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When Theodore Davenport decides to switch his mundane job for a career, he walks into Holden House Publishing with enthusiasm and determination to succeed. As he settles into his new role, makes new friends, and dreams of making it to the top, everything is going to plan.

Until he meets James Holden, CEO of Holden House.

James Holden hasn’t been able to stop thinking about his encounter with the timid man he met in a club bathroom last week, and when he discovers the one haunting his dreams is an employee, he can’t seem to stop himself from pursuing him.

Just a little fun - that’s what James tells himself. He can’t afford to care for someone who can never reciprocate, not once they find out who he really is. James believes nobody deserves the burden of being attached to him. He’s a complicated man. Damaged. Difficult. Demanding.


Is Theodore strong enough to confront James’ demons? More importantly, is James?

Please note:This book contains scenes of self harm, mental illness and suicidal ideation which may be uncomfortable for some readers.

404 pages, ebook

First published February 29, 2016

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About the author

Nicola Haken

22 books1,253 followers
Romance Author.

I live in not-so-sunny Rochdale, England (true northern girl!) with my five kids - one of whom many refer to as my husband. I write about life, and love, and all the beauty and angst that come with them.

All in all I'm just an ordinary gal with an addiction to reading, tattoos, and Pepsi Max. I don't like even numbers or metal spoons, and I'm allergic to exercise.

Please note: I don't check in here often. If you would like to contact me, please get in touch via Facebook, Twitter, or email - nicola@nicolahaken.co.uk

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,248 reviews
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews14k followers
August 15, 2017

★★★★★! Broken (stand-alone). Don’t judge a boss by his cover. From one night stand to forbidden office romance until painful secrets threatens everything!

“So tight,” he whispers, his chest pressed to my back as he nuzzles my neck. “Has anyone been here since me?”

Broken (stand-alone) starts off toe-curlingly sexy with a kinky one night stand in a bar bathroom. Come Monday junior marketing employee Theodore Davenport, Theo is shocked to discover the man who fucked him senseless is his new boss.

CEO of Holden House, James David Holden has mixed feelings about Theo but decides on a relentless and unapologetic seduction.

As they settle into balancing work with off-the-chart sex their no questions asked affair grows to more until painful pasts and secrets creep in shattering their lives.

Their relationship and love will be tested like no one ever should have to be dealing with mental illness and the stigma and hopelessness attached.

Nine words to describe James David Holden: Cocky, unapologetic, complex, enigmatic, temperamental, intense, determined, secretive and broken.

Eight words to describe Theodore Davenport, Theo: Sweet, unassuming, impressionable, reflective, strong, insecure, nurturing and progressive.

Broken, told from dual POVs, is gritty, sensual, sexy, beautiful, poignant, angsty and hopeless, but in the darkest moments there are glimpses of forgiveness, reflection, growth, surrender and hope. I am happy with ending and epilogue.

Spectacular! Heartbreaking! Thought-provoking! Breath-taking! Story will stay with me!

“Broken crayons can still colour.”

Hero rating: 5 stars
Heroine rating: 5 stars
Sexual tension rating: 5 stars
Sex scenes rating: 5 stars
Sex scenes frequency: 4 stars
Plot rating: 5 stars
Dialogue rating: 5 stars
Storytelling rating: 5 stars
Story ending rating: 4.5 stars
Overall rating: 5 stars

Would I recommend this book: Yes.
Would I re-read this book: Maybe later.
Would I read future books by this author: Yes.

Thank you all shhluts on Shh… for our ShhLYT(F)BR of Heroes with illness, disabilities, injuries or addiction: https://goo.gl/uH8UyF
Profile Image for ✦❋Arianna✦❋.
790 reviews2,503 followers
March 15, 2016
4 Stars!!


‘Broken’ was emotional, at times intense and surprisingly not as heavy as I expected to be. Nicola Haken delivered a well written story that deals with tough subjects like mental illness, suicide attempts and depression. Now, to be honest I was a little reluctant to read this one. Not only because I’ve never read this author before, but also because I know not every author can handle very well this subject matter. I’m glad to say Mrs. Haken handled everything in a very caring, respectful way which I truly appreciate it.

Theodore ‘Theo’ is twenty-six, out and proud and he has recently started working as an office junior at a big publishing house. This new position is not exactly his dream job, but he loves words, - to read and write. One night he meets a sexy man with whom he has a very sexy encounter. Theo is not exactly proud of his actions since he’s not 'that type' of guy, but he can’t say he regrets it either. Theo meets again the man who rocked his world at work, since it seems he's the big boss.

“It’s amazing how powerful a smile can be, even a forced one. It’s all it takes to fool people into believing you’re not falling apart inside.”

Looks are very deceiving and James knows that better than anyone. At first sight he’s an arrogant, cocky, pretentious a**hole, but he is more than that. James doesn’t have friends and he doesn’t have a close relationship with his family. He’s not looking for a relationship, so he f@cks around a lot, but he can’t deny the attraction he feels towards Theo. If at first Theo tries to stay away and to avoid the man who is still in his thoughts, James is ready to do anything to make the other man warm up to him.

As time passes, what starts as a hesitant friendship slowly becomes more, but James has a secret, secret that eventually reveals, even if there’s a big possibility Theo will run for the hills.

“He makes me feel again and…and I like it. I like the flickers of hope in my chest when he smiles, the bubbles of excitement in my stomach when he laughs, even the guilt I feel when I piss him off. They’re emotions I haven’t felt in such a long time and I crave more of them, crave him, crave life.”

I really enjoyed this one! It was well written, equally heartbreaking and heartwarming and had so much depth. Both main characters were well portrayed, felt real and their story felt believable form start to finish. While James at the beginning is an a$$, he was a likeable character. Yes, he was kind of annoying to say the least, put there were times when he actually put a smile on my face. His cockiness and his persistence were truly endearing to me. My heart broke for him. I guarantee you will feel deeply for him from the moment you find out about his illness. His voice was powerful, honest and so gut-wrenching. I admit, I would have liked this aspect of the story – James’s illness - to be a little more developed. I felt the author focused a little too much on James and Theo relationship development. Don’t get me wrong, this is definitely not a bad thing, but I would have liked to find out more about this illness that almost destroyed James.

“This is the side of him no one else sees. He looks so fun. Carefree. Young. The positive energy radiating from him is addictive and I want more. Need more.”

Theo was a fantastic character. He was pure and simply perfect. Not only as an individual, but also with James. The way he cared for the other man melt my heart. It was beautiful. He was scared, of course, but he was also strong and his dedication and unconditional love were wonderful. I admired him so much for not giving up when everything got ugly.

