By day Samantha Jansen is Laura Drake, the confident and in control author of salacious vampire romances, by night she is just Samantha, a shy girl with a broken past she struggles to overcome and make peace with. When Alec Brand walks into one of Samantha's book signings, she finds herself face to face with the living embodiment of Mason Strait, the broken hero from her novels.
Alec is Samantha's darkest fantasy and biggest nightmare all wrapped up in a sexy, arrogant, and intense package. Alec is hiding dark secrets of his own, a monster inside of him that he struggles to repress. The connection between Samantha and Alec is instant and powerful, but the pair of them are deeply scarred and damaged. They have the potential to save each other or destroy each other beyond repair. Both characters will have to struggle to overcome their pasts and put their trust in each other, or break each other in the process.
I came across this book awhile ago and added it to my "to read" shelf, but when I heard that the author was pulling it out of production (click here for the author's blog announcement), I hurried up and grabbed a copy of it while I could. I have to say that I am glad that I did. Until I Break does deal with some heavy sexual issues, but I didn't find it any worse than some of the other romance novels that I have read. I actually found this book to have a very unique concept that it didn't fit the formula or mold of the traditional romance novel. I loved that both Samantha and Alec were broken and had their own issues to overcome. I liked how they were able to really "see" each other and look beyond the facades they presented to the world, and I also liked how the book switched perspectives between the two.
The only thing I didn't like was that it took too long for their relationship to reach its pinnacle and the ending felt somewhat rushed. Their relationship was very stop and go, with long periods where Alec would essentially disappear. I suppose this was done to amp up the drama, but it frustrated me at times. I also feel like I missed the point where Samantha and Alec went from being "in lust" to "in love" with each other. Their relationship lacked a lot of the tender moments that usually signal that transformation, instead it was almost like one day they weren't in love and the next they were, which kept me from fully connecting to them as a couple. These are small qualms and in no way distract from enjoying the overall story. I never once lost interest in the story.
It's a shame that M. Leighton has decided to pull this book, but I can respect her decision to do so. I know that sharing your work with the world is hard enough and can only imagine how hard it must be when your work receives such a negative response. I admire her unwillingness to change the story to placate others. If you can find a copy of this book I would suggest grabbing it and giving it a chance.