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Broken Beats - An Illusion Series Novel

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Single father
Three things I never thought I’d be by thirty, yet all my daily reality.
This is not the life I would have chosen, but it’s the hand I’ve been dealt.
I love my daughter.
I loved Belle.
I’m not interested in more heartache.
Relationships are a thing of the past.
Until I meet her -
She’s the awakening I desperately need, but one I’m not sure I deserve.


Everything happens for a reason.
Time heals all wounds.
You’re too young to give up on love.
They say that, but they’re wrong.
My world crumbled when my fiancé died.
Then I met him
He’s flawed in the same ways.
Broken in the same places.
Scared of the same things.
He looks at me like I’m his salvation.
And I want to be, but an open heart means risking a broken one.

Broken Beats is the second spin off novel of The Illusion Series. This book can be read as a stand-alone novel but the characters from the previous books do intersect and there will be spoilers from the earlier books.

First published May 14, 2019

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5 stars
149 (59%)
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69 (27%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 94 reviews
July 11, 2019
*****5 STARS*****

Just An Illusion by D. Kelly has changed the world of rock star romance for every reader and writer who loves to to fall in love.

Words fail me!
I'm not ready to let go!

I needed this book. I needed to know how Darren’s story ended. I know that sounds selfish but it’s a fact. Let’s just say that D. Kelly did not let me or her many other fans down.

I shed a few tears, I laughed out loud, and I yelled for my husband to ‘come here’ so I could tell him what I just read. He even pretended to care! Most of all, I reveled in every aspect of Darren and Haddie’s story.

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Profile Image for Melissa  ❤️ bookaddict_fanatic .
930 reviews69 followers
May 14, 2019
This is one story I've been anticipating since Just an Illusion EP and yet was afraid to read because I knew it would gut me and bring me to my knees. From the first page I was drawn in to the story and chapter after chapter I was consumed and held captive by one helluva emotional ride that I couldn't put it down. Darren is the gorgeous drummer from Bastards and Dangerous, single father to Cadence and a man trying to survive the heartache of losing the love of his life until he meets the one woman who changes everything. Haddie is a beautiful curvacious woman who lost her fiancé in a tragic accident that almost took her life as well, now she's ready to move on. These two fractured souls were brought together by tragedy, yet bound by an undeniable desire to be happy and to find love again. If you're afraid this book will break your heart.... I'm here to tell you it will. This book had me in tears which I've come to expect when reading any book from the Just an Illusion series. I cried, I laughed, I smiled and then cried some more but I wouldn't have it any other way. This was one emotional, beautiful read about finding your second chance at love and a story that will stay with you long after you're done. This was the perfect ending to Darren's story and one that left me wanting more only because I didn't want it to end!
Profile Image for Radd Reader.
854 reviews400 followers
August 20, 2020

When this book first came out, I was reluctant to read it. Even after a couple years, I was still grieving the loss from the Just Illusion trilogy and wasn’t ready to revisit the heartache. It sounds crazy, right?? These are fictional characters. Why am I grieving people that don’t exist?? WTF is wrong with me!!

Well, that ought to tell you just how much the trilogy impacted me and how exceptional the story was if I felt like I lost a couple friends. So, after letting some time go by and healing a bit, I decided I couldn’t wait any longer to dive into this spin off. It was time to rip off the scabs and get back to my friends.

Emotional.....that’s the key word here. If you’ve read the trilogy (which you need to do before you start this book) then your heart can’t help but break for the absence of 2 key people. Gah!! 😢💔. However, with enough time to heal I was able to appreciate the relationships in this story. All the old friends from the band days were present and it felt good to be in their lives again (once again.... Fictional people. I sound like a lunatic. Lol) 😂

This is a story of loving again after losing what you thought was your forever soulmate. Both Darren and Haddie have suffered from a traumatizing loss and this was their chance to find love again and finally get their HEA.

With two main characters moving on after a significant loss, this can’t help but be emotional. There were lots of references to the people they lost (Belle and Richie) but it didn’t feel like a forced tactic to draw on your emotions. It just is what it is and I’m glad they didn’t hide their love and willingly talked about how special their lost loves were.

There were a couple things that irritated me just a little bit and it’s the reason that I knocked off a half a star.
- I didn’t like the fact that Haddie was so insecure about the way she looked. I wish that her plus size would not have been an issue in the story.
- I got a bit irritated with Darren regarding his thought about future kids. At that point he was already in love with Haddie, but his attitude of “if she doesn’t agree with me we’re through” was maddening. That’s not what happens when you’re in love with someone and you have a difference of opinion. 😡 If he felt that way he should’ve discussed that long before they got serious.

Other than the two nitpicks above, I really did love the story. I’m finally ok with Mel and Sawyer and glad they have such a great relationship. And of course Nate and Cadence were heart-meltingly adorable. ❤️.

