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Broken by Jessica Freely is a contemporary homoerotic romance.
Eben has always worked for his brother Nicky and done whatever he was told to do ever since they were little and left alone after their parents died. Eben works as the muscle for Nicky, so when Nicky called him to pick up an exchange student he didn't think anything about it. Song Xiu, Shoe arrives in the country not knowing who purchased him and without hope that anything in his life will ever change. When Eben first sees Shoe, he is overwhelmed with his beauty. Shoe is struck by Eben's masculine presence and can't believe how Eben treats him like a regular person, not the hooker and junky that he is. Shoe's dream abruptly ends when he learns that Nicky not Eben is his owner, as his withdrawal symptoms kick in. Shoe arrives at Nicky's home to find his situation exactly what he thought it would be. After given a fix, Nicky decides to try out his merchandise and is completely satisfied. Unfortunately, Eben returns to see Nicky and Jimmy, a friend, having sex with Shoe. Eben never thought about what was really going on and now that he is beginning to understand will he be strong enough to help Shoe?
This story with its drama and real-life issues bring the hidden aspects of prostitution into the light. Many people look down on prostitutes, but they never look beneath to find out what is really going on. I can't imagine what Shoe went through, but to be sold and used any way his owner wanted must be so degrading. It is unfortunate that international slavery still exists and I can't imagine how it would feel to be sent to a new country without any control. Family loyalty is a good thing, but to blindly do what you're told leaves a person without the ability to think for themselves. I found it captivating how Eben and Shoe's love for each other changed and responded to situations. The power of love can move mountains as the reader experienced through Eben and Shoe's story.
Reviewed by: Teresa