Broken Road, by Devin Sloane
I first ran across this author on Instagram, and I was happy to see she wrote romances with mature characters for readers who have lived past their college sweetheart days. I love all romance tropes, and after reading past the fun college love, this one became complex. Ruby has lost a lot at an early age, but when she loses her college sweetheart, she leans on her yiayia and her sister to pull her through. Plagued by anxiety that’s complicated with agoraphobia, she’s too embarrassed to go to her first love, Vander, and tell him about her fears. The idea of getting on a plane is too much for Ruby, and the responsibilities she acquires when her Papou dies, is enough to seal their fate.
Everyone deserves a second chance, but a lot of things have changed since Ruby last saw Vander. He now has a son, and the love she’d hoped for seems just out of reach. Still battling her inner demons and not leaving her safe zone, things are too complicated to make a go of their relationship again, but will they get some sort of reprieve?
Broken Road, by Devin Sloane, is aptly named because of the zig-zag-life-zingers that Vander and Ruby navigate and the time it takes to see this love through to its happy ending. I liked that the characters battled real problems and life circumstances that weren’t always working in their favor. It’s a long-contemporary romance that shows Ruby’s journey to find stability in life while helping her family to succeed and stay together. Vander has his journey too, and sometimes making the right choices hurts more than the years apart can repair. A real heartwarming story, stitched with love, loss and the dedication to see things through.