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Beautifully Broken Spirit

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She’s always been his safe place to land. Jensen has shared a special bond with Tuck for as long as she can remember, their friendship a language that never needed words. But as life threw her one curveball after another, that secret language turned to stony silence. He’s always been her protector. Tuck has looked out for Jensen since the day she was She’s always been his safe place to land. Jensen has shared a special bond with Tuck for as long as she can remember, their friendship a language that never needed words. But as life threw her one curveball after another, that secret language turned to stony silence. He’s always been her protector. Tuck has looked out for Jensen since the day she was born. As his best friend’s little sister, he’s tried to keep her firmly in the friend category. But she’s always been more. All it takes is one moment of weakness to send Tuck’s fiercely guarded walls crumbling to the ground. As a new fire burns between them, someone watches. Someone who doesn’t like the new life Jensen’s building for herself. And they’ll stop at nothing to keep her in the dark.


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She’s always been his safe place to land. Jensen has shared a special bond with Tuck for as long as she can remember, their friendship a language that never needed words. But as life threw her one curveball after another, that secret language turned to stony silence. He’s always been her protector. Tuck has looked out for Jensen since the day she was She’s always been his safe place to land. Jensen has shared a special bond with Tuck for as long as she can remember, their friendship a language that never needed words. But as life threw her one curveball after another, that secret language turned to stony silence. He’s always been her protector. Tuck has looked out for Jensen since the day she was born. As his best friend’s little sister, he’s tried to keep her firmly in the friend category. But she’s always been more. All it takes is one moment of weakness to send Tuck’s fiercely guarded walls crumbling to the ground. As a new fire burns between them, someone watches. Someone who doesn’t like the new life Jensen’s building for herself. And they’ll stop at nothing to keep her in the dark.

30 review for Beautifully Broken Spirit

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol [Goodreads Addict]

    Beautifully Broken Spirit is book three in the Sutter Lake series by Catherine Cowles. This is Catherine’s fourth book and I’ve read them all. I have fallen in love with every one of these books. Catherine’s writing has such a way of sweeping me away, right into the world she has created. This is Jensen and Tuck’s story. It can be read as a stand alone but as in most series, the other characters do recur in each book. So you just wouldn’t have the connection to them if you haven’t read the other Beautifully Broken Spirit is book three in the Sutter Lake series by Catherine Cowles. This is Catherine’s fourth book and I’ve read them all. I have fallen in love with every one of these books. Catherine’s writing has such a way of sweeping me away, right into the world she has created. This is Jensen and Tuck’s story. It can be read as a stand alone but as in most series, the other characters do recur in each book. So you just wouldn’t have the connection to them if you haven’t read the others. And you would be missing out on a lot of awesomeness! Jensen Cole is Walker’s younger sister and owner of The Tea Kettle. She is a single parent to her nine year old adorable son, Noah. Jensen has had two relationships in her past, both which ended horribly. One gave her Noah, and one was with a man who almost killed her brother and his fiancé. She can’t forgive herself and doubts her own instincts now. How could she have trusted them? Tucker (Tuck) Harris has been best friends with Jensen’s brother Walker all their lives. So, he’s known Jensen all her life. They have always been close, understanding each other on a level no one else did. But Jensen was his best friends little sister, so she was off limits. Tuck has a reputation for being a player, a ladies man. Never more than one night with a woman. That’s all he ever wanted. Because the only real woman he wants, he can’t have. Tuck and Jensen both begin to realize that the chemistry between them isn’t going away but getting stronger. But what if things go wrong? Would their friendship be destroyed? And what would Jensen’s brother, Walker, do if he found out? Jensen’s biggest joy in life besides her son is the wild mustangs. She operates a mustang sanctuary on her family’s ranch. Sitting and watching the beautiful animals brings her a peace she finds no where else. But not everyone else feels the same way. The beautiful animals are in danger from the ranchers that don’t want them around. As Jensen and Tuck are trying to figure out how to navigate the new feelings between them, they also find themselves in the middle of a dangerous conflict between the ranchers that want to get rid of the mustangs and those that wish to protect them. At the same time, Jensen’s past also comes back to haunt them, adding more stress to their lives. This book! I already loved Tuck from the previous books. He and Jensen were perfect together. But their feelings were so new and there was so much going on in their lives. This was the perfect mix of sweetness, sexy hotness, and suspense. Catherine always seems to know just how to keep us on the edge of our seats! I enjoyed this so much. The next book in the series is going to be Beautifully Broken Control. I’m not sure who it’s about BUT I can tell you who I hope to get to know better, Tuck and Walker’s hacker friend, Cain. I am so intrigued by him. Again, I loved this book, these characters. I’m so looking forward to seeing what Catherine Cowles is doing next. “I wanted more. I wanted everything.” For more about this book and so many more, come and visit me at Carol's Crazy Bookish World. https://www.facebook.com/groups/44036...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cristina | CristiinaReads

    My heart could not take it but it did and everyone needs to read this story... ARC kindly provided by Catherine and SBPR, in exchange for an honest review... Follow Me On: Blog ♕ Instagram ♕ Facebook ♕ Twitter

  3. 4 out of 5

    EmBibliophile

    3.75 stars This was such a surprisingly good book! I didn’t know what to expect going into this book since its my first one by this author and I didn’t read the previous ones in the series -I’m going to change that tho- but it was such a pleasant surprise. This was a sweet friend’s to lovers book that was done so well. Jensen is a single mom who has been through a lot, and she kind of had given up on love. Lucky for her Tuck was always there to help her. Tuck used to be a playboy, 3.75 stars This was such a surprisingly good book! I didn’t know what to expect going into this book since its my first one by this author and I didn’t read the previous ones in the series -I’m going to change that tho- but it was such a pleasant surprise. This was a sweet friend’s to lovers book that was done so well. Jensen is a single mom who has been through a lot, and she kind of had given up on love. Lucky for her Tuck was always there to help her. Tuck used to be a playboy, and now he’s uncertain if he’s right for Jensen. Together they were so adorable. I might have a hard time connecting with them, but they were great characters. This book was so sweet, full of suspense, with a great family dynamics, and awesome supporting characters. I might have enjoyed the first half a little bit more than the second one, but it was still enjoyable overall. The author has delivered up a wonderful story for Jensen and Tuck. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review, Thank you so much. Song recommendation: Wildest dreams by Taylor Swift Water under the bridge by Adele

