by Kelley Armstrong

March 2009
ISBN: 978-0-553-58838-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books
Mass Market Paperback

Nadia Stafford is an ex-cop and wilderness lodge owner. However, she hides a secret. ‘Dee’ is a hitman with a legal code of her own, one who works for a powerful New York crime family. Usually, she prefers to keep her lives separate, but when a young female employee and her baby go missing in the Canadian woods, Nadia’s past comes back to haunt her, sending her instincts into overdrive.

With the help of mentor, Jack and friendly hitman Quinn, Nadia sets out on a quest to solve the case. To find answers, she needs to face her past and lay her own ghosts to rest, or risk her own life trying.

Made to be Broken is the second installment in the Nadia Stafford series. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed reading this series, but what I especially found endearing about this installment was the character development.

The plot is quite simple, not as complex at the previous novel, Exit Strategy. However that is no way detrimental. The character development of Nadia is what drives this story. We see deeper into her complexities as a woman looking for justice rather than just her life as a ‘hitman’. The reader learns more of the circumstances surrounding the murder of a beloved family member as a young teen and how this has impacted on Nadia’s sense of justice.

Not a romance novel in the true sense, where a couple end up together and live the happy ever after, Ms. Armstrong is slowly building a series of potential ‘love interests’ for her heroine. First there is the strong, silent mentor Jack. Then there is the easy going Quinn. Although Nadia is leaning towards starting a relationship with Quinn, I sincerely hope she bites the bullet and discusses her true feelings with Jack! Made to Broken sets in motion the potential for future conflict in the mentor/trainee relationship.

An intriguing plot and interesting characters that stay with the reader, Made to Broken is a keeper. This novel proves Ms. Armstrong is a literary talent in any genre she chooses to write. I’m hoping that she continues this excellent series and shall be looking forward to reading the next installment.

Reviewed in April 2009 by Donna.

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