“Maybe I don’t need to be alone. Maybe I should trust someone enough to share my problems with. Maybe…maybe that’s the key to being happy. Being better.”

James and Theo’s relationship progressed naturally. At first they were strangers, after a while some kind of friends and later as the story unfolded something much more. I liked the fact that nothing was rushed and their beautiful relationship was portrayed in such a realistic way.
I also loved the connection between these two. Their chemistry was palpable from the beginning, so their sexy scenes were fantastically written.

What I didn’t like too much was the ending which IMO was way too rushed. However, I enjoyed the epilogue – very sweet and hopeful.

All in all, 'Broken' was a fantastic, powerful read that will make you feel, fall in love with these two wonderful men and also open your eyes.

“When your boat is drifting from the shore, it’s okay to use an anchor for support. We all need an anchor. Without people to love us, we’d just drift further and further away.”
Profile Image for Judith.
724 reviews2,615 followers
March 10, 2016

"I'm too much.Too broken.Life is better alone.I like it that way".

This book had me hooked from the very beginning,such an emotional story.I actually didn't read the blurb but saw a friend's review whose opinion I really value(thanks Wendy) and a recommendation from another friend who totally gets me( thanks Ralu) and it was a must read and it certainly didn't disappoint.

Theo is in his twenties and is definitely not one for one night stands.That is until one night he is inexplicably drawn to a particular man....
Straight away he sees a darkness in him but can't seem to resist.Although it's totally out of his character they end up having dirty sex in a bathroom stall..Afterwards he's disgusted and ashamed of himself.....so imagine his horror when he discovers the stranger is Ceo of the company he's just started working for.

James,to say there's a darkness about him is an understatement.He has bi polar.I've seen and read quite a bit about this illness but never really understood it properly and this book has certainly helped me understand it more.I had such empathy for his character.
Normally James is only interested in one time hook ups but there's something about Theo that keeps him pushing for more.He eventually wears Theo down and they start a relationship.
But what happens when James tells Theo about his illness......

I don't want to say much more about the story but just that's it's a story of unconditional love on one part and the realization that everyone is capable of being loved on the other.

Highly Recommended......
Profile Image for JAN.
1,138 reviews755 followers
December 17, 2016

Broken is a story that hit very close to home for me.
Therefore, it would be easier to rate this book and deal with my misery in a quiet way, but for a strange reason I feel compelled to spill my guts and trample on my feelings a bit more while I write this. Don’t expect a review. It will be Online Therapy and I won’t blame you if you stop reading this right now.
A long time ago I had a very dear friend as troubled as one of the characters here.

Same as Theo, I had no idea how to help my friend and as I moved to the Uk we grew apart.
Today, I thank God after reading this story that there was no LOVE involved between my friend and I, because reading Broken and being able to get inside of both heads - the person who suffers with a mental illness and the person who loves her, destroyed me. I am such a coward :'-(

I also feel ashamed and weak because I don’t think I could be as strong as Theo facing the same situation. I would be full of doubts like Theo: Why did he do this to himself? Why did he give up? Why you didn’t talk to me? But the most important one: “Why wasn't I enough?”

Theo didn’t give up though.

Broken is not an easy read. It’s a raw and powerful story full of depth and feelings.
Heed the warnings and brace yourself.
I for one am very grateful for the chance to open my mind and learn a little bit more about such a sensitive matter from the point of view of a person who suffers from a mental illness. I am conscious the author barely scratched the complexity of the problem. Still, it gave me a new perspective and made me understand how silly and little it would be to question “Why wasn’t I enough? It has nothing to do with it. It’s no one’s fault.

A beautiful and unforgettable story.

This review has been posted on DirtyBooksObsession
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,441 followers
March 8, 2016
4 Stars!

I almost didn't read this one. Definitely make note of the warning.

***Please note*** This book contains scenes of self harm, mental illness and suicidal ideation which may pose as a trigger, or be uncomfortable for some readers.

I don't usually care for the heavier reads. But something made me pick this one up (probably the cover). I thought I would try a chapter and see how I felt...and it pretty much sucked me in right away.

And oddly enough, despite the heavy subject matter....dealing with mental illness, self harm, depression, suicide....it was rather "light".

Yeah, I know....it makes no sense.

When I read Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere, #2) by Roan Parrish which also had some of the same themes I had this knot in my gut the whole time I was reading. It was so hard to read the MCs struggles.

So maybe that means I didn't connect quite as emotionally to these characters, IDK. I never had that gut sick feeling when it came to James.

There were still moments that were hard to read about (even if I knew they were coming) and I was still rooting for James and Theo to find their HEA.

Maybe there were enough lighter, happier moments between them to offset the heaviness of James' illness.

I have no explanation.

I did find the last 20% a bit rushed, I would have liked a bit more with regards to James and his illness.

Overall, a really solid recommended read.
April 29, 2017
This is our story. It's not supposed to end here.

I don't know what to say that hasn't been said in the many, many glowing reviews, except that this book deserves all the stars and more. Haken tackles the difficult topic of mental illness with sensitivity and grace.

Broken is sexy, romantic, and nuanced. This isn't a simple story; it's complex and heartbreaking, but it left me feeling hopeful.

James may be broken, but, as his therapist tells him, broken crayons can still colour.

"We'll take it one breath, one moment . . . one kiss at a time."

Happy endings are for everyone: the broken and the flawed; the fearless and the meek. Perfect MCs are boring. I like reading about real people, and you can't get more real than James and Theodore.

This is not an easy, fluffy read; these men go through hell and back, but they come out on the other side strong and ready to face the world together.
Profile Image for Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**.
1,390 reviews651 followers
November 30, 2016

***4.5 Stars***

Broken crayons can still colour.

My cup runneth over with the honest emotion and unfiltered beauty that is this book!

First off, I want to reiterate the author's note regarding possible triggers in this book. Heed the warning if you think the triggers may apply to you. However, if you're skeptical about this book because you think it's going to be dark and heavy...please know that it's not and don't let that deter you from reading it. Is it emotional? Yes. Is it heavy? I don't think so.

Theo and James will grab you right from the beginning. They felt real and authentic and I was absolutely attached to them right from their introduction. And what an introduction it was! Lust and anger and shame and confusion and lust (it really should be mentioned again) and snark and sarcasm...little by little these men were forging a connection that would change them forever.

So let me jump right into how this book made me feel?

Helpless and Hopeful. Anxious and Optimistic.

