Author: Courtney Cole
Publisher: Forever, 336 Pages (August 6th, 2013)
From: the Author
Add to: Goodreads
Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK
NOTE: Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+
Synopsis: 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.
Review: 4 Stars - If You Leave is the second title in Courtney Cole’s Beautifully Broken series. With rich characters and the internal scars that haunt them, Cole has again delivered another wonderfully written story.
Gabriel and Madison both have scars that haunt them. When a chance… or maybe not so much chance meeting finds the two together you can feel the sparks flying off the page. Neither is looking for anything special and both are eager for even just one small break from the lives they lead and from the world around them.
Let’s talk about Gabe for a minute. He’s an ex-Army Ranger, home from Afghanistan after a brutal night that changed the course of his life forever. He thought he had it all planned out, but he couldn't have planned for what he faced. In the blink of an eye his world became dark and damaged and lead him and his best friend Brand back to civilian life. Just how far the scars run become clear on the night that he meets Madison. She has no understanding of what she sees happening before her eyes to Gabe. She has no clue and does the only thing she can, make sure he gets home safe and move on.
Madison is Mila’s sister, who we meet in the first book in the Beautifully Broken Series – If You Stay. Speaking of Mila, I was more than excited that we had a few chances to see more about one of my favorite couples Mila and *cough* bad boys Pax. Seeing where these two are in their lives now was some serious icing on the cake for this reader! But back to Madison… she’s been more than just the older sister for Mila. She had to take on being parents to her younger sibling as well after the death of their parents. Maddy has taken on more than expected in giving up her life in New York to come back to take care of the family business, a restaurant. She hasn't had much of a life other than her responsibilities she’s assumed over the years.
Gabe and Maddy have deep rooted issues that they’d rather keep to themselves as they try to maneuver around a non relationship. So when the roof caves in on more than one occasion for these two it’ll take more than each of them to find a way out.
I liked watching Gabe change before my eyes. He was so cocky and sure of himself on the outside, yet the inside… having that chance to listen to his thoughts gave me a chance to see right through it. His best friend Brand didn't let him get away with much either. When Gabe needed him, he was there and helped when he needed it the most. I was shocked with some of the things that Gabe went through while reading however listening to him and Brand gave me a better idea with just how bad things can get when someone is suffering as they were.
The story itself was a whirlwind. I felt so many emotions while reading that sometimes I didn't know which way was up. One of the many things that I love about Cole’s writing and characters. She adds so many layers to each that it’s hard not to feel something, many something’s during the duration. I quickly became a HUGE fan of everything about Cole’s writing and how dark and broken her beautiful bad boys are in If You Stay and feel even harder with If You Leave. I can’t wait to read more from Cole in the future. She’s for sure an author to watch out for. Enjoy.