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Broken Wing [Paperback]

Judith James
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2008
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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Medallion Press (1 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193383644X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933836447
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 10.6 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,216,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"6 out of 5 Stars! . . .Wondrously written. -- Kristie Jenner Ramblings on Romance Nov 2008

"4 ½ Stars" - From the seedy, underbelly of post-revolution Paris to the windswept Mediterranean Sea, BROKEN WING takes the reader along on a grand adventure. Heartbreakingly lovely and passionate, the story of Gabriel and Sarah will stay with you long after you close the cover...beautifully written... Judith James creates a poignant story of loss and love that you won't be able to put down."
-- Romance Junkies Nov 2008

"5+ Stars - Every once in a while, if one is very lucky, they read a romance novel so lyrically written, so wonderfully conceived, so thoroughly researched, so full of interesting and different characters, it practically ruins reading for them for a few days, or weeks, or months. I very much fear that this will be the case for me after reading Broken Wing by Judith James...

The settings are exquisite and thoroughly researched. A good portion of the book happens in post Revolutionary France, and the tidbits and details that James includes many times made me pause to absorb them. Many regular readers know that The Windflower by Tom and Sharon Curtis is my all time favourite romance. As such, I don't invoke their names lightly, but the lightness of the prose and the wonderful wit and depth of the characters strongly evoked the Curtises for me. It is the highest possible compliment I could give an author. I am beside myself waiting for Ms. James's next book, which I hope will be just as luscious and wonderful." -- Romance Novel TV Nov 8 2008

Editor's Choice Title - When I think of what constitutes a superior historical romance, I think of real characters connecting on many levels with a believable setting that pulls me into the story and sweeps me along into another place and time. Judith James's novel Broken Wing is such a tale; I was hooked from the first pages and found myself sighing with satisfaction at the end.

In this novel set in France and England in 1800, Lady Sarah Monroe and her brother Lord Huntington have retrieved their youngest brother from a French brothel five years after his kidnapping. It is due to the care of prostitute Gabriel St. Croix that young Jamie escaped a dastardly fate, and the siblings' gratitude is so heartfelt that they invite Gabriel to come to England with them. Once home, Gabriel and Sarah begin to feel an attraction that is both inappropriate and undeniable. After giving in to their feelings, the lovers are soon separated as Gabriel leaves to privateer to earn his fortune; fate intervenes and tragedy ensues.
Broken Wing is both well-written and compelling, and I found the pages flying by as I wrapped myself in the tale of the numb Gabriel being brought to life by the vivacious Sarah. Despite my misgivings over the cliché of Sarah, a countess, wearing men's breeches, I found there was much to love about this story of two star-crossed lovers finding one another in many ways. Superior reading indeed. -- Historical Novels Review Nov 2008

The Napoleonic era comes brilliantly alive in James's debut adventure romance. Sarah, Lady Munroe, has traveled to postrevolution Paris with her half-brother, Ross, to find their long-lost younger brother. Young Jamie suffered few ill effects while residing at a Parisian brothel thanks to the protection of Gabriel St. Croix, a "glittering catamite" who returns to England with them at Jamie's insistence. While Gabriel's attraction to Sarah begins as an innocent shared admiration for astronomy, their sensual love scenes intensify as Gabriel reconciles his tender feelings with his sordid past. The pace never falters when the lovebirds are separated and pursue adventures on their own. The extensive historical detail goes a long way, but Sarah and Gabriel's heart-wrenching struggle to keep their love alive is what will really keep readers entranced throughout this epic read. (Nov.) -- Publishers Weekly Sept 8 2008

Review

Editor's Choice Title - When I think of what constitutes a superior historical romance, I think of real characters connecting on many levels with a believable setting that pulls me into the story and sweeps me along into another place and time. Judith James's novel Broken Wing is such a tale; I was hooked from the first pages and found myself sighing with satisfaction at the end.

In this novel set in France and England in 1800, Lady Sarah Monroe and her brother Lord Huntington have retrieved their youngest brother from a French brothel five years after his kidnapping. It is due to the care of prostitute Gabriel St. Croix that young Jamie escaped a dastardly fate, and the siblings' gratitude is so heartfelt that they invite Gabriel to come to England with them. Once home, Gabriel and Sarah begin to feel an attraction that is both inappropriate and undeniable. After giving in to their feelings, the lovers are soon separated as Gabriel leaves to privateer to earn his fortune; fate intervenes and tragedy ensues.
Broken Wing is both well-written and compelling, and I found the pages flying by as I wrapped myself in the tale of the numb Gabriel being brought to life by the vivacious Sarah. Despite my misgivings over the cliché of Sarah, a countess, wearing men's breeches, I found there was much to love about this story of two star-crossed lovers finding one another in many ways. Superior reading indeed.


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
To begin with I admit to not really being a reader of historicals, so I think someone who loves the genre would probably appreciate this story more. There were parts of it I really enjoyed, but on the whole this didn't quite work for me. However, I think for a first novel this is a promising debut and Judith Jones is an author to watch out for.

