Posted in Books

Review: If You Leave (Beautifully Broken #2) – Courtney Cole

Remember If You Stay? Remember Pax Tate and how much we all looooved and drooooled over him? It turns out Courtney Cole’s scarred bad boys can be hotter. Seriously, I didn’t know it, but they can.


26-year old Gabriel Vincent is a badass hero. Or he used to be, anyway. As an ex-Army Ranger, Gabe never thought he needed anyone. But after one horrible night in Afghanistan scars him in a way that he can’t get past, he needs someone who can help him heal…even if he doesn’t realize it.

25-year old Madison Hill doesn’t need anybody…or so she thinks. She grew up watching her parents’ messed-up abusive relationship and she knows there’s no way in hell that she’s ever letting that happen to her.

They don’t know it in the beginning, but Gabriel and Madison will soon develop a weakness: Each other.

But Gabriel’s got a secret, a hidden monster that he’s afraid Maddy could never overcome… And Maddy’s got issues that she’s afraid Gabe will never understand. They quickly realize that they need each other to be whole, but at the same time they know that they’ve got demons to fight.

And the problem with demons is that they never die quietly.

My thoughts

Courtney Cole has managed to do something very few books in the last few weeks were able to do and that was make me cry. I don’t think my pillow cover was this wet since probably December 2012 *cough* Nastya and Josh *cough* even though we’re talking two VERY different issues.

If You Leave follows Mila’s older sister, Madison, and a certain ex-Ranger with serious issues. And when I say serious, I mean “Holy crap, I could die” serious.

Jacey, Maddy’s best friend and employee has been dying to get her dating her brother for years. Little does she know – they have already met, and parted ways after a very confusing, frustrating and rather worrying incident.

Maddy is managing the Hills, her parents’ restaurant, their dream, since they died 4 years prior in a horrific car accident. When that happened, she uprooted herself and left NYC and her budding modeling career to come back home and take care of Mila, run the family business, and live a life she didn’t choose and didn’t want. She is left with deep anger towards her parent, towards herself, a lot of frustration and while putting everyone else, mainly Mila, first, she overlooks her own issues that are affecting her life and her self.

Lt. Gabriel Vincent was discharged a few months ago from the army Rangers and returned home after years in Afganistan, living a brutal, bloody life. One incident in particular was etched in his mind forever, and that was one he couldn’t get past. It left him with nightmares, such that he couldn’t distinct from reality, such that he distanced himself from any opportunity that “threatened” to give him any semblance of stability and affection.

Surprisingly enough, Gabe is the one to pinpoint Maddy’s anger, he’s the one that’s making her face it and deal with her parents’ memory.

Gabe is one of the most frustrating, annoying, hot and swooniest bad boys I’ve read in a while. He’s stubborn, teasing, protective to a fault, gorgeous (aren’t they all?) and yes – beautifully broken. He captured my heart from the very beginning.

The book is packed with drama and angst, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming and doesn’t detract from the romance in the story.

PTSD is so diverse yet so frighteningly numbing for the person suffering from it, I can only imagine what someone who’s going through it after suffering from war zone trauma is feeling.

PTSD help – US

My Rating:  5



Courtney Cole’s blog





I read, review, flail and swoon.

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