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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  131 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Saint’s afraid to die. Grey can’t stand to live.

Grey Jean-Marcelin wants to die. He thought painting his passion—vivid portrayals of Haitian life and vodou faith—would be enough to anchor him to this world. But it isn’t. And when the mysterious man known only as Saint saves Grey from a suicide attempt, it’s more curse than blessing—until Grey discovers that Saint isn’t jus
ebook, 232 pages
Published September 5th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
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Rating details
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May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shatterproof is hands down one of the best books I've read this year and one of the best M/M I've ever read; open the stunning cover and you discover an unforgettable, evocative and intimate story centralising around two men who will steal your heart for so many reasons.


I was gripped from start to finish. Amongst the harsher realities of this story, because it holds some angst, is a emotional, tender story featuring two men from very different worlds, tormented by their lives but who find love
K.J. Charles
Well, that was bloody good. Incredibly engaging fairytale (I mean the old kind of fairytale, with terrible bargains, fate and blood) of a sort of immortal incubus who lives off the souls of the artists he inspires, and the suicidal artist with whom he makes a death bargain.

Wow that sounds gloomy. And the first part is indeed really, really harsh. The author brings across Grey's depression very powerfully, but that makes it all the more moving when the light starts to creep in. There is a fairyta
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, m-m, 5plus2018-read
5+++ Impossible to review and do right to this story. I will babble in my own way as usual when I don’t have a clue how to express myself... I’m not an author who has all the words... I’m

I prefer reads when there are triggers and warnings before the start. I just want to reach my limits and go beyond them.. I want to feel, fly and dive.. apologize on forehand for using others.

Grey Jean-Marcelin vs Saint aka Xav Cascia

The first time we meet Grey is in an ambulance with an EMT besides
Adrian Fridge
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

I wish I liked this more, but there were several things stopping me from enjoying this, none of which were the subject of depression.

1) This is written very poetically, almost literary in its meditative melancholy. I'm not against poetic or literary, but it made it hard for me to submerse myself in the character's heads.

2) The lack of differentiation between Saint's and Grey's mental states made it difficult for me to keep track of whose head I was in. They sound alike, both depressed i
Rafa Brewster
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Reviewed for Just Love: Romance blog.
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Xen Sanders, author. I’d read his previous works under the penname Cole McCade to mixed results (loved Second Chance at Paris, ambivalent on The Lost). And in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m on familiar terms with the author on social media. So yeah, enter Xen Sanders, a nom de plume created for his paranormal/SFF works, and I was
Ije the Devourer of Books
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

A beautifully creative story with a dark feel which embraces a kind of fearlessness and hope.

Overall I did enjoy this because it is refreshingly different. The author has weaved together mysticism, darkness, desire and love into a very engaging tapestry. At the same time the author explores suicide and mental health conditions, both incredibly challenging, but this is explored in the story not in a head on obvious way, but by being present in the story and by taking us along on a journ
Wart Hill
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Review to come
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was incredible, so different, unlike anything I have read before! My two-word description would be Hauntingly beautiful! <3
It's dark and scary and please take seriously the author's trigger warnings (depression, suicide, death) and if you choose to read it, be ready for some stunningly beautiful prose about the darkest and scariest depths of the human soul. What a journey!

Full review posted also on Ellie Reads Fiction

This story is unlike anything I've read before, contemporary romanc
Kristen Burns
4 Stars

Full Review:
*I received a free ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

This was a very character-focused book, all about Grey and Saint and their inner struggles and relationship with each other. It was slow-paced, but that's not a complaint at all because it never dragged, and the pace worked well with the character-focused aspect and feel of the book.

I also liked that this book included the topic of mental health and seemed to handle it well. Grey was struggli
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I don't read all that many paranormal m/m books, even though I'm a huge paranormal fan. This one immediately caught my eye. Shatterproof was a unique read for me because it not only had strong paranormal elements, but it dealt with suicide/mental illness. I don't recall ever coming across a book before that deals with both of those. This was a deeply moving character driven love story that enjoyed tremendously.

Grey is an extremely gifted artist who deals with sever depression and suicidal thoug
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, angst, mm
Сэинт живет на этой земле уже более двухсот лет. Он не знает, кто он и не помнит своего настоящего имени. Зато ему известно, что для того, чтобы продолжить свое существование, ему нужно влюбиться. И человек, которого он полюбит очень скоро умрет, передав ему свою жизненную силу.
Сэинт больше не хочет «убивать» ничего не подозревающих смертных, но все еще боится умереть. Тогда он решает найти человека, который мечтает о смерти, и предложить ему взаимовыгодную «сделку».
Жуткий концепт. Еще по аннота
This book didn't work for me.

While I was attracted by the blurb (I've never read a book about Haitian life, culture and people), I found the subject of the book to be pretty heavy and dark, on top of that I kept getting distracted by characters' endless musings. Maybe I was in the wrong state of mind for this book when I started it, who knows. My head was still full of Splinterpoint's campish silliness.

...And so, even tho I am giving Shatterproof 2 stars, I truly hope the book works for others
Jun 05, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
As a first generation Haitian American who grew up in Haiti I will DEFINITELY read this, and am very curious since Haiti is all but ignored outside of when people think of negative things. I really hope Haiti is portrayed in a deep complex and positive light because I am so fucking tired of seeing my country portrayed as just a land of suffering and not immeasurable beauty and rich history. Fingers crossed 🤞🏾
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 "One more tomorrow is better than none" Stars

I just want to take a minuet to applaud Xen Sanders for writing this novel and opening himself up to his fans and new readers. Writing about something so personal and close to his heart surely could not have been a easy feat.

