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Published by Self Published on November 14, 2016
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Sometimes the things we shouldn't want become exactly what we need...
Waitressing at a seedy strip club isn't ideal, but it pays Sarah Adamson's tuition. Her goal is to finish her master's program and get a job that doesn't involve tight skirts and groping hands. She doesn't need distractions. Especially not the one that comes in the form of a hot-as-sin tattoo artist who works across the street from her apartment.
Kicked out at sixteen, and a high school dropout, Chris Zelter is familiar with wanting things he can't have. His fractured life has never been easy. As the product of someone else's bad decisions, he knows exactly what happens when the wrong person controls your marionette strings. Now an accomplished tattoo artist in a renowned studio in Chicago, Chris has it together.
Apart from his infatuation with Sarah. She's way out of his league, and Chris knows it.
But he's willing to be her bad decision. At least for now.
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
Jenn’s Review: 4 Stars
This is a spinoff novel of Clipped Wings and Inked Armor where we got introduced to this amazing duo Chris and Sarah but that wasn’t enough and their voices were too loud and needed to be heard with full force.
Chris is working together with Hayden and Jamie at Inked Armor and he also had a though past and hard family relationships that kept breaking him than building him up like any normal and happy family would do. That left a strong marks on his soul and how he sees himself.
Sarah is friends with Tenley and she has some undefined relationship with Chris that started off as casual sex but slowly developed into more, even if neither of them could take the next step and kept swaying back and forth in this limbo of love. Sarah’s life wasn’t dance of roses either and she had to fight for everything she got and to keep her head high and make the strong and sane decisions. She tried to do her best to not become like her mother but sometimes life push us into situations we have no control over.
This book starts off with full force and has some sort of mystery over it and I got hooked from page one. There is angst here, there are broken promises and hopes for more. Through this whole story my heart bleed the most for poor Chris! He has been through hell and back, and I felt with him and his insecurities so strongly.
The way he grew up was so messed up and nothing any child in the Universe should have to deal with. Many times I was so angry at his mother I wanted to jump in the book and slap her weak ass and help her find her backbone and stand up for herself and her kids. I don’t know if that the mother in me coming forward but it sure makes me all fired up in no time.
On the other hand I was so proud of the progress Chris had made through the years and how he stood his ground and kept being the better man and not falling into his old bad habits.
Sarah got some of my sympathies too but she also annoyed me in some situations. I know it’s not easy when life deals you hard hand of luck and when you can’t find your way out of the darkness with no light in sight. But I also think we all know deep down which roads are more dangerous for us than others and when the shit is about to hit the fan. And Sarah made some bad choices in my opinion when she could have turned to other ones that wouldn’t have a safer alternative in more way than one.
There was also a very strong and important message in this story that needs to be heard loud and clear! I can see how easy it is to get drawn on the dark side and all the danger that allures in the shadows. This could be a lesson to learn but without having to pay the price that comes along with it. I should definitely recommend this book especially to young girls or their parents to keep them safe or at least do everything to try to.
Vivian’s Review: 4 Stars
Sarah moved to Chicago to go to college for her MBA and make a better life for herself. But mostly, she did it to get away from her mom and the lifestyle her mom lived. After growing up watching her mom bounce from one man to the next and depend on men financially, she was determined to not live like that. “I had no interest in being totally dependent on someone else for my financial well-being.” But that proved to be more difficult than expected. Now, thanks to her mom’s suggestion, she finds herself right where she doesn’t want to be, waitressing in a seedy strip club with even seedier men. At this point, she finds her choices are limited. With only months left in her internship, she’s just trying to get through without upsetting her boss. Her boss who has been pushing her to get on the stage and make him more money, but she keeps refusing. That job hits too close to home…she wouldn’t be any better than her mother if she began stripping. Like mother, like daughter. Zander is even threatening her internship, her scholarship and her degree. He’s determined to use her for financial gain in any way possible. She just wants out of the predicament she finds herself in. She’s been able to refuse Zander’s advances, but when her car breaks down on her way to work, she finds herself dependent on the one person she doesn’t want to owe… Zander. After all the financial pressures come crashing in on her (her loans, rent) and now her car breaking down, she breaks. Zander decides to loan her the money to repair her vehicle, but with interest. Unfortunately, Sarah has no idea what that interest entails or when Zander will call that favor in.
Chris Zelter has lived a fractured life. Kicked out of his family home at age 16, he learned the hard way that life isn’t easy. Abandoned by his family, he has grown up feeling that he is a failure. And as a result of that abandonment, he is completely closed off from others and unwilling to share his past with anyone. Not even his close friends know what his life was like growing up. So when Sarah, a woman going somewhere in life and only a “temporary fixture” in his life, is willing to spend time with him, he takes it. He knows that their “relationship” isn’t long term. He believes that one day she’ll realize that she can do much better than him and leave him, just like everyone else in his life. But Sarah proves to get under his skin quite quickly. She becomes more than a “booty call”. But with crappy work schedules and insecurities on both sides, Chris and Sarah find it difficult to open up to each other share their true feelings. “Sometimes it took almost losing the things you needed the most to recognize their importance – and to see your own worth.” –Chris.
Will Chris and Sarah be able to confide in each other and find that they are worthy of each other, no matter their pasts? Or will their fractures in their pasts break them apart? “Separately, these struggles could break us down. But maybe if we could hold on to each other and figure them out together… we could stop the fractures from becoming too big and keep the cracks from forming fissures we couldn’t repair.”
FRACTURES IN INK is book 3 in the Clipped Wings series and is said to be a standalone. It was a lovely romance with some angst, packed full of emotion, tons of internal struggles and external dilemmas. Both these characters had to learn to move forward and open up to each other. They needed to learn that everyone comes with a story, some stories are just more intense and devastating than others. They had to learn how to manage life’s struggles on daily basis, with each other, instead of on their own. “We’re all broken, Sarah. It’s not always about fixing the parts that don’t work; it’s about making the most of the ones that do.” –Chris. In the end, they are perfectly imperfect for each other and I’m glad I got the opportunity to read their story.
During reading FRACTURES IN INK, my only concern was, it was a bit slow paced for me. I needed something more in the beginning. Some connection was missing for me with the characters. I felt as if it took me about 50% to get completely drawn in and immersed into the story and the main characters. I don’t know if that was due to the fact that this was my first book in this series or that’s just how the novel was for me. As I said above, this is “said to be a standalone”, but I feel I might’ve needed the other books in the series to fully appreciate Chris and Sarah’s story and their struggles. Regardless, like I said, in the end, I enjoyed it. I feel Helena Hunting did a good job of writing a powerful story about two very fractured characters, fighting against the odds and fighting for their HEA.