Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beyond the Break” as Want to Read:
Beyond the Break
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beyond the Break

(Conch Garden #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  297 ratings  ·  64 reviews
"It's just a fantasy, Hazel. It's harmless." Hazel Duval craves an ordinary life free of the pitying looks from those who know about her traumatic past-about what he did to her. About what she had to do to survive. When she moves with her husband Oren to the ocean-side town of Conch Garden and secures her dream job playing violin with the local orchestra, Hazel thinks she ...more
Paperback, 326 pages
Published June 8th 2016 by Tritone Literary Publishers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beyond the Break, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beyond the Break

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  297 ratings  ·  64 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Beyond the Break
Beyond the Break (Conch Garden #1) by Kristen Mae was an emotionally draining experience. Reading about a broken woman is never easy but this author lets you feel every single emotion as if it was your own. It’s not an easy read due to the fact that you know from the beginning that both women are married and will return to their husbands after their lust-filled interlude.

It’s not a romance, it’s not fluffy and there is a lot of raw, dark material we have to deal with. Most of it is happening ins
Jo reece
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Your either going to like this book, or your going to cringe. I wouldn't just call this a M/F romance, it is also an F/F romance. This is not my normal reading material. In-fact I normally stay away from M/F romance. I decided to give it chance.

Now, it as its dark points.. very dark points which could leave you feeling very uneasy due to Hazel's past.. but the story grabs you. This book is not for everyone.
5 big fat, rip my heart to shreds, stars!

This is not an easy read, but Holy Hannah, it's compelling. Well it was for me. This story spoke to me on so many levels. It made me question myself, what makes a relationship work, how couples cope, more so men, with their wives having an affair (no cheating in this book) with consenting to such and how that impacts all parties.

Hazel is a rich, fully-developed, f*%Ked up, lovable, mess. Goddamn! Her story about wrecked me, and I loved every minute of it
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book a few days ago and wanted to take time to sort out my thoughts. This book is complex emotionally and not my usual cuppa and it feels a little out of character to have enjoyed it so much. I am a true blue lesfic reader- none of this bi- stuff for me. BUT it was so great to be reminded of the futility of stopping a fateful and gifted pairing-- one that could go so wrong or so right depending on one's bravery to take a chance to be freed from just...existing. To take a journey ...more
Feb 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking forward to reading this book because of the high ratings. But i was left so annoyed because i feel that it is wrongly categorised. This is not a lesbian f/f love story, it's a m/f love story with a lesbian interest. The explicit heterosexual sex and the ridiculous description of the lesbian sex is so insulting! Any lesbian would tell you no one says 'can you finger me'. I face palmed myself so hard through out this book i got whiplash. If you want angst, heterosexual sex, brief f/f ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather Holter
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you like books about girl on girl sex then this book is for you. If you hate that stuff-guess what? This book is for you! I have always stayed away from sexually explicit material. I think it is awful, and usually very cliche and terrible writing. Since I like the author of this book's writing style on her blog, Abandoning Pretense, I figured I would read it and try to make it through the sex parts. Surprisingly, though, there was no "making it through" them. I was totally sucked into them. I ...more
Suanne Laqueur
DNF at 15%, wasn’t connecting with anything. Might circle back when I’m not in such a ruthless mood.
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is a strangely compelling read. From the beginning, the characters drew me in. I could barely put the book down (burned dinner, by the way). I emerged from the experience slightly disoriented and practically in tears, which I think is a good sign. Yes, it's a sexy book, but what I find impressive are the deftly handled characters and the quality writing. Kristen Mae can tell a story, for sure! ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never really read a romance novel before this. I was very surprised to find that this was a story about the struggle to find who you are, and the journey to get to that place once you find it. The characters are very well written, the imagery is extremely vivid, and the emotions are very real. I have rarely found myself feeling so much for fictions characters that exist only as words on a page. I am glad that, as my first real romance novel, that it was tasteful and not the entirety of the ...more
Kimberly Poole
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG. I bought this book due to the hype of my friends. I actually even debated buying it because, well lets be honest here, I am a mom of 4. Who spends money on themselves when they have that many mouths to feed? I bought the book anyways because my friends wouldn't shut up about how good it was. THEY DIDNT LIE!!!! This book is phenomenal! The author makes you lose yourself into the story. I loved the downright dirrrrrty details :D I am so shattered that the story is complete. I feel like I need ...more
Beth Teliho
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.

Two words: Roller. Coaster. This is a complex, multi-layered story about love, lust, secrets, happiness...and the risks we take in the name of those things. It's sexy, smart, unique, beautifully written, and delicious. Hazel and Claire are the perfect storm - a spectacular collision you won't be able to look away from, as well as addicting characters that will stay with you long after you finish the book. Hones
StepherzGay Ladue
I honestly don't know why there are sooo many five star reviews raving about this "hauntingly beautiful" romance when this is the biggest fucking queer bait there ever was. This was a hetero romance book with a guest-starring role of badly written f/f sex scenes. Not believable or enjoyable to me(a gay girl trying to find actual good and wholesome lesbian stories) at all. Zero stars. ...more
Feb 01, 2020 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 31%. Just not in the mood for M/F relationships...
Gut Punched

What a well written story of misery. I swear, I would hurt less if I had been punched in the gut. I actually don't mind though. Life is not all sunshine and rainbows and experiencing someone's journey through darkness sometimes helps me sort out some of my own feelings.
Amy Mayo
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take yourself out of your comfort zone and hold on tight; this ride is one you'll want to take again & again.

