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Shattered Lives #1

Broken Dreams

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Elaina Cooper’s world was turned upside down on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. She was about to marry Henry Daniels, the man of her dreams -- or so she thought. Just as she was to walk down the aisle, screams pierced the air.

In the days that followed, questions lingered in Elaina’s mind. Why did Henry seem to know so much about what was happening? And why did she feel like he was keeping secrets from her? Henry knew that his haunted past would eventually catch up to him…in more ways than one. Through all of this, he must face his demons, and Elaina must decide whether she can accept who he is. Henry is determined to fight to the very end to make their sexy, mercurial relationship work no matter what staggers in their path.

Along with their ragtag band of survivors, they must travel south to face Henry’s fears. There will be joys and loss but, in the end, is love enough to hold them together?

634 pages, ebook

First published April 21, 2014

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About the author

Rissa Blakeley

22 books530 followers
Rissa Blakeley is the author of a fantasy paranormal series, Corvidae Guard, and a post-apocalyptic saga, Shattered Lives, which features a paranormal twist and has been adapted into graphic novel form.

As a native New Yorker, Rissa is now a Georgia transplant who is completely addicted to black coffee and La Croix, obsessively listening to songs on repeat. Her days are packed with characters screaming for more scenes, cats living up to their Harry Potter namesakes, lazy dogs, a teenage daughter, who’s bringing Emo back, and a Viking husband, who finds her puns less than funny. When Rissa isn’t writing, she can be found procrastinating on social media.

For more information regarding Rissa's books, go to www.rissablakeley.com

Join Rissa's Militia and sign up for her newsletter today! http://www.subscribepage.com/RissasMi...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 58 reviews
Profile Image for Tiffany.
109 reviews10 followers
July 6, 2014
556 Book Chicks was not expecting to like this one...
It's like that sometimes when Authors send you a request to read and review their book. It immediately puts pressure on you to like the book. Then there are times you discover a book that you wouldn't have necessarily 1-clicked on Amazon. And the Book Gods are screaming you were handed a gem of a book darling. LOL! My Book Gods often speak with a Southern twang. LOL!

I don't know if I would even classify this book as paranormal. It is, but it is so modern that you almost forget that it is "paranormal." It is so much more though...it's a story about love, forgiveness, starting over, and living life. And it is filled with action! I was a nervous wreck waiting...

Henry was sent to the US to complete a mission. Henry was trained to carryout this mission and he had every intention of doing so until he met Elaina. Then his mission changed to winning over the woman he loved, who had changed his whole purpose.

I loved all the action in this book...it was a page turner. The day Henry and Elaina attended the wedding, is the same day all hell broke loose in the city. Coincidence? No! Word had spread that Henry had derailed from his mission, but Roger was determined that the show must still go on. And so the world was exposed to the virus that caused humans to become undead. Who would escape the cluster fuck alive?

My holy shit moment...Henry, Elaina, Claire (Elaina's best friend) and Nick (Elaina's brother) were in the store looking for gas and supplies...when one of them is caught by an undead. There is also a kid in the store with a shotgun ready to take them all out if necessary. And when the kid tells them what he saw happened...they called bullshit. "I saw him go behind him after he yelled to you, covered his mouth wit' his hand, and put a gun to his head. It's true! Then he bit right down on his arm and was suckin' on it like a vampire!" OMG! I know you want to know who was hurt...and I can't wait for you to find out. But you have to read the book!

The suspense will almost kill you...I knew that Henry had secrets buried deep, but just when you discover one secret another 10 pop up out of nowhere. It's like he could never escape his past, and I found myself feeling so sorry for Henry. On top of all his secrets he has now found himself in charge of keeping his friends alive. Broken Dreams is a must read. I loved every second of it and I can't wait to read part 2.