Darren was an amazing single father and his utter devastation of life without Belle was palpable. Haddie had an amazing journey of her own and her strength to move forward after her accident was inspirational. These two together made a beautiful couple and showed that if you open your heart again, love and possibilities are endless. ❤️❤️

”Sometimes, life is wicked and unkind. It puts us through the worst kind of torment, and the only thing we can do is fight to see another day. But when we least expect it, we’re given incredible people to walk beside us. They’re the ones who help keep the bad days in the shadows. They make us laugh, and they love us through anything life throws our way”


On a side note.....the deleted “Noah Video” scene. Gah!!! Really D Kelly?? Omg, I miss Noah. 😢
“Just always remember to be true to yourself because that’s when you’re the happiest, Darren, and you always have been. Love you, brother.” 😢
Profile Image for Heather❀Kiss The Pages❀.
704 reviews268 followers
May 20, 2019

Oh my gawwd! Darren! I love this man so much! He was such an amzing hero! Hopelessly romantic, completely swoon worthy, sexy AH and he was the absolute best father too! And yes when this rockstar god fell in love with Haddie who is a plus size heroine, I fell in love with him even more.

Years ago, Darren lost the love of his life in an accident. He is now a single father and he has had lots of hook ups but he has never found a connection with another woman since Belle. Until he meets Haddie. These two have an instant connection and they both have similar heartbreaking pasts. They seemed to fall hard and fast but it all felt so natural. Haddie has insecurities about her weight, especially since dating a famous ex- rockstar is bound to give her lots of media attention. The way Darren loved on her and boosted her confidence had me so emotional and swoooning so hard. THIS MAN! I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! Did I say that already?

I loved Haddie so much as well. She was all about putting Cadence, Darren's daughter first. She wanted to make sure her relationship with Darren didn't come between him and his daughter and the way she respected Belle's memory spoke to the amazing woman she was.

This book was all kinds of sexy and all kinds of sweet! I love books that put me through such an array of emotions. I felt Darren's pain of missing Belle and the happiness of finding new love with Haddie. This book was so well written and came together just perfectly!

I loved seeing all the guys from Bastards and Dangerous with their significant others and kids. If you have read the previous books, I promise you are going to be an emotional mess. They were all one big happy family and their love for each other just went straight to my heart. You can read this as a standalone but keep in mind there will be spoilers for the previous books and I think you would appreciate this book so much more if you read the other books first. I am seriously hoping for a next set of books about their kids when they are all grown up. A spin off with Cadence, Nate and Jake would be so amazing! D. Kelly I hope this is in the cards!

I can't recommend this whole series enough! An emotional roller coaster you just should not miss!

5 Stars
Contemporary Romance
Series: Interconnected standalone in the Illlusion series
POV: Dual
Heat Level: Moderate to Hot


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60 reviews1 follower
May 13, 2019
I was able to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

WOW!! I don't know how you do it D.Kelly but once again you have written a masterpiece. From the very first pages right till the last you bring about such a realistic group of characters that you can't help thinking of them as real... it's like getting an update from friends that are across the world writing you about changes and developments in their life. It's an amazing skill and I hope you continue to use your power for good so that we can continue to get updates on the band, the kids and their record studio groups.

Anyone who wants to know what the story is about only needs to read the description above but I will say this after Darren's first love story with Belle, where everything was spontaneous, lively, fast and in the moment it is really nice to see Darren in a different kind of relationship. He is still Darren - blunt, direct and to the point, flawed in some of his choices (cough Rory cough cough) and ready to get horizontal, or let's face it vertical, at the drop of a hat he is also grown, changed and matured. He is no longer selfish, thinking only of his wants but rather put the needs of his daughter and almost immediately Halley first. He was willing to take things slower this time around, at a pace all three of them could be comfortable with.

Also I gotta say, as hard as it is to keep all the kids straight, love love love hearing about their growth and how well the guys are doing as parents. I think I see a Bastards and Dangerous 2.0 forming....
I wish we had had a chance to interact more with Wyatt, Anna and the Weston's parents during this book but as new characters take the lime light I know others must fall back to almost nonexistence.

Finally I MISS NOAH! With amazing talent and skill I can honestly say that I have never missed a character as much as him, with Belle a close second. Right from the first words to the last I shared Mel, Darren and Sawyer's feelings as the kids pass more and more milestones, teary eyed and proud at the same time. This isn't a a 'oh that's too bad' empathetic feeling this is a 'I really miss them' like they are real people feeling. It speaks to your ability and skill that you can continue to get such a real emotion from people about someone that doesn't even exist! I was teary eyed all over again numerous times.

