

“You could never be invisible. You shine way too brightly, draw people to that light. Even in the dark, I’d know you were there.”

Beautifully Broken was an exceptional debut novel that made my toes tingle and my heart pound, replete with fabulous characters, a quaint and beautiful setting, and an HEA that gave me warm fuzzies.

5 Stars


The devil himself straightened up and moved to the passenger’s door ahead of me.  I was still lost in my thoughts, so when he opened the door for me, I absently said “thank you” and climbed into the cab.  I guess he had been expecting me to protest his gesture and affirm my ability to open my own door because he still stood there with his hand on the door handle.

“Don’t throw the eyebrow at me, Brigham.  I am capable of accepting a gentleman’s exercise of manners,” I said in a quiet firm tone that was much less than my normal level of tenacity.  Make no mistake, I knew exactly how rough and tough I sounded to others.  Like I told Tish, old habits die hard.

“I know you are, sweetheart.  I’m just waiting for you to burst into flames or something.  Or is it an internal reaction, like when the Grinch’s heart grew two sizes?”

I couldn’t help but laugh.  I dropped my head back onto the headrest and turned to look at Brig, who looped his arm through the open truck window with a proud smile.  “Thanks for that, too.”

His smile shifted slightly, more concerned than prideful now, as if my words had touched him somehow.   “Anytime.  Especially if it means I will hear your laugh or see your smile.  You need to do that more often, y’know.  Either of them, both of them.  It is a sight to see.”

I didn’t know how to handle someone being tender with me, and began to feel some panic.  I shifted in the bucket seat, suddenly uncomfortable and embarrassed that I didn’t know how to accept simple human kindness.  I felt like I owed him an apology somehow, but when I turned my attention back to him, he was moving to close my door.

“What was that comment about my eyebrow, smartass?” he asked before rounding the front of the truck to get behind the wheel.  He got settled in and started the engine, but turned to me before going anywhere.  Up went the eyebrow in question. “Hmmmm?”  Bless this man for changing the subject.

“Every time I argue with you or say something you don’t like, you throw me that look.”  I nodded once in his direction, and then attempted to replicate it.  I could feel my eyebrow being uncooperative, which drew a belly laugh from Brig.

“Don’t hurt yourself.”

I quickly stuck my tongue out at him and watched his eyes darken.  He turned his attention away from me and my mouth and put the truck in reverse.  He didn’t speak again until he had negotiated us off the shoulder and back into the flow of traffic on Scenic Highway, heading toward my house.  “Besides, if I raised an eyebrow every time you argued with me or said something I didn’t like, this look-” he pointed to his face as he raised his eyebrow, “would be permanent.”  He must’ve anticipated my next move, because he continued before I could move a muscle. “Two things.  First, don’t go assuming I’m a gentleman.  Which leads me to the second.  You better keep that tongue in your mouth.  I don’t think you are ready for what I want to do to it, or how I want you to use it.”

More from Em Frances

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