Review: Shattered by Joan Johnston

Shattered (Bitter Creek, #8)

Nine years ago Kate Grayhawk Pendelton walked into Wyatt Shaw’s life—and out of it the next morning. Now Wyatt’s back—and has the power to shatter Kate’s future with the man she loves.
By reputation, Wyatt Shaw is a brutal killer who always gets what he wants. And he wants Kate and her twin eight-year-old sons.
Texas Ranger Jack McKinley is hot on Wyatt Shaw’s trail. The presumed heir to the D’Amato crime syndicate is threatening to steal the woman he loves.
Holly McKinley is fighting to keep Jack from leaving her for another woman. Now the secret she’s kept for over twenty years may save their son’s life, and cost her the only man she’s ever loved.

Shattered by Joan Johnston (Bitter Creek #8)
December 29, 2009
Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 423 Pages
Reviewed by Mandi

Kate Pendleton knows a secret few know. Her husband, J.D. Pendleton didn’t really die in Afghanistan, like everyone thinks. He actually faked his death and is now involved in very big drug dealings in South America. Kate is not mourning him however, because he was an awful husband to begin with. Nine years ago, she walked in on him having an affair and in an outrage, Kate picked the first man she could find at a bar to sleep with and then never saw that man again. That man just happened to be Wyatt Shaw, an extremely wealthy man, who is the son of Dante D’Amato, an infamous mob boss. That night, Kate got pregnant with twin boys, but J.D. and her reconciled, and she never told Wyatt, nor JD that the twins are actually his.

Now that J.D. is not in the picture, Kate has rekindled a love with Jack Mckinley. Jack is now separated from his wife Holly, and is ready to make a commitment to Kate. He was ready to propose to her, until Holly called and said she is four months pregnant with their child. Four months ago, Kate was in a coma after being shot, and J.D. and Holly had a bitter argument that ended up with sex and a pregnancy. Now, Jack wants to stay married to Holly just until she delivers, then he tells Kate, he is all hers. Kate is devastated at this news, but doesn’t have a lot of time to processes because Wyatt has just learned he has twin sons.

Wyatt is furious Kate never told him he is a father, and that he had to learn about it through a private investigator. Wyatt is very concerned his estranged, mob boss father will find out and use this information to harm Kate or the boys. Wyatt demands Kate and the boys come to live at his very secure compound. Wyatt will not take no for an answer and Kate leaves with him.

Now Kate must deal with new feelings towards Wyatt, lost feelings for Jack, and J.D shows up and causes all sorts of trouble.

Shattered features an anti-hero in Wyatt, an anti-hero that never really gains that hero status. At the beginning of the book I was kind of excited. Wyatt is creepy, just weeks ago a strangled girl was found in his bed, he is extremely wealthy and is massively ticked he has twins he never knew about. I like it. Then all of a sudden, he is totally in love with Kate and wants her in his life permanently. I can understand wanting a relationship with his kids, but Kate is a woman he knew for one night. But he is absolutely determined to make Kate his. Why? Did he really fall that hard for her one night nine years ago? Plus, he has a very shady reputation and could possibly be a murderer. Yet, Kate trusts him from the start. Just because he is the boys father, does not mean he is automatically a good person.

Kate is in love with Jack and is obviously upset when he tells her they must wait four months for his wife to have the baby before he will divorce her and settle down with Kate. Yet, Kate gets whisked off to Wyatt’s complex, and the first night they have sex together. Afterwards she becomes angry with herself, but I just can’t see how she can forget Jack that easily. Wyatt also makes Kate sleep in his bed – even though he promises not to touch her after that first night. When she tries sleeping elsewhere, he picks her up and makes her stay in his bed. Creepy.

Although Wyatt proves himself a good father to the twins, I never felt romance between Kate and himself. Kate is happy that Wyatt makes her boys happy, but there really isn’t a spark between Wyatt and Kate. I felt Kate and Jack had a much more passionate relationship and they were apart for most of the book. Jack has more at stake with Holly because they have a son together already, and another on they way. The only reason they are separating is because Holly is afraid to commitment to anyone and pushes Jack away. Their reconciliation made sense to me.

Is everyone thoroughly confused? Shattered has way too many things going on and romance that is lifeless.

Rating: 2/5

Recent Reviews:
Dear Author – D
Book Binge – 1/5
Lovin Me Some Romance – C+
Fiction Vixen – 2/5

Joan Johnston website


  1. Monroe Dawson says

    This stinks…the blurb sounded good! lol O-well on to the next book huh?!?! Thanks for the heads up though!

  2. VampFanGirl says

    Hey Mandi!

    I thought SHATTERED read like a crazy soap opera where I was embarrassed to admit that I watched it. ;)

    Poor Jack and Holly. Just when things start looking up for them, Johnston threw something new and even more tragic at them. I think she pushed the envelop as far as torturing your characters go.

    I enjoyed Kate's and Wyatt's romance but I thought, compared to Jack and Holly, that it was completely unrealistic. Well, the whole book was unrealistic in every sense but their romance seemed too fairy tale-ish in comarison.

    My whole reason for giving it a C+ and nothing lower is that it held my interest and was entertaining in an outlandish sense but I can and do agree with your thoughts.

    I think this book appeals to certain type of audience and we're just not it.

    Hugs, VFG

  3. Smokinhotbooks says

    Hmm just hmmm. I've seen similar thoughts on other reviews.

    Is this like Ward's Covet where what the hell is name is falls for Marie T like that *snaps fingers*? He did like a 180 in 10 pages.

  4. Mandi says

    Monroe – yes, at least we have lots of books ;p

    VFG – See the unrealistic part was my problem. Yes it was a big soap opera, and if I believed in Kate and Wyatt's love, I would have thought this is corny but ok. But I just never bought into their attraction for each other. It never made sense. Then with all the other drama happening – it was just too much.

    Smokin – yes. And I very much did not like Vin (Vin?) and m-t either! :)

  5. Fiction Vixen says

    I agree with your wholeheartedly agree with your review Mandi. Just too much going on. I almost felt like the author had lots of loose ends to tie up in her story arc and she used this book to clean house. I wish the focus would have been on one romance or the other and more fully developed. Nice reivew!

  6. Erotic Horizon says

    I am sad to know this series has gone this route – I stopped reading about books five because the threads were just falling apart…

    How convoluted is this plot line…. good on you for making your way through it….

    Have you read any of the other books in the series?….


  7. Erotic Horizon says

    If you do get the chance to read book 1 and 2 – try it…

    They weren't bad…

    I hate that your first experience with this author was so poor….


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