Title: Best Kind of Broken
Author: Chelsea Fine
Series: Finding Fate #1
Release Date: March 4, 2014
SOMETIMES MOVING ON MEANS MOVING IN
Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can’t. And the damage is done. She’s hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there’s a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend-and maybe more–until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he’s right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she’d long buried . . .
Levi can’t believe he’s living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple “sorry” won’t suffice–not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie’s better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she’s so close, Pixie’s heart seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear–he can’t live without her.
Best Kind of Broken is the story of Pixie and Levi. Pixie’s aunt Ellen has an inn in the middle of nowhere. When Pixie has to move out of the dorms for the summer, she moves into the inn to work for her aunt. Ellen forgets to mention that the other live-in employee, the one she is about to share a bathroom with, is Levi – the guy Ellen hasn’t seen in over a year, the guy she’ll never forget. Pixie and Levi are forced to face each other, forced to face their past and the tragedy that tore them apart and the feelings neither of them have been able to let go.
“Just him and me, seeing each other. Knowing the hard things we wish we didn’t and wanting to undo things we can’t. It’s raw and it’s honest and it makes me want to cry. But he blinks. And I blink. And then it’s gone.”
I enjoyed the setting for this book. Pixie and Levi are college-age, but they’re away from the chaos of a college campus and isolated with no one else their age around. Being at the inn forces the characters to accept the state of their lives and confront the emotions they’ve been all too happy to keep buried. Add in the cast of characters that work and stay at the inn and it makes for a fun collection of personalities. Ellen and Mable try to meddle, while several of the inn guests throw in their two-cents about life and love. Together, they create a network of support striving to help Pixie and Levi heal and find happiness again.
“They’re stronger, you know.” Paul looks up at me, I shield my eyes in the morning sun.
“The plants that you revive,” he says. “When you bring something back from the brink of death, it fights harder to thrive.” Paul leans on his cane again and smiles. “So is the story of life, I guess.”
Levi and Pixie both carry a devastating amount of grief and guilt, to the point of nearly drowning in their extreme sadness. These emotions were so well written throughout the story that my heart was aching for them. Their inability to properly grieve and cope and move forward was genuine and it pulled me into their world completely. Despite the overall feeling of pain and loss surrounding these characters and their story, the author manages to perfectly balance the dark with the light. The dialogue is smart and witty. Pixie and Levi are constantly pushing each other’s buttons in an attempt to keep things from getting serious and avoid losing their connection completely. I found myself chuckling at their antics and shaking my head at their ridiculous hot water/electricity wars. With a little help from their college friends, they manage to fill the story with life and hope.
“I’ve made my decision and sure, my heart is broken, but it’s the good kind of broken. The kind that leaves you branded, so you never forget, and heals over time, so you can see just how far you’ve come. It’s the best kind of broken. I touch my scar again. Like me.”
Best Kind of Broken is a breathtaking story of loss, grief, love, hope and life. It will take you on a ride through the full spectrum of human emotion. You will fall in love with Pixie and Levi and find yourself desperately hoping for them to find lasting happiness. The characters and story feel so natural and authentic that you can’t help but get caught up in their world. Be sure to give this story a read and you won’t be disappointed!
Wow, a heartbreaking, awe-inspiring, teeth-clenching tale. The way Chelsea Fine wrote this story was breathtakingly beautiful. Rather than experiencing the traumatic event in one setting, you really get to live it within the characters. You get to share the grief of both Pixie and Levi. This tragic tale really allows you to see the world in a different way and I think that it’s such a rare occurrence in books lately.
First of all, the way that Chelsea Fine sets the different scenes with the weather is truly beautiful. You can’t help but be sucked into this world that she creates. It just so perfectly sets the tone and emotions for numerous scenes. I also love that she used the metaphor of painting for Pixie. It was a beautiful transformation to see this character grow in such an emotional way. She starts off with using only black and white paints because that’s how she feels. As she starts to heal and grow, she gains strength and begins to see the world in cooler again. There is one scene I particular, the first time she uses colors again, that really was just breathtaking. As I read the words, I couldn’t help but get choked up.