~Tiffany (556 Book Chicks)

Profile Image for ☆Stephanie☆.
342 reviews42 followers
August 6, 2016
Title: Shattered Lives: Broken Dreams (Book 1)
Author: Rissa Blakeley
Publisher: Rissa Blakeley, 2014
Genre: NA Science Fiction, NA Paranormal

**I received a copy of this book free from the Author in exchange for an honest review**

This review can also be found @ my Goodreads page or TeacherofYa's Tumblr

My Review:

Ummm. How do I start this? Let me just say that the book was 634 pages. 634!!! I am just thrilled to be done. Whew! This has nothing to do with the content of the book, but let me just say that I once tried to read a 900+ page book and almost blew my brains out. Sometimes a book is just too long. Just my opinion. (This is probably going to be a long review because it was a long book, btw)

I was not prepared for what this book was, and that's on me. I was thinking YA. It was NA, for mature audiences only. Very explicit. But it in no way takes from the story-telling or writing of the book. It just made me uncomfortable until I got used to it. I'm not a romance reader or an erotica reader, and it times it felt like that was what I was reading, with some science fiction elements thrown in. 

Their author even describes her own book through Elaina:

I was trying to keep myself busy by reading a few of the books that were once my mother’s. Lightweight, written in a box, soft core romance novels…barf. Nothing erotic about these kissy-kissy, lovey-dovey things. I wanted something with a shifter or vampire and some rather interesting scenes. I tossed the book aside.

Ok, with that being said, let's get to the meat of it, shall we?

We have a story originally told from one POV: Liam, aka Henry, has been beaten and abused most of his life. We aren't given much detail except that he's in some sort of program, and the boss, Roger, decides to send him to the United States (from London). Then he meets Elaina, falls in love, and quits the program. On their wedding day, all hell brakes loose as the pastor takes a bite out of Elaina's friend Claire's boyfriend. All of a sudden, it's Thr Walking Dead and Elaina flees her wedding. Turns out, Henry has been guarding a virus that has been stolen and knows all about it. (I don't know how much to say without spoiling it for others....and I don't do spoilers, so I'm going to tread carefully here). With Henry, Elaina, Claire, Nick, Thomas, and Sophie (Henry's sexy ex from London), the group goes off looking to find the bastard that infected the pastor and started the epidemic. 

Henry is a basket-case. He's originally the sweetest man alive. Then he goes from zero to asshole in 2 seconds flat. Elaina has all sorts of nicknames for these different versions of Henry: "Angry Henry," "Program Henry," "Drunk Henry," etc etc etc. He actually seems more like "Douchebag" Henry for the majority of the book. But for some reason, I felt sorry for Henry. I understood him, and I understood Elaina's love and frustration toward him. Then I realized why: this was MY last relationship to a T. My boyfriend was hot and cold like Henry. He broke my heart like Henry. He had a substance abuse problem like Henry:

Henry was an alcoholic. I turned and looked at Claire. “He’s an alcoholic… Claire, my Henry is an alcoholic,” I said in a hushed tone as the tears poured from my eyes.

I realized why I empathized with Elaina. And she says something that I always believed, and what kept me in an unhappy relationship for six years:

“That’s what love is. Unconditional. I may not love everything you do, but I love you so goddamned much. You are amazing. You just haven’t realized it yet.”

She's of course saying this to him as he has a gun to his head. My boyfriend used to threaten to kill himself, too. It's manipulation, not love. So I had a hard time understanding all the shit she put up with for this "love of her life."

Of course, in the end it's all about the quality and plot of the book, yeah? It wasn't for me. Yes, I did get to the end, where there is a major cliffhanger, and wanted to know what happened next. But this just is not my genre and type of book: it felt like contemporary erotica with zombies thrown in for fun. I could see people liking it....and I was able to keep reading it without losing interest, but it's just not MY TYPE OF BOOK. So I can't fault Blakeley for writing something that's not for me. I'm just not the right audience for this novel. I would, however, recommend it to fans of this sort of genre. Because Blakeley does something right: she keeps her audience riveted to the very last second. It sucked me in. I wanted to know what happened to the very end. But I just don't know if I could handle reading another book with a relationship like this.

Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Hell no. 

Age Level:

18+. For mature readers. Lots of sex. Lots and lots of swearing. It's rated NA for a reason. (Though I'm starting to wonder what the difference is between NA and YA now. I thought they were supposed to be similar, but the one thing that I've noticed as a theme is sex. Is that what makes them different?)

End Result:

Not my cup 'o tea, but probably someone else's. The book was funny and well-written. Some dialogue was cheesy, but mostly it was good for what it was. I would probably continue to read it in my spare time between books or something just to know how the series ends.  I hate not knowing. My rating? ★★★☆☆. ★★★ and a half for someone who likes romance novels/erotica.

