Review: Something Shattered by Bailey Bradford

When something inside him is shattered by an act of violence, Caleb Tomas doesn’t think he can ever be whole again. 

Police Officer Jesse Martin has lived in the small town of El Jardin, New Mexico, for a decade, but he’s never seen anything like the mysterious man who moves in in the middle of the night. The house across the street from Jesse’s trailer is no longer empty. There’s a puzzle waiting to be solved there in the form of one sexy, but decidedly different, man.

Bruised and battered inside and out, Caleb Tomas flees to the town of El Jardin in the hopes of escaping the terror that haunts him. Instead, he becomes more of a recluse, scared of everything, unable to get more than a dozen feet past his porch before he panics. His head’s a mess, and he knows he needs help, but that’s a step he doesn’t want to take. It’s easier, safer to stay hidden away with only his adorable puppy, Loopy, and the bird-murdering cat, Mix, for companionship.

 But Caleb can’t help but notice the sexy man across the street, and when Loopy escapes from the back yard, it’s Jesse Martin who comes to the rescue.

And he might save more than one bouncy little poodle, if Caleb and Jesse are willing to take the risk. 

Reader Advisory: This book contains references to physical assault. Publisher's Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been revised and re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

I originally read Something Shattered very early on in my MM reading life. I was smitten. Who wouldn’t be? Two likable MC’s, one who is terribly damaged and one who is a strong protector and they are both hot and bothered for one another. Then I started bingeing on Bailey Bradford books and I think the thing I love about them is that they are SO horny. I just love that. Some readers have their Calmes or their Cardeno C.’s, I have my Bradford. I always get a solid story, likeable characters and a plethora of weeping boners. Makes my heart happy.

So, I was anxious to reread this one for its re-release. I know my tastes have changed, that’s natural, but would I find this story just as appealing the second time around after a couple of years and thousands of books under my belt? Why yes, yes I did. Now that I’ve read a lot more of Bailey Bradford’s books I’ve been able to pinpoint what it is that appeals to me so about her writing. Well, three things; the characters are unique and even the ‘broken’ ones have a lot of inner strength, the unnecessary angst is minimal, I hate angst just for the sake of it and her guys rarely have miscommunication issues that aren’t in the ‘normal’ range, so the stories move forward all the time. And finally, her characters really know how to talk dirty and I eat up every word with a big spoon and an even bigger grin.

Something Shattered is the story of a very small town in New Mexico and two lonely men who live across the street from one another. Jesse is a cop with no immediate family and he comes across as a very private man. Caleb moved into town in the middle of the night and no one knows anything about him. He arrived battered and bruised and because it’s a small town there are questions and some gossip. Jesse had tried to introduce himself but was shut down pretty quickly. Luckily enough for Jesse, Caleb’s little dog Loopy is an escape artist and continuously makes his way to Jesse’s and Jesse has to return him. That leads him to fixing Caleb’s fence and with Caleb gradually getting more comfortable having Jesse around. It’s obvious that something traumatic happened to Caleb and we do find out more later on, the ‘what happened’ isn’t as important as his healing is in the story. Jesse is a natural nurturer and protector, because remember? Cop? Plus he’s becoming smitten with Caleb and vice versa.

As the two get comfier with one another, the boners start making a regular appearance and this is when the sweetness actually ratcheted up to delicious degrees. I really liked reading how they flirted and got to know one another. This is also where the strength of the characters shows up. Caleb obviously has some issues and there is no magical solution and Jesse and Caleb do communicate. Caleb also knows he has to get better for himself and so he can present his best self to Jesse because that’s what Jesse deserves.

There was some small town homophobic drama. The angst came from the outside and made Jesse and Caleb stronger for it. It didn’t drag out for too long and it wasn’t wrapped up with too pretty of a bow which was good. It was a driving force for Caleb though. It called up his protective instincts for the man he loved and Jesse totally got off on that. Caleb shares his entire story and gets the help he needs and a lot of that goes on in the background. That works because the story is about the two of them together. The balance of detail on Caleb getting help and what he shares with Jesse and the reader worked well for their story.

At about 90% was my favorite dirty talking bit and here’s a taste so you know the delicious little nuggets you get with Jesse and Caleb.

“I’m going to ride you until your eyes cross and your balls beg for mercy, until you come so hard you feel like you’re being turned inside out.” 

Yeah, Caleb, you should definitely do ALL of that.

For more information on Something Shattered, check it out on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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