In conclusion their are only two questions left to answer #1 What are you waiting for? Get this series immediately you won't regret it #2 While waiting for Eli's story who I'm I going to go visit again? The Weston's? Or The Houston's? 😉
Profile Image for Three Chicks.
2,592 reviews417 followers
June 3, 2019
4.5 stars
Review by Jen Skewes

I loved this book. I could not wait to read Darren’s book but at the same time I knew it would make me sad. I loved Darren from the prior books and knew how heartbroken he was. D. Kelly did not disappoint. I fell more in love with Darren Miller. From the moment I started this book until the very end, I was completely submerged back in their world. It was like catching up with old friends that you love an adore. This is Darren and Haddie’s story, but we also see all the characters that we love, because they too are very important in Darren’s life.

Darren has lost the love of his life in a car accident. He is still grieving and trying to move on but it’s not that easy. He misses and love Belle and has a tendency to drown his pain in alcohol and woman. But he knows that now is the time. He has always been there for his daughter and always put her first, but the drinking and the random one-night stands need to stop. At a bar one night he meets Haddie and is taken by her immediately. But getting close to her, proves to be a little harder than he expected. She’s not like the girls he has been with. She is not a one-night stand kind of girl, but that’s ok, because for the first time in a long time since he lost Belle, he feels something more when it comes to Haddie.

Haddie has lost someone a well and it’s been a long time since she has been with anyone. She certainly feels the connection between her and Darren, but she also isn’t ready to jump into a relationship so quickly. But Darren Miller is very hard to resist. They take things slow and decide to see where this goes. She has her walls up, and is, in her own way still grieving. Will they both be able to move on and find happiness again.

I adored the two of them. Darren Miller is everything!!! He is sexy, sweet, loving an amazing father and I loved how much he cared for Haddie. How he took things at her pace, how he saw her in a way that she couldn’t even see herself. This book was fantastic!! I loved that we still got to see our favorite characters, especially Sawyer and Mel. The kids were adorable, and Darren’s relationship with his daughter will make you melt. I cannot wait for Eli’s story.
Profile Image for Nerdy Dirty & Flirty.
3,985 reviews316 followers
May 17, 2019
Loss and moving on…

Darren and Haddie knew how life could change in an instant. They had a lot in common. Both suffered huge loss and struggled to find happiness. Enough time had passed that they realized they were lonely. Starved for intimacy and that sense of belonging they had known so briefly. Their meeting may have been random but fate may have had a hand…

This series has been all about family and the tight bonds grown through love and life. I’ve cried more times from reading these emotional stories than in few other books. The author seems to find that vein, that pulse, for each emotion – whether sad or happy – and has me feeling each one along with the characters. Whether I want to or not! Seriously, I needed to buy more Kleenex after each story…

Happiness, sadness, hope. It was all there as Darren and Haddie dealt with each fear and obstacle. Fame, self-confidence, and the ghosts of their pasts all had a hand in their courtship. With friends and family surrounding them, it was a visit with much-loved characters and a glimpse into the future. Epilogues and deleted scenes had me misty once again but still not ready to leave their world…
Profile Image for Jamie Ellis.
1,131 reviews9 followers
May 17, 2019
Enjoyed Darren's story

I really enjoyed this. I have been waiting on his book well since you know when what happened. I honestly thought it would be more with the angst then what it was.
Haddie is a good fit for him and his daughter Cadence. The story of the monarchs blew me away.
I have loved all the books in this series and it's characters.
I highly recommend this series.
Thanks Jamie Nibarger Ellis
Profile Image for Doris.
2,223 reviews81 followers
May 16, 2019
Absolutely Amazing!!

I have loved the BAD guys from that very first book and this book is just added to that list. Sure I’ve read a lot of good books but this stands out because of the emotions this author can pull from me. I hate to cry but this book had me doing it all over again. Darren’s story is heartbreaking after losing the love of his life and having to try to keep going to be the best he could for his daughter Cadence. Time has passed and Darren is just plain lonely …and afraid to give his heart to someone with the possibility it could be broken again. I loved Haddie right from the start. The chance meeting these two had was meant to be.

This is a must read that will be a book that sticks with you. And if you really want to get the full affect you should read all the books in this series because every one of them is outstanding.
Profile Image for Alicia.
1,243 reviews4 followers
May 13, 2019
5 completely wonderful stars for this latest book in the Illusion series. It is beautifully and thoughtfully written, bringing love, life, loss, grief and hope into play via a cast of well drawn, fabulous characters. My heart was, in turns, wrung, soothed and delighted by the whole story.
I found myself totally invested in the possibilities of healing love and laughter between Darren and Haddie. They both deserve happiness from life after their past experiences. Cadence and Nate are a joy, as is the settling lives of the rest of BAD.
With 5 well deserved stars and a lot of crumpled tissues..from sadness, outweighed by joy, I heartily recommend this book xxx💖💖
Profile Image for LaDonna.
475 reviews18 followers
May 16, 2019
5 Emotional, Electrified Guitars for Broken Beats

This will probably be an amazingly short review; if you need more of my opinion 🤣, go read any of my others in the Just An Illusion series. They all have more emotional impact than I dreamed books could, and Darren's book is no different in that respect.