Being inside of James' head was deeply emotional. How exhausting it must be to fight the negative thoughts eating away at your heart, mind and soul. It's so easy to see how someone can learn how to hide the turmoil going on inside of them.

It's amazing how powerful a smile can be, even a forced one. It's all it takes to fool people into believing you're not falling apart inside.

But even though James lives his life with a daily battle, he finds himself drawn to Theo. He's drawn to a man that even for the briefest moments gives him a feeling he's unfamiliar with...happiness.

And Theo...oh, Theo. He was so scared, but so strong. He was honest with his fears, and never hesitated in letting James know that his love was unconditional. Even in the beginning tentative stages of their relationship, he never wavered from his honesty.

"I don't know you. Not really. I think you're hiding, and I'm scared that if I find you, I won't be able to handle it."

Watching these two men navigate through the complexity and challenges of James' issues was breathtaking. They were both in uncharted territory, but knew that what they found together was something that neither man could give up.

"Let me love you."

"You don't know what that means, to love someone like me."

"Too late."

The emotions are high with this beautiful story, but worth every smile, every tear and every laugh. My heart broke, bled and healed over the course of this book. I know that James and Theo will stay with me for a very long time...and I'm sure I will find myself thinking of how they might be doing.

"I fell in love with you at your worst. I've had some of the best times of my life with you at, as you say, your worst. So I can't even imagine how special life will be when I get to experience your best."

***On a more personal note, I'm thankful to Nicola Haken for writing a book that feels honest. With more and more people talking about these issues, hopefully we can begin to erase the stigma that seems to be associated with mental illness. Depression runs in my family and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with needing help. It's not something you can "snap out of" or can be brushed off with a "we all have bad days."

Whether for yourself or someone else...take the time to listen. Don't be afraid to ask questions. And most importantly, don't be afraid to reach out for an anchor....or to be that anchor for someone. Sometimes just reaching out your hand, whether FOR help or TO help, can make all the difference.
Profile Image for ⊱ Poppy ⊰.
340 reviews300 followers
October 2, 2016
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”

Broken is one of those books who got me hooked by it's very very FIRSTY line. I have never started a book with that much of a heavy heart. The preface breaked my heart and all i was praying that please GOD don't let anything happen like this! This was my first book of this author and I must say she done a great job convincing me to try her books. This book breaked me, made me angry, made me see some things in such a light and changed my behaviour and thinking about mental illness. How forbidden office romance to a life and mind changing book I didn't notice. I was just unable to stay off this book, though it was breaking my heart just by thinking that what will happen later.

"I'm too much.Too broken.Life is better alone.I like it that way".

James David Holder a Man I will always remember. Whenever I think life is too much to bear i will remember him, remember his pain, his hopelessness, his anger, JUST HIM. I will remember him. James was a sarcastic twat, an arrogant asshole, a egoistic bastard. This was the image we first got of him from Theo's POV, but it was not James. It was a façade he was wearing to fool everyone. To let everyone be mile away from him. But from the first he meet Theo things was out of control. Their was certain spark between them which was not to be ignored.

Theodore aka our Theo. He was the most selfless bastard I've ever read about. He has a heart a size of America. So much to love, so much to give. He was not a naive horny sarcastic shell we always read in MM romance. He was kind of guy that will make you unable not to like him to adore him. When he meet James and after the rough coupling in a tiny restroom, his hatred and dislike of James was reasonable, because of his obvious egoistic sarcastic shell but Theo didn't get fooled, he saw the man behind the façade. He saw the real James. But things were not easy. James was beyond repairing.

"The pain is there. It never leaves. Sometimes it's bearable, but it's always there. It's pecked away at my soul all my life and, finally, it's won.
I surrender."

Broken was a emotional and raw book. A story of a Love that was beyond destruction. James and Theo are about to embark down a wonderful road of friendship and love, until James' darkness spills onto their sunshine. A darkness James doesn't want to fight anymore and a darkness Theo has no option but to fight his way through for both himself and James.

I loved the relationship between James & Theo. It was not like a usual and normal couple. Nothing about them was normal. So much Pain, so many secrets. So much to bear. Every day was a struggle. I loved James as same as i loved Theo, their relationship was something which we don't read about normally. Their Love was so strong, they walked through hell to get a normal relationship till the end it was a struggle but with the help of each other they will pass everything. James told every secret of his to Theo, to let him walk away before everything gets deep and painful. But he didn't know he was doing just opposite. He was laying his heart in Theo's palm and believing him not to crush it. I LOVED EVERYTHING, & EVERYONE IN THIS BOOK...!! My emotions are over-whelming me right now.

"I'm not normal.
I'm fucked up.

I don't want to spoil anything for you guys, this book is too precious for me to spoil anything. Just read it.. READ IT and you'll know how important it was to read. This is not just about James and Theo, it is about a journey a journey not to a Happily Ever After, a journey to seek love to know how when nothing is in your life is stable but still their is something, someone for you to keep living, keep fighting. Not to give up..!!! Just keep swimming, keep swimming till the you find a anchor to hold on. Just don't give up. This book teared me up, I am a crying mess, with a heavy heart did i completed this book, i didn't want them to not have a ending. I wanted to read it, to face it like they were facing the darkness. Such Pain, I didn't know how peoples are able to bear that!!

“I fell in love with you at your worst. I’ve had some of the best times of my life with you at, as you say, your worst. So I can’t even imagine how special life will be when I get to experience your best.”
Profile Image for Sabrina.
476 reviews245 followers
November 13, 2018
Oh well, I’m fucked. I have to take a break to handle my feelings.

I just loved everything about this book.

This book is utterly heartbreaking and mesmerizing.
The rep was incredible. The characters, the romance, the story and what they represent? God, this women can write.

I honestly can’t write a proper review because I can’t imagine describing this book. Just know that when you read it, it will break and mend your heart and it will give you hope.

The two novels of her’s that I have read are the deepest and realistic books that I have ever read until now in my life. And I can’t wait to read more of it.

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”

- Stephen King.

And sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they aren’t strong enough. Sometimes we win.
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,092 reviews795 followers
October 12, 2017

I’m broken, Theodore. I always have. I always will be.

The darkness still looms over my head, threatening to rain down on me.


This book was beautifully written and broke my little heart. The first 40% was all about laughter, and David Gandy.


Then James decided to open up to Theo and my heart broke.


Theo and James were perfect for each other . I wanted to hold James so tightly and tell him everything was going to be alright. Theo oh! i loved him, he was the anchor, he was loving, supportive and never gave up on James.

I’ve had some of the best times of my life with you at, as you say, your worst. So I can’t even imagine how special life will be when I get to experience your best

This book will forever stay with me.


