BOOK REVIEW: Breaking the Wrong by Calia Read

Breaking the Wrong-RW coverEmilia Wentworth would do anything for her sister.

For three years, Emilia has lived in the past, feeling her sister’s pain and hating those who are to blame, including one of the Sloan brothers.

Finally, she has had enough.

The only way to be free is to create a Burn List with all the people who have ever hurt her sister.

As she crosses each name off, she gets closer and closer to her final target.

But, things aren’t always as they seem.

Loyalties are tested.

Boundaries are crossed.

And the truth is revealed.



“I achieved nothing in my revenge, except handing over my heart to the one person I was supposed to hate.”

Some writers make you feel everything the characters feel, make you take the journey with them, feel every single bump in the road, but then on occasion you come across an author whose writing also makes you feel everything they felt while writing that book. Their writing style is so transparently emotional, personal, honest, that when you finish that story you not only know each character inside out, but you have the impression that you know the author as well. Calia Read is one of those authors for me. While I really really liked the first book in the series, Every Which Way, and even felt that the heroine’s personality mirrored mine to a tee so this made me selfishly invested in her fate, I feel that Breaking the Wrong is an even more intense read. It is gripping, passionate, all-consuming at times, and it won’t allow you to put it down. It’s a story I hold very dear to my heart now because it succeeded in making me fall in love with a character that appeared to have very few redeeming features in the first book, and it gave us a heroine you cannot help but love and feel protective of. This is the story of Emilia and Macsen, two damaged individuals who carry the pain of their past like a heavy burden on their shoulders, but whose love for each other eventually sets them free.

Emilia is a young woman with revenge on her mind. She has moved 600 miles away from the only home she’s ever known to a city where she has no one of her own, just to be close to the one she holds responsible for the wrong that drives her. Macsen Sloan. She infiltrates his inner circle of family and friends to slowly make him notice her and get under his skin. But the more she gets to know Macsen, the more the monster that hurt her sister becomes a distant and abstract image of him in her mind. Every moment she spends with him makes her resolve weaker and weaker, confusing her and creating an inner conflict in her between what she feels and what she should be feeling. The Macsen that she gets to know and fall in love with appears to be incapable of doing what she blames him to have done, and Emilia’s heart starts doubting everything that she has believed in for the past three years.

“I’m sleeping with someone I’m supposed to hate.”

Macsen is drawn to Emilia from the moment her sees her. Her gentle appearance but fierce determination in everything she does pull him in her direction. He does not want to see her but every fiber of his being sees her and wants to see her. The very thing that drives Emilia and makes her the tortured young woman that she is is also what attracts him to her the most – her pain. He sees it simmering under her collected façade, recognizes it and wants to take it away from her, never knowing that he might have been the cause of it. They fall in love, unexpectedly, reluctantly but completely. Their love story is born out of hate, but it develops because Macsen and Emilia are two kindred spirits, longing to be loved and to love another wholeheartedly. They both take a chance on each other, hoping to find a love that would heal their pained soul and erase the past.

“You can’t heal a heart that’s been fragmented. But my wounds were closing. Stitch by stitch, I was starting to feel again. I can’t undo the past and stop everything that has happened. However, I can try to take a tiny step forward.”

By loving her so freely and genuinely, Macsen glues back together the shattered pieces of Emilia’s heart. Her preconceptions about him are replaced by regret, guilt, and pure unadulterated love for a man who understands her, adores her, awakens the deeply sexual woman hiding inside her. She falls in love with him and that love tears her apart every time she thinks of her family, of what is expected of her, making her question her own loyalties. The connection between them is so beautifully developed, step by step, their walls brought down without either of them being able to do anything about it. They just keep falling deeper and deeper…

“Reaching out, I touch Macsen’s back with my index finger. My arms are practically shaking and after a few seconds, I slowly trace the words: forgive me. It’s for everything and to everyone: my sister, my family, my heart, and to Macsen. A small tear falls onto his pillow and I wait for him to tense and turn around to face me, but a minute passes and there’s nothing. One more time, I touch his skin and write three words on his back. Words that I’ve only told my family.”

As secrets finally come to the surface, Macsen and Emilia find themselves battling not only ghosts from the past, but also their own emotions and the love they so unexpectedly found in each other. When the past seems like an endless array of mistakes, their biggest challenge becomes not making another one.

A deeply emotional story of love erasing hate, of love replacing a lifetime of hurt, of love mending the heartbreak from past mistakes. This is one of those books I ‘felt’ from beginning to end, whose every scene moved me one way or another, a story so intense and all-consuming that it will make you lose all sense of reality. Sensual, emotional, scorching hot – brace yourselves for Emilia and Macsen!

“My body is between his spread legs. Even though he’s silent, his chest rises and falls like he has just stopped running. I know he wants me. I shut my brain down, ignore what a mistake this is, and lean forward and kiss the side of his neck. He jumps slightly and I lick his skin. I hear him groan and move my lips upward. A kiss cannot replace the past. But with every kiss to his skin, my hurt becomes a distant memory.”




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BOOK REVIEW: Every Which Way by Calia Read

Every Which Way_RW coverSeverine Blake has seen far too many friends taken down in the crossfires of dating. She devises a precise course of action to protect her heart. The plan is working very well… until she meets Thayer and Macsen. When the Sloan brothers come into her life, nothing is the same.

