Monday, August 26, 2019

Broken Knight by L.J. Shen Blog Tour

“Not all love stories are written in the same way.
Ours had torn chapters, missing paragraphs, and a bittersweet ending.”

Luna Rexroth is everyone’s favorite wallflower.

Underneath the meek, tomboy exterior everyone loves (yet pities) is a girl who knows exactly what, and who, she wants—namely, the boy from the treehouse who taught her how to curse in sign language.
Who taught her how to laugh.
To live.
To love.

Knight Cole is everyone’s favorite football hero.

This daredevil hell-raiser could knock you up with his gaze alone, but he only has eyes for the girl across the street: Luna.
But Luna is not who she used to be. She doesn’t need his protection anymore.
When life throws a curveball at All Saints’ golden boy, he’s forced to realize not all knights are heroes.
Sometimes, the greatest love stories flourish in tragedy.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Right now I wanted to just be here in silence with my best friend. And somehow, I don’t know how, but Luna sensed it. So we sat there for what felt like two hours but was probably a lot less, until I opened my eyes again. Her eyes were closed, too. I watched her for a while.

When she opened her eyes, it felt like she took something away from me.

“Let’s jump,” she said.

“I’m quite fond of my limbs, Moonshine.”

“Stop being such a big baby.”

“Big, quarterback baby who just finished a football season in one piece and would like to keep all his body parts intact.”

She crawled out of the treehouse and settled on the branch. It was thick, but I doubted it could carry my muscular ass for more than a few seconds before snapping. I rolled my eyes and settled next to her. She slipped her hand in mine.

“Three, two, one.”

It was a short, sweet way down.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Firstly, this will be a spoiler free review. If you want to know what happens in the story, read it. Secondly, Broken Knight can be read as a standalone, I have not read the stories of Knight or Luna’s parents.

Broken Knight is a teenage drama on steroids. It is an angst-filled love story and I couldn’t put it down. My emotions were all over the place with Knight and Luna. My heart was ripped out more than once and not just by Knight and Luna. Tears were shed. There were plenty of highs and lows and times of wanting to smack Knight and Luna’s heads together in frustration. Just when you thought everything was going to go well, something would happen and the drama would roll on. But among the crazy drama there is one scene (Knight watering the garden) that out of nowhere had me laughing.

When I was reading about these characters that I quickly fell in love with, and they were driving me nuts with their inability to get their act together, I had to remember they are teenagers. Their immaturity, bad decisions, and inability to communicate were all entirely age appropriate. So were some of the completely cringe-worthy and jaw-droppingly stupid things they did and said out of pain and jealousy.

Broken Knight is another brilliant story from LJ Shen. It is emotional, frustrating, heart crunching, and I totally loved it.

5 Frustrating, Maddening Stars

Definitely NOT a spoiler-free review

The primary emotion I felt during at least three quarters of the novel was frustration. Frustration for Luna. Frustration at Knight. I wanted to tie that boy to a chair and literally beat some sense into him. At some point, even near the end... I wanted the female characters to tell Luna she had ZERO apologies to make to Knight. I wanted the male characters to beat sense into Knight for being abusive across the board to the woman he proclaimed was his soulmate, because he'd regret how he treated her in the future. But nope.

As far as every character stating Knight was selfless and a pure soul, even with what was afflicting him, I just couldn't buy it. His personality and behaviors didn't match up with how the author was 'telling' the reader how amazing Knight was.

I empathized and sympathized with Knight's grief, the survivor’s guilt, and the loss of your own identity while mourning the living, especially when your needs fall to the wayside. I could also understand that he was a teenage boy, who by default is selfish, self-centered, self-involved, and self-serving.

What I cannot abide by, no matter the person's age, even if it's dictated by human emotion, is anyone taking their strife out on another, especially those they wax poetic about how in love with them they are. That is abusive, destructive, and toxic, and I cannot feel romantic vibes when one is abusing the other and call it love, no matter the pain they are in.

What I don't understand is if Knight was Luna's knight in shining armor, her protector, how did he manage to create a manwhore facade, where he tore her heart to shreds with every lie? If he loved her so much, why hurt her to be petty and vindictive nonstop. I'm not speaking of in current times, but all those kisses he kept stating put him in the friend zone...

Was Knight so deluded he couldn't see that HE was the reason they weren't together? Who in their right mind would date someone who treated women like they're disposable?

