Breaking Storm (White Wattle Creek #1) by Vikki Holstein
Publications Date : May 8th 2020
Publisher : Vulpine Press
Genre : Romantic Suspense
Pages : 320
Stars : ★★★★★
When innocence is threatened, who will stand up?
Kelsey’s sole purpose in life is to keep four-year-old Pipa safe. Conceived in a violent, drug-induced rampage, Pipa is being hunted by the man responsible. He wants her dead, and no matter how far Kelsey and Pipa run, the brewing storm is never far behind.
Protection lies in Kelsey’s hometown of White Wattle Creek in the form of Ethan, the man who’d always been her safe place. The one she loved. And the one who broke her heart. But she not only has Ethan to face when she returns. The emotional abuse of her past and the truth surrounding Pipa’s existence both rain down on her from the clouds gathering overhead.
When Kelsey finally opens her heart to Ethan, her nightmares tip over into reality, and with Pipa’s future hanging in the balance, Kelsey must find the strength within to fight for their right to happiness … before the storm breaks.
*** Note: I received e-ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Vulpine Press. ***
Breaking Storm was romantic suspense that revolved around Kelsey- who was trying to save her daughter Pipa and Brian- who was trying to mend relationship with his sister and seek justice against a drug dealer who had ruined many lives. It was about finding hope, happiness and home, having faith, believing in yourself once again, and getting back the control and confidence in life.
Writing was gripping, easy to follow, and emotive. I liked the fictional town White Wattle Creek. Its stories, people and close knit community was interesting to read. Story was written in third person narrative from Kelsey, Ethan and Brian’s perspective.
Synopsis said Kelsey’s part of story really well. I was curious to find out what happened to Kelsey, how could Spencer-dangerous drug dealer- find her when she was so careful and didn’t leave any trails behind, what happened between Kelsey and Ethan that caused her heartbreak and made her run away from the town where she spent her whole life, and what secret she was keeping about Pipa and what happened to her in that five years.
What synopsis didn’t mention was there is another parallel story that merged just before climax. Story of Brian who was homicide detective and was trying to save his sister, Haylee, from her drug addict partner from the very beginning. Five years later Haylee was living with Brian with her three sons, still keeping the pain and abuse hidden behind tough, angry demeanor. Something went wrong between them when their parents died in car accident, Haylee wouldn’t let Brian in her life, share her emotions and pain, and wouldn’t tell him what happened with her. I was curious to find out what went wrong between them and what horrors Haylee might have faced, how Brian would make her believe in him and show how much he loved and cared for her, and what he would do to put Spence behind bars.
All characters were great. They had their flaws, pain and heartbreak, made mistakes but at the end they all developed to amazing person, found happiness and peace.
Kelsey was most favorite character. She faced a lot after leaving the town and even before she left the town. Her mother was abusive, hated her and said and did nasty things. But still she found her own family in Ethan and her friends. It wasn’t easy for her to leave the town. When the reason behind it was revealed I felt disappointed both in Kelsey and Ethan. What she felt was right and genuine as she was fragile at that time but it was no reason to leave. That was utterly naïve. But I like the way she found her independence, what she did for Jaiyden and Pipa. She was most courageous person in the book.
I loved her bond with Pipa. She was fiercely protective for her. She made Pipa feel loved and safe, made her clever, courageous and confident little sweetheart. Most of all I admired Kelsey for never hiding anything from Pipa, gone through hell to keep Pipa safe, and how she fought her demons in the end.
Ethan– I had mixed feeling for him. First, I didn’t like the way he handled situation five years ago and because of that Kelsey left and above all he couldn’t understand why she left. Second when she came back in town to him, to find a place to keep Pipa safe, he jumped to assumptions and didn’t believe what she said and then kept wondering why she wouldn’t confide in him. Third he kept pushing Kelsey so she would stay this time and reveal secrets. Fourth he didn’t understand she might need a space and independence. Okay in this part, I’m glad he stayed with her and didn’t let her bear the pain of loss alone but what Kelsey asked and said wasn’t wrong. All in all, he was bit stupid but I liked the way he cared and loved both Pipa and Kelsey, even after knowing secret related to Pipa and what happened to Kelsey.
Brian was another favorite character. I loved him for letting his sister and her sons in his house even though she rejected him before and after coming back to him. He was amazing with kids. His bond with his nephews was lovely and it melt my heart seeing them together as family. He was so patient and good. Poor guy kept feeling guilty for something he had no control over. I admired his dedication to make things right, get justice for Jaiyden and his sister, and help his sister in getting over pain and find happiness.
All secondary characters were great. I loved them for helping Kelsey and Brian, Haylee for telling her part and letting Brian in her life, Mark and Carol for support and little ones in the book. I hated Kelsey’s mother and Spencer, they didn’t even deserve hell.
The secrets and suspense were good. It kept me curious till the end. Best part was, the way author represented emotions, fear, and feeling of characters, how they were affected by abuse, and how they found their life back. Author handled heavy subjects like rape, abuse and domestic violence very sensitively without graphical description. All characters were realistic and relatable.
Climax was tense. I was waiting to see when and how Spencer will show himself and strike again and what will happen. The way he appeared was both expected and surprising at the same time. Expected because I saw it coming as soon as Kelsey made decision, surprised because I still couldn’t believe a person can hate someone to this level. I almost feared for Kelsey but she surprised me by fighting the storm, breaking it and made sure it never returns. End was great. I loved happy ending, a light after darkness belief, and what characters learned at the end.
Overall, Breaking Storm was intriguing, suspenseful, and emotive romantic suspense with amazing characters and family dynamic. I recommend this to fans of this genre.
What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already? Are you going to add it to TBR? Which is your favorite romantic suspense?
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