P.S. The guy on the cover IS hot. I might put up with a lot if my boyfriend looked like him. But that's the shallow part of me talking.
960 reviews8 followers
July 16, 2014
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

I should say upfront this book is not my usual genre but I was interested enough in the synopsis and the chance to read a long (more than 600 page) book so I decided to give it a go. I'm glad a did because it is an enjoyable story.

I like that events in the book followed different characters at different times. It didn't take too long for the apocalyptic event to occur and for our characters to be fighting to survive. The fight for survival for me was the most interesting part of the story and kept me turning the pages.

The author takes us back to times before present day which I don't usually mind. In this case however I did start to get a bit sick of seeing what had happened in Henry and Elaina's past as I was more interested in what was going on in the here and now and how they were going to survive. The same with the steamy scenes in the last 15% or so of the book - I just wanted to get on with the story.

Henry, our main man, I didn't really like. At the beginning I didn't trust him, then he seemed ok and by the end he was just a disaster and I was kind of hoping he be killed off.

Overall this is an interesting story full of action, gore, drama and romance. I think even people like me who normally don't read this genre will like it and people who do read this genre will LOVE it.

Also, props to the editor - it was great to read an independently published book that isn't full of typos.

I enjoyed Broken Dreams and I'm looking forward to Book 2, Awakened Desires.

Wicked Reads Review Team

Profile Image for Sharon Mariampillai.
1,964 reviews85 followers
October 13, 2016
I received a copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

This was an interesting read. I think what made me want to review this book was that it was a paranormal dystopian. The characters were okay. I really liked Henry out of all of the characters. I thought he was the best character. He was attractive, and there was just something about him. I hope to see what happens to his character and the other characters. The story was very interesting. However, it was slow paced and it was boring at times. It did pick up because I was enjoying it more and more as the book went on. I really enjoyed this read. I hope book 2 is better than this one. I can't wait to read the second book. Overall, a great read.
Profile Image for Heather.
459 reviews25 followers
May 4, 2014
Broken Dreams is unlike any other book I have read. I don’t want to give away anything that isn’t in the blurb, so forgive me if I am evasive, but I hate it when reviews give away things that I didn’t know from what the author shared when telling us about their book.

This is an excellent debut from Rissa Blakely. I am one of those people who believe that the longer the book is, the better it is for me. 675 pages made me extremely happy. I read this in two day, I was completely pulled into the story that is Broken Dreams, a tale about surviving, about love even when there are humongous obstacles in the path, about being broken and patching yourself together to survive another day, and about friendships and what they can survive.

Broken Dreams is full of action and has quite a bit of gore, which I loved. It kept the book moving and made me want to know what was going to happen next. What can these people survive? What is going to be the breaking point? It is not just about Elaina and Henry (their hot scenes together are incredibly steamy for those who look for that mixed in amongst their adventure), there is a whole group of friends trying to make it: Nick, Claire, Thomas, Sophie, and more that we come to meet as we go along this journey, each one playing their own integral role.

The only critique I have is that I wish there was more … I don’t know what word I want … just more to the slower scenes, the conversations that weren’t arguments or full of adrenaline because they were fighting for their lives, they didn’t have that same level of energy, that same pull for me as the rest of the book. Do not get me wrong, they still were great scenes, they just felt a little bit flatter to me compared to the rest of the book.

Going through Henry’s past, bit by bit in the book was heart wrenching, hearing secrets come out in little pieces here and there added so much more intrigue to the plot and kept me guessing. You do not know which way Rissa is going to turn in Broken Dreams. This is one of those books where you don’t even try to guess ahead after the first couple of secrets come out because you realize that she is one step ahead of you at every turn.

All in all excellent book and a really great start to what promises to be an amazing series. I cannot wait to read the next one.