The first three books in the Just An Illusion world have been out long enough now that I feel I can be a little tiny bit spoilery...so if you haven't read those, don't read anything else, go grab Side A and dive in head first (but maybe invest in wine and tissues first....). Anyway.....

I am guessing anyone reading this review knows that Darren winds up as a single father. He's been in all of the books, and Cadence certainly has. She's impossible not to love. Darren too. So enjoy their "after". I truly think you'll love it as much as I did.

And don't miss the epilogues, most especially the second one. I have been wondering about it/waiting for it for literal years now. And totally worth it.

Enough said - get it now, hide away, and savor it.
Profile Image for Jennifer .
696 reviews3 followers
May 31, 2019
Belle approved!

Lately I haven't purchased allot of books. Mostly these days it's KU all the way for me. But, after reading the entire Illusion stories,of Darren and Belle, of Sawyer,Noah and Mel, along with the others, I HAD to know what happened after. (You don't have to read the books before this one, but it does make this story so much better). Darren didn't disappoint. I loved that he found love again. I won't give away tooooo much, but just know, if your wondering, if Belle would approve, I think that would be a great big hell yes!
Profile Image for D. Kelly.
Author 32 books2,271 followers
March 27, 2019
Broken Beats releases on May 14th but you can pre-order Darren and Haddie's story now!

Pre order links
Amazon - https://amzn.to/2U2Fz9A
Amazon UK - https://amzn.to/2TXKrwQ
Amazon CA - https://amzn.to/2FnlDGm
Amazon AU- https://amzn.to/2TKN0mw

iBooks - https://apple.co/2Y83d3N
Nook - http://bit.ly/2TLoFNG
Kobo - http://bit.ly/2FoKfi7

If you want to be notified of the release please join my mailing list.
Profile Image for B. C. Booklover.
655 reviews33 followers
May 14, 2019
I've previously read and loved the 1st three books in D. Kelly's emotional Illusion series but even so, I feel like I really didn't know enough about Darren at all.

Of course, he is a great guy, solid friend, amazing drummer and loved Belle with his whole heart but now, as I hoped he would be, Darren has turned out to be a sweet, amazing dad to the most precious gift Belle left behind, their daughter, Cadance.

On an anniversary that brings Darren to his knees, he makes one gigantic mistake that can't be erased and he probably won't be forgiven for letting it happen. The secret he is keeping eats away at him but in the end, changes him for the better, makes him see his path was winding in the wrong direction and he needs to reset his life.

Months later, his world is rocked again with a single look, even though he doubted it could happen to him, his second chance at happiness may have found him in the form of a new love. Could Haddie heal Darren's broken heart?

If anyone needed a new chance to love again, its Darren, having denied it for so long, love was what was missing in his and his daughters life. He has the love of family, good friends who are like brothers and always the music, but everyone around him had a partner to share love with and he finally wanted to have that for himself...again. Especially poignant when that someone knows exactly how loss can effect you and accepts it because they have felt it themselves.

'Sometimes, life is wicked and unkind. It puts us through the worst kind of torment, and the only thing we can do is fight to see another day. But when we least expect it, we’re given incredible people to walk beside us. They’re the ones who help keep the bad days in the shadows. They make us laugh , and they love us through anything life throws our way .'

This quote towards the end of Broken Beats reminded me of the struggles and successes throughout the series and how this statement really rings true for this family of friends who have been through so much.

I really enjoyed this story because it gave me closure for Darren, let me finally feel okay with Mel and Sawyers marriage. Sweetly written glimpses of Belle and Noah that reminded me that they would forever be ingrained in the hearts and fabric of the band family in all the special moments and milestones no matter how much time passes. That sealed the deal for me.

Little Cady and Nate stole my heart (they'll steal your too!) and I can only hope a new generation of Bastards and Dangerous keep us entertained far into the future with D. Kelly's magic touch. The epilogues and extra deleted scenes had me dabbing my eyes but in a good way.💖

An early copy was provided and happily received. This has been my honest review of it.
Profile Image for Bel McQuillan.
61 reviews1 follower
May 12, 2019
Words cannot express fully how truly prolific Darren’s Story is ♥️ I couldn’t even get through the prologue without tissues on hand Dee Kelly has definitely delivered another 5 star read with the story about the drummer of Bastards and Dangerous.

I remember sending a friend a msg saying I’m reading Broken Beats 😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢 her response was is it really sad? Wiping my tears from my face I responded yes, but in the happiest of ways.

