Set during the chaotic beginnings of Napoleon's rule, this saga tells the story of Gabriel St. Croix, a street survivor searching for a place to belong.
Abandoned as a child and raised in a brothel, he has never known friendship or affection. Hiding physical and emotional scars behind an icy facade, his only relationship is with a young boy he has spent the last five years protecting from the brutal reality of their environment. But all that is about to change. The boy's family has found him, and they are coming to take him home.
Sarah Munroe blames herself for her brother's disappearance. When he's located, safe and unharmed despite where he has been living, Sarah vows to help the man who rescued and protected him in any way she can. With loving patience she helps Gabriel face his demons and teaches him to trust in friendship and love. But when the past catches up with him, Gabriel must face it on his own. Becoming a mercenary, pirate, and professional gambler, he travels to London, France, and the Barbary Coast in a desperate attempt to find Sarah again.
On the way, however, he will discover the most dangerous journey and the greatest gamble of all is within the darkest reaches of his own heart.
This book first appeared on my radar way back when Kristie(j) posted her review then her subsequent quest to get EVERYONE to read it, much like her North & South crusade! I don't know why I didn't read this sooner. Kristie hasn't steered me wrong yet between Ride the Fire, North & South, and the Joss Ware Envy series; I should know by now to read everything Kristie tells me!
I don't know that there's a lot for me to add with all of the amazing reviews of Broken Wing but if you're a girl who loves a tortured hero, they don't make 'em much more tortured than Gabriel St. Croix.
This is one seriously damaged soul, so drawn into himself, having experienced nothing at all of love, he can't imagine anyone expressing any kindness towards him. His perceptions of people's actions and intentions toward him are so skewed, your heart just breaks for him. Especially when Sarah says or acts out of complete kindness or generosity and he immediately assumes the worst and often lashes out unnecessarily.
You might think, as a reader, that this would grate on your nerves however, I think it's an accurate representation of the psychological and emotional damage that people who suffer the kind of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse that Gabeendured.
While Gabriel has serious issues and the book deals with some disturbing content, I think James does an excellent job of giving the reader just enough information regarding Gabe's past without crossing a line into gratuitous descriptions of his abuse.
Sarah is an excellent heroine, almost too perfect in my opinion though. She's so forgiving and understanding and always manages to react to Gabe's outbursts with the perfect amount of patience and sympathy. She's exactly the type of woman Gabriel needs, however she just seems so perfect it would have been nice if she had some flaws!
This is definitely a hero centric story, there is a large chunk of the story where Gabriel and Sarah are separated but if you're like me and enjoy a good tortured hero, no doubt you'll fall in love with Gabriel! You HAVE to pick up Broken Wing. I love it!
Kristie, consider me a Questor!
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