Oct 7, 2014

Posted by in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Once Perfect by Cecy Robson (Shattered Past #1)

Romance3 star

Contemporary Romance
October 7 2014
272 pages
Recieved from publisher via NetGalley

Yummy Man – Mateo Tres Santos
Kick Ass Chick – Evelyn Preston

From Goodreads –
Evelyn Preston’s future once looked perfect—until her wealthy father was caught in an embezzlement scandal and took his own life. Alone and struggling to pay her college tuition and bills, Evelyn finds a job as a waitress at the ultra-hip nightclub Excess, where she used to have more in common with the privileged private-school clientele than her fellow staff members. But something attracts her to the sexy six-foot-four bouncer and underground MMA fighter Mateo Tres Santos. Although they’ve led different lives, their troubled pasts bonds them in both survival and love.

Mateo is ex-army who wound up in prison for assaulting the man who harmed his sister. Now he’s feeling the same protective impulse for this petite blond waitress. When Evelyn experiences a panic attack at the club, Mateo comes to her rescue. And when Mateo is wounded shielding her from a brawl, Evelyn returns the favor and comes to his aid.

As their attraction intensifies, Mateo is determined to find out what nightmares are lurking in Evelyn’s past—even if that means tackling his own to save her.


Once Perfect is the first book in Cecy Robson’s new Shattered Past series. You know, the title of the book and the title of the series should have been a tip off for me but apparently, I’m a bit slow these days. After reading Cecy’s Weird Girls series (which are books filled with a really quirky and awesome sense of humor) I expected this series to have some of that humor. Well, it did not. This series is not funny. But what it is is heartfelt and bold. It’s filled with characters and stories that are hard to read but give you a sense that even when the worst happens, good can prevail.

Mateo and Evelyn are both victims of people assuming they know them before actually getting to know them. Mateo has served a prison sentence and Evelyn grew up with wealth at her fingers. Evelyn lost everything, including both parents, and has been working for herself and putting herself through school. She is learning how to be independent and not ‘taken care of’. Mateo is a bouncer at a night club. He feels he does not deserve better because he was in prison and because the hardships he’s survived through his childhood. It does not matter that what he did to end up in prison is actually a ‘noble’. And Evelyn does not feel she deserves better because of where she came from and how it all ended. Neither feel worthy of much but both do a good job at helping the other feel content. I liked seeing that.

I liked Mateo. I found he was a solid character. Loyal and good to his friends, he was just a little lost. Evelyn actually drove me a bit batty. Yes, most of her life she has been pampered, to a certain extent, and is now trying to figure out how to be her own person but even with that, I found she was a bit too naive for my taste. Evelyn and much of her dialogue read more like a YA book than a NA book, as advertised. In fact, most of this book read younger than it’s intended audience. For some, that may not be a bit issue, but for me…it made that I had a lot of trouble fully getting into this book and these characters.

But even with that, I found the story flowed well and it was easy to feel how much these two characters cared for each other. The next book features one of Mateo’s sisters. We meet her shortly in this book and I have to say, I feel her story should be interesting, to say the least. Once Loved is due to hit eBook shelves January 20th 2015.

Once Perfect’s story is heavy. Really, this is not an easy read. But there the emotion is written well even if the characters read a bit young. If you are looking for light fluff, look away. But if you are looking for a book written with a lot of strong sentiment and a hero and heroine that truly bring out the best in each other, then definitely give this one a try.

3.5 stars

Books in the Shattered Past series –
Once Perfect
Once Loved (January 2015)
Once Pure (May 2015)


  1. I’ve been wondering about this book. I love her Weird Girls series so much, partially because of the paranormal aspect, that I was unsure about a contemporary. It’ll probably go on my list, but sadly it’s not a must buy right now.

  2. Thank you, Julie. I just saw this review. I appreciate you taking the time to review and for your kind words. I hope you’re well and have a year filled with many blessings. Hugs!

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