I need to read some fluffy, unbelievable,OTT romance book after this.
Profile Image for Jewel.
1,795 reviews243 followers
August 7, 2017
"Broken crayons can still colour."

Heartbreaking. Broken made me cry, I won't lie, but it left me feeling hopeful. There is no cure for the mental illness that James lives with and it is something that he will always live with and hopefully always fight. Until Theodore, he didn't have much reason to, or much hope of succeeding.

James Holden is the CEO of Holden House. The company has been in his family for ages and when his father passed away a few months ago, the company was left in James' hands. He's arrogant, anti-social and doesn't really take the time for niceties. Oh, and he's also slept with a fair portion of the staff. And everyone knows it.

Theodore Davenport, who dropped out of school when he decided he didn't want to go into medicine, like the rest of his family, finally decided to take a job at Holden Publishing when a low level position opened up. Theodore is a writer, but he doesn't go to work for Holden because he wants to further his writing career, he's just passionate about reading and writing and is excited to be in the business.

One Friday night when he is out with his coworkers, he sees the most gorgeous man he has ever laid eyes on, in the men's room. And very uncharacteristically, Theo lets the man fuck him. It wasn't until the following week that he found out that the man whom he had been calling a 'younger David Gandy' was actually the boss of his boss.

What I loved, though, is that they didn't immediately embark on a relationship of any kind. Theo did not let James walk all over him, like so many others had. He stood his ground until James compromised, and even then Theo insisted that they actually get to know one another.

And James...he broke my heart into pieces. He tried so hard to not let people see his pain because he felt weak that he couldn't just "cope" like everyone else (thanks to mommy dearest). He was broken and powerless to stop his downward spiral once it began. He didn't have the support network to help bring him back and his patterns of self harm didn't help him at all.

And I wanted to smack some sense into his mother who thought he should just be able to 'snap out of it'. Bitch. James had exactly two people on his side -- his brother Max and Theo.

Broken does have a happy ending, but mental illness will always be there. Some days in the shadows and others in the light of day. But I was left with hope that James will keep fighting and that his support system will make the difference.
Profile Image for Monique.
403 reviews140 followers
October 22, 2021
5 'Broken crayons' stars

Maybe that’s why I write romance. I’m a dreamer at heart. If I can’t have it in real life, I’ll live it on paper instead.

I thought that after some time I'll finally be ready to write a review but I'm not sure if I can really express how this book made me feel. It was such an emotional read and I know that Theodore and James will stay with me for a long time.

“You’ve only ever known me during the worst part of my life, and I wish I could change that.”
“I don’t,” I say, my words oozing conviction. I lift my head, looking at him. “I fell in love with you at your worst. I’ve had some of the best times of my life with you at, as you say, your worst. So I can’t even imagine how special life will be when I get to experience your best.”

This was one of those stories that break your heart, tear you apart, and leave you raw but at the same time make you feel better and happy and content. Am I making any sense? I hope I do because I don't know how to explain it differently.

“I love you, Theodore,” I admit for the first time, my voice a breathy whisper.
“James, you don’t have to”-
“I mean it. I love that you’re here, that you’re trying to understand. I love your smile…” I run my finger across his lips. “Your laugh. I even love the little creases in your forehead when you’re pissed off with me. Just an hour ago I was suffocating, and now, with your skin on mine, I can breathe.”

If you want to read a heartbreaking book with a beautiful story - this one is for you. It will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

“I felt closer to you here,” I explain. “But now you’re home, I’ll leave whenever you’re ready.”
“What if I don’t want to be ready?”
“What if I don’t want you to leave?”
“You mean…
Whoa. “Are you asking me to move in with you?”
“But I make a mess.”
“Then you’ll clean it up,” he says, a sly wink pinching his eye.

I know this last quote is in every review for this book but I simply can't finish without it.

Broken crayons can still colour.
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,557 reviews3,814 followers
May 12, 2017
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OMG...this book did a number on me. Though this was not an easy read...it was a very beautiful one ;)

I do want to point out the warning in this book, because there are some serious triggers and this book doesn't pull any punches. I'm not going to spoiler it too much...just saying.

Theodore is a very happy out and proud gay man. He has good friends, a nice family and he has recently start working a new job at a big publishing house. Which for Theodore is awesome, because he loves books and is secretly writing books himself. When he's out with his friends an new collegues, he meets a mysterious and very sexy man in the bathroom. Theodore is not the kind of man, who normally has one night stands and he doesn't hook up just for sex. This guy however pushes all his buttons...so he end up in a stall, getting pounded by a stranger. The stranger leaves right after, when Theo is still pulling up his pants...Ofcourse he feels guilty afterwards and is disgusted with himself...but what's done is done and for some reason he can't stop thinking about this guy.

James is the CEO, of a big publishing company. His father died not to long ago leaving everything to him. He doesn't have any friends, because he doesn't want to. He's not really close with his family. He had a great bond with his father and he has a little one with his brother. He absoluty adores his niece though. He's rude, arrogant and is viewed by many as an asshole. He fucks around a lot and has a reputation because of it at work....he is however the boss.

But this not all that James is. He is so much more and he is so very troubled. My heart broke for James. Eventhough he was an asshole in the beginning, I felt an instant connection with his character. He was hurting so much....

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When Theo finally meets the boss (with all his reputations), he's not happy to find out it's the same man, he had a rump with in the bathroom. James however is very interested in Theo. Theo does everything to avoid him. But when he's forced to help James out one night, he starts to find out that things aren't always as they seem. They sort of become friends first....not for long though because there is major chemistry between these man ;)

But James is struggeling...so he lays everything in the open, eventhough he knows chances are that Theo will leave him if he finds out the truth. Theo doesn't ofcourse....his love is unconditional and damn I loved Theo for everything he had to go through with James. He was so strong and he never gave up. His love for James was epic....

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Like I said...this is not an easy book. It is very raw, but also very real. People struggle with mental illness every day...I myself have anxiety, but some of my close friends struggle with depression and selfharm. I liked that this book didn't hold back....it was very real and heartbreaking, but also beautiful. It shows that we all need love and hope and that there can be light in the darkness.

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5 stars from me I loved it !! By the way....these guys were so hot together :))
Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,073 reviews607 followers
February 14, 2017
"5+++ Perfect Stars

"Heartbreak is uncertainty.
Heartbreak feels like your entire world is crumbling above your head, and all you can do is sit back and wait for it to crush you."

Wow! IT.WAS.FANTASTIC! It was sooooooo good! I really really enjoyed it and I loved it! Wow!