Broken Beats is about a man’s journey back from the desolation of a broken heart spearheading us with the actions of one night that has him re-evaluating his life, how he was living and the steps he took to get up from where he was showing us the growth he experiences as he opens himself up to the possibility of opening his heart to something greater than he was experiencing right at that moment.

Then we meet Haddie a gorgeous soul who is loving, giving and kindhearted who is also journeying back from the desolation of a broken heart, who had re evaluated her life and the steps she’s taken to grow and open up to endless possibilities that moving forward and letting go can bring about.
We witness her opening up and letting fate guide her to something greater...

When Darren meets Haddie they both discover they share a common link, they bear the same scars only tragedy brings to the forefront and they feel a tangible pull a familiarity with one another, their souls connect on a whole new level.

When Broken Beats is released I can update with more spoilerlike content being added but

The underlying message is there is always hope floating in the abysmal essence of life and living and taking a moment to focus on the energy of that pull that wanting to know that one person more than you would normally — that magnetic charge — the energy of endless opportunities to find the one person your soul connects with — and if your truly blessed can open yourself upto experiencing it for the second time in your life ♥️

Love finds you when you least expect it and life doesn’t wait it’s constantly moving and evolving

So come and enjoy catching up with Sawyer, Mel and the kids, Wyatt, Anna and their children, Darren, Cadence, Jordan and Allie with their children, Eli and Rory, MAC, Ryan, Warren, Sam and the Gang

What would The Illusion Series Be without the fans and Paparazzi lol with many suprises along the way ♥️

A highly recommended read
Profile Image for tweety ✨.
344 reviews68 followers
May 14, 2019
Note: You can read this book as a standalone, but I advise you to read the whole "Just An Illusion" series before you delve into this one, because you'll have a clearer vision of things happening here.

Ever since the events of Just an Illusion - EP, I've been curious as to what would happen to Darren. Somehow, I thought he would end up alone with his daughter Cadence and would hook up with random people for the rest of his life, but then D. Kelly surprised me saying that a book about him would eventually come. The Darren fan in me squealed becauise I thought that he also deserves his happy ending like Mel and Sawyer.

Darren is a single father, ex drummer of the famous band "Bastards and Dangerous". If you're familiar with the story of the main series, you know that Darren met Belle in "Just an Illusion" and they fell in love instantly. Their love story was short lived but intense, because a fateful accident left Darren without the love of his life. What made Belle's presence alive in his existence was not only his memories of them together, but also because of their daugther Cadence.

In "Broken Beats" we see how things are going six years later. Darren and the other guys are living new lives after they stopped being rockstars, and we learn what is happening in their lives. Darren is the last bachelor of the four, and everyone around him seems to be hopful that someday he'll find a woman to love that would be his happy ending. But of course, you never know when that happens. So when Darren meets Haddie one night, he just sees her as a woman to flirt with.

Soon he realizes that they have a lot in common. Haddie also lost somebody dear to her in a similar manner to Darren, and it seems like their shared trauma brings them even closer. Darren falls fast for Haddie and at first I didn't like that. But then I remembered that Darren also clicked instantly with Belle the first night they met, so it's just... Darren being like that. He is a "carpe diem" kind of man, and when he understands that Haddie is the woman with whom he'd be willing to spend the rest of his life with, he tries everything to win her heart and be patient.

Haddie is a psychologist and works with children. She is a controlled person and is very conscious about her body because she thinks she hasn't a body society would appreciate. I think she might've become a Mary Sue character at some point, but the author didn't exaggerate with her self-doubt too much, so she was unsure of herself but in a normal way. I liked how she and Darren clicked and how he wanted to show her that he didn't care about her body size.