Beyond the Break is unlike anything I've ever read, and it's amazing.

Ms. Mae has a knack for story telling; her words flow through the pages like music flows from Hazel's violin; strong, beautiful, soft and broken. A tantalizing story that sucks you in from the first sentence, Beyond the Break has it all.

Love, Sex, Marriage, Intrigue, Pain, Secrets, Forbidden Fantasies ... all set to the
Sarah Williams
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started following this author around the time this book came out, however I didn't read it, because I thought it was all about girl on girl action and that's just not my cup of tea. When her new book (Red Water, *which was AMAZING*) came out, I received an advanced copy because it sounded a lot more to my interest. After reading Red Water, I decided I absolutely had to read Beyond the Break. And I was sucked in, and rode this roller coaster of emotions from start to finish. I barely put it dow ...more
Reader Girl
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished Red Water (by the same author) and immediately bought this book without even reading what it was about. Just like Red Water, this book is dark and erotic and intense. Nothing and everything happens. The story is both beautiful and horrible.

Once again, it was the characters and the descriptions of emotions which I was in awe of. I got lost in them. They sucked me in and spat me out. Unlike Red Water, where the ending took me a little by surprise, this ending was far more gentle, leavi
Ashley Alteman
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'll be honest, I haven't read a book that I've loved this much in a LONG time. I received an advanced copy of this book and I devoured the entire thing in four days. I immediately wanted to read MORE. I hope a sequel comes next!
This book takes you from the States all the way to Italy with ample imagery and beautiful, descriptive writing. The plot leads you through many emotional twists and turns as you fall in love with each character in their own unique ways. The author sucks you in and you'll
Mary Widdicks
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are books that entertain you, books that move you, and books that stick with you. Then there are those rare books that surprise you by doing all three at once. Kristen Mae's ‪Beyond The Break‬ is one of those books.

Sure, it's steamy and hot and a little taboo. Erotic with a twist. But it also has a lot to say about the unpredictable and unique processes that people go through when healing from a trauma.

Sometimes the only way to move beyond your past, beyond the breaking point, is to really
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buckle your seat belt it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Emotional roller coaster! Wow. This book is exquisitely written. Smooth steady building plot line, great character builds, I loved all the characters in this book. Rarely do I find a. book without some flaw. A boring patch, too much detail for word count, an unbearably annoying character. This book had none. This story is different, touching and surprising. I'm pretty sure its gonna leave a mark. Be aware it has some pretty smoken hot scenes invol
Meredith Spidel
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the company of so many skilled writers who have read and reviewed this book, I dare not even attempt to craft an eloquent review. I'll only say that Mae delved into deeper parts of our human selves that go far beyond the sexual thrum of this book. She stretched readers to tap on very base and real truths while captivating her audience with a thoroughly engrossing tale told with the utmost art and skill. Can't read more from this author. ...more
Andra Watkins
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I often tell people they should branch out and read books they wouldn't normally read. Beyond the Break is one of those books for me because 1. I don't read romance; 2. I don't read erotica; 3. I don't read girl-on-girl. I recommend this story not because it's packed with those things, but because it's woven between the strings of a skillfully played story. A mature book with depth and complexity. ...more
Tamara Lush
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read by the author but it won't be my last. The prose is wonderful and the story, captivating. Rich details combined with a raw sensuality make this a compelling read. The book deals with unsettling themes of rape and self-acceptance, but in the end, there's a queit certainty that things will work out. So well done. ...more
Shelley L Hatfield
Well written

This book was good, made me a little sad. I wish things would have turned out differently in the end
Glynis Ratcliffe
I couldn't put this book down. I had no idea what to expect, but I was absolutely blown away by the subtlety, eroticism, and the integrity of it. Truly worth reading. ...more
Nov 10, 2017 marked it as 5-tbr-ooit  ·  review of another edition
Recommened by Dee! Syl situ! ;-)
Maria Medlarz
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Golden Line (Knotted, #1)
  • Those Who Wait
  • That Certain Something
  • Reaping the Benefits
  • The Road Home
  • The Last Lavender Sister
  • What the Heart Remembers Most
  • Carmilla and Laura
  • The One Who Eats Monsters (Wind and Shadow, #1)
  • Crossing the Line
  • Forbidden Melody (Concerto Amour #1)
  • A Lair So Loyal (The Last Dragorai, #2)
  • Requiem for Immortals
  • Winter Jacket (Winter Jacket, #1)
  • The Secret Chord
  • Thursday Afternoons
  • Swallow it Down
  • Behind the Green Curtain
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Kristen Mae lives on the Atlantic coast of Florida with her two children and a fuzzy, giant-eared little dog named Gizmo. In addition to being a novelist, she is a classically trained violist and an artist.

For more from Kristen Mae, sign up for her reader group at, and follow her on social media at and at Instagram @kristenmae_author.

Other books in the series

Conch Garden (2 books)
  • Objects in Motion (Conch Garden Book 2)

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
18 likes · 3 comments
“...but each time my phone buzzed with a text from her my shrieking heart catapulted itself out of my body, leaving behind a gory trail of blood as it sprinted down the hallway and out the front door.” 3 likes
“You don’t have control” she spat. “Iris doesn’t have control. No one does. Control is an illusion. Terrible things happen with no reason at all. Terrible, ugly, fucked-up things like rape and death and loss, and there is no power, no control. There’s just the big, mean universe scraping your insides out and tossing them in the trash and there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it” 1 likes
More quotes…