Profile Image for Mary Mooney.
2,344 reviews52 followers
July 12, 2014
I received a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads, so here it is. After reading the synopsis, I was not expecting this story line. Liam's past broke my heart. He was being trained for a job and then beaten on a regular basis because he questioned those in charge. When he was sent to the United States to do the job, he began to have second thoughts. And after meeting and falling in love with Elaina, he changed his mind completely. But on their wedding day all hell broke loose. People were dying but were coming back as zombies. The story follows Henry/Liam, Elaina, Claire, Nick and Sophie, a fellow trainee of Henry's, from the upper east coast all the way to North Carolina where Gunther is suppose to be. They will run into undead, scared survivors and others that will kill them just to take their supplies and vehicle. There is a lot going on and will keep you glued to each page just to see what happens next. This is a first for me by Rissa Blakeley and I really enjoyed it even though I am not a fan of zombie stories. The story is a long one, over 600 pages, but I feel it is worth the time to read it. Can't wait for more.

Wicked Reads Review Team
Profile Image for Nicole.
477 reviews12 followers
November 6, 2018
Freaking awesome. It sucks you in and eats at your brain, not letting go until you are emotionally spent and brain dead.
I was blown away at how much I enjoyed it. I'm working on book 2 now. Don't be turned away by the post-apocalyptic or zombie tags, this is more about the romance and the survival story. Henry is so attractive. You feel for him because of the torture that he goes through. His decision to leave the organization is what is the catalyst for the virus being released, but his love for Elaina is his reason for living, so you can understand his motives. At times, I thought he spent too much time crying, but if people were eating each other and you didn't think you were going to survive, you might spend some time crying. His love and unending devotion toward her is so swoon-worthy. Elaina is strong and takes everything in stride. Claire and Nick are great supporting characters. The story is awesome and will be hard to put down, which means leave a day or two to get through all 600+ pages. The story is smart, sassy, snarky, intriguing, and will make you ugly-cry more often than you will want to admit. These books should come with tissues, wine, and a few chocolate bars to help you get through.
Profile Image for S.M. Harshell.
Author 5 books39 followers
July 16, 2014
** I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads. **

I didn't know what to expect when I read the blurb, I was pleasantly surprised. 600 pages is a big commitment of time in a book, Broken Dreams did not disappoint!

Broken Dreams is the story about love and friendship but above all else survival. This story is action packed and well worth the time to read. I have stepped away from the paranormal reads, this was a great book to jump back into that genre with.

Can't wait to see where book #2 takes me.

Wicked Reads Review Team

Profile Image for Jen.
159 reviews
January 4, 2016
4 Stars

This book was good. It was slow in the beginning but picked up about halfway through. The emotional rollercoaster ride that the author takes you on with one of the main characters, Henry, is well, emotionally dark. It's a journey though that you have to take. I gave only 4 stars because to me there were to many flash backs.
112 reviews2 followers
August 5, 2016

I’m not sure where to start other than to say, hold on to your socks because they are going to be rocked with this new series!

Broken Dreams is the first book in a new trilogy by Rissa Blakeley and takes you on a journey with Henry, Elaina, Sophie, Nick, Claire and Thomas as they fight to survive what can only be described as the end of the world for them. The book is primarily told in Elaina’s point of view, but you will also see things in the third-person as well. Ms. Blakeley also gives the reader flashbacks from both Henry and Elaina’s point of views so that you understand both of their stories.

The book begins with Henry. He is in a training facility in England and has been given a task that is to be completed in the US. Henry shows us early in the book that he’s a fighter and not afraid to speak his mind or ask questions. He at first refuses the assignment because he’s afraid to leave his only friend Sophie behind. Reluctantly he leaves and takes up residence in the US. (I don’t want to give a lot away so you’ll have to read the book to find out what the assignment is and why he doesn’t want to leave Sophie.) Henry meets Elaina at a bookstore where she works and he is instantly drawn to her. He finds a way to meet her and talk to her. Things progress in their relationship and the book then takes you to the day of their wedding (again, you’ll have to read to see how this happens).

The day of Elaina and Henry’s wedding should have been the happiest day of their lives, but instead it literally becomes a nightmare. One minute Elaina is getting ready to walk down the aisle to her love, but the next there is panic and mayhem. There’s blood, gore, screams and scenes from horror films. Nobody can tell her what’s going on and Henry is trying his best to keep it together so he can protect her and her best friend Claire. This is where the journey and fight for survival starts for Henry, Elaina and Claire. This is also where Elaina discovers things about Henry she never knew and isn’t sure what to do. Even though Elaina isn’t sure what information she gets from Henry she can believe, she knows that she loves him and that he will protect her with his life.