In comparison to the main series, I liked that the book was not that long and with small drama. It is more of an emotional journey for both Darren and Haddie, so grab a few tissues.
Profile Image for Eileen (Bangor Belles) Robinson.
1,073 reviews25 followers
May 14, 2019
Hot Sexy Drummer, Single Dad, and a man struggling to survive the loss of Belle, his soulmate and love of his life.
Life has changed for the whole band after the coach wreck, they have lost people and family they love and their children have lost a parent. How do you move on, how do you still breath and find happiness? Darren's whole world is his little daughter Cadence, he's surviving, just about, when he meets a gorgeous curvacious woman at his brother's bar. Can he begin to date again? Put himself out there? One thing he does know is that he really wants to get to know this girl.
Haddie is really attractive to this man, but she isn't ready to move on from losing her beloved Fiance in an accident that also left her with so much more than the internal scars of grief!!
I knew this story would be emotional, and i wanted so bad for Darren to find a happy ending. The author has broached this subject, with tender care, emotionally gripping you from the very beginning. I couldn't hold back the tears, nor the hope that began to fill my heart with how this couple strived to find the heart to live and to love again. Darren and Haddie brings grief, love, family, trust, and devotion that will reside in your heart for a long time, along with laughs, tears, and belief that love really is what makes the world go around !!!
Profile Image for KDRBCK.
5,464 reviews14 followers
May 13, 2019
Broken Beats by D. Kelly is book five in her Illusion Series and a spin-off to the series. Broken Beats can be read as a standalone. For best reading experience I recommend to read the books in order.
Darren Miller is the bassist from Bastards and Dangerous. He's retired after the horrible accident that cost his best friends and his wifes' lives. He's a single dad to Cadency and while the band is his family, he still grieves Belle's dead and can't move on.
Haddie is a 30 year old child psychologist who's fiancé died a few years ago. She's ready to move on and on her first night out she meets Darren.
Broken Beats is just what the title says: Broken. Broken people in a broken life - desperate but unable to move on.
Broken Beats is a very emotional story, I had my cryfest in the best way possible, it gave me all the feels. I was sad, I was angry at some point and I was happy for the characters. Haddie is just what Darren needs, she's an old soul, good and compassionable. She's a great partner to him and helps him heal in a big way. I loved meeting characters from the previous books and now I want to go and read about Sawyer and Mel again. 4,5 emtional stars.
Profile Image for Sharilyn Dickerson.
401 reviews17 followers
May 18, 2019
Beautiful Story!

Broken Beats is an amazingly beautiful story of finding love again after a tremendous loss.

I have loved each and every one of the books in this series (even when they absolutely gutted me) and am dreading the day it all ends. These characters are so authentic and you just wish you could jump into their life with them.

I have been patiently waiting for Darren's story so he could finally have his "happily ever after" and this book did NOT disappoint! Haddie is an amazing character and the perfect addition to this huge family! After they both suffered an unimaginable loss and have spent years just existing, they are finally allowing themselves to feel and experience love again. Of course, their story isn't without some bumps along the way, which you'll just have to read for yourself.

'Sometimes, life is wicked and unkind. It puts us through the worst kind of torment, and the only thing we can do is fight to see another day. But when we least expect it, we’re given incredible people to walk beside us. They’re the ones who help keep the bad days in the shadows. They make us laugh , and they love us through anything life throws our way .'
Profile Image for Kathy.
1,373 reviews6 followers
May 17, 2019
4.5 Stars
A sweet HEA for Darren, I was partial and still am to Belle, I don't think I will ever get over the events of EP - Still in the top 5 of ugly cry books I've ever read. I have a small issue with Haddie - as a less than skinny woman myself I didn't understand why her self doubt kept appearing in the beginning - I wish she had more faith in herself or take yourself out of the equation all together - Every time Darren had to reassure her, I wanted to shake her. For the same reasons you are doubting him, you should have more confidence - HE'S A ROCK STAR - if he didn't want you , you wouldn't be there.
Loved Candace, she came off as Belle's mini-me perfectly, and with Nate, I see a future generation book down the road. Always great seeing Sawyer - God I love that man and Mel of course. Story became a little too sweet and a little less rock n roll for me, but that's my thing and along with Darren, missing those band times. I do hope to see Rory & Eli one day get their own book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
440 reviews5 followers
May 23, 2019
Broken Beats is Darren's well deserved tale of learning to live and love again.
Quite a few years have passed since he lost Belle, the love of his life. Those years were full of sorrow on bad days and sadness on good days. He wholeheartedly loved his dagughter, whose soul was as beautiful as Belle's, but he felt lonely more and more. A chance encounter with Haddie opened up his heart again. Haddie also knew heartache as she too lost her fiancé in a tragic accident a few years ago. Haddie and Darren quickly realised they share a painful but unique understanding of what they went through and it helped them form a strong bond. I liked the way they could be the support each other needed, how they were open and talked through the fears and struggles.
It was lovely to see how the whole extended family of Bastards and Dangerous grew since the last book in the series. I adored Cady, the way she embraced Haddie in her pure heart.

The loss of a loved one, the pain and guilt and every feeling in between - all this was handled with care and utmost respect by D. Kelly. Broken Beats was a well written emotional story.
Profile Image for Marina Skinner.
1,430 reviews41 followers
May 13, 2019
The sign of a good book is where it brings out your emotions, making you feel like the characters, this story has blown others out of the water!
This incredibly heartfelt story is at the top of my list this year due to the intense emotions I felt whilst reading.
Darrens story is a rather Broken one, any wonder with all he has been through!
Then he meets Haddie, her heart of gold, caring nature, it definitely feels like these two were fated to meet??!!
Despite what they have dealt with in the past this book takes you on an incredible journey of family, feelings, love, and the most beautiful relationship to come out of it all!
I shed so many tears! I laughed, I wanted to hug everyone!
The author has done Darren so incredibly proud, its like she has thrown her heart and soul into the story to make me want to stay in their lives forever! Long Live the band members of BAD!
It’s been an epic journey!
Profile Image for Alexa.
884 reviews7 followers
May 19, 2019
I want to start by prefacing that this is my first book by this author and in this series. Perhaps if I had read the rest I would have enjoyed this story more. As it is I had a really hard time getting started.