  4. 5 out of 5

    The Book Bee

    REVIEW: 4.5 STARS "Couldn't stay away, Wilder. You're like a drug." I must admit, Catherine Cowles surprises me. With each release of hers I'm reading, I'm falling more and more in love with her voice, her style of writing - her stories in general. She has such a unique flow to her words. There's a real intimacy to her small town romances and she completely sucks me in from the first page. The innocence and the familiarity of the town and its people, that's what makes me love her. This being my REVIEW: 4.5 STARS "Couldn't stay away, Wilder. You're like a drug." I must admit, Catherine Cowles surprises me. With each release of hers I'm reading, I'm falling more and more in love with her voice, her style of writing - her stories in general. She has such a unique flow to her words. There's a real intimacy to her small town romances and she completely sucks me in from the first page. The innocence and the familiarity of the town and its people, that's what makes me love her. This being my fourth book of hers, I am completely devoted to her stories now. Might as well plan my calendar around her releases now....I'm a goner. There’s such a softness to her words, and she tells the story as if it was one passed down over the years, generation after generation. I can feel the sense of awe in her words when she talks about a love so powerful that there is no denying it. A beauty your eyes can’t put into words, but the vision steals your thoughts. A land so majestic that the stories, you can hear them on the wind. Her storytelling is like that, for me. I love the pace, the story, the visuals, and the love between her characters. Was I watching Jensen grow from a worried, lost girl who had her heart broken into a tough, no effs given badass? Yes. Yes I was. And boy, was that a journey. I loved her strength, but I also loved her vulnerability, even though she wanted to hide behind it. There was so much reality and truth to her fight and her emotions that I couldn't help but connect with her on a deeper level. Her sarcasm made me giggle, but I also loved the way she didn't give up and kept fighting for HERself. She definitely gave me a better mental picture of a strong woman. But, saying how strong Jensen was, it definitely took a confident man to know when to stand next to her and when to carry her. A man smart enough to know that difference is seriously the sexiest thing to ever read or see in a man. Tenacity. Strength. Adoration. Tuck had it all and gave it out so generously to Jensen, but watching their relationship morph from one level to the next definitely had its growing pains. I couldn't put this book down and it read so smoothly and easily. "You don't fight fair." "Never said I would." The visual alone, the one Cowles gave my mind's eye a view of - that was perfection. I envisioned Tuck and his comforting arms holding her. The strength in his convictions and the protective side of him showing while he ground his jaw together in frustration - I saw that muscle in his cheek jump. And with Jensen? I could see her hair floating on the breeze, and her running around ragged at the Kettle while trying to think about Noah and her horses. I saw the excitement of those horses and the worry they shared; the fear their pacing provided. Cowles gave me a story that I could envision AS it happened, and that's all because her words were descriptive and flowed amazingly clear. "Being around Jensen was the most beautiful form of torture." I won’t even begin to be able to put into words how this book affected me; how it made me feel - let alone, the reading experience was pure joy, no matter how hard Tuck and Jensen had it. This love had the perfect balance of give and take. The hidden smiles, the real fears, the angering reality, but it also had the true love. Oh gosh, that love!! This kind of love is what love stories are made of. This little town has some seriously crazy antics happening in and around it - aka, drama. But while that all happened - for me, the drama didn't detract from the story. It brought out the family strengths and the truth of their love for one another. It brought out the realization of a love someone wasn't too sure they were good enough for. Yes, drama was in the storyline, but it had its place and I really enjoyed this story as a whole. This was definitely a romantic suspense, so the drama fit the storyline for what it was. Was it predictable? Sure, some of it was - but that never stopped me from reading further, since I wanted to see how it all buttoned up. My favorite part, besides their whole love story? Their nicknames. I laughed so much! I love when books are centered around my own home state. With Cowles' words, I could picture the foothills of the mountain, the hills and rocky crags that littered the valleys. And I could most definitely sense the hitch in my breath at the beauty before me standing atop a mountain. Our state is absolutely beautiful, and I feel Like she blended beauty with her words exceptionally well. She gave me a 'picture' to see while I was reading this book. I am so in love with this series and I cannot wait for Beautifully Broken Control. Like, I am ridiculously giddy for that one. ''He was comfort and fire all at the same time." ~BEE Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PufPR9 (affiliate link) ENTER HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN AN ECOPY: http://bit.ly/2pPIjtE

  5. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    Absolutely blown away!!! Tuck and Jensen.... I knew from the moment I read Beautifully Broken Pieces that I wanted Jensen and Tuck’s story, yet I can’t believe what I just read. The author has a serious way with words that just flow. This beautiful story needs to be rated over 5 stars. One of the best books I have read in 2019 that is for sure. Character development is spot on. Plot just flows and it keeps you turning the page. The detail throughout the book is simply amazing. You feel as if you Absolutely blown away!!! Tuck and Jensen.... I knew from the moment I read Beautifully Broken Pieces that I wanted Jensen and Tuck’s story, yet I can’t believe what I just read. The author has a serious way with words that just flow. This beautiful story needs to be rated over 5 stars. One of the best books I have read in 2019 that is for sure. Character development is spot on. Plot just flows and it keeps you turning the page. The detail throughout the book is simply amazing. You feel as if you are on that boulder with Jensen and her mustangs! Beautifully Broken Spirit, just like the rest of the books from the Sutter Lake Series, has an element of suspense. Catherine Cowles seriously nails romantic suspense!! I am not sure what else I can say, this is one that will be reread very soon

  6. 4 out of 5

    Curlyhairlass19

    4.5 Wilder Stars for Beautifully Broken Spirit! Why on earth is this my first Catherine Cowles book! I met this beauty at Book Bonanza, and she was kind enough to send me an ARC..I literally devoured this. Tuck and Jensen, and their best friends to lovers romance was just what I needed. I love a single mom that falls for her brother’s best friend. This story had everything: The perfect amount of tension, both sexual and warring against what was undeniable between them. Tuck 4.5 Wilder Stars for Beautifully Broken Spirit! Why on earth is this my first Catherine Cowles book! I met this beauty at Book Bonanza, and she was kind enough to send me an ARC..I literally devoured this. Tuck and Jensen, and their best friends to lovers romance was just what I needed. I love a single mom that falls for her brother’s best friend. This story had everything: The perfect amount of tension, both sexual and warring against what was undeniable between them. Tuck, a bit of a playboy, no longer wanted that life, but warred with the uncertainty that he was right for Jensen. Jensen, a broken single mom, who had given up on love for herself, was totally focused on raising her son alone. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this story had it all. Romance, suspense, a mystery/thriller element and full on S-T-E-A-M. Now I must go back and read the rest of CC’s masterpieces!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ally.Always.Reads