You’ll meet Sophie soon and believe me, you’ll hate her and admire her at the same time. She’s in love with Henry as well and wants nothing more than for his relationship for Elaina to end so she can have him back. You will also at one point in the book feel sorry for Sophie and all she’s been through.

Nick will be introduced after Sophie and he’s Elaina’s brother, and Claire’s crush. He’s not happy with Henry at all and there will be times where you’ll side with Nick and times where you want to tell him to shut it. But most of all, you’ll love that Nick wants to be there for those he loves and protect them.

This book takes you on an emotional journey. I’ll be upfront about Elaina; you’ll want to smack her at first but as you read the book, you see her emotional journey and watch her evolve. She will get under your skin but she’s one of the best female characters I’ve read about. The journey she goes through with Henry and company is not just for survival; she also goes through a journey with herself. She learns that she can be strong when she needs to and that she can be what Henry needs.

Henry will do things that will make you love him but then he’ll do something that will make you want to seriously yell at your book. He’s got a hero complex at times but you’ll understand as you read the book. The one thing that is constant with Henry is his love for Elaina. Even in the darkest moments of the book and when he thinks that he’s lost her, Henry loves her. He wants no one else but her and that’s something he makes very clear to Sophie when things go sour after her arrival. He is a bit intense at times but he’s also got this side of him that is soft and gentle.

Claire also grows throughout the book and the changes in her are awesome. She goes from being the shy quiet girl to someone who can believe in herself. Claire discovers that if you want something bad enough, it’s worth waiting for and it’s worth the fight to keep it. You will enjoy watching her grow through this book.

Nick goes through I think the toughest journey because he has physical changes to go through. Nick’s love for his sister, Elaina, is very strong. There were times where I thought Nick and Henry were going to rip each other apart because while they both want the best for Elaina, they didn’t always agree on how that should be done. The love that Nick has for Claire is something he fought for so long and gave into after a very emotional part of the book. You will love how these two come together and stop fighting their feelings.

You will laugh. You will cry. You will get frustrated. You will love. You’ll be left wanting more but trust me, Ms. Blakeley does an excellent job of keeping you on the edge of your seat. I’m certain that the next book in her series will be just as thrilling! If you’re looking for a new paranormal romance that doesn’t involve sparkling vampires, you need to read this book! Join Henry’s army and fight for a new tomorrow!

***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.NG***
Profile Image for N.L. Brisson.
Author 15 books16 followers
May 8, 2015
This trilogy is written by the daughter of a couple in my yoga class. Their daughter has chosen the pen name Rissa Blakeley and the trilogy is called Shattered Lives (Volume 1, Broken Dreams; Volume 2, Awakened Desires; Volume 3 which is not yet available but it almost due out, Fractured Hearts.

These books are “fun fiction” although they also may strike a more serious chord if you are in the midst of a tempestuous relationship, which means that these books probably have the greatest appeal for younger readers. Fair warning though, there is a lot a graphic sexual material and violence in here that is not suitable to young adult literature. This puts the target reader in the 20-40 year old area, I would guess.

Henry falls deeply in love with Elaina as soon as he lays eyes on her and she loves him back just as instantly and intensely. But Henry has some mysterious qualities that Elaina wonders about. His eyes are a bright emerald green for one thing. He seemed to arrive in Elaina’s world as if he dropped in from nowhere for another. He appears to be wealthy but has a job as the head of a blood bank.

This book is full of undeads (not zombies) who have caught a virus that was released into the wedding of Henry and Elaina (the wedding does not take place, at least not then). Henry knows about the virus because he was raised by the “terrorists” who want to use the virus to gain power.

The virus crops up at Henry’s wedding because he is being punished for leaving the group that trained him. Undeads must be killed to render them true dead or they will pass the virus on to you by eating your throat out.

From this point on these stories are nonstop action, human angst, fear, and passionate, desperate love and love-making and moment by moment survival.

No I will not tell you why Henry’s eyes are bright emerald green because I think there is an audience for these books. In fact, I have left a lot for you to discover on your own. I will tell you that these are long books. However, if you are passionate about this type of novel they may not seem lengthy to you at all. I think these books would adapt well as movies.
Profile Image for BooksandBeyondFiftyShades.
1,350 reviews145 followers
July 17, 2014
Broken Dreams begins by introducing us Liam (Henry) at a training area in London. Henry is given an assignment to be completed in the United States. Henry is adamant about denying the assignment because he doesn’t want to leave Sophie behind.