Profile Image for Moony Eliver.
305 reviews160 followers
June 12, 2019
This book will forever mean a whole lot to me. I knew I was wading into hard territory here. I KNEW THAT. And yet how could I know, really?

Some of you have seen how much shade I throw when a book doesn’t portray psychological issues well. But then I come across something like Broken, that deals with mental health struggles so vividly and realistically it wrecks me, and of course... I run out of my words.

At one point as I was reading, my husband looked over at me, and I guess I must have had a troubled look on my face. He asked if I was okay and if this was going to be a box-of-tissues kind of a book. I glared and said it was intense but I was fine, no tears, shut up and let me read. Approximately 4 minutes later I was bawling so hard I had to put down my Kindle.

Not going to sugar coat it. If you or someone you love has had issues with mental health (especially depression), the content here might knock the wind out of you. It did for me. It was truthful... cathartic, heartbreaking, and gut-wrenching. And above all, it was hopeful.

The reason I’ve withheld a star is because the character development could have been stronger — could have shown more of who James and Theodore were, outside of their relationship to each other and to James’s illness. But it is nothing that keeps me from enthusiastically (and tearfully) recommending this amazing book.

Muchas gracias to my friend Hayley, who’s been pushing me to read this pretty much from the day we met, and then generously gifted it to me for that final shove I needed. 😅
Profile Image for moonlight ☾ [semi-hiatus].
621 reviews927 followers
August 29, 2021
”Me too. Well, not every day anymore, but as often as I can. My favourite place to run is Hollingworth Lake. I miss being able to do that every week.”
“I’ve never been. You’ll have to take me one day.”
“You want to run with me?”
“I want to do everything with you.”

this was my second book by Nicola Haken and, if it isn’t obvious by this point, she’s definitely gonna be one of my go-to authors if i ever need a good cry. 😭 i love how, although the books of hers i’ve read have been heartbreaking and painful, they also feel real and i just wanna hug these characters. i loved Theo and James and the way Theo stuck by James, through his good and bad times. 🥺🤍
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,051 reviews49.1k followers
April 9, 2018
all the angst of twilight but with mental illness instead of vampires


that was potentially the worst possible endorsement I could give this incredible book, but seriously if you read it you'll understand the comparisons. this book followed Theodore & James; Theodore is a self published author who starts working in a publishing house after a string of unsuccessful/unfun prior jobs & Theodore is the CEO of said publishing house (realizing now this kind of also sounds like 50 shades whoops).

and in typical romance novel fashion, the two fall for each other. in not so typical fashion, James has a very difficult past and a very real mental illness. which for me, is what made this book so amazing.

never in my life have I read better representation of mental illness. this was particularly hard to read for me, given that I sometimes struggle with my mental health myself. but I loved everything about how James was written and think this story is so important.

I guess I never really realized how rare it is to find mental illness present in a story without it being presented as a punch line or a plot point. in "Real" by Katy Evans for instance, she uses bipolar disorder to make her main character appear crazy and unstable instead of using that disorder as an opportunity to educate and inform her readers. thankfully that wasn't the case here. the illness that James struggles with is very much a part of the plot but it's not cheap, it's a very real part of his life and something that really affects his relationships.

I'm so grateful for how this story was told and how it ended. everyone should feel like there's hope and that they deserve happiness regardless of mental or physical illness.

representation aside, I loved the love story aspect of this and felt like it was incredibly healthy and so fun to read. the characters were very real to me (EVEN THE SIDE CHARACTERS) and I loved the support system that James & Theo had.

the only potentially annoying thing about this book (as seen in the gif above) is Theo's explanation for wanting to be around James. he chalks it up to a "spark" or a "pull" instead of actual character traits or shared interested. which is kinda lame and unbelievable.

but seriously, other than that I would highly recommend this book. that being said, if you're currently struggling with depression or suicidal ideation please use your best judgment when deciding to read this.
Profile Image for Ele.
1,274 reviews40 followers
March 16, 2016
**3.5 stars**

A couple of things you need to know before picking up this book:

-If suicidal ideation, suicide attempt or scenes of self harm pose as triggers for you, this may not be a book you want to read.

-This is a very, very long book. Like 8667 kindle locations long.

-The story focuses on mental illness, depression and .

Congrats to the author for not glossing over the details of mental illness, for using it respectfully, and not as a tool to create angst and unnecessary drama.

I admit I am torn; I had a hard time getting into the story, and I liked the second half way better than the first.

Long story short , Theo hooks up with James in a club, but it turns out that James is his new boss. It's obvious, though, that James is still interested in another hook-up, even after he learned that Theo is his employee.

I found Theo to be OTT hostile towards James at first. He's always on edge and goes off with no good reason. He could have just made it clear that he wasn't interested in another hook up without the hysterics. This "I'm snapping at you all the time because deep down I want you" behaviour combined with Theo's self slut-shaming (because he doesn't do hook ups) reminded me some of the reasons I don't read MF anymore.

But note that Theo is the one who initiates sex the next time!

We get dual POV, but I always find first person-present tense narration jarring, especially when the topic is so heavy.

And then there were little things, like Theo's lesbian friend who would sniff guests because "a man's aftershave says a lot about them" (!). Or Theo being unreasonably judgemental (the nurse looks ordinary, so he imagines her having a marriage of convenience with an equally boring husband!).

The second half of the book worked much better for me. Sure, it was harsh and gritty, but it was also very real.
I loved that the MCs were together for the most part of the book. They had good times and bad times, they were trying to work things out or just get to know each other better. But they did it together.

The author does not sugarcoat the details of James' illness, and eventually he hits rock bottom. And this is portrayed as it should be, with no magic solutions, but with a lot of hope.

The sexy times were pretty hot and emotional too.

Bottom line: Is this a good book? Yes, it is. Did I enjoy it? Hmm..not so much. But I'm literally the only one who didn't, so it's probably a case of "it's not you, it's me".

And that's why my friend, Lili, gave me her box of shame.

*Also posted on Gay Book Reviews.*
Profile Image for Jaime.
1,607 reviews293 followers
March 8, 2016
5+ Stars ~ Blew me away!!!!

This was an amazing book! When I started the book I was like.. "Wow! What have I got myself into.. " and that was before I even got to chapter one! All I can say is hang on cause this book is going to blow. You. Away. Nicola Haken is a great writer, she brings depth and emotion to her characters, making them multidimensional and allowing them to come alive in the readers mind! The MC in this book are Theodore and James. James is CEO of Holden Publishing house, he is a man who sleeps with anyone and doesn't give a damn what people think about him. Theodore, he is ecstatic when we meet him - he has just landed a job in a publishing house and he is ready to pursue his dream career with everything he has. Until he see's his CEO. Then its all over.

