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Fortitude Smashed

(Camellia Clock Cycle #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  69 reviews
After scientists stumbled across an anomalous human hormone present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Interlude Press
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3.5 stars

Thank you very much to Interlude Press for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Fortitude Smashed by Taylor Brooke was not an anticipated novel for me this year, but I had seen quite a few of my fellow blogging friends reading and enjoying it, and so I, excitedly, requested it.

Taylor Brooke should be praised for so effortlessly creating a world where queer sexuality is the norm. From my understanding, everyone in this semi-contemporary world has no problem
Avery (Book Deviant)
I would like to thank Taylor Brooke and the people at Interlude Press for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I love this book so much. Check out my full review here.

Trigger warning for sexual assault/rape, depression, suicidal ideation, alcohol, violence, dissociative episodes, panic attacks, and mentions of drugs.
Jude Sierra
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fortitude Smashed is the first and only book I have ever read for review that I re-read and took notes in the margins of with a pen and a highlighter. That I loved so much I wanted to wallow in on every level I would be allowed to. That’s been sitting on my nightstand for months just so I can keep savoring tiny moments.

I read the book in one go; I fell in love with Aiden and with Shannon, I fell in love with them falling in love. The beauty of the conceit of fated people learning to be together
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC in exchange for a free and honest review.

I was expecting a lot from this book, then I wasn’t and then, well… I was. Again.

I heard about Fortitude Smashed months before its arcs were out in the wild. The concept of soulmates, so popular in fanfiction, was something that drew me in as soon as I read the blurb. Despite some concerns (soulmates aus always treat aro and often ace people like crap), I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

But when I started reading the eARC I got throu
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: bi & pan mcs, mlm relationship

Review also on my blog.

Soulmates. I mean, the blurb could have ended there and I would already be hooked. Even if what I actually like most about the soulmates trope, is the identifying marks part & that kind of works best in fics, when I know and love the characters. But no matter! Soulmates! I was excited!

Our main characters (the pov switches between them all the time, it’s nice) are an art thief and a police detective. Combine this with the soulmates trope a
Leigh Kramer
ETA 6/16/20: Due to recent revelations about the author’s harmful and abusive behavior toward BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people, I no longer recommend their books. I am allowing the review to stand for transparency but I am clearing the star rating.

Excellent MM romance with a hint of sci-fi! Everyone gets a Camellia Clock implanted when they're born, which counts down to the second you'll meet your soul mate. Cop Shannon catches thief Aiden in the middle of robbing an art gallery when their Clocks run out
This was literally a soulmate AU, except it had original characters and wasn't in an existing fandom. So not an AU at all, but you get me.

I have the tendency to not read the synopsis of books if I already know I'll read them because it spoils the first parts of the book. However, here, it was kind of necessary to understand the soulmate thing. I was sad to see that the science, the technique behind it and how it worked weren't elaborated on more. It would have been interesting to see what it co
Tyler J Gray
Read the full review and more on my blog!

TW: Fire, Sexual Assault

Camellia Clocks are implanted beneath every infants thumbnail, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate. It seems to work out about 98% of the time, and even though the clocks will count down until you meet your soul mate, it's still your choice what to do with that information and it still takes work to have a relationship. Honestly with that synopsis I was a bit worried about how the book woul
Words are not enough to express how much I love this book.

Read the full review on my blog!
Annie ~ Queer Books Unbound
Reviewed for From Top to Bottom Reviews.

*A copy of this was provided via NetGalley

There is so much I want to mention in this review because... you guys, this book! I love it so much that I'm already reading it for the second time.

First thing I noticed (and have to do a shout-out for) was the content warnings for each respective chapter at the beginning of the book.

The characters!
I adored every character, though Aiden is without a doubt my favorite cinnamon roll character. His brother says it bes
Julian Winters
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's easy to be drawn into Fortitude Smashed by one tagline: soulmates. Who doesn't love a great soulmates trope? Add in the conflicted dynamic of cop/burglar soulmates? Where do I sign up?

Thankfully, this book is so much more than a tagline.

