Reni's Review! When I Break (When I Break #1) By Kendall Ryan

When I Break

By Kendall Ryan

Published: February  2014
When I read it: February 2014
Genre: New Adult/Erotica
Series/Stand Alone: Series
       * When I Break
       * When I Surrender
       * When We Fall
Pages: 226

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What happens when a sex addict falls for a virgin? 

This book is intended for a mature reading audience and contains adult language and themes. Contains a stubborn alpha male with addiction issues and loads of sexual tension between two damaged characters. Read at your own risk.

Knox Bauer's life has unraveled to the point of no return. Fighting to fill the emptiness inside himself, he seeks solace in unfamiliar beds with unfamiliar women. As guardian to his three younger brothers, he can't seem to do a thing right. But this can't go on...they look up to him in every way and all he’s done lately is prove how messed up he really is. Needing a change, he attends a local Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting, where he finds himself tempted by the alluring instructor, McKenna.

Twenty-one year old McKenna is trying to make amends. After losing her parents in a horrific accident, she knows if she can just be good enough, maybe she can forgive herself for what happened. With her newly acquired degree in counseling, she begins leading a sex addicts group where she meets the troubled Knox and her life takes on complications she never bargained for. She doesn't have time for a bad boy who only wants to take her to bed, even if her body disagrees. The fixer in her wants to help, but trusting Knox's true motivations might take more courage than she has.

Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance novels.
She's a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss! She lives in Minneapolis with an adorable husband, two naughty puppies, and a brand new son.
She enjoys hiking, being active, reading, and anything girly. :)

I have read a bunch of Kendall’s books and have always walked away feeling like there was something missing. Guess what? She did it again in When I Break! There was something missing… An ending! Hi world, it’s me Lauren.  I’m just swinging around out here on this cliff waiting patiently to see where I fall. Oddly enough, this is probably one of maybe two times I’ve ever welcomed a cliffhanger.  It worked and I’m hooked. I want more Knox, more McKenna, more everything!

There is something about Knox that both pulls on my heart strings and disturbs me to the core. I love that he wants so badly to be someone worth McKenna’s time, and yet doesn’t believe he can be. It’s actually kind of devastating.

I’m getting ahead of myself…

McKenna is a young, innocent…sex addiction counselor… Yeah, you read that right, and by innocent I mean a virgin. It struck me as odd at first.  How can she counsel people with a sex addiction when she’s never even experienced it – ever?  Who would hire her for that role?  Well, I guess you can’t exactly make that one of your interview questions.  Excuse me ma’am, when did you lose your virginity, and how often do you engage in sexually related activities? Pretty sure that would go over like a lead balloon. Needless to say, McKenna and sex addiction just do not mix. I have to admit that the girl does seem to know what she’s doing, at least until Knox walks in.

Knox is, you guessed it, a sex addict.  He’s almost a sex addict in denial. He was forced by a judge to attend anger management counseling after he was caught drunk driving and received a DUI. His counselor noticed that Knox uses sex as a coping mechanism and ordered him to attend McKenna’s group. A sexy, sweet, innocent sex addiction counselor is like putting a lamb into a lion’s den.

I wanted nothing more than to escape, but I nodded in response to McKenna’s request, lowering myself back down to the seat. Evidently I was about to catch shit for not sharing my feelings in this damn circle jerk of a meeting.

Not only is Knox a sex addict, but a kick butt bog brother who is raising his, count them, three little brothers. There is a side of this man that is so much more than the average person sees.  He’s sweet and compassionate.  He babysits his neighbor’s daughter and makes sure homework gets done each night. He has the potential to be ah-mazing, yet he self-sabotages himself.

And the craziest thing was, I didn’t want to rush her. I mean, yeah, I wanted to pull her panties down her legs, but in a way, I didn’t.  I liked that the next time there would be more for us to discover.
I was going slow with a girl. And I liked it.

The sexual tension between Knox and McKenna is off the charts. I think you could cut it with a knife. I love the fact that it’s taboo for them to be together and that they fight so hard to keep their hands off one another, but they just can’t. Ironically I think Knox has more self-control than McKenna does. By the end of the book things are so up in the air and McKenna is so invested in Knox that you just end up wanting them to be together. You want him to be the man she needs him to be… And you have to WAIT TO SEE IF HE IS! UGH!

Honestly, When I Break is by far my favorite Kendall Ryan novel.


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