There were many characters on Darren's side that I assume are from the rest of the books in the Illusion series. I did feel a bit lost and like I was playing catch up to try and place everyone and put the back story together. Also there is A LOT about the dead exes and this isn't one of my favorite tropes. I totally get that on both sides of this story they played a big part but I felt like it was OTT angsty and as such I felt like I was swimming in quicksand to get through the first 7-8 chapters.

Once the main part of the story got started I did enjoy the development of the story between these two and also the sweet little girl. Let it be said that single dad stories ARE one of my faves which was why I decided to pick this book up. I also enjoyed seeing the rocker fall for a 'regular' woman a.k.a a larger woman who wasn't a stick!

Overall a decent read that got better once it reached the 'meat' of the story. However if you don't enjoy dead exes or a lot of angst in your romances then this one may not be your cup of tea. Although it is touted as a standalone I think reading the rest of the series would make the emotions of this story make more sense as well as all the side characters.

Reviewed on behalf of 3 Degrees of Fiction book blog.
May 14, 2019
Broken, scared, sad and lost! Darren doesn’t know what to do to be the man he should be, the father he needs to be! He takes it day by day and just prays he doesn’t keep messing up! He’s existing but not truly living! Haddie is trying to piece her life together and figure out the next step to start the healing process. She find herself face to face with a man who understands her pain!

Darren and Haddie Met when they needed each other the most! It’s not easy to face the harsh reality of life but having someone to walk with through it all makes it that much better! And seriously I loved the character cameo 😍
Profile Image for Shannon.
994 reviews
May 16, 2019
Broken Beats was one of my most anticipated reads of this year. I have absolutely loved this series and these characters and have been dying for Darren's story. I knew going in it would be an extremely emotional journey, and I wished with everything in me that he would get the HEA he so desperately deserved.

I have said it before, but it deserves repeating; D. Kelly has a true gift with words. She has created an amazing set of characters you can't help but love. She makes you feel absolutely everything her characters are feeling, which in my opinion is the hallmark of a truly brilliant author.

I enjoyed every moment of Broken Beats. I loved Cady and Darren's relationship and watching him be an amazing dad. I loved the moments when he was utterly broken but could own it and worked to be better. I loved the relationship Darren and Mel worked to have with each other following their great losses, and I 100% adored watching Cady and Nate's relationship grow.

I loved D. Kelly's choice of a female heroine for this book and the woman who would make Darren whole. This book was engaging, beautiful and everything I would expect from D. Kelly.
Profile Image for Reading with 2 book lovers.
2,921 reviews40 followers
May 16, 2019
This is Darren story and boy of boy have I waited for this one. This was a great story, j devoured this in a few hours I couldn't put it down.
Profile Image for Colleen.
675 reviews4 followers
August 25, 2019
I was wondering if Darren would find love again, and I was so happy that he did.
I hope there will be more books for the Illusion series because I'm not ready to let these guys go.
May 16, 2019

Author: D. Kelly

Series: Illusion Series World

Release Date: May 14, 2019

About the Book

Darren –

Single father



Three things I never thought I’d be by thirty, yet all my daily reality.

This is not the life I would have chosen, but it’s the hand I’ve been dealt.

I love my daughter.

I loved Belle.

I’m not interested in more heartache.

Relationships are a thing of the past.

Until I meet her -

She’s the awakening I desperately need, but one I’m not sure I deserve.

Haddie –

Everything happens for a reason.

Time heals all wounds.

You’re too young to give up on love.

They say that, but they’re wrong.

My world crumbled forever when my fiancé died.

Then I met him –

He’s flawed in the same ways.

Broken in the same places.

Scared of the same things.

He looks at me like I’m his salvation.

And I want to be, but an open heart means risking a broken one.

Stephannie's 5 Star Review:

This is Darren's story, he is the tattooed drummer from Bastards and Dangerous. He is a single father to Cadence due to things that happened in previous books in this series. He was heartbroken as the rest of us when Bell left us all. He is trying to be a great father and handle his loss. It's been years and it is time to heal and move forward. He meets a women Haddie who also has a similar loss as well. H

Can these two fractured souls find healing and love again? This is a beautiful story of Darren and Cadence. I loved seeing more insight into her. She is such a amazing little girl, very sweet like her momma. This book has you feeling past hurt of the time Darren and Cadence lost Bell. Just an Illusion series is amazing and has you feeling everything about these characters. This one is full of different emotions that scream at you to feel. It was a very emotional and beautiful story. Can Darren and Hallie find their second chance at love with each other?