There is nothing understated about what Taylor Brooke does. Her writing is dynamic, her prose is gorgeous, her characters are sharp-edged but completely loveable, her dialogue is fluid and thought-provoking, and the Southern California setting is breathtakin
4.5 stars

This was somehow very different from what I expected, but I also can't really say what I did expect.

This is not a plot heavy book. Looking back, barely anything happens, especially considering the whole cop/art thief thing.

What there is a lot of is making out. It's nice.
The writing is very beautiful, very unique, and very breathtaking, and I think that's what made the book for me, even though it was a bit confusing at time regarding the flow of consciousness and jumps in time.
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews

DNF @ 26%

Sometimes I feel like if I add a book as currently reading before I reach the 50% mark I totally jinx myself.


Anyways this book and I didn't co-exist how I wanted us to.

Maybe I'll go back eventually.

Miss Susan
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtqia
you know i really really wanted to love this but at the end of the day it only managed to be okay

the tropes! it's soulmate fic with a cop/thief ship! this should have been my JAM

having thought it over (because i really didn't want my review to be just rambling about how i would have done this differently, i want to judge the book on its own terms) here are the things that prevented me from really enjoying this experience:

+ lack of early relationship building. look, soulmates shouldn't be used as
rin ( ̄ヘ ̄)	 read/watch mo dao zu shi
despite having several problems with this book, i actually quite liked it.

have you ever read soulmates au fanfiction where soulmates have clocks on their bodies (wrists, necks, etc)? this is basically the main idea of the story. two gyus, one a cop (Shannon) and one an art thief (Aiden), meet and cop tries to arrest the thief and suddenly their clocks go off.
first of all, what really bugged me is that soulmates here are called "Rose Road" or "Rose". so there are sentences like "Is he your Rose R
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
a love story, through and through
Nov 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hell-no
ETA (6/15/2020): Downgrading my original rating and deleting the review due to Taylor Brooke's abusive behavior toward BIPOC folks.
Ann Elise Monte
This book hit my radar last year but I really didn't have the time for it, so here we are!

Details at a glance:

Pairings: M/M, side M/F

Sexual content: Non-explicit on-the-page sex

Rep: Queer adoptee MC with dissociative dysthymia and anxiety (pansexual by Word of God), queer MC (bisexual by Word of God), fat supporting character, Latina(?) supporting character, black supporting character, queer Chinese supporting character (her surname is apparently a Cantonese transliteration but she speaks Mandar
This is my 100th book and with it I've officially completed this year's Reading Challenge! Yay!

“Reminds me of myself,” Aiden had admitted. Smashed up and spread out, not ruined, but a little bit of a mess. A lot of a mess.

Imagine being born in a world free of homophobia with all the unjustified hate it comes with, being free to love whoever you like and being certain at some point in your life you’ll find your soul mate thanks to a clock installed on your thumbnail. Imagine how restless yet reli
Michelle Osgood
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. Aiden and Shannon are such vivid, raw characters and I ached along with them as they tried not only to come to terms with their Camellia Clocks and each other, but with themselves. (Also I LOVED that the Camellia Clocks work for poly folks as well!) The chemistry between the two leads was electric, and my only disappointment is that the sex scenes are fade to black ;) I cannot wait for the sequel – I am dying for Daisy and Chelsea to get together!
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq
Honestly, I think I just expected too much from this book, and it did not deliver. I don't necessarily think it was a bad book, it just wasn't anything I wanted. It might be a good story for you if you like insta-love, enjoy "slice of life" kind of stories with no real overarching plot, and don't hate cops. If you expected slow-burn, like I did, this is not the book for you.

Minor spoilers ahead.

The good:
Realistic portrayal of mental illness, no "magical cure" at the end of the plot, was integ
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm conflicted about the mental illness + soulmates narrative device. I get that it worked for a lot of people; however, it doesn't work for me on a fundamental level.