    Catherine Cowles is magic. No joke. The woman is amazing with a laptop. How does she do it?! I have been looking forward to Jensen’s story since book one... because I love me some single parent books. And I was not disappointed! Tuck and Jensen had so much emotion and depth. I absolutely adored them. Honestly I didn’t want it to end so I tried to read slowly but I wanted to know their whole story so I gobbled it up quickly! #readerprobs

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    Gah! I absolutely love Catherine's writing, and I am undeniably a fan. She crafts such richly developed stories, and the way that she vividly depicts all of the little details really bring the setting to life. She peels the layers back on her characters truly giving us readers the chance to get to know them. There is a suspenseful edge to Catherine's storytelling in her Sutter Lake series, and as such, she ties all the components of her writing together through engrossing plots with a suspense a Gah! I absolutely love Catherine's writing, and I am undeniably a fan. She crafts such richly developed stories, and the way that she vividly depicts all of the little details really bring the setting to life. She peels the layers back on her characters truly giving us readers the chance to get to know them. There is a suspenseful edge to Catherine's storytelling in her Sutter Lake series, and as such, she ties all the components of her writing together through engrossing plots with a suspense arc that was just as riveting as the romantic arc. Beautifully Broken Spirit not only captured my attention immediately but also held it the whole way through. Jensen Cole is Walker's younger sister and owner of The Kettle. Between work, being a single mom to a nine year old boy and taking care of the wild mustangs, she doesn't have time for much else. And a relationship is simply out of the question. Both of her past relationships ended badly. The first one got her pregnant and then split town, and the other one almost got her brother and his fiancé killed. The guilt over that has plagued her, and she has never been able to forgive herself. Tucker Harris has been best friends with Jensen's brother Walker since they were kids. Therefore he has known Jensen pretty much his whole life. These two have always been close, but being that she's his best friend's sister, he knows that she is strictly off limits. Besides, Tuck is a ladies' man who doesn't spend more than one night with a woman. That's all he's ever desired because deep down, the one woman he truly wants he knows that he can't have. Despite trying to fight it, the chemistry between them wasn't going away. In fact, it absolutely sizzled and grew stronger with each passing day. Then after a moment of weakness, everything began to change. Jensen and Tuck care deeply for one another, something that is evident in all of their interactions. It is easy for them, and the reader, to see them together, but real life situations kept getting in the way. Will their friendship survive if everything goes south? And what would Walker do if he were ever to find out? Beautifully Broken Spirit was so much more than a simple love story. It was about finding love and overcoming whatever obstacles were in the way in order to keep it. It was about sacrificing it all for love, whether it be romantic love or parental. There was definitely some heartache to be endured before finally getting to the happily ever after, but even so, this was a passionate and sexy love story that left me swooning in my seat. All in all, I have loved every single second of this series and definitely recommend that you don't pass it up.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elle's Book Blog

    Release Date: October 22, 2019 Actual Rating: 5 stars BROTHER'S BEST FRIEND ROMANCE. FRIENDS-TO-LOVERS. SLOW BURN. It's always a pleasure to find a new author who continuously rocks your world through her stories- Catherine Cowles is that author for me. Beautifully Broken Spirit is the third standalone in the Sutter Lake series. These novels all feature different characters, each one as lovable as the last. In this one, readers will meet Jensen and Tuck- two people who have been friends for/>/> Release Date: October 22, 2019 Actual Rating: 5 stars BROTHER'S BEST FRIEND ROMANCE. FRIENDS-TO-LOVERS. SLOW BURN. It's always a pleasure to find a new author who continuously rocks your world through her stories- Catherine Cowles is that author for me. Beautifully Broken Spirit is the third standalone in the Sutter Lake series. These novels all feature different characters, each one as lovable as the last. In this one, readers will meet Jensen and Tuck- two people who have been friends for a long time but have been fighting their feelings for each other because of life circumstances. Tuck stole my heart. There are no words to describe just how much this man (and his ex playboy tendencies) seeped into my soul. I could feel the heart aching love he felt for Jensen, even though he could never do anything about it because she's his best friends sister. Jensen. She's got quite the emotional story and her life was never easy. Being a single mother and in love with her brother's best friend doesn't make it easier either. But the fire, the slow burn, and eventually an ignition to the flame brings these two together and the rest is history. I love a book that makes my heart ache and smile at the same time and Beautifully Broken Spirit did this for me. The story is emotional, one that is definitely going to have an effect on any reader, but it's so worth the pain. I have said it before and I'll say it again, Catherine Cowles is an amazing storyteller and her words are hypnotic to me. I love the way she weaves a heart stopping romance with a little suspense in the mix, all the while making me CRAVE for more. If you haven't had the chance to read this AMAZING SERIES you are seriously missing out. I highly recommend it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Stuckey

    Catherine Cowles has an amazing ability with her writing style to make you feel like you are visiting family and friends instead of reading a book and Beautifully Broken Spirit made me feel like I was coming home. Tucker and Jensen's story was so much more than a best friend/little sister, friends to lovers romance. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat and the chemistry between these two was so sizzling I could not get enough! I absolutely recommend Beautifully Broken Spirit and even thou Catherine Cowles has an amazing ability with her writing style to make you feel like you are visiting family and friends instead of reading a book and Beautifully Broken Spirit made me feel like I was coming home. Tucker and Jensen's story was so much more than a best friend/little sister, friends to lovers romance. The suspense kept me on the edge of my seat and the chemistry between these two was so sizzling I could not get enough! I absolutely recommend Beautifully Broken Spirit and even though it can be read as a standalone, the other two books in the Sutter Lake series are definitely worth checking out.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tasha Mahoney