I loved this book. He wasn't a character that I connected to a lot in the other books in the series. But I loved getting to know him in this book. I love how great of a father he is and his struggle to find the strength to move on and heal from his heart brake. I loved it. If you haven't checked out the Just an Illusion series, its a must read.

Goodreads: http://smarturl.it/BrokenBeatsGR

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2U2Fz9A

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2TXKrwQ

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2FnlDGm

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2TKN0mw

Apple: https://apple.co/2Y83d3N

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2TLoFNG

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2FoKfi7

957 reviews17 followers
May 14, 2019
Broken Beats is a spin-off from the Illusion Series and while you will see secondary characters from this story this book can be read as a standalone. This is the first book that I have read by this author and in this series and I felt like I was part of the family already. Haha. This story will gut you and bring you to your knees a few times. The laughter and joy help to offset those emotions though.
Darren, the drummer from Bastards and Dangerous was on top of the world until it all came crashing down on him. He was left a widower, a single father to Cady and pretty much retired. Belle and his band were his world so how does he expect his drum to still be able to beat let alone his heart. He’s drowning in his sorrow while struggling with being the best dad he can be.
Haddie is someone many maybe able to relate to and you will see why I say this reading the story. Her world crumbled the day her fiancé died and its been hard to move on. Instead of finding closure in how some would she goes to find closure in a place that meant something to them. I loved that plus so much more about her!
The saying of, “Time heals all wounds” is very true as each person heals on their own time when they are ready. Fate decided that now was the time for Darren and Haddie to meet. You will laugh at them when they first meet, you will see the struggle they share with not only their similar connection they share, but with the connection that has them feeling something they have not yet been able to feel for a long time now.
I love how opposite these characters are and how Darren shows Haddie she’s perfect the way she is! You not only fall in love with Darren, Haddie and Cady, but you fall in love with all the other band mates, wives and children. I love how they all intertwined, but only met at the right time (Darren and Haddie). This maybe my first book, but I’m holding out hold that a certain set of children get their own story. That ending though! If you think you cry in the prologue just wait till the end, but I will say it is a different kind of tears and the perfect way to have closure for all. This is a story about being broken and healing and finding that it is more than okay to move on and still hold those memories that you cherish. There is so much more I would love to say, but that would contain spoilers, so I’ll leave it at this. I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Stefanie Kral.
685 reviews23 followers
May 19, 2019
✯✯5 Healing Stars!!!✯✯

Whoah!!!! Where in the world do I begin with this review?!?!?! I’ve been waiting for Darren’s story since the beginning of Just An Illusion . All through Mel and Sawyer’s POV I’d been biting my nails to get to Darren. I fully admit the wait was worth it.

Being the drummer for the band Bastards and Dangerous Darren never had to work hard for a girl. When Mel and Belle walked into him and his brothers lives Darren’s life was never going to be the same.

His connection with Belle was instant and the next minute they conceived Cadence. Darren’s life was complete with his two girls. Than four months after his daughter arrived he lost Belle and Darren didn’t know how to move on.

For years Darren lived in the dark. His only brightness was Cadence and he was OK with that. One night he’s playing pool and in walks in a beautiful girl. She didn’t even see him at first and then realized she didn’t even know who he was and that was a breathe of relief. After a Darren comment he learns she’s lost her fiancé and trying to finally move on. For the first time since he lost Belle he realizes its time for him to move on. They agree to be grieving friends. Darren knows in his gut everything in his life is about to change. He just has to figure out if he’s truly ready for it.

Haddie was ready for her HEA. One night changed her life forever. An accident took her fiancé from her and left her with matching scars on both the outside and inside. Haddie let herself feel sorry herself for awhile now and it’s time for her to move on.

Haddie goes to the place that reminds her of her love the most. The last thing Haddie was expecting was to be in the same place with Darren from Bastards and Dangerous, not that she knew who he was at first.

They hit it off quick. They understood exactly what the other one was feeling. What started as a friendship quickly turns into something more. Something either of them was expecting but were shockingly open for.

Darren understood she has her issues to work through. But, was always there to let her know how beautiful she was. Haddie knew and completely understood that Cadence was Darren’s first and main priority and she completely let him take the lead. Darren was completely open and honest with Haddie. Telling her things he’d not told his brothers and families yet.

Talk about the perfect story!! My heart had been breaking for Darren since the beginning and he deserved his HEA. Haddie totally was his perfect match.

I found myself laughing, smh and crying the whole book. I also wished these guys and gals were real bc I want in their lives. D. Kelly knocked this out of the park. Can’t wait for her next book.
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