As for the characters, man I really wanted to slap them sometimes. Their antics sometimes made me feel like they were ten years old. However, it really works for their characters because in some ways, they are stuck at a younger age. They were scarred by losing someone they love and just never moved forward. So even though they acted ten sometimes, you couldn’t help but laugh at how silly they were. It really was the basis of their friendship piecing back together. I could honestly feel their chemistry through the words written.
I love that this is a story of tragedy, but it’s also one of hope. I love that it’s a broken girl and a broken guy and the only way for them to feel whole is to figure out a way to be together – whether as friends or as more. They realized that they needed another person. I found myself really empathizing with Pixie. I was that broken girl who latched onto other families to feel whole again. I understood things she felt that I could never find words for.
I also thought that ending was perfect because while it gave us an idea of what happened, it was also left open. It didn’t end with a wedding or everything tied up in a pretty bow. It was much more their “here and now” and surviving in the moment. I think it helped me as a reader come to my own conclusions of how I wanted their story to progress, rather than see how the author had it all planned out.
For anyone who has experiences loss and tragedy, I would definitely recommend this book. The back and forth viewpoints really help to see different sides of a horrific event. It helped me to see how different people cope with things. Most of all, it helped me to want to see the world in all its beautiful colors – not just a black and white canvas.
Levi is so distracting. His arms are all raised, and his shoulders are all broad, and he’s fixing crap, and it’s just…it’s just…annoying.
With a huff and a puff and some choice words in my head, I grab my sliced bell peppers and force my feet to the stove. I throw the vegetables into a frying pan, grab a wooden spoon, and ignore Levi’s close proximity.
My body hums.
I ignore that too.
I steal a glance in his direction and watch as the corded muscles in his forearm flex as he unscrews something on the fire alarm box. Why does he have so many muscles in his forearm? That can’t be healthy.
I drop my eyes to the frying pan and focus on bell peppers, because bell peppers are interesting and they don’t have backs the size of Alaska or copious amounts of forearm muscles.
The forearm muscles that I’m not thinking about lightly brush my shoulder and the humming inside my body knots together and zips around like a bumblebee on crack.
I casually turn down the heat on the stove, like that’s the reason I’m suddenly a human vibrator, and go back to stirring. Levi goes back to screwing.
I’m thinking about bell peppers.
He brushes against me again, except this time his forearm grazes my breast and my body immediately goes wild like I’m some love-starved teenager and the humming dives low in my belly and the stove gets hotter and my breaths get shallow and suddenly bell peppers are the sexiest vegetable on earth.
From the corner of my eye, I catch his Adam’s apple bobbing with a nervous swallow, which can only mean one thing. The boob brush was an accident.
If he had been trying to cop a feel with his Hulkish forearm, I could have responded with some kind of snarky “you’re a pervert” comment. But it wasn’t on purpose and somehow that makes it sexier and now the cracked-out bumblebee is buzzing in my nether regions and my hands are starting to tingle and why the HELL is this stove so hot?
I turn the burner down another notch and take a slow, deep breath. I have a boyfriend. A great boyfriend. So this sexual frustration I feel around Levi is nothing to get my bee-loving panties in a bunch about. I just need to calm down.
Levi lowers his arm for a moment, his eyes still on the alarm, and stretches his neck.
Ah, the neck stretch. The universal sign of stress. Well at least I’m not alone in my frustration. My hot, distracting, pants-are-so-inconvenient frustration.
Who said anything about pants? I am NOT thinking about pants—or lack thereof. Damn you, bell peppers!
I toss the wooden spoon to the side and move back to the counter where the threat of being turned on by a handyman or, you know, a sautéed vegetable is much less severe.
I bite back a groan. What was I thinking, living under the same roof as Levi? There’s no way I’ll survive the summer.
Hell, I can barely survive breakfast.
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Check out the other books in the Finding Fate series:
Perfect Kind of Trouble (Finding Fate #2)
Right Kind of Wrong (Finding Fate #3)
Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.