    Oh my! This is the third book in the Sutter Lake series. I have not yet read the others which was not a problem as this works perfectly as a standalone and I did not feel like I was missing vital information. Jensen despite going through so much, is a fabulously strong, single mum to her beloved son. She runs a Mustang sanctuary and is in a precarious position due to those that wish to see these majestic creatures gone. Tuck has no problem attracting women, the problem is t Oh my! This is the third book in the Sutter Lake series. I have not yet read the others which was not a problem as this works perfectly as a standalone and I did not feel like I was missing vital information. Jensen despite going through so much, is a fabulously strong, single mum to her beloved son. She runs a Mustang sanctuary and is in a precarious position due to those that wish to see these majestic creatures gone. Tuck has no problem attracting women, the problem is that there is only one woman that he wants. Jensen is his best friends sister and much as he wants Jensen, he is wary of crossing that line and riling his best friend and damaging the wonderful emotional relationship that he has with Jensen. One of the many things that I liked about this wonderful story, was that Tuck and Jensen have a history that spans a lifetime. Despite both of their pains, they are there for each other.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    Jensen and Tuck were everything!! Another beautifully written book from Catherine. Full review to come!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jo - *✽*•.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•*✽*

    I had been eagerly anticipating this book when it arrived and Catherine definitely delivered up a wonderful story for Jensen and Tuck. These two have been dancing around their attraction for each other for a while now and the spark is about to ignite… Jensen is still recovering from the trauma caused by her last relationship. She blames herself for everything that happened to her family and nightmares plague her every night. The only thing that gives her peace and solace from her thou I had been eagerly anticipating this book when it arrived and Catherine definitely delivered up a wonderful story for Jensen and Tuck. These two have been dancing around their attraction for each other for a while now and the spark is about to ignite… Jensen is still recovering from the trauma caused by her last relationship. She blames herself for everything that happened to her family and nightmares plague her every night. The only thing that gives her peace and solace from her thoughts is spending time with her precious horses. Jensen likes to take in wild mustangs that need a bit of TLC, she particularly has a soft spot for the reluctant ones. Her patience and compassion for them is just what they need to heal.. There is one other major light in her life, her son Noah. Jensen had him when she was not long out of high school, raising him alone after his father gapped it. She has had the love and support of her family, living in a guest house on her family ranch. Her brother Walker lives nearby and works for the local sheriff’s office, he is fiercely protective of his sister. Sometimes to the point of annoyance. Then there is Tucker Harris ‘Tuck.’ Her brother’s best friend and another fiercely protective man in her life. He has been an additional brother to her and is wonderful with Noah. Tuck and Jensen have only even been friends, Tuck is not a relationship person, preferring to indulge in women when he has the need to. However, he has always had thoughts about Jensen that he has made himself put aside, he knows that he would never be good enough for her, she deserves so much more than a man like him. ‘Wilder was the best woman I’d ever known. The best I would ever know. She and Noah deserved so much more than a gamble.’ Having said all that, when Jensen becomes the victim of threats, Tuck’s protective instincts go into overdrive. A shift happens in their ‘friendship’ and they cross a line they never planned to but it feels so right. Jensen knows it could end in heartbreak but is willing to risk her heart because nothing has ever felt this good before. Tuck knows that his relationship with Jensen is becoming more than he could have imagined and he has no desire to walk away, in fact he can see a future with her and Noah. He had no idea he was missing this until he found it with Jensen. These two are sneaking around though, they are hiding their relationship from Walker and now that things are getting serious they need to come clean and hope he is okay with his brother and best friend together. I love how this author always has an underlying mystery or suspense plot threaded into each story. This was everything I wanted and more for Jensen & Tuck. ‘Love is always a risk. There’s no way around it. He’ll hurt you. You’ll hurt him. One of you might lose the other. But it will also be so beautiful, the light of it so bright, it’ll outshine all of the dark.’

  14. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa (nessreads)

    Beautifully Broken Spirit is the third book in the Sutter Lake series—and I’m utterly obsessed. This is my first book that I’ve read by Catherine Cowles and holy hell why did I wait this long to read a book by her? I know I did it backwards by not starting this series in order, but as soon as I read the blurb I had to have it, and there was no way I was waiting to read this book. And obviously I’m going to go back and read the other two books in this series and every other book Catherine release Beautifully Broken Spirit is the third book in the Sutter Lake series—and I’m utterly obsessed. This is my first book that I’ve read by Catherine Cowles and holy hell why did I wait this long to read a book by her? I know I did it backwards by not starting this series in order, but as soon as I read the blurb I had to have it, and there was no way I was waiting to read this book. And obviously I’m going to go back and read the other two books in this series and every other book Catherine releases because after this book, I most certainly can’t get enough of her writing. My heart felt for Jensen. She hasn’t had it easy lately—and she’s struggling with guilt after some of her life choices. That wildness and fighting spirit she’s known for is missing. But no matter what, her son and her wild mustangs bring the joy to her life. Tuck, oh did my heart melt for him. He had me swooning left and right. Since a young age there’s always been a connection between him and Jensen, his best friends little sister. And now that they’re older that connection has only become stronger. But with fear of ruining their friendship and something that runs much deeper, Tuck knows if he wants to keep Jensen in his life it’s better to just remain friends. I love how Tuck was always there for Jensen though, no matter what, always protecting her and having her back. He honestly was everything sweet. Jensen and Tuck are everything. Their friendship is pure and good—and the way they try to navigate what they feel and those new feelings they have for each other showed both their vulnerability and it just made them feel so much more real, it was amazing. They were perfect for each other. I loved their romance, but I loved their friendship even more. Beautifully Broken Spirit is everything beautiful. It was the perfect mix of sexiness, sweetness and suspense. I was on the edge of my seat a few times wondering what was going to happen. Jensen and Tuck’s story was so much more than a best friend/little sister, friends to lovers romance. I loved this book, I loved these characters and I loved the wholesomeness of this entire family. I can’t wait for the next book and return back to Sutter Lake. *I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book*

