Cait’s Review of “Break the Stone” by Cassie Swindon

By: Cait Marie


Raelyn Bell defies her father’s wishes by investigating the truth of her mother’s death. If she keeps snooping, it could sever the fragile relationship with the only parent she has left. Army Specialist Kody Walsh obeys unethical orders that lead him straight to Raelyn. Their instant attraction doesn’t mean they’ll have an easy journey. If Kody aids Raelyn, it could mean game over for his career. If Raelyn stops searching for answers, she’ll never learn the truth about her mother. As the two cut through layers of lies, threats, explosions, ambushes, and stalkers, their bond grows stronger. But the dangers prove worse than they ever feared. Can they see this adventure through without losing their lives—and each other?


I should preface this by saying this book actually caught my attention while working for the author, but that in no way impacts this review. She didn’t even ask me to read or review the book, but while making graphics and such, I grew interested.

This is also not a genre I read, per se. It is upper young adult with a focus on military action and some mystery. The romance does get a tad detailed for young adult, and some of the topics in the story are on the darker side, so it’s recommended for older readers.

Break the Stone is such a fast-paced book that easily kept my attention. I will say that the writing could use some work, but I’ve skimmed the rest of the trilogy (because I have no patience and needed answers) and it appears to get better after the first book. It wasn’t bad enough to deter me, but there was some jumping around from one scene to the next without good transitions that led to a little bit of confusion at times. The dialogue also felt a bit… forced? A lot of it didn’t feel natural, especially with Kody’s sister in particular. She was over-the