He is not given choice and is sent to the US to complete his assignment. After arriving in the US and scouting his location as directed he meets Elaina in a neighborhood bookstore and immediately drawn to her.

Henry and Elaina’s wedding day arrives and what should be the happiest day of their lives becomes an emotional/physical nightmare for both of them. Henry is fighting to keep Elaina safe amongst all the blood and gore.

In the aftermath of the day Elaina learns things about Henry she never thought possible. The battle for fight or flight soon begins for Henry, Elaina and Claire. Sophie is brought back into the story where we learn of all of her struggles and the fact that she is still in love with Henry. Nick, Elaina’s brother and Claire’s crush only wants to protect his sister from the turmoil around them right now. Henry and the group of survivors have to travel south. Can Henry face his fears? Will the survivors find their happy ending?

I was riveted by this story and could not put it down. I became invested in the characters and their stories. Broken dreams will have you laughing, crying at the same time.

I would highly recommend this book
Profile Image for Brenda.
Author 14 books162 followers
July 12, 2015
Henry Daniels went through Hell growing up, but it made him strong and he survived. Nothing could break him. Until he met Elaina. The black haired beauty held his heart and soul in the palm of her hand and held the power to bring him to his knees. And she loved him just as greatly.

Their wedding day should have been perfect, and it would have been....until the zombie apocalypse began.

Yep, you read that right. The zombie-freaking-apocalypse. What starts out as a typical boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after, completely jumps the tracks and turns into a horror movie gore fest that strains the bonds of friendship, of family, and love.

This is a massive book to read, but don't let the size scare you away; it's also a fast as hell roller coaster ride that leaves you raging, crying, cheering, and sometimes laughing out loud. Oh and let's not forget the SEX SCENES!!! Holy crap!!! Rissa Blakely sets the pages of Broken Dreams on fire the the heat and passion between Henry and Elaina!!!!

The side characters and storyline are perfect for this book, and Rissa does a fantastic job of really dragging you into the story, even when you're not quite sure you want to ride along as the characters go to some seriously scary, dark places.

I enjoyed this book IMMENSELY, and would recommend it to anyone who needs a break from the 'typical' romance novel!!!
Profile Image for Julie Ayling.
187 reviews15 followers
September 18, 2015
I was given a copy Exchange for my honest review.
This is normally not a book I would pick up and read. But I'm so glad I did. This is a lot more than just just zombies, this book is about Love, and forgiveness, and family.
Henry who comes from a program where he was raised and basically molded to be what they want he live through hell until one day The program sends Henry and out into the real world to do his job.
Well Henry's out recruiting that's where he meets his black beauty Elaina. And for me that's where the story really takes off the emotions that these two characters go through all the ups and downs hug me a couple times just putting the book down going are you kidding me.. So when Henry and Elaina are getting married the day of their wedding all hell breaks loose. And during all the chaos their group gross but it's not as simple as coming together and working together there's so many struggles within the group.
Will these to survive not only from the undead but will they survive each other?
Can they keep their group safe?

So like I said don't be judging the book by the title for the cover it's not all about the zombies it's more than that..
I would definitely recommend this as a good read..
Profile Image for Shelby.
572 reviews6 followers
July 19, 2014
*I received a free copy to read & review for Wicked Reads*

This book was an interesting mix of Romance and Zombie Apocalypse!
The story starts at the wedding of Elaina Cooper and Henry Daniels - and quickly the Zombie Apocalypse is upon them.
We get to know the characters, we learn their back-stories, and see who they really are.
I can't give anything away, this story was rather intense at times and laid back at others.
This story was FULL of action, adventure, general & erotic romance. I found myself biting my nails, laughing out loud, and rooting them on.
Sometimes outside forces aren't the ONLY enemies the group faces - and the saying "United we conquer, Divided we fall" is appropriate.
I really liked the characters and will read the next story - as I NEED to know how this all pans out.