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bre *B.B. Lynn Reads*

    “I like you just as you were meant to be. Wild and free.” I’ve been waiting for Jensen and Tuck’s story since the first book in the series and it did not disappoint. In fact, this might be my favorite book of the series. On the outside, Tuck and Jensen are so strong. It’s only with each other that they allow themselves to be vulnerable. This friends-to-lovers story will melt your heart and remind you to take a risk on love. “Love is always a risk. There’s no way around it. He’ll hurt you. You’ “I like you just as you were meant to be. Wild and free.” I’ve been waiting for Jensen and Tuck’s story since the first book in the series and it did not disappoint. In fact, this might be my favorite book of the series. On the outside, Tuck and Jensen are so strong. It’s only with each other that they allow themselves to be vulnerable. This friends-to-lovers story will melt your heart and remind you to take a risk on love. “Love is always a risk. There’s no way around it. He’ll hurt you. You’ll hurt him. One of you might lose the other. But it will also be so beautiful, the light of it so bright, it’ll outshine all of the dark.” Jensen is such a strong heroine. She’s a single mom who has been through more than any person should go through and she’s still fighting. However, friends and family are worried about her but she will only let one person in, Tuck. “The girl I’d known all her life had a wildness to her. An unnamable quality that couldn’t be tamed. She’d lost that over the past year, that wildfire in her eyes, gone. And I’d do whatever I could to help her get it back.” Tuck is so flawed and hurt on the inside and hides his insecurities behind his careless demeanor and flirty smile. And he’s determined to stay that way and not let anyone in. But there’s one person who has always know everything about him, Jensen. But can they open themselves up fully without hurting each other? “When we started this thing, it was supposed to be casual. That’s what I wanted. You pushed for more, but that’s just not who I am.” This book was perfect and I couldn't put it down. You'll also get a little action and suspense to go with the romance. I also love how fun and playful Jensen and Tuck are with each other. Even when there’s so much bad going on around them, they’re still able find that light. “Stay.” “I’m not a dog, you know.” “Believe me, I know. A dog would listen.” I stuck out my tongue at Tuck’s back as he dug through the cab of his truck. “I know you’re sticking out your tongue at me.” I immediately retracted said tongue. “Was not.”

  16. 4 out of 5

    Imani Blake (Enamored Reads)

    ”’Families can take any shape, and sometimes, the unique ones are the most beautiful.’” Beautifully Broken Spirit. More like Beautifully Blessed Spirit. This book you guys. First off, let’s talk about how Catherine freaking Cowles was able to pull off writing a PHENOMENAL book that had three separate tropes involved. That’s right, THREE! This book is a small town romance, romantic suspense, and best friends younger sister all wrapped into one. And let me tell you, this book was GLORIOUS. Easily Catherine’s ”’Families can take any shape, and sometimes, the unique ones are the most beautiful.’” Beautifully Broken Spirit. More like Beautifully Blessed Spirit. This book you guys. First off, let’s talk about how Catherine freaking Cowles was able to pull off writing a PHENOMENAL book that had three separate tropes involved. That’s right, THREE! This book is a small town romance, romantic suspense, and best friends younger sister all wrapped into one. And let me tell you, this book was GLORIOUS. Easily Catherine’s best work to date. Jensen and Tuck’s relationship was easily the best component about this book. It’s hard to deny the couple the love and attention they deserved when they started out as friends when they were younger. Plus there’s the fact that Tuck’s love for Jensen was some of the most potent feelings I’ve read about in a while. It shined through more than anything. The suspense in this book was top notch. It’s what made me pages fly as quickly as they did! Theory after theory stormed into my head right along with the character’s and it made the book that much better. It’s was SCARY realistic. Catherine Cowles will never write a book that doesn’t grab you by every emotion available. Beautifully Broken Spirit and her back list can attest to that statement. It’s just another book to add to the favorites list of 2019.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Eveline

    I received this book for an honest review. Beautifully Broken Spirit is the third book in the series Sutter Lake and this is my first read by Catherine Cowles. This is the story of Jensen and Tucker. Friendship is the best foundation for a relationship Jensen is a wonderful woman who doesn't have luck in love. The father of her child left her when he found out she is pregnant and her other serious relationship was with a man who almost killed her brother and his fiance. Because of her fail I received this book for an honest review. Beautifully Broken Spirit is the third book in the series Sutter Lake and this is my first read by Catherine Cowles. This is the story of Jensen and Tucker. Friendship is the best foundation for a relationship Jensen is a wonderful woman who doesn't have luck in love. The father of her child left her when he found out she is pregnant and her other serious relationship was with a man who almost killed her brother and his fiance. Because of her failed relationship, she decided to stay away from men. She decided to focus on her son Noah and her business. Tucker (Tuck) is best friends with Jensen's brother Walker and because of Walker, Tucker was always in the life of Jensen. He and Walker were overprotective with Jensen. Tucker was her protector and her friend and Jensen could always count on him to be there for her. Love is always a risk. There's no way around it. He'll hurt you. You'll hurt him. One of you might lose the other. But it will also be so beautiful, the light of it so bright, it'll outshine all of the dark. Jensen and Tucker have a beautiful bound and have always trusted each other and tell each other their secrets. They began their relationship as friends with benefits but both of them realize that their love for each other was always there. They only have to be brave enough to live their love. Their relationship wasn't easy to navigate because of Jensen's family and because of someone from Jensen's past is back in her life. I loved Jensen and Tucker. What I loved the most at this book was Jensen's family. I loved how they support each other and they take care of each other.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I’m pretty sure I would take Tucker Harris anyway I could get him...whether it be as a protector, a best friend or a lover.. and Jenson Cole is the very lucky lady that gets to have him as all three. Poor Jenson has had a pretty rough deal lately and she is really struggling with guilt over her life choices. Her wild fighting spirit is missing and she constantly feels a burden on her family and friends. Tucker sees Jenson and wants to help her find her wilder side again, but what can I’m pretty sure I would take Tucker Harris anyway I could get him...whether it be as a protector, a best friend or a lover.. and Jenson Cole is the very lucky lady that gets to have him as all three. Poor Jenson has had a pretty rough deal lately and she is really struggling with guilt over her life choices. Her wild fighting spirit is missing and she constantly feels a burden on her family and friends. Tucker sees Jenson and wants to help her find her wilder side again, but what can he offer her other than silent support and friendship? With a built in fear of relationships and commitment he can’t bring himself to offer her anymore than that. But as the lines get blurred and their lives are thrust into danger what will it take to convince Tuck that Jenson’s beautifully broken spirit is all he needs and everything he wants?. With the same brilliant characters from previous books, humour, just the right amount of heat and a fantastic straight talking Grandma this is yet another slice of Sutter Lake life that you just won’t want to miss. I received an arc from the author and I am choosing to leave a review

