Tag Archives: broken boys

Out of the Blackness by Carter Quinn


Published on 9 July 2013
Published by Carter Quinn Books
Copy purchased by reviewer.

One thing I have found as a reader and user of goodreads to track my books, is that most of the books that I read that have a truly broken person in them (like Aaron by JP Barnaby) are usually judged and reviewed quite harshly. I can’t figure out exactly why that is. Maybe the reader was looking for a lighter take on a serious situation or maybe they went into the story unwittingly. All I know is that it kind of reminds me of people who have a lack of patience in dealing with broken people in real life. I’ve decided I will use my post experience with Out of the Blackness to say why I love books with broken boys.

Avery is struggling. He is fighting to maintain his hold on sanity every minute of every day. He is consumed by fear and is crippled by anxiety. Even pills and therapy are a battle. Avery is a shattered soul because his trust was betrayed. He was a continual victim of abuse at the hands of people who should have been nurturing him and his biggest advocate. He suffers every moment because his mom, step-dad and step-siblings were child abusers. So why should Avery be judged for his condition? Cast the blame where it is due.

Avery, thankfully, now has a small circle of people who love and look out for him. Sam, his surrogate brother and foster home savior, the coworkers at the bookstore and Sam’s fiancé and her brothers. A small circle but enough to keep him protected and with a level of security.

When we meet Avery he is very skittish. He is a ball of anxiety. He is crippled with fear. The slightest movement, touch, sound can push him into a panic attack. Avery is starting therapy with a new therapist and we are just getting information on what his backstory is. It is also the first time he encounters Noah. Noah works across the alley from the bookstore and is a big, muscle bound tall guy. The kind of person who immediately intimidates Avery. For some reason Noah is drawn to Avery and Avery is mortified. Noah is every fear Avery has, incarnate.

Through small interactions with everyone in Avery’s world the big picture opens up to us at the same time it is opening to Noah. Noah is so compassionate but he knows what he is doing as the child of a therapist and also studying behavior at University. Aside from Sam, Noah is the only person Avery can begin to trust and let his guard down (just a bit) with. It is a slow journey toward healing and self worth. It is a bittersweet victory as it should not have been a battle to begin with. Even with all the hardship and hurt this book is a true romance. We see how the power of love can really help another person if they are both willing to do the work. In one word it is BEAUTIFUL. Reading Avery is like watching a butterfly emerge from its cocoon. He is transformed and can finally live again and accept love. He can be beautiful, he can fly.

That, my friends, is why I love books with broken boys. The guys who take on these struggles are totally selfless, giving men. They are the best of the best. Understanding and forgiving and never pushy. That takes a special amount of patience! The best part is watching the broken boy’s pieces being put back together. To see them whole (with cracks) instead of in shattered shards on the floor. It is truly touching. You have to be willing to take the journey with them. If you aren’t ready for the long road, stay away, but I will say it is your loss because the end is such sweet happiness.


Aaron by J.P. Barnaby

Published 8 October 2012
Dreamspinner Press
Purchased Copy

Aaron is the first title by J.P. Barnaby that I have had the pleasure to read. I’ve heard that J.P. Barnaby is a tough author to read because she doesn’t pull any punches. You will quickly discover that I like the hard reads. The broken boys with the issues and a lot of baggage. I like to see characters who have struggles but still manage to grow and overcome those issues. This book pretty much has all of that. Aaron is a very broken boy. He was the victim of a brutal attack and has severe PTSD. Fate puts him in the path of Spencer, a deaf boy, who is tired of being the tagged as the slow guy because of his hearing impairment. Aaron and Spencer become fast friends and it is through Spencer that Aaron sees that life might really be worth living.

What I loved about this book: Where do I even start?? Okay, the struggles. The sensitivity Spencer shows toward Aaron. The special moments shared together as an obstacle is overcome. How the story of what happens to Aaron is slowly revealed. The tenderness. This book is light out of darkness. Hope out of tragedy.

Rating: Bad Ass Boots!