Wicked Reads Review Team

Profile Image for Elizabeth.
319 reviews9 followers
February 23, 2015
I hate cliffhangers then having to wait for subsequent books but I will just have to.
I was trying to figure out where this book was headed when I arrived at the wedding from hell - literally. I was initially annoyed as this is not my preferred genre, however I was already invested in the characters and it had been recommended by a friend; also I liked Rissa Blakeley's writing style.
I knew there had to be more to the story so wasn't surprised when it unfolded. Shocked and horrified yes, but not surprised. This author has an amazingly twisted imagination.
The majority of the action takes place during an extended journey through many US states, with some interesting stopovers.
I am doing my best not to spill any of the plot. I think there is no need for spoilers in a review - readers deserve to read it all.
So - not my preferred genre, fairly horrific in places, cliffhanger...why have I given it five stars and can't wait for the next book? Because it is a great book that rattles along at a pace that makes it hard to put down. Rissa Blakeley has a new fan.
Profile Image for E.F..
Author 9 books154 followers
May 23, 2014
I just finished reading Broken Dreams and all I can say is my mind is still reeling. This book is dangerous, sexy, emotionally charged, and just all around lip biting good! The characters are so well writing that they practically jump off the page and read their story to you. Henry, in particular, is now a favorite character of mine! One that I can’t wait to read more about in the next installment in this series!

Broken Dreams is such an fantastic debut novel and I cannot applaud Rissa Blakeley enough for creating this amazing world of hers! This was one of the first books that I ever stalled on reading the last few chapters because I didn’t want it to end.

If I could give this book more than five stars I would...I truly recommend this book to everyone and plan on being first in line when book two is released!!
Profile Image for Jessica Smith.
2 reviews1 follower
August 12, 2014
I'm not sure how to review this without giving anything away, so I'll just say this: If someone had told me what "genre" this book was, I wouldn't have picked it up. And that would have been a HUGE mistake. HUGE. There is nothing cheesy about this book. The writing is witty, modern and sharp. I immediately fell in love with Henry, and instantly related to Elaina's sarcasm and childish mood swings. (You have them too and you know it!) Rissa Blakeley obviously writes from her heart and each character is filled with such huge emotion. It is easy to love them, hate them and relate to them. The story line was captivating and it makes you just want to keep reading!

I would rate this far higher than a 5 if I could. I have recommended this book to dozens of people, and will continue to do so. I cannot WAIT for the next one!
Profile Image for Elizabeth Robbins.
496 reviews7 followers
May 1, 2015
Not your typical paranormal romance, for sure. What begins as a tale of pain and misery, for our reluctant hero, Henry, morphs into a beautiful romance when he meets Elaina. Their love is what ultimately carries them through the coming apocalypse (well that, and the booze, and (oh yeah) the blood...). This is a pretty high-intensity story, which is (thankfully) broken up some, by more peaceful retrospectives, and some surprising humor. The characters are very well described, and the plot is phenomenal. At over 600 pages, it took me a couple of days to get through, and the surprise ending nearly caused me to inflict physical damage to my beloved Kindle. Thankfully, there are more books available, so I won't have to wait to find out what happens next.
Profile Image for Jody Pardo.
Author 17 books129 followers
August 12, 2014
I absolutely loved this book!!! I must say when I started to read this book I thought it was a romance book. I guess because I had been reading a lot in that genre and was in romance mode...and it is a romance but SO MUCH MORE! Ok so hot steamy scenes? Check. Violence and conflicts? Check. Hot Brit that my imagination runs wild as he switches from American to Brit lingo? Check. More steamy scenes in between rockin action scenes? Check. Oh did I mention undead Zombies?!? Double exponential check!! I'm not a spoiler but this was a slam dunk Rissa! There is something for everyone! Can't wait for Book two!!
6 reviews1 follower
August 15, 2014
For a first novel, this book was AMAZING!!!!!!!! I felt like she had been writing for years. This book has everything I am looking for:sex, suspense, intrigue, sex, drama and sex. I couldn't put it down. It only took me a week to read it but I would have been done sooner if I didn't have to sleep, eat, work and take care of my kids. I am sitting on pins and needles waiting for the next book.