  19. 5 out of 5

    Izzie d

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Best friends sister troupe. Dual POV. Best to read series in order as although each couple have a book the events in each book lead on to the next so to avoid plot spoilers.... Single mum heroine. Hero manwhore. ' “Things are great. How are things in manwhore alley?” “Well, Carrie Kilpatrick learned how to do this thing with her tongue—”' He has daddy issues which stops him having a relationship. I didn't really understand him. He is a loyal and good frie Best friends sister troupe. Dual POV. Best to read series in order as although each couple have a book the events in each book lead on to the next so to avoid plot spoilers.... Single mum heroine. Hero manwhore. ' “Things are great. How are things in manwhore alley?” “Well, Carrie Kilpatrick learned how to do this thing with her tongue—”' He has daddy issues which stops him having a relationship. I didn't really understand him. He is a loyal and good friend to Walker but doesn't think he can be the same to a family of his own... Pushing away from Hero. That said once he and the heroine see each other differently, neither look at anyone else. No intimate scenes with anyone other than the Hero and heroine. No cheating. HEA. Spoilers below..... It's well written but I found it predictable. You can just foresee that around 75% he will cold feet, break things off and she will get into trouble and need him. It's just been done sooo many times before.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    From the first book when we met Jensen and Tuck I knew there was a story here. Being part of their journey has been like a slow but beautiful torture. Seeing them develop and grow has been insightful. Their lives have always been intertwined so when this book started I was excited to see how they’d navigate the rest of their journey. Jensen’s pain was heartbreaking to watch and then seeing Tuck struggle made it even more difficult. Their love is strong but neither knows that it’s changed over th From the first book when we met Jensen and Tuck I knew there was a story here. Being part of their journey has been like a slow but beautiful torture. Seeing them develop and grow has been insightful. Their lives have always been intertwined so when this book started I was excited to see how they’d navigate the rest of their journey. Jensen’s pain was heartbreaking to watch and then seeing Tuck struggle made it even more difficult. Their love is strong but neither knows that it’s changed over the years to something more than friends. Their connection has always been as friends but one night changes everything. Tucks insecurities hold him back, Jensen’s guilt makes her doubt her own judgment. What follows is a beautiful journey as they take the steps to heal each other and grow as a couple. Unfortunately outside influences cloud their progress and when Jensen needs him most he’s there. Same for Tuck, Jensen stands by him and gives him the strength to face his past. This is an awesome love story with intense suspense to keep you entertained. I can to wait now for book 4.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leo (Queen of the Rants)

    If I remember correctly and that’s a big if this hero has been a manwhore while wanting the heroine, I’m sure the heroine has been celibate for some time since the father of her kid is not in the picture and the OM that she dated tried to kill her brother and girlfriend in book 1. I rather not read how the heroine gets the OWs’s left overs (hero) In book 1 and 2 there has been mentionings of hero and his ONSs.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    I received this book in exchange for an honest review. If you are looking for your new favorite author, then you need not look any farther than Catherine Cowles. In her third book from the Sutter Lake Series, Beautifully Broken Spirit, Catherine brings us the story of single mom and owner of the Tea Kettle, Jensen Cole, and Tucker Harris, best friend to both Jensen and her brother. Jensen and Tuck instantly captured my attention when they were secondary characters in Catherines first two Sutter I received this book in exchange for an honest review. If you are looking for your new favorite author, then you need not look any farther than Catherine Cowles. In her third book from the Sutter Lake Series, Beautifully Broken Spirit, Catherine brings us the story of single mom and owner of the Tea Kettle, Jensen Cole, and Tucker Harris, best friend to both Jensen and her brother. Jensen and Tuck instantly captured my attention when they were secondary characters in Catherines first two Sutter Series books. My expectations were set high, and Catherine nailed it; their story was everything. She took some of my favorite tropes in romance and mashed them together to create a story that left my heart so full it was bursting. Beautifully Broken Spirit gives you angst, mystery, suspense, hope, and all the feels romance junkies crave. Catherine's books have ruined me for anyone else's as she continues to set an impossibly high bar.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Truddy Hoffmann

    Catherine Cowles is a master of romantic suspense and Beautifully Broken Spirit is yet another example of why this author is one of my automatic one-click authors. The story grabs you and pulls you into the lives of Jensen and Tuck in a love story that is heartwarming, steamy and so honestly written. There were moments I held my breath and didn’t want the story to end while at the same time I raced to the finish because I couldn’t put the book down. Brilliantly woven into their story is the perf Catherine Cowles is a master of romantic suspense and Beautifully Broken Spirit is yet another example of why this author is one of my automatic one-click authors. The story grabs you and pulls you into the lives of Jensen and Tuck in a love story that is heartwarming, steamy and so honestly written. There were moments I held my breath and didn’t want the story to end while at the same time I raced to the finish because I couldn’t put the book down. Brilliantly woven into their story is the perfect amount of suspense that holds you captivated until the very end. I wish there were more than five stars because I want to give so many more.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aaly

    *** ARC kindly provided  in exchange for an honest review *** What a story! Catherine Cowles’ words totally captivated me. It was enraptured, falling into love with Jensen and Tuck.  Jensen has some weight on her shoulders; raising a nine yo, maintaining her business afloat until being exhausted and too stubborn to admit it. When she became a single mother, Jensen made a promise, to never let her heart broken and not giving this power to anyone. And the last events proved her right. So it took some strong wa *** ARC kindly provided  in exchange for an honest review *** What a story! Catherine Cowles’ words totally captivated me. It was enraptured, falling into love with Jensen and Tuck.  Jensen has some weight on her shoulders; raising a nine yo, maintaining her business afloat until being exhausted and too stubborn to admit it. When she became a single mother, Jensen made a promise, to never let her heart broken and not giving this power to anyone. And the last events proved her right. So it took some strong walls to protect herself and her family, so let it be. I admire this woman dedicated to her family and work, proud and fierce, but losing that spark, her careless and wild side.  Tuck has always been there for Jensen. As her best friend, being a constant in her life, someone she could rely on. He was such a flirt and charming with that ladies. A connoisseur of women who knew how to expect from him. Just a good time and not settling down. Maybe the right thing was closer than he would have expected but the chance of running the best thing he ever had was worth the risk? I had to admit that these two tortured me. This slow burn and powerful connection was just off the charts.  A suspenseful romance I adored reading. The author has a way to convey emotions to another level and she brought beautifully those characters to life. A heartwarming, gripping and emotional journey. I enjoyed discovering a new author and it won’t be my last book from her. Definitely not.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Renee Entress

