Crashed by K. Bromberg: Who is Your Checkered Flag?



Crashed by K. BrombergDriven Trilogy Book 3by K. Bromberg
Published by JKB publishing, March 3, 2014
Kindle and Mass Market paperback 350 Pages

When life crashes down around us, how hard are we willing to fight for the one thing we can’t live without, each other?

Life is full of moments.

Big moments.

Little moments.

And none of them are inconsequential.

Every single moment prepares you for that one instance that defines your life. You must overcome all your fears, confront the demons that chase you, and cleanse the poison that clings to your soul or you risk the chance of losing everything.

Mine started the minute Rylee fell out of that damn storage closet. She made me feel. Made me whole when all I thought I could ever be was incomplete. Became the lifeline I never knew I needed. Hell yes, she’s worth the fight…but how do you fight for someone you know you don’t deserve?

Love is full of ups and downs.

Heart stopping highs.

Soul shattering lows.

And none of them are insignificant.

Love is a racecourse of unexpected twists and turns that must be negotiated. You have to break down walls, learn to trust, and heal from your past in order to win. But sometimes it’s the expected that’s the hardest to hold on to.

Colton has healed and completed me, stolen my heart, and made me realize our love’s not predictable nor perfect—it’s bent. And bent’s okay. But when outside factors put our relationship to the test, what lengths will I have to go to prove to him that he’s worth the fight?

Whoever said love is patient and love is kind, never met the two of us. We know our love is worth it—have acknowledged that we were meant to be—but when our pasts crash into our future, will the repercussions make us stronger or break us apart?

My Take! Bromberg’s last entry in this series really blew me away, and I gave it a very enthusiastic review.  Even her first in the series was intriguing, although it had a few issues.  I didn’t know what to expect from Bromberg’s final entry in the series but it had ended on such a cliff hanger that I knew I would drop everything to read  CRASHED when it came out and that is exactly what I did.

I did love the progression, setbacks, steps forward,  and interaction in Rylee’s and Colton’s relationship.  It’s emotional, romantic, traumatic, hard and easy.  These people should have to sign a waiver to be together since they seem to be a high risk couple.   But, the two of them together is enough reason to keep reading and love the story.  They are definitely a high-octane burning performance relationship engine.  Bromberg fills the story with highs and lows; the backsliding is not ass terrible as it was in previous novels — Colton s facing his demons and becoming more resistant to pushing others away. She has a direct emotional connection to the characters and transfers that and her enthusiasm for the story to the reader

Well, thankfully the cliffhanger was resolved quickly, and Colton’s journey towards becoming a more whole person is continued with minor setbacks.  He cries a lot for a guy — especially since he has buried most of his emotions.  Not that guys shouldn’t cry but it feels out of character for the kind of guy this character is described as.

He and his friends use the F-bomb constantly.  Now, I am no stranger to the F-bomb, nor are many men I know, but this did approach ridiculous with 901 incidents in the book. On the up side “shit” only appears 149 times.  And, it is a problem I often see with women writing male characters; they often make them too rough and freeze them in adolescence.

A certain type of medical event occurs in the story which would require additional surgery with a longer recuperation than noted.  It would probably also keep someone off the track for a longer period as well.  I was troubled by this having had a friend whose son suffered a similar injury with in the past few years.  It took a long time, months,  for my friend’s son’s injury to be ready for a second and then third surgery and he certainly didn’t get into any sport situations. Since the time line is definitely established due to other events, we know how long Colton’s recovery has been.  And, it wouldn’t necessarily be Colton’s decision whether a person with his injuries and trauma experience would be allowed to race.  A driver with potentially dangerous medical condition poses a threat to everyone in the track and on the stands, so there is almost certainly an organization through which he would need to be cleared.

So, what? Why is this important?  Things that don’t feel real to me, but which are written to exist in the same reality as mine, are like a rough spot on a tooth —  I can live with it but not happily.  In a book, this translates to a sense of disbelief which then turns into a decrease in engagement.  Romantically speaking, it is not so important, I want to read about their relationship and how they get along so I continue on, but that area is a little rough spot that keeps bugging me.

But Bromberg predicates Colton’s ability to recover emotionally with getting back on the track.  With an injury as severe as Colton’s that would be unlikely. But let’s ignore the timeline, assume everything is all better and the doctor’s have cleared him for a sport that is physically demanding. I can live with granting Bromberg artistic license because I could, ultimately be wrong about the timeline or the injury.  I just wish either the injury had been less severe or the recuperation longer.

Another thing that bugged me throughout was a tendency towards descriptive repetition.  Certain phrases/ideas/sex acts go around the track for a few too many laps:
Rylee describes Colton as “The man I love” so often (23 times in my search on the phrase) I began cringing when it appeared.  There has to be another way of saying it.
I thought Rylee also expressed that her breasts were weighted with desire, or heavy with need, a lot but searching the text only found three instances.  I read this a lot, and I am amazed by these female characters awareness of the weighting of their breasts.  Apparently this is possible for some women,  but it is not anything I have noticed myself.

There’s a lot of reference to the checkered flag, Rylee’s panties, apparently being the original impetus towards the phrasing. The rationale is in the last book, and hard to remember.  I’m not sure I remember it completely. Since the phrasing is particularly meaningful in the context of the story, it’s repetition is not as problematic. Those panties evolve into Rylee being Colton’s checkered flag, the finish line, the reward for whatever he’s going through.  Who is your checkered flag? Mine has always been my husband.

Yet again I experienced a book that I like, that I find enjoyable, that I highly recommend, and still have issues with it. These are pretty small issues compared to the steamy romance quotient of the story.

The book doesn’t stand alone; a lot of back story gets referenced.  I had forgotten a lot of it in the five months since reading FUELED. I would read the series in order and I wouldn’t leave too much time in between.

I highly recommend the series for the love story between the characters, for the hot hook ups and the pathos.  Colton and Rylee both have emotional journeys to take, some of it they can travel together, but other travel segments they are on their own.  The ride is  not smooth – Bromberg fills it with bumps, pot holes and a few pit stops, along  with a blown gasket or two.  The destination though is well worth the trip!


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