Broken Wing tells the story of Gabriel St. Croix, raised in a brothel, he worked as a prostitute servicing both male and female clients. For the past five years he has protected a young boy - Jamie Munroe - from suffering the same fate. When the boy's family comes to claim him, they also rescue the man who protected him.

Returning to England with Sarah Munroe and her half brother, Gabriel's eyes are opened to a world previously denied to him, and gradually he falls in love with Sarah. He wants to be worthy of her love and determines to earn his fortune and prove himself. But the best laid plans often go awry and Gabriel will have to revisit his darkest nightmares before he can finally have a home of his own.

Gabriel is a fascinating hero and the best drawn character in the story.

"He realized he had no secrets left from her. She'd taken them from him, claiming them one by one, and then she'd claimed him..."

It is his progression that keeps you interested. He's complex, pushes away what he desperately wants and provokes those who mean him no harm. Through the Munroes a new world is opened up for him. A world so unlike his, that it takes him a while to believe that he is really being given this opportunity.

In a way Sarah, is the perfect heroine for him. Her love makes no demands, other than what he's willing to give. And there are some beautiful scenes between the two of them.
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By Neil
Format:Kindle Edition
Out of the many aspects that can make me either like or dislike a novel it often relating to the period in which the story is told. For me, I have no real knowledge of life in France 100 years ago or further back so the author needs to create the scene so I can relate to the period. Unlike a movie there are no visuals to create the illusion so the words have to right. However, I found the main story line to be far more influential in how I viewed the novel and the time it is set in became a little less important.

The main character, Gabriel St. Croix had an up-bringing that is not to be envied. As a child he was abandoned and ended up living his early years in a brothel. Meaningful friendships and real affection were simply words as neither had been experienced during his time in an unpleasant environment.

His life takes a dramatic change following the meeting of Sarah, which came about as she sought out her younger brother Jamie, whom Gabriel had been protecting for many years. Through Sarah he learned about real life, friendship, kindness, in short everything that had been missing previously. The couple ultimately becomes lovers but then a twist is thrown in to the story when they part to go their separate ways with Gabriel seeking riches to enable him to support Sarah.

Enough about the plot....what stands out for me is the how I could relate to the characters. It can be easy to portray a person or a couple that is perfect but that has not been done here, they all have their own flaws as every human does and that is pretty essential for me.

Judith James has done an amazing job with writing this novel from start to finish and even for readers that do normally try romantic stories I would suggest trying this one out, you may well be pleasantly surprised.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best romance I have read in a very long time 3 Feb 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic. Even if you don't read romance, you will love this book. When I read this book, I kept saying, "Wow this is good." My husband asked me if it was better than the stuff I write and I said "several orders of magnitude." I gave my copy to my mum but I am going to have to buy myself another because this one is a keeper.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  63 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Love Story 21 Oct 2008
By Amy C - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Broken Wing is not a mere romance, but a grand story of love, acceptance and forgiveness, which spans over five years.

This wonderfully poignant story both warmed and ripped at my heart. I was left breathless and bleary-eyed several times throughout the budding friendship/romance between Gabriel and Sarah. My heart ached for Gabriel due to the horrid, unspeakable acts dealt him during his years as a whore in France, before being rescued by Sarah and her brother for keeping their young brother, James, safe.

The innocent air between them was so remarkably written, I could do nothing but fall helplessly into their world and believe with my whole heart of their true and honest love for one another.

The strong characterization of Gabriel packed a powerful punch to the gut. Watching him grow over the year, his emotions and feelings toward both himself and his Sarah, was beautiful and raw. The respect and kindness, regardless of his past, given to him by Sarah and her older brother, Ross, allowed for that inner-growth and his self-worth.

Broken Wing is a beautiful love story, centered around Gabriel and the peace he finds within the relationship formed with Sarah. He flourishes due to her compassionate and understanding nature. Yet, he finds himself, a year later, setting out for a grand adventure at sea, to build a fortune so that he may support his Lady Sarah properly. It's also very critical for him as a man who has never been allowed to make decisions or explore opportunities of his own choosing. Little does he know of the dire circumstances that await him. During the four years of his ill-fated adventure, Judith James built tension, creating a deep longing to see Gabriel find his way back to his Sarah. And what sweet bliss it was. (have tissue handy)

I hope Ms. James gets all the recognition due her for writing one of the best romance books of 2008 I have read, and quite possible one of the best love stories I've ever read.