These two are attracted to each other like magnets, even if Theo won't fully admit it. Theo thinks James is Damaged. Difficult. Demanding. Whereas James just thinks of himself as, Broken. As these two get to know each other they have to wonder if all the trouble is worth it or should they just cut their losses and simply be employer-employee?

This is an amazing book full of so much raw emotion that it gripped me and wouldn't let up. I felt like I was watching a movie in my head and I wanted to just jump in the book and give James a huge hug. Lots of FEELz in this book.. both good and bad.

5 Stars -- A must.Read.Book!

**Please listen to the author's warning regarding potential trigger topics. If you have depression and/or have been suicidal this book might be too much for you. Please go into it with caution.

*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Jaime from Alpha Book Club

description description
Profile Image for ♡ c a l ♡.
499 reviews111 followers
August 30, 2021
note: this book got depictions of self-harm and suicide. please read it with caution. certain scenes are strong and graphic.

People throw the term heartbreak around all the time, and until today I naively thought its definition was sadness. It's not just sadness, it's a debilitating ache in my chest. It's struggling to breathe - consciously focusing on each breath I take because it feels like if I don't my lungs will collapse. Heartbreak feels like your entire world is crumbling above your head, all you can do is sit back and wait for it to crush you.

everyone, meet nicola haken's broken. so far, my best read for this year. it was perfection from start to finish for me that's why i'm updating my 2021 top books list again so i can include this masterpiece. honestly i don't know if its just me but back then i was so sure that this book and counting daisies are in the same series. apparently now they're not. i can't believe i'm saying this but i find this book slightly better than counting daisies. love them both but this is definitely my favourite child. broken is a love story about a cocky bastard of a boss, james holden, who kinda 'preys' on his employees and his new employee and also a self-published writer, theodore davenport. they hooked up randomly prior to formally meeting each other in a club during a particular weekend. tess, theo's best friend, calls his random handsome hookup as david gandy too! my imagination was never the same after that.

"I'm not sure where we go from here."
"Forward," I whisper, running my fingers through his damp hair. "One breath," I kiss his lips again. "One kiss... at a time."

what i deeply loved in this was the fact that there was this perfect balance of pain, romance, and hot sex. the first chapters were light and oozes with this sexual tension between james and theo. at first glance you'll think this is a light and steamy office romance but after reading the other book from this author well i came prepared. as for the story theo promises himself that he won't be pulled towards james again because he doesn't want to be that employee who sleeps with his boss just to be on top. as for james, theo sees him in a way no one can. it deeply scares and excites him. this book made me laughed, aroused, and more importantly cried. i feel soooo fucking dehydrated this week because of my reading choices. this is the lamest review ever because all i know is that i loved this especially those moments when james was pushing theo away to save him from the pain but theo refuses. i lost it when theo said that they're in this together no matter what. i was actually bawling my eyes out in the end. nothing new. some scenes got dragged but for me they were warranted because we all needed that. more importantly, haken's take on mental illness was real, brutal, and well thought of. that self medication won't really help much a certain individual but again for me not everyone has access for help. will definitely read more from this author but i need goddamn break from all these crying.

my NH collection:
🌸 Broken - 5 stars
🌸 Counting Daisies - 4 stars
Profile Image for Meags.
2,112 reviews371 followers
November 17, 2021
5 Stars

In Broken, Haken has created an extremely powerful and deeply affecting read. This story delves into some pretty heavy themes which readers should be aware of before venturing forward, including, but not limited to, themes of mental illness, self-harm and suicide. It’s by no means an easy breezy M/M romance, so if that’s what you’re looking for, keep on looking.

I spent a good portion of this story upset and, frequently, crying. Call me odd, but I often find that my favourite stories are the ones that affect me emotionally, usually resulting in a book induced breakdown or two. If you’re like me in this regard, then you’ll probably love this as much as I did.

This story was impressively written; the characters and their struggles rang true and felt acutely personal, like the author did her research, or had a wealth of personal experiences dealing with the matters at hand. Whichever the case, I’m impressed and awed by the quality of writing and the way in which these tricky concepts were handled.

In truth, this book has left me quite emotionally exhausted, and although I’ll probably need a recovery nap soon enough, I’m so very glad I decided to read this beautiful story. Most readers know what they do and don’t like, and what they can and can’t handle in their reading choices, so please, read some of the reviews, take heed of the warning tags, and make an educated decision. If you are a lover of well-written M/M romances, and you’re able to handle stories with themes of mental illness, self-harm and suicidal concepts, then I couldn’t recommend this story highly enough.

I can't wrap this up without drawing attention to this gorgeous book cover! Reese Dante has done it again.

Profile Image for MarianR.
216 reviews47 followers
September 3, 2021
I've been busy and I still have time to bury my head in college and suffer. So reading something with heavy topics, like self harm and suicide was not the best idea. But my mood is weird and I wanted to suffer for something other than the uni. And what can I say? I do not regret. 😌
I really liked the book. It is not easy and light. Every time James said "I've got this" my heart felt heavy because I knew he really didn't have it. 😩
I think he and Tess are my favorite characters. They both surprised me with the dimensional sides they had.

"All I know is that life can be exhausting, soul destroying, painful . For me, growing up, every day was a bad day. Even when I laughed that tinge of sadness remained, tormenting me, mocking my happiness as it tried to force its way to the forefront. More often that not, it won."

After a night and some amazing kisses, when Theo finds out that James is his boss, he wants nothing to do with him. He knows that relating to James is synonymous with complicated. And he is not wrong.

"How sad is too sad? How happy is too happy?"

At first everything is sexual, but how not to fall for James when he does these little things, that although they only last minutes, they remain in your(my) memory? There is a scene where James gets out of his car, turns up the sound of music and asks Theo to dance with him in the street. It was so spontaneous. And so cute. And if Theo wasn't falling for James at the time, I was.
Because he's not just sexy, arrogant and a jerk. He also suffers, his mind haunts him, and he has struggled for years. For this reason, I am very happy how the author included therapy. This is not something that Theo can cure and it should not. The love of your loved ones gives you strength, but the main reason to start fighting should be you.

"I’m unorganised. I eat cheap food. I dance naked to Taylor Swift when I get out of the shower.”
“I like Taylor Swift.” James grins. “And I like seeing you naked, too.”