Originally, I wasn't going to rate this book, but it was the treatment of the two main women of color that bothered me enough to rate it. One is gratuitously sexually assaulted, and the other is portrayed as an ableist jerk. I'm a person of color who has experienced depression, and I was made extremely uncomfortable by the ableist
Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)
(I received this arc from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)

The clock stops. Fate decides. A police officer falls for a thief. A man struggles with grief and depression. The lives of their friends and the pain of their pasts intertwine with the love story neither of them is sure they’re ready for.

Fortitude Smashed is that soulmate AU where everyone has a clock counting down to when they meet their soulmate, but in a weird way, because it doesn’t quite go all the way th
I just have to give this book 5 stars purely based on my intense enjoyment of it. I would highly, highly recommend this if you like romance and character driven stories. This couple had the absolute best dynamic, and I truly loved them. I always wait to order a sequel until after I've finished the first book, but here, I knew I needed it asap and I ordered it when I was halfway through the book. This was just absolutely delightful and I can't wait for more.
Isabella ~Mikku-chan~
*~~*ARC kindly provided by the author to me in exchange for an honest review *~~*

Fortitude Smashed was a title which had shown up on my twitter timeline several times and I always though: mhmh, nice cover, what it is? but then mostly ignored it for a while. At the end I am so happy I didn’t and took a closer look and got a copy of the book.

The book is, and I don’t exaggerate, a gem I found. I read the blurb and the mentioned Rose Roads & Camellia Clock, this soulmates concept picked my interest.
N.G.Peltier N.G.Peltier
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
TW: depression, suicidal ideation, attempted assault

excuse me while i simply stare off into space after reading this gorgeously written book!!

I had heard great things about this book so when this one went on sale i grabbed it up immediately!! Wow. the writing??? beautiful. lyrical. i highlighted so many parts of this book i swear. Taylor Brooke has a gift for writing such vivid scenes and lush lines that just made me have to pause because emotiooooooons!!

I loved the premise of the book: the co
Naomi Tajedler
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book has everything a soft sci-fi should aim for--at least everything I wanted to find in it.
Soulmates trope? Check.
Slow burn, with a real relationship? Check.
Platonic relationship that are important? CHEEEECK.
Art reference? Check :3
The specualtive fiction element present while being entirely believable and anchored in a world that could be the not so far away future? CHECKKKK

Fortitude Smashed has a formidable world building supporting it, a solid frame that draws the reader in. It is popul
I can't take this writing style. I like the bare bones of the story - the concept and the MCs - but it's buried under a lot of wordiness. It's too cluttered with descriptions of every move, expression, thought, feeling, etc etc. There's just not enough happening to keep my interest. DNF @28%
L.M. Pierce
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Laguna Beach was a canvas. The sky twisted colors into shapes, manifested sound into sculptures. Daydreams came to life on the horizon, bursting from the sun as it melted into the ocean. Reflected of the top of the water, segments of the coming night shone and glittered. High above the leftover sunset, stars blinked awake beside a waning moon."

** I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review **

As with most of my reviews, I will include this disclaimer: I do not read romance and was a littl
Cee Brown
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who likes sci-fi and futuristic stories.
*´¨✫)I just really
¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨) could not get
✮ (¸.•´✶(¸.•`¸.•*¨)¸.•´¸.•*´¨)✯ ¸.•*¨)enough!!

5 stars, despite no actual sex scenes on page, but the descriptives made up for it. New to me author Taylor Brooks made me a believer. I am such a sucker for Sci-Fi.

According to the Camellia Clock, Aiden Maar was his future.

What would you do if fate decided your future? What would you do to give it all away?

Fate was a wiley woman and unforgiving at times. In Fortitude Smashed, cop Shannon's soulmate
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Taylor Brooke Barton (they/she) is a traveling story-teller, occult fanatic, and a science fiction junkie.

They worked as a special effects makeup artist for many years before they wrote their first book. When they're not writing, they're exploring the Pacific Northwest, backpacking, or reading.


Their New Adult titles are listed as Taylor Brooke

Other books in the series

Camellia Clock Cycle (2 books)
  • Curved Horizon (The Camellia Clock Cycle, #2)

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