I loved this book and it will sit proudly amongst my shelves.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars be prepared to be swept away 8 Oct 2008
By booklover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Unplug the phone, ignore the doorbell and shut off the computer. Within momemts of starting this glorious novel, you will find yourself transported back in time and place, unable to return until you've completed the very last page. Upon finishing, you are satiated briefly, and yet saddened that you no longer exist in the world of Gabriel and Sarah. This is an epic novel that dances on the dark side and revels in the powerful love and passion between its two main characters. Find yourself a nice bottle of wine, a comfy couch and several hours with no interruptions. Be prepared to be swept away! I already want more.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding - if I could give more than 5 stars I would 5 Oct 2008
By DKThain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Every so often, if your lucky, you will read a book that you can't stop thinking about; that you obsess over, that you wish would never end but you rush through it get to it. And then you want to read it all over again. Such is the case with Broken Wing.
What makes this book so good? The hero is phenomenal. When we talk tortured, he is the ideal example!! I ached - just ached for him. And if I were ever a heroine in a romance novel, I'd want to be just like Sarah. She is a perfect heroine - and I don't mean perfect in that she never makes a mistake or anything - I mean perfect as in written perfect. the writing is so good that you feel like you are really there. And the historical details are VERY WELL DONE. You can tell the book is a labor of love by the author.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the Keeper Shelf 4 Nov 2008
By Lisa Marie Wilkinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've always been a fan of the tortured hero. Not only from the perspective of a reader witnessing the redemption of the hero as he battles to triumph over his personal demons, but also as a writer interested in the study of craft. For generations, writers have used their skill at portraying the soul in torment to create heart-wrenching stories with unforgettable characters.

"Broken Wing," the debut novel by author Judith James, contains one such memorable tortured hero in the form of Gabriel St. Croix, a young man who was grown up in the tawdry environment of a Parisian brothel. Gabriel has learned to insulate himself completely from the world around him in order to protect his soul from the endless parade of strangers who want only his body. Beneath Gabriel's harsh, cynical, often uncivil exterior beats the heart of a good man who cannot bear to see a child abused in the manner Gabriel has been abused. Gabriel takes it upon himself to protect the young boy Jaime from predators who would debase and ruin the child. In doing so, Gabriel sets in motion a chain of events that will eventually lead to his own salvation when Jaime's widowed sister Sarah comes to liberate her brother.

"Broken Wing" is an engrossing love story with themes of redemption and the power of love at its core. While some readers might find the subject matter unsettling, the author has navigated Gabriel's dark world with sensitivity and compassion. From the moment Gabriel and Sarah first set eyes on each other, the spark of attraction between them is palpable. Even when Gabriel is consistently rude and deliberately shocking, Sarah remains undaunted and increasingly curious about this unfriendly stranger who suffered untold hardships and new humiliations in order to spare her brother the same fate Gabriel has experienced.

There are no false notes in this story; the relationship between Gabriel and Sarah unfolds at a believable pace, with scenes of revelation and tenderness that are heart-breaking yet thoroughly engaging as Sarah slowly reveals the sensitive, tender man beneath Gabriel's gruff, wounded exterior. Sarah's initial feelings of gratitude over Gabriel's rescue of her brother yield to deeper emotions as Sarah realizes that Gabriel's exterior is an artifice built out of self-loathing. It is Sarah who is able to make Gabriel see himself as she sees him; convincing Gabriel that he is greater than the sum of degrading experiences forced upon him during his short life. In the end, Gabriel is redeemed through Sarah's love, earning "Broken Wing" a permanent place on my keeper shelf.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story of Love and Triumph over a painful past 24 April 2009
By MelissaB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Broken Wing was a very good book that kept me turning the pages. The writing style is different than most romances, I felt a little more removed from the characters than normal but it did not take away from my enjoyment of the story. There was a historical fiction feel to the story but there is also a very good romance being told.

Sarah Monroe and her brother travel to France to bring home her younger brother who disappeared five years ago but was recently found in a brothel. They find him relatively unharmed thanks to the protection of Gabriel St. Croix, a very jaded male prostitute who was sold to the Madam as a young boy and has been unable to escape. Sarah insists on Gabriel being released and brought home to Cornwall with them since he saved her younger brother from great harm. Gabriel had all hope burnt out of him at a young age and doesn't know what to do with his newfound freedom. He is afraid to believe that he is finally free to live and has no idea what to do with that freedom.

Gabriel settles into their house in Cornwall as a paid companion to the younger brother but has trouble assimilating into a normal life. He has been taught his only value is his body and what he can do with it but Sarah strives to bring out the sensitive man who was buried inside. Gabriel and Sarah have a great connection that grows as she slowly brings him out of his shell with the help of her brother and cousin. The couple fall in love over a long period of time which made it believable despite Gabriel's horrible past. They had to deal with a lot of his emotional issues related to his treatment at the hands of others but slowly were able to overcome them.

After they fall in love there was a turning point to the story where Gabriel was separated from Sarah and had to endure even more trials. While it was hard to read about this poor guy enduring even more in his life, this part of the book was also interesting. I am not a fan of separations in my romance but the author was able to write this section well. The locations moved to Northern Africa, which is a very interesting place during the early 1800's. The ending was good and heart-wrenching but I would have enjoyed a little more detail to the story after the couple was reunited.

Overall, this was a very good historical romance. The romance aspect was sweet and endearing, I really enjoyed Gabriel and Sarah as a couple. Sarah was a wonderful heroine, I love how she believed in Gabriel from the beginning and always fought for him. My heart broke for the pain Gabriel endured during his life but he was able to become a good man despite everything.

Read this book if you want to read a good story that tells of how love can conquer over hardship and pain. Also read this if you want a historical romance that is a bit different than most of the others - in a good way.
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