    4 star The story has laughs, secrets, suspense, and heartbreak. If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books(s) first Beautifully Broken Pieces (Sutter Lake, #1) Beautifully Broken Life (Sutter Lake, #2) This is Jensen and Tuck’s story. Tuck and Jensen have been friends forever as she is his best friend’s little sister. But even though they have always just been friends there are more feelings there. The chemistry pulls them toge 4 star The story has laughs, secrets, suspense, and heartbreak. If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books(s) first Beautifully Broken Pieces (Sutter Lake, #1) Beautifully Broken Life (Sutter Lake, #2) This is Jensen and Tuck’s story. Tuck and Jensen have been friends forever as she is his best friend’s little sister. But even though they have always just been friends there are more feelings there. The chemistry pulls them together and the passion ignites. Someone is not happy to see them together. Just how far are they willing to go to keep them apart? Can they figure it out before they lose each other? I felt I was able to connect with the characters and the story was a great read. I recommend this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Manoela

    4 Stars I like this story a lot. I think Catherine Cowles did a great job with this book bringing her readers a sweet, romantic story, with a touch of suspense between two characters who had been hoping to end up together since the beginning of this series. Jensen and Tucker are perfect together, and it was possible to see the connection between them from the beginning of the story. I loved their relationship and the love and respect they always had with each other, and when you add a 4 Stars I like this story a lot. I think Catherine Cowles did a great job with this book bringing her readers a sweet, romantic story, with a touch of suspense between two characters who had been hoping to end up together since the beginning of this series. Jensen and Tucker are perfect together, and it was possible to see the connection between them from the beginning of the story. I loved their relationship and the love and respect they always had with each other, and when you add a lovely child like Noah to the equation it was impossible for my heart not to be won over by these characters. The ending was a bit Rushed in my opinion, but nothing that took the shine out of the story. This story was adorable, light and left me with a smile on my face. I Received an unreleased copy of this book

  27. 5 out of 5

    Island Girl Romance Reads

    I’ve been wanting to read Jensen and Tuck’s story from the first book and Catherine didn’t disappoint. Beautiful friends to lovers book. Slow building and lots of suspense. I was rooting for Jensen and Tuck so hard. I wanted, no..I needed them to have their HEA. “It all came down to trust. A five-letter word that was so incredibly fragile. With others, but even more with yourself.” Jensen Cole didn’t trust. Not herself and she didn’t trust herself in a relationship. Not afte I’ve been wanting to read Jensen and Tuck’s story from the first book and Catherine didn’t disappoint. Beautiful friends to lovers book. Slow building and lots of suspense. I was rooting for Jensen and Tuck so hard. I wanted, no..I needed them to have their HEA. “It all came down to trust. A five-letter word that was so incredibly fragile. With others, but even more with yourself.” Jensen Cole didn’t trust. Not herself and she didn’t trust herself in a relationship. Not after past mistakes. She couldn’t forgive herself. And it was killing her. Tucker Harris didn’t do relationships. But Jensen was always his more. But she’s his best friend’s little sister and he’s afraid to go there because he’s not good enough for her. This book is so beautiful. So many emotions while reading. Catherine Cowles is a queen of small town romances. Her writing style is one of my favorites and you could feel the emotions coming from the pages. “Tucker Harris, I’ve loved you since before I knew what the word even meant. “ If you love small town romance, protective alpha males and suspense, you have to read this series. 5 STARS!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Suzana

    Five “I have to warn you now. You can try and leave, but I’ll just follow. I’ve been chasing you since the day I could walk, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change” stars ***ARC provided by author and I’m leaving an honest review*** Wow! Catherine does it again. Here I thought nothing can compete/compare with my love for couples/characters from Catherine’s previous books and then she writes this completely raw, breathtaking, powerful and heartfelt story. There is something about damaged heroes that I love so much,stars***ARC Five “I have to warn you now. You can try and leave, but I’ll just follow. I’ve been chasing you since the day I could walk, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change” stars ***ARC provided by author and I’m leaving an honest review*** Wow! Catherine does it again. Here I thought nothing can compete/compare with my love for couples/characters from Catherine’s previous books and then she writes this completely raw, breathtaking, powerful and heartfelt story. There is something about damaged heroes that I love so much, when they don’t believe in love or that they are even capable of loving and then they meet the right women who show them who they are meant to be all along. I’m still having a book hangover and not really sure how to put into words that will do the justice. I love her writing and the complex characters she creates. This is the third standalone in her Sutter Lake series. It is perfect read for contemporary, romantic suspense and small town romance lovers. It is very well written and developed. The characters are complex; the plot is strong and unpredictable. I liked everything about this book and writing which flowed and had me engrossed to the story from start to finish wanting to find out what happens next. I enjoyed every minute of it. This was completely brilliant, compelling, raw and breathtaking story. I loved that it was written in first person, dual POV so I know what both characters – Tuck and Jensen – were thinking at the specific time or moments. Friends to lovers✔ Second chance✔ Independent, strong heroine✔ Overprotective, stubborn, damaged hero✔ Passionate✔ Intense✔ Heartfelt✔ Emotional✔ Suspenseful✔ Small town✔ “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.” ― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever This is a story not only about the love but also loss, friendship, regrets, second chances, forgiveness and a road of self-discovery, letting go of the guilt, family and brotherhood. It was enjoyable read with some twists, while delivering an intense and passionate romance - love story between Tuck and Jensen that I devoured in one sitting. It was steamy, raw, sweet romance filled with so much heart and love. I loved the characters’ chemistry and banter which made this book even more special. Jensen Cole is Walker’s younger sister. She is a single parent to an adorable Noah and owns The Tea Kettle. She has been friends with Tuck, Walker’s friend, since they were kids. Her past relationships left her burned, wounded and in self-doubt. Tucker “Tuck” Harris is part of Forest Service. He has been best friends with Walker all their lives so he has known Jensen too. They have always had a special connection, bond and understood each other. Tuck has always looked out for her and felt really protective of her. Tuck is charming, easy going, lovable, but also vulnerable and questions his self-worth. “I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.” ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations Tuck and Jensen are truly amazing. They lit the pages with their chemistry. They are each other’s match, sinfully sexy and intense. I loved their sassy, flirty banter and witty sexual innuendos. Tuck and Jensen are just perfect and exactly what they need. I love their moments and dialogues. Tuck is determined to keep her safe and protect her. He is really fiercely protective of her. They know they shouldn’t feel attracted to each other, but they do, it’s unavoidable. They are both flawed and complex. Neither of them in the beginning is looking for a relationship, but the feelings got intensified and involved. Their timing might be a little off because they both have so much going on and they are focused on different things, but when they are together everything just makes sense, in order to move on, let go of their past, guilt and start truly living. I love Tuck’s relationship with Noah – they are just precious and he explains everything so calmly and normally to him. I think they take each other by surprise. Tuck and Jensen are passionate, intense, breathtaking, heartbreaking, intense and incredible but also effortless and familiar! Their friendship is also precious and amazing. I think that they balance each other. I love that they didn’t give up on each other even though life have thrown them quite a few obstacles. The ending and epilogue was amazing. I just want to spend more time with these incredible couple and characters. Friends-to-lovers, small town romance and a second chance are my second favorite genres which attracted me even more to this book when I read the synopsis. The story is excellently paced with an immaculate, flawless and superb writing and storytelling. Because of author’s awe-inspiring details and visualization I had a feeling like I was right there with characters, living in their world and hearing every sound, murmur and seeing magical scenery. Secondary characters are so brilliant and wonderful and add to the story and mystery. I can’t wait for the next book. Two words: INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL! It kept my attention at all times and I could not put it down. With an effortless writing, awe-inspiring details, and a journey of forgiveness, love, secrets, lies, mystery, the author takes us on an emotional and beautiful journey of the characters, struggles and their self-discovery. I highly recommend it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    BookAddict

