Review of Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander

Standard

Rating: 5 Stars

At 26, Austin Glass appears to have it all. He’s a trust fund baby with a loving fiance. He drives fancy cars, wears tailored suits and is a decorated cop with his eye on advancement to the FBI.   His future is bright, shiny and planned out, including his rapidly approaching wedding.  Or is it.  Appearances are often deceiving, so the saying goes. And Austin’s glossy exterior hides a painful past,  bitterness and a self imposed isolation from all around him.

In a heartbeat, everything in Austin’s life changes the minute he spies a young man clearing tables in a dinner.  He’s supposed to be waiting for an informant but all he can concentrate on are the freckles sprinkled across the young man’s nose, red hair, and the tattered bunny slippers adorning his feet.

Peter “Rabbit” Dyachenko, wearer of said bunny slippers, is far older than his twenty years.  His life has been incredibly tough and traumatic.  Peter has done what he had to in order to survive, and its left its footprint on his back.  He’s no one’s fool and everyone is his target.  A case of murder and illegal aliens brings the two men together in a clash that forever changes each others lives.

Where do I start? Well, this story is just jaw droppingly good.  No,  it’s better than that.  It’s amazing. Its a stunning debut novel from Dani Alexander that blows you away from the very first sentence that introduces you to the world of Austin Glass.  Austin Glass is such a vivid, unique creation that he is on my list of all-time favorites characters.  The story is told from his POV, with dialog so amazingly genuine and realistic that I alternated laughing out loud with wanting to hit him on the head with a nerf bat depending upon his predicament, much like everyone who comes in contact with him.  Austin is sarcastic, whining, bitter, funny and good at interrogating criminals while antagonizing his fellow cops.  And his father, and his friends. His inner running commentary on his life and events is telling, the unhappiness seeping through as well as his recognition that all is not well in the state of Austin Glass.

Peter has him confused and off kilter from the beginning.  And you get it! You get it all, as Austin tries to cope with the demands of his job, his fiance, his perfectly laid out future with his increasingly obsessive need to see, to be with Peter no matter the cost.  And there is no doubt that it is going to cost him everything. There isn’t one false note here, nothing!  As Austin starts to unravel, you are right there with him on his emotional rollercoaster right to the shattering end.  And while it’s Austin’s voice in your head, all the other people circling  around his mental drainhole are just as authentic as he is. His fiance could be a one-dimentional obstacle in the way of love and happiness.  But Angelica is heartbreakingly real, and you feel for her as her future with Austin crumbles around her. I could not put this book down, often reading until 3am.  Then I had to go back over chapters the next day because I was too afraid I had missed something by being so tired.

This story has everything, laughter, angst, great characters, mystery, lots of bad guys, cartels, FBI, and hot m/m sex.  Oh, and did I mention a HEA?  It has that too.  But it’s the journey to get there that stays in my head.  I have been meaning to write this review for 2 days but I knew I was going to have trouble with it.  How was I going to keep from gushing? I don’t like to gush.  OK, I’m gushing.  And I always have a quibble or two…where are my quibbles?  Nada, zip, nothing.  And I can’t even say it’s too short, because it’s not.  It clocks in at around 450 pages on my Kindle.  Sooooooo……what to say, what to say?

How about brilliant, absolutely wonderful.  I always mention the publisher when writing a review so imagine my surprise when I learned it was self published.  Why are the publishers not beating this woman’s door down?  Shattered Glass and Dani Alexander deserve a much larger audience, as large as they can get.  So here is another drum banging out a call to all readers who love a great story.  Here it is!  Come meet Austin Glass and Peter Rabbit.  You won’t forget them and neither will I.

And my thanks go out to Chris over at StumblingOverChaos.  It is due to her that I have my copy of Shattered Glass and a new found obsession.  Way to go, Chris, and a thousand catnip toys to Chaos for this one.

Go to Goodreads for more quotes from Shattered Glass but here is a sample:

Shattered Glass Quotes:

“Do you know what I did to the last guy that called me Tinkerbelle?”

“Slept with him?”

Darryl was silent for a second. “After that.”
― Dani Alexander, Shattered Glass

“You’re rich, spoiled and used to getting your own way.”

“Not true. If I had my own way you would have kissed me and ridden me like a cowboy while screaming ‘yeehaw’.”
― Dani Alexander, Shattered Glass

Cover:  Dark and simple.  It’s good, fits in with the story but that is not Austin Glass, the suit is too ill fitting.  He wouldn’t be caught dead in a suit like that.  Available at Amazon, Smashwords, and Goodreads.