If Knight was in Luna's friend zone, maybe he should have stopped treating her as if Luna was his side-chick, where he cheated on the girlfriends she thought he had, because he thought so little of her.

I need to make this abundantly clear, because every novel where the term friend zone appears, where boys make excuses, I will add this to it... there is NO SUCH THING as the friend zone. NONE. The girl is either their friend or the boy is too cowardly to voice how he feels, then blames the girl for not mind-reading his feelings, yet again blaming her for how he feels about her. No one is responsible for your emotions. If you tell her you want her and she says no, respect it. If you don't tell her and she gets another boyfriend, your loss, dude bro, for being a coward and spineless.

But I wouldn't call this being in a friend zone, when the object of your infatuation is shown, told, sees, and smells all these other girls, which would make her the side-chick. If the friend zone existed, I'd say Luna was in Knight's friend zone, because all he did was show her how very little he respected women of all ages, especially her classmates. Lined up like cattle at an auction.

Sorry, not sorry. I can't respect Luna for being friends with people who do that to women. Even if he wasn't truly doing it. The persona of it... sorry, Luna. Condoning it is just as bad as being a part of it. Everyone in that house needed to drag those girls out of there and give them some self-esteem. Sex because you enjoy it is different than begging, pleading for so very little. It's disgusting. Lining them up like cattle, how different is that from what happened to Dixie? I could accept this if at some point during his inner monologuing, Knight made the connection, but he never did.

I get that it makes for a good novel that we suck up like the most potent of drinks, obviously that's exactly what I did. But I expect at some point for a character to point how disgusting it was to treat all the women in this novel the way they were treated, in order to offer redemption. In their quest of growth, a single paragraph to erase the damage done, where it's acknowledged would have sufficed in proving Knight did grow.

Yeah, I'm sorry. No matter how badly I wanted to feel for Knight, from his conception to Rosie, I couldn't. He was weak from page one. I didn't see the Knight the author tried to paint, because his vindictive, hurtful actions and words outweighed it. Yes, people deserve redemption, but they must earn it. Thinking he didn't want to hurt Luna, then purposefully hurting her, that is the mark of a cruel human being hellbent on harming others the way he hurts, and that is not a person who will respect, love, and not abuse you.

I didn't feel the connection between Luna and Knight, not even with the flashbacks to the past.

Luna had ZERO fault in what Knight did/didn't do. As for Knight and Poppy, the reason he should have apologized was due to invading their sacred location, not the act he was doing there, because it was to purposely HARM Luna, which is abusive and toxic.

There is no such thing as Selfless Knight and Mean Knight when he is drunk. Drinking only intensifies traits already present, removing the filter. Knight was always mean, abusive Knight, because those traits had to exist in his personality to come out when drunk. Luna's knight in shining armor doesn't make sense when lining girls up like cattle, even if he didn't participate once he made his selection.

Between Rosie and Dixie, added with Daria, female empowerment is where Broken Knight shined.

Luna found her voice, and I mean that in every definition of the word. She stood up for herself, called Knight out for his abuse, and didn't put up with it. THAT was why she didn't date Knight, and I respected her for it. Even when sheltered in the beginning, Luna still had a loud voice, silent in her actions.

On the flip side, Poppy makes me sick to my stomach. As Knight said, where are her friends, sisters, and mother, they needed to tell her to stop being so desperate. On the same token, Knight wasn't Poppy's hostage. Knight liked to pretend he had no say in anything, but in refusing to tell Luna the truth in the beginning, then blaming her for not being a mind-reader, then playing the victim, like Poppy dating him was on her... sorry, not sorry, where exactly is this selfless Knight I keep hearing about?


No matter Knight's growth, until the last few pages, he was weak across the board, selfish. I never saw him the way the author painted him, not for a second.

While I cheered for Luna, felt frustration over Knight, and an immense depth of sadness for Dean, I cannot wait to see what else this series has in store, be it train wrecks or plots that make my skin crawl. Just hope the author slips a paragraph in there, even near the end, to prove the main character understands his dick move and how it impacted everyone around him, not just make excuses and forget it ever happened and call it a happily ever after.

Also Available in the All Saints High Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Pretty Reckless Blog Tour.

L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 Best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold in nineteen different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
LJ’s Sassy Sparrows Facebook Group

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Broken Knight (All Saints High #2) by L.J. Shen to read and review for this tour.

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