    If you're an ugly-cry reader then batten down the hatches, board up the windows and buy out your local warehouse store's supply of facial tissues. I rarely cry over books, just as I rarely cry over events in real life, but this one, gah! I think it must be the perfect storm for me. A cute kid who stole my heart, lifelong friends who finally see what's been right in front of them all along, and strong, symbolic bonds between humans and animals. I’m not sure which is more devastatingly beautiful, If you're an ugly-cry reader then batten down the hatches, board up the windows and buy out your local warehouse store's supply of facial tissues. I rarely cry over books, just as I rarely cry over events in real life, but this one, gah! I think it must be the perfect storm for me. A cute kid who stole my heart, lifelong friends who finally see what's been right in front of them all along, and strong, symbolic bonds between humans and animals. I’m not sure which is more devastatingly beautiful, the romance between best friends, Tuck and Jensen, or the romance between Jensen and her mustangs, all of them damaged or broken in some way. And Jensen desperately needs some enchantment in her life, something to bring back the spark of life in her eyes and the joy of everyday blessings in her heart, because misguided guilt is eating her alive. Her family went through a terrifying ordeal not long ago and Jensen feels responsible. It's all she can do to fake her way through each day and battle her nightmares alone in the dark. The only thing that centers Jensen is spending time with her beloved mustangs, when she can find the energy to visit them. Everyone in her family is concerned about her, but none more than her best friend, Tuck. Tuck and his father have always had their issues, and thanks to the Cole family's acceptance and love, it was easier for young Tuck to spend his free time on their ranch rather than his family's. Jensen and her brother grew up alongside Tucker, with Walker and Tuck inseparable in their mischief and the younger Jensen trailing behind. The friendship has always been effortless between Jensen and Tuck, and she says: “We always accepted each other just as we were. No pretense or pressure. When we were together, we could just be.” They show each other their authentic selves and know the other better than they know themselves. Don’t tell Jensen and Tuck, but that looks a lot like love to me. For a writer with so few books under her belt, each one of them is rich, deep and captivating, eliciting a vast array of emotions from the reader. You don’t simply read a Cowles book. You live it and breathe it, immersed and ensnared in a world you never want to leave. This book is no different, and Jensen and Tuck's story hits all the right notes – humor, angst, bitterness, desperation, drama, suspense, yearning, longing, desire, and most of all, love of a lifetime. Then there's the beautiful, stunning symbolism of Tuck's touches and Jensen's rescues that reached to the deepest part of my soul. Parts of me that will never be the same. My secret wish is that this talented, gifted wizard of words has a long, illustrious career ahead of her because I can't imagine a world without her writing. If you haven't yet had a chance to read her work, this book is a terrific one to introduce you to her. These books all stand alone and can be read in any order, or if you prefer, you can start at the beginning. However you choose to read them, don’t delay in getting your hands on this series. Once you visit, you'll never want to leave Sutter Lake!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I usually don’t dive into a new-to-me author series, regardless if they’re standalone stories or not, three books in, but I had been hearing great things about Catherine Cowles’ Sutter Lake series, and I was definitely intrigued by the synopsis of Beautifully Broken Spirit, and the fact that I’m a total romance junkie when it comes to the best friend’s sister and friends-to-lovers’ tropes made me jump ahead to book three and see if Sutter Lake is a small town that I’d enjoying being in and getti I usually don’t dive into a new-to-me author series, regardless if they’re standalone stories or not, three books in, but I had been hearing great things about Catherine Cowles’ Sutter Lake series, and I was definitely intrigued by the synopsis of Beautifully Broken Spirit, and the fact that I’m a total romance junkie when it comes to the best friend’s sister and friends-to-lovers’ tropes made me jump ahead to book three and see if Sutter Lake is a small town that I’d enjoying being in and getting to know its residents, and I can’t wholeheartedly say if this was a real place, I’d be there in a heartbeat. I’m all about a character-driven story line - one that provides a clear perspective on all that the hero and heroine have endured, what they’re up against in the present, and why they, ultimately, make the decision to go all in with each other, even if the timing or circumstances aren’t ideal. It’s not easy to convey a character’s longing in a way that resonates from the pages of the book, but Cowles does that with Tuck’s feelings for Jensen. He’s been there for her as her friend, never crossing the line because he respects Jensen’s brother, his best friend, too much and has very personal reasons for keeping everything plutonic…but there comes a point where he can no longer stop his desire or his need to claim her as his own and once that happens, it’s abundantly clear just how necessary they are for one another and just how amazing they can and will be, as long as they keep openly communicating and figure out a way to deal with the outside forces of stress that seem to be piling up around them. Amidst Jensen and Tuck’s burgeoning relationship, there are a few complications that threaten to pull them apart before they can even really get started, which means that these two need to stay strong and know that their place is by each other’s side regardless of what anyone else says or does. Catherine Cowles created a great backdrop for her characters in her Sutter Lake series, and now I need to go back and read the previous two books because this world and its cast of characters are exactly the kind of stories I enjoy reading. 4.5 Poison Apples

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