Title: Breaking Good
Author: Madeline Ash
Series: Byron Bay #4 (unofficial title)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
He wasn’t good for her. He never would be.
At eighteen, Stevie Case finally surrendered to her attraction to bad boy Ethan Rafters, sharing one night with him before she graduated and he skipped town on a one-way road to destruction. Years later, Stevie has hit back life’s curveballs and is no stranger to hard work, but when she finds herself working for Ethan, who’s turned his life around, her world shatters not only because their chemistry is still fierce and undeniable but because fate separated them before she could tell him he has a son.
Ethan desperately wants to be a good father and a partner yet he believes he’ll never be normal. The chaos that defines his life has destroyed his relationships, yet Stevie’s acceptance of his flaws tempts him with a life he thought impossible.
Dare he risk Stevie’s life of hard-fought stability for his own chance at happiness?
Source: ARC from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
I really enjoyed this return to Byron Bay. Second chance romances are some of my favourites, but I really liked how this one added a twist to the proceedings. Stevie and Ethan’s one night might have ended in an unexpected baby, but the reasons why Ethan doesn’t think he’s good for Stevie weren’t the usual kind of bad boy angst I was expecting.
I loved Ethan. He’s successful and sweet, yet has a completely messed up view of himself because of his ADHD. I really liked how his thought processes were shown in the book, the constant switch from one subject to another and how he really struggled to focus. It’s not the most important thing about him, but it is important and I liked that it played a strong role in the person he was and the choices he made.
I liked Stevie too, especially the way she sees Ethan. She is so very good for him – and he’s pretty good for her – and I admired her strength and determination. I also liked how telling Ethan was hard, but so was coming to terms with bringing him into her life.
Then there is Zach, the son, who is amazing most of the time, precocious always, and also has the makings of a major dictator. As amazing as his relationship with Stevie was, there were times when I just wanted her to take control a little more. She gives him far too much power. However, their relationship is strong and key to everything and it works really well.
From the very start, I found this an absorbing, entertaining and often emotional read. The characters are nicely developed, the relationship are difficult and interesting and complicated and the whole thing was pure enjoyment, with bonus beach loveliness. I look forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.
Breaking Good is Out Now.
Visit Madeline Ash for more details.