But I think Theo also needed to go to therapy. Witness everything that happened and more when it is a person that you care and love? I know people who have experienced that and it is traumatic. 😓
I did love the tender, sexy and comfortable moments of love. But the lies on James's part leave me wondering. I know it can be difficult to talk about what you think and feel, and James told Leo that he can't promise not to lie, but that he was going to try. But he always lied and lied. So I feel that on the one hand Theo never knew that part that tormented James until everything got worse. And I feel like I would have liked to see that. But it's really just me with my stuff, I don't think it stops you from enjoying the story.
I did like the romance, but I feel like my favorite part of the book was the characters. ❤️
This story is good, definitely worth checking it out. 😉

"Broken crayons can still colour."
Profile Image for Nelly S..
415 reviews73 followers
November 11, 2021
“I’m too much. Too broken. Life is better alone. I like it that way. Solitude is addictive. Once you discover how peaceful it is, you no longer want or need to deal with people anymore.”

tw: bipolar disorder, depression, suicide ideation, self-harm

Heartbreaking. Haunting. Beautiful. Poignant. Joyful. Despair. Hope. These are the words that come to mind when I think of Broken. This story is about being broken—mentally, emotionally, and physically—and about gradually knitting the shattered pieces back together again with the help of unconditional love.

- boss/assistant
- enemies-to-lovers
- opposites attract
- sunshine/grumpy
- hurt/comfort

Theodore is a gorgeous, sociable guy who’s held a bunch of different jobs, but has always had a passion for writing. He eventually lands a junior marketing position at a publishing company, Holden House. James is the cocky, unapproachable, and downright sexy CEO of the company. He’s also the stranger that Theo had a completely uncharacteristic, one-night stand with at a club. The scene is set for a tumultuous relationship when James and Theo are stunned to meet each other at work.

Their Relationship
James is a brilliant but tortured man. He wears a mask so people only see his confident, commanding persona, but not the complex man beneath. Cocky boss vs insecure and vulnerable James. Intelligent yet with a mind that torments him. Beautiful but consumed by ugly feelings. Authoritative man vs vulnerable inner child.

For James has a secret, something he’s deeply ashamed of, and that is his bipolar disorder. Depression, loneliness, hopelessness, and self-loathing are his constant companions. Hypomania is a chaotic and disruptive high. His suffering is drawn so vividly that I felt myself flinching at times. This is the most nuanced depiction of bipolar disorder I’ve yet to come across. And it hit close to home since I have bipolar disorder myself.

“All I know is that life can be exhausting, soul destroying, painful. For me, growing up, every day was a bad day. Even when I laughed that tinge of sadness remained, tormenting me, mocking my happiness as it tried to force its way to the forefront. More often than not, it won. It still does.”

Theo is exactly the boyfriend and partner James needs. He’s perceptive and he notices that James is in pain from their very meeting. He is drawn to James, but is also scared by the depth of his attraction to him. Theo senses something is wrong, but still can’t help himself from falling in love.

“But…I sense a darkness in you. Danger. I don’t know you. Not really. I think you’re hiding, and I’m scared that if I find you, I won’t be able to handle you it.”

Theo does more than handle James’s darkness. He’s there for James every rocky step of the way. Although he doesn’t have any experience dealing with mental illness, he goes out of his way to learn about bipolar disorder and seek help from people that do. He asks questions and doesn’t patronize James. And most importantly, he offers unconditional love.

“I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder four years ago. It isn’t going to go away. I’m not going to get better. A life with me could destroy you, Theodore. My mind isn’t fun. It’s dark. Twisted. And if you’re going to walk away, I need you to do it now.”
His fingers travel up my body until they land on my neck. “I’m not going anywhere, James” he whispers, pressing his forehead against mine. “Take me to bed. Not to fuck. Not to sleep. Let me hold you. I need to hold you.”

The sexy times (plentiful) are steamy, but can also be a delicious mix of smutty and tender. Their first encounter is especially hot.

“I want to fuck you,” he whispers in my ear and I can’t figure out why I haven’t punched him in his beautiful face yet. Instead, all I can focus on is how gravelly and delicious his voice sounds. “You want it,” he adds, cupping my dick through my jeans.
I’m hard. So hard it’s almost painful. I’ve no idea what’s going on with my body. Inside I’m yelling, asking myself what the fuck I’m playing at, but my dick is betraying me.”

And I’ll leave you with this last quote.

“When you’re living with mental illness, there is no happily ever after, like the kind we write about every day. Instead, we look forward to future days spent basking in the most dazzling light, followed by ones drowning in the deepest depths of darkness. There is only one constant, one guarantee, no matter which day we face.

What I Loved
• Beautiful writing. Great humor. Witty banter.

• How true the depiction of bipolar disorder is.

• The secondary characters. Theo’s best friend, Tess, is hilarious and unfiltered. James’s niece, Isobel, is an adorable, sassy toddler. And Peter, James’s therapist, is unconventional and just what he needs.

• The buildup of the relationship. Although James and Theo start off with a one-night stand, the relationship development is perfectly paced. Theo is initially hostile towards James when they reconnect, especially since he learns he’s a manslut. But James gradually wears him down until they become friends and eventually lovers.

What I Hated
This is not a weakness of the book, but just a me thing. In fact, one could argue that the author succeeded by provoking such a strong reaction in me. I absolutely hated James’s mother! She minimizes his mental illness and has the gall to berate him for being ill and hospitalized.
Profile Image for *TANYA*.
1,002 reviews290 followers
April 23, 2019
Gut wrenching!!

It started off very, typical cliché insta attraction, I was not impressed to say the least. I was just about to give up on it. As the story unraveled it grew on me, I got all the feels with this book. The second half makes up for the rough start. Kudos to the author for writing such a poignant story.
Profile Image for Dia.
534 reviews136 followers
December 24, 2016
5 brokenhearted stars

Image result for broken hearted

I have to thank a million times to ***Ralu*** who recommended me this wonderful, wonderful book. I feel I can't thank her enough!!!!
So, RALU you are the best!!!

Broken was one of the most heartbreaking stories I have ever read, but in the same time it was so REAL and so powerful! I loved it!!!

I absolutely enjoyed the beginning, their encounter, their first time! <3 And second, and third :))) well all of them to be honest!

I read this book last night in just one standing... and it was worth the price I pay today at work... for dreaming with my eyes wide opened!
Theodore was so sweet and nice, he had morals and high standards.
James Holden - such a nice name and such a great character. At first I couldn't understand him but I got to love him, suffer for him and in one particular scene my heart almost stopped... only to beat faster!!