The journey about Grey Jean-Marcelin is a story about defeat, hopelessness, loneliness, love, and redemption. But not only on Grey's part, but also in the man who's name is Xav "Saint" and who opened so much within Grey and g
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book at least three times. And I keep going back again and again.

It's one of my all-time favorites, and one of my all-time favorite comfort reads. Strange maybe, considering how *intense* it is. But Xen Sanders' prose honestly just... wraps itself around me like a blanket.

Grey's fear to live and Saint's fear to die, and how they both come together and *burn* - it's raw and painful and so utterly beautiful.

Reading that, spending time with them kills me, but also puts me back togeth
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
Edited for a 2018 re-read.

When I read a Xen/Cole book I do actually feel that my brain grows exponentially. He fills me with new words, new facts, new emotions that I never experienced before and he leaves me author words at the end that make me sigh/cry/love Cole just a little bit more.

I don't really favour paranormal but my experience of this writer meant I was willing to give it a try.

What happens when a depressive artist who wants to end their life meets a lonely soul who needs to take a li
Suzi (Obsessive Reading Disorder)
It is not often that a story teller can invoke all 5 senses. The lyrical prose of this book will have you doing just that. The author brings to life the magical world of Fae and vodou, open markets, old houses and coffee houses, oil paint, sweaty skin and fresh rain. There is a story here too, but listen to the words and you will be transported into this fabulous tale, experiencing it as our two heroes do.

The elements of this book are not a paranormal genre I have read much about. The Sidhe, or
Jul 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favies
I don’t know where to start with this. Shatterproof put every expectation I had to shame. I believe reading should be an experience. When it’s not, I’m left wanting. This is my attempt at not ruining your experience. Shatterproof left me wanting for nothing. Nothing. The story was the closest thing to perfection I’ve read this year. It delivers everything you want without it reaching excessive. Witty characters, aching love, intelligent writing, stunning imagery, poignant heartache, and one of t ...more
SueBee★bring me an alpha!★

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Pam Faste aka Peejakers
Wow, why did I wait so long to read this?! I loved it: Gorgeously lyrical, haunting, dark but ultimately hopeful, poignant, absolutely gripping, with appealing, achingly vulnerable characters. I absolutely devoured this book <3
Rain Merton
Jan 22, 2017 added it
Shelves: m-m, sff
Beautifully written and always on the verge of heartbreak, this novel keeps you mired in a delicate and lyrical suspense.

Highly recommended.
Sadie Forsythe

I read this as part of a Buddy Read and, of the ten or so of us, I think I'm the only one who didn't love it. Now, I didn't dislike it. But it ended and I was just sort of like, "Well, that's a thing I've read now."

I actually have a pretty high tolerance for Purple Prose, and I'll 100% admit the writing in this book is beautiful. But with dozens of passages like this:
Saint’s lips parted. To question, to protest—he would never know when he never had the chance. Not when Grey’s lips stole his,
Saint has been alive a long time. Hundreds of years he thinks. He doesn't know exactly what he is but he's figured out a long time ago that he's not human. He has also figured out that he causes the deaths of the men he loves. He spends his time working as a paramedic hoping to do enough good things to outweigh the deaths he causes. One night he and his partner rescue famous artist Grey Jean-Marcelin from a suicide attempt. The two men are drawn to each other and they decide that they can give e ...more
This one grabbed me from the opening line:

“My name is Saint,” he said, “and I kill everyone I love.”

and had me in it's grip til the very end. The author's way with words just...had me devouring every word, every line, until i just had to know what the hell is going to happen next.

and i liked that Grey's depression wasn't magically cured by his feelings for Saint, nor did Saint try to 'fix' Grey. Their discussion of Grey's depression just felt so important:

“I can’t pull you out of the dark. But
Loved it! Full review to come!!
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-unlimited, m-m
Oooh, boy, this book is not at all a typical m/m book for me. At all. It's a lot . . . I don't even know the right word . . . darker? Grittier? Closer to home? for me than I'm used to for a lot of books.

I have long term, major, treatment resistant depression with suicidal ideation that occasionally pops into the mix with varying degrees of severity. Grey also has some pretty some pretty intense depression and attempts suicide (I don't feel this is a spoiler at all, given how early it happens in
Joyfully Jay
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kirsty
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

Shatterproof is gritty, but Xen Sanders’ writing is powerful and real. As a sufferer of depression and someone who has attempted suicide, I knew there would be parts of the story I would find difficult — after all, authors do not give their readers trigger warnings without a reason. Yet, the aspect which struck me the most about Shatterproof is Sanders’ honesty. Grey’s mental illness is not romantic and there is no cure. He does discuss medication and therapy and th
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a book about depression.
The language is beautifully poetic and lovely, the characters vivid and real.
Sadly, it still didn't quite do it for me, though I wish it had.
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Slender. Angry. (Part) Asian.

Yeah, that about sums me up.

Hi. I’m Xen. Cole. Whatever you want to call me; both are true, and both are lies. My pen names are multitudes, my nicknames legion. Tall, bi/queer, introverted author of a brown-ish persuasion made up of various flavors of Black, Asian, and Native American. I’m cuter than Hello Kitty, more bitter than the blackest coffee, and able to trip o
More about Xen Sanders

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“Child.” She clucked her tongue. “None of us, human or sidhe, are shatterproof. We break because it’s in our nature to break. It just means we have to put ourselves back together stronger next time.” 2 likes
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