If you are looking for a good book that will take you away from your crazy life for a little while then you need to get this book and join Rissa's Militia. Team Henry all the way!!!! (At least until Gunther shows up. (*wink*)
Profile Image for Hazel Lewis.
38 reviews1 follower
November 14, 2015
k I received this book for free for a honest review
Ok where do I begin?
I honestly thought this book is not for me yes I like paranormal but zombies uh no kinda freaks me out but I was pursuaded :) and I'm so glad I was
It starts of a bit slow (first chapter or 2) so I kept reading and wow it just got better and better it's got so many twists and turns that you don't expect you can't put this book down believe me between hunky Liam and all the different scenes wow it's definitely a must read I just can't wait for next one well done Rissa blakely you have me captured you really make the character real
Profile Image for Kara Gerena.
3 reviews
May 14, 2014
Just finished reading Broken Dreams! It took me a little while because this is not a short story or even a normal size novel. The book is a great addition to the paranormal / erotica genre but it come with a vast uniqueness that I have not seen other authors attempt. After reading a few chapters in you will figure out that the female characters are the backbone of the relationships and to be honest, the whole story.this was a great read that kept me engaged with all of the twisters and turns and yes even the hot sex scenes. Rissa Blakeley has only just begun. I can't wait for book 2!!!
Profile Image for Jessica Kong.
Author 4 books123 followers
March 18, 2015
Rissa Blakeley definitely knows how to pull your strings. She has created a story that will have you wanting to jump into the book and strangle certain characters. I know I did. This story has the perfect blend of action, drama and zombies. At times, I found it a little slow, but those parts were few, and the story is so well developed and satisfying that it really didn’t matter. I can’t imagine how any of the issues between the characters will be resolved, but I will be following along to find out.
Profile Image for Riley K. .
474 reviews8 followers
December 5, 2014
This was the first ever Rissa Blakeley book, I've ever read. She has earned a fan. This book is effing amazing and I cannot wait to read the sequel. From start to finish, you had me hooked. The characters were well written and the plot was simply amazing.
10 reviews1 follower
May 3, 2017
This book was amazing! Her description of each scene and character were so surreal I felt like I was watching a movie! This is not only a paranormal book but also contains romance! If you love zombies and the apocolypse this book is for you, great job Rissa!!
3 reviews
August 24, 2014
Fast paced twist on your typical zombie story. I can't wait to read more.
Profile Image for Alicia Huckleby.
145 reviews
January 13, 2016
Broken Dreams has it all. And when I say all... I mean ALL! Love. Loss. Heartbreak. Forgiveness. Sex. Mystery. Truths and lies. Old friends and New family. New lives and Past demons. And death. Plenty of death. Oh and did I say love already??
This a post apocalyptic masterpiece that earns every star which I gave it...and then some! Rissa Blakely will take you to a world that is every bit the physical challenge as much as it is a psychological war! Prepare to have her claws sink in deep, because once the first book in this series grabs ahold of you, you'll be in for a long rollercoaster ride of ups and downs!
Henry and Elaine were in love before this whole mess began. They were to be married the day the earth stood still and life as we all know it ground to a halt. But its when they've both been torn down to the bare flesh and bones, had all the coal knocked away that they truly start to find their diamond in the rough that is their undying love for eachother. And revalation of the real truth is only the beginning!
I had my apprehension about this book in the beginning. And it did start out just a little slow. But little did I know, Blakeley was truly setting the foundation for a mind blowing series! Can honestly say with one hundred percent honesty and extreme confidence that this has got to be the BEST post apocalyptic romance series I've ever had the pleasure of reading! Although I wouldn't consider myself a huge fan of the subgenre I have read my share. And Blakeley is defintely a true talent and leader in the post apocalyptic romance genre!
The ONLY complaints ( if you want to call them that) that I had were two things. One, I felt like Henry was too much of. cryer. He was consistently crying over something like every few pages. But I honestly am not sure if he was just really that way or if maybe 'circumstances' ( trying not to spoil it here) could be to blame. The only other thing is that the book was kinda long. I didn't really see that as a bad thing because im a fast reader but I could see how other readers may feel like they are not gonna reach the end of the series if every book is that length. Though to be honest, there was so much going on in the story itself , you are never bored or unentertained.
I would certainly recommend this book and the series to any fan of romance who's looking for something new amd refreshing, a little out of the ordinary. And fans of the post apocalyptic genre may ecen find they themselves enjoy it too. Its not ao over run qith sex amd love that they cannot appreciate the story for ita ebtire worth. But defintely is a one click, and should be to your TBR!
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