It's the first book I read about this particular subject ... and I feel the author really did a great job in describing it (won't say more about it) - their relationship, feelings and fears.

I recommend this book because their story will last in your mind and heart.
Profile Image for Claude.
250 reviews23 followers
February 26, 2017
Ohhhh James, James, James...that guy makes me feel so much things.
When some people fight to survive, he fights to just live, just breathe EVERYDAY.
I've so much respect for what he IS. When I heard about the story of his life, i was really heartbroken. Because we all lived through difficult times...I saw myself many times in him (my mother is likely similar to his, she just can't understand why someone could do that kind of thing to his family).
There are so many moments in my life when I feel like I'm not able to take more. These are very very bad days. But each time i fought, i fought hard to not let my emotions gain the upper hand over me. Life is hard and at certain moments nothing counts more than our feelings, our emotions. We are supposed to get through it and be better (most of the time alone because we hide it so well).
BUT BUT i have the best family ever, the best boyfriend ever, the best friends ever => even when i feel alone i know they'll be there for me.
That's all the reasons i love this book. I didn't reach his level of depression but i understand it (not just because i'm a doctor...).
I hope for anyone who felt like him that he'll survive through it and be better because life is hard BUT life is beautiful. There are good people in there (Theodore <3), go find them!
Be Happy people! (in your own way)
Profile Image for ȷαεlα.
672 reviews
June 3, 2016

"...broken crayons can still colour."

Oh, James! What have you done to me? I feel so emotionally drained to write all what I'm feeling about this book.

Despite reading the blurb and some reviews, I thought that the beginning of the book was a bit ordinary. Two gay boys (men), meeting each other in very "interesting" circumstances, lusting after each other and then learning that they have to work together. Nothing special until that point.

When James and Theodore start to learn things and get to know each other better, that's where my heart began to break, piece by piece. I can't remember how many times I cried.

Mental illness is a real thing. Many people suffer from different kinds. Not everyone believes that people struggle to cope with things that the majority think as normal. I hated so much James's mother and her ignorance. I wanted to slap that bitch!

Without wanting to spoil the story, I can say that these two unique and extraordinary boys, made me believe that there is hope out there, even when you think that you're weak to carry on, even when you think that there is too much darkness to see the light, even when you feel nothing, even when you believe there's no point in living.

"Stay with me, Theodore. No matter how hard I push, stay with me. Believe in me."

I loved Theodore (I love Greek names. This one means God's gift- I may sound like Toula Portokalo's father from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" who thinks every word has a meaning in Greek). Theodore has the most beautiful soul. He loves James with all his heart. Even when James pushes him, he never gives up on him. Like he promised, he's always there.

What can I say about James? He acts like a jerk, but deep down he has his own demons to face. I wanted to hug him and keep him safe from everything. He wrenched my heart so many times. Every single page I read about him, made me want to sob.

"Theodore, I can't give you any promises, but I can give you my heart. Take care of it for me."

I was so glad that there's someone for him, to help him deal with his problems, to bring smile to his face, to show him that his life may not be perfect, but there are people who love him unconditionally.

"Just an hour ago I was suffocating, and now, with your skin on mine, I can breathe."

There was a shocking part in the book, when I thought everything was over (kudos to the author for pulling that off brilliantly). I was so happy that that wasn't the case for panicking.

If you put aside the mental illness part and concentrate on the romantic side, you can see that the chemistry between James and Theo is off the charts. The love scenes are so beautifully written and so steamy.

Every word, every moan that leaves Theodore's lips heals my fractured soul a little more.

This book was so emotional. I am happy I read it. The ending makes you feel good and gives you hope.

Profile Image for Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader).
388 reviews1,235 followers
January 26, 2019
“The pain is there. It never leaves. Sometimes it’s bearable, but it’s always there. It’s pecked away at my soul all my life and, finally, it’s won.”

I am blown away by this book. As I write this I think I’m in shock.. I just cannot believe how well Nicola Haken represented mental health. As a human who struggles with emotional regulation as well as having a history of self harm I felt like Nicola Haken saw me. While reading this there were times when my jaw literally dropped because it was like she reached into my mind, pulled out my thoughts and feelings and placed them onto the pages. So many things and thought patterns that I didn’t realize until I saw them written down. It feels ridiculous to say a romance has changed my perspective, but this one has. I felt so much for James: the struggle to react accordingly, not willing to admit that you need help because it feels like failure, being told you feel too deep, too much, feeling that you’re crazy. My heart hurt for him.

And Theodore, what a sweet baby angel. His undying love, understanding and that he didn’t hold James responsible for his actions made my heart both sore and break. He was so dedicated and willing to learn. He never once wavered in his love and commitment to James and for this I’m so grateful. There are so many ways she could have written this book, so much unnecessary drama that could have ensued and distracted from Theo and James’ journey, but Nicola Haken focused solely on their fight for a future and happiness. This made me so happy because their journey is so important, but what made me even happier was the way the author showed that you are not your mental illness and not only do you still deserve happiness but that it’s attainable.

Not only were Theo and James complex, amazing and so endearing, but the secondary characters were just a vibrant and enjoyable to read. Although the romance felt a little sappy at the beginning the mental illness aspect was written so respectfully and eloquently, as well as the rest of the plot, that I easily overlooked this.

What starts off as an office love affair between an arrogant CEO and a new employee turns into a raw and real story about the struggle of living and loving with a mental illness. It’s heartbreaking and amazing. A hauntingly beautiful example of unconditional love. Mental health is very stigmatized and often thought of as a dirty little secret that is meant to be “dealt with” alone. I love that this book shows that having a mental illness does not make you a freak, it does not mean that you are destined to have a miserable and lonely life. Yes, you will have to fight hard but you won’t have to do it alone - there are people out there who will see you for you, you just need to find them.

To me this book is hope, written down, bound and sealed with a pretty cover.

P.S. I already wrote this review but GR is an asshole and deleted it. I feel super bitter about it.
Profile Image for Hulya Kara Yuksel.
905 reviews1,080 followers
March 4, 2019
“Broken crayons can still colour.”

OMG I FLOVED this book and it's one of my favorites now. :)

First of all I have to say if you're okay to read M/M genre, I highly recommend this book to you... <3

You'll laugh, you'll cry but the most important thing you'll feel James & Theo's love & pain in your heart. Their journey are not one of those easy ones or hearts & flowers type but I'm sure you'll love this book as much as I did! I really, really hope you'd give it a chance. <3

Ps. I wanna thank to my sweet friend Merve for recommend this book to me. You're the best! ;)

That's me right now... LOL
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