From the Cover: Set during the chaotic beginnings of Napoleon's rule, this saga tells the story of Gabriel St. Croix, a street survivor searching for a place to belong. Abandoned as a child and raised in a brothel, he has never known friendship or affection. Hiding physical and emotional scars behind an icy façade, his only relationship is with a young boy he has spent the last five years protecting from the brutal reality of their environment. But all that is about to change. The boy's family has found him, and they are coming to take him home. Sarah Munroe blames herself for her brother's disappearance. When he's located, safe and unharmed despite where he has been living, Sarah vows to help the man who rescued and protected him in any way she can. With loving patience she helps Gabriel face his demons and teaches him to trust in friendship and love. But when the past catches up with him, Gabriel must face it on his own. Becoming a mercenary, pirate, and professional gambler, he travels to London, France, and the Barbary Coast in a desperate attempt to find Sarah again. On the way, however, he will discover the most dangerous journey and the greatest gamble of all is within the darkest reaches of his own heart.
Gabriel can be whatever you want him to be. He can be your lover, your whore, your pouty courtesan, your made-up boy toy. What he feels he can't be is true to himself or have one true love. Since being dropped off at Madame's brothel as a young boy, he's been used and abused. He's never known love or even affection. He hard, cynical, and no one takes advantage of him anymore. Then one day, everything changes.
James is much like Gabriel. He's been sent to the brothel when his parents perished. He doesn't have anywhere else to go and he doesn't know where rest of his family is. He's just a child, innocent and without knowledge of the world and the sickness of some of the people who inhabit it.
Gabriel finds James and discovers something he has never known before. Someone needs him, looks up to him, and someone needs a savior. James needs help if he's going to remain alive and in one piece. It takes five long years of hiding, beatings, and pain to keep James safe, but finally James' family has found him and they're coming to collect him. The only problem is James. He's refusing to leave without Gabriel.
Sarah is James' older half-sister. She and her older brother, Ross, come to collect James. When she sees the made-up Gabriel ready for a night of solicitation, her heart stops. He's so beautiful even with the kohl around his eyes. Her heart breaks for the man that has saved her brother, knowing what he has had to endure to keep him safe. With James and Sarah insistent that Gabriel return to England with them, Ross has little choice. But will Gabriel be able to live outside of the brothel? Is he a danger to their family? Will Sarah loose her heart to a scoundrel?
Broken Wing by Judith James is a historical romance set in France and England during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. It's a moving drama that tells the struggles of a young man, Gabriel St. Croix, who has existed in a brothel for most of his life. Refusing to see another child fated to his existence, he takes young James under his wing, as broken as it is, and protects the young boy with his very life. Gabriel is one of the disposal people of his society. No one really cares about him or cares about what happens to him. He's just another life that has slipped between the cracks. He is extremely tortured, torn between what society expects and what his reality is. Without James, Gabriel is desolate, he's unreachable and untouchable. Sarah Munroe has suffered during her life as well, her dastardly uncle is suspected of killing her parents, dumping young James, making an attempt on Ross' life, and marrying Sarah off to one of his cronies. Fortunately, when Ross is located and recovers, Sarah's uncle meets his end under mysterious circumstances. Sarah is kind hearted almost to a fault. She accepts Gabriel not only for the man she hopes he can be, but for the man that he is, the man that life has made him. She accepts his shortcomings and she's able to look beyond to the future. With her help, Gabriel starts to overcome what has happened to him in his life. But life isn't through with Gabriel yet, and his fate takes many twists and turns on the road that leads with towards his ultimate heart's desire.
Broken Wing is a quick read, holding my attention from page one. I received this book as a review request and I can say that it was excellently done. It captured my attention and refused to let go, demanding to be read. My heart broke for Gabriel and Sarah, for their ill fated love and love found again. It was indeed one of the best historical romances that I've read. If you love romance, then you won't want to miss this one. For more information about Judith James and her other great books, please visit her website. Her next book, Highland Rebel, is due out September 1, 2009.
From the Cover: Amidst the upheaval of Cromwell's Britain, Jamie Sinclair's wit and military prowess have served him well. Leading a troop in Scotland, he impetuously marries a captured maiden, saving her from a grim fate......