Until I Break
By M. Leighton
Laura Drake is an author. She writes bestselling paranormal romances that continue to top the charts. She is sharp. She is confident. She is in control.
And she doesn't exist.
Samantha Jensen is the woman behind the wig, the woman most of the world doesn't know exists. She is shy. She is insecure. She is nothing like her main character or her alter ego. She s scarred - deeply scarred - by a past she can't let go of and a present she can't make peace with.
Samantha's dreams are consumed by one man, the broken hero from her books. Mason Strait is both her wildest fantasy and her most terrifying nightmare.
When Samantha meets Alec Brand, a corporate consultant, it is as though Mason has come to life. Alec is handsome to a fault, as elegant as he is arrogant, and more intense than any man has a right to be.
Samantha is soon sucked into a world that mirrors the fiction she writes. Just like her main character, Daire Kirby, Samantha finds herself unable to resist the forbidden lure of Alec. And just like Daire, she also finds that she is faced with taking a chance on a man who could either set her free or destroy her.
The scale tilts toward destruction when Samantha finds out that Alec is as much a work of fiction as Mason. And he has scars of his own, scars that could ruin them both.
Review: Possible Spoilers
Until I break is the story of two deeply scarred people & the way they cope with their past. Sometimes when people have issues the way they deal with those issues may not be the most socially acceptable. As long as everyone is of age & willing I don’t see where anyone should pass judgment, whether in real life or in a book.
We meet Samantha as her alter ego Laura, a paranormal romance writer. She also pictures herself as the heroine, Daire, in her books. On the outside Laura is everything that the painfully shy Samantha is not. Samantha has decided to see a therapist to try to deal with her issue. Since she doesn't want anyone to know Samantha & Laura are the same person she chooses the unorthodox online therapy method, which she attends as Laura.
Alec is a man with a past, a past that was put behind him & sealed off for the sake of propriety. He has moved on, but remains haunted. The methods he uses to curb, for a while at least, his urges leave him hungering for more & disgusted with himself. Alec’s actions in the past caused someone to pay the ultimate price. As a way to understand why he is the way he is Alec becomes a psychologist. Part of his penance is trying to help others. The question is can you really help someone else when you are just as fucked up?
The stories of the characters & their alternate identities are woven into the story. I didn't find it hard to follow who was narrating or what was happening. The story moved in a believable way. There were times that the characters where apart. M does a nice job of letting the reader know what was going on without dragging it out over 5 chapters.
The book does contain BDSM. There weren't that many BDSM scenes. The ones that are there aren't overly long or detailed to the extreme. Other than the final BDSM scene, they aren't nearly as bad as a good portion of the BDSM books on the market. The final scene involves breath control. Some might see that as too much, but I didn't find it to be brutal or abusive.
Samantha’s & Alec’s story really is one of healing. It isn't about the BDSM theme or the alternate identities. It is about two lost souls finding themselves with each other. I would recommend the book if it is released again. If not, ask a friend to borrow theirs.
I must say I really did not understand what was so upsetting about the book. If you don't like the subject matter, don't read it. The story was not pretty in some places, but it added to the emotion of the story.
Reviewed by Liz