Thayer is self-possessed, arrogant and used to getting what he wants. Being near him leaves Severine unsteady and shaken. He makes her question everything. Macsen contradicts his brother in every way. His calm personality captivates her. Severine is drawn to him instantly. But Severine quickly discovers that when you want something, that want can turn wicked. Giving in is not always easy, especially when your heart refuses to give up the fight.

What little illusion of love Severine has is soon destroyed. Every option is broken, and the protection she has built around her heart instantly crumbles.

There’s just no right way with the Sloan brothers.

“I saw you first,” he rasped out deeply. “Remember that. I saw you first.”

One of my favourite things about reading so many books is finding new authors with a fresh voice, a different idea in mind, an original story to share. Nothing about Every Which Way is what you would expect a story with a love triangle to be. This is a book about the ultimate question we all ask ourselves when our heart is in danger of being broken – is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Our heroine is Severine, a girl with an unusual name and a quirky personality to match. Let me start this by saying that I have waited a very long time to find a female character that I would love and identify with on so many dysfunctional levels. Severine is sassy, confident, outspoken, brusque, a tease, but she is all those things without pretending to be someone else. She is flawed and completely self-aware of all her flaws. Always open about how little she invests of herself in her short-lived relationships, she consciously steers away from situations that could compromise her control over her emotions.

Severine grew up watching her mother being discarded by her father too many times to count and learned pretty early on in life that nothing can destroy a person like a crumbled and disillusioned heart.

“You should never show your emotions. Someone will steal them away, and you’ll be left with nothing, Severine… You need to remember, Severine, that a lonely heart is better than a heart left in pieces…”

She was programmed to believe that loving a man meant giving him control over her heart. These fears were instilled in her young mind as she watched her mother’s pain and her only male role model being a man who walked in and out of their life, breaking her mother’s heart time after time, never returning her love and devotion. It comes as no surprise that Severine unconsciously became a version of her father rather than her mother, as she always attributed control to him rather than to her mum.

The Sloan brothers enter Severine’s life suddenly and unexpectedly. As opposite as they could be, Thayer and Macsen represent danger and safety respectively. Thayer is the cocky player, her male counterpart in the commitment-free dating game and the moment their eyes meet they recognize that in each other. They are drawn to one another because they speak the same language without even uttering a word, they see each other as a challenge, someone to beat, someone to triumph over. Severine is instantly aware of the effect that Thayer has on her and of the potential danger her heart would be in if she got involved with someone like him. For the first time in her life, she is losing control over her own feelings.

“The ego on the two of you is enough to make the windows shatter. So you’re in Severine-land, and he’s chilling in all his hot dude glory. You are like two magnets repelling each other. The magnetic field is too much.”

Macsen is Severine’s opposite and her reaction to him is also the opposite of the chaos that his brother stirs in her. He intrigues her, he makes her heart feel safe and she lowers her guard when she is around him. He might not cause thunderbirds in her stomach but he offers her a safe haven to pursue an attraction that is mutual, comfortable and one that allows her to have the upper hand.

“Severine knew he was the safer route. He made her laugh. Being around Macsen gave her a calmness that normally never stuck. It made sense. For once, Severine needed to follow her logic and gut.”

But things are rarely what they seem and Severine soon learns that there is no safe zone when it comes to matters of the heart. Your heart can be torn even when you decide to give away only a small piece of it. This story might be based on a love triangle but the focus is more on Severine’s emotional growth and less on who she eventually ends up with. For me it was never a question of whom she would choose in the end – this book for me represented a young woman’s struggle to come to terms with her aching desire to love and to be loved, and all the ingrained fears that she carries inside her. Her inner battle is heartbreaking as Severine has such a huge capacity to love but won’t allow herself to love.

“Severine didn’t want to be crumbled into nothing. But she wanted to have that feeling. Severine wanted to know if she was really missing out – was there something to relationships that she just wasn’t seeing? Was it truly worth it?”

While I enjoyed the character development of the heroine, I felt somewhat let down by the way the male characters were portrayed. I am not confident that I understood them completely or the reasons behind their actions. Macsen remained a complete mystery to me. I believe that this is also due to the partly abstract writing style in this book. Ms Read writes beautifully from a narrative point of view but when her characters’ inner voices are concerned, I felt at times like I was presented with a puzzle that I could not solve regardless of how hard I tried. I walked away with my own interpretation of it but never quite sure whether I really got it. However, I believe this is something that will change as the author gets a few more notches under her belt. As much as I could not put this book down, the ending was anticlimactic for me as I was expecting a much more passionate and dramatic finale, but it will undoubtedly satisfy any HEA addict.

The second book in the Sloan Brothers series, Breaking the Wrong, will be released in March 2013 and I have been told by a ‘reliable source’ that it is going to be a story of redemption … among other things!! The third book is Ruin you Completely and it is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2013.




The Blog Tour Stops

20 Nov ~ The Indie Bookshelf
21 Nov ~ Natasha is a Book Junkie and Krystal Clear Book Reviews
22 Nov ~ Books over Boys
23 Nov ~ Stephie’s Fantabulous Books
24 Nov ~ Tough Critic Book Reviews and Book Crush
25 Nov ~ My Secret Romance Reviews and Bex and Books
26 Nov ~ Book Whisperer
27 Nov ~ The Autumn Review
28 Nov ~ The Book Asylum and NA Alley
29 Nov ~ Totally Booked and Lisa’s Book Reviews
30 Nov ~ Reading, Eating & Dreaming and Buried in Books

The Giveaway
  • To win an e-copy of Every Which Way, ENTER HERE.
  • To win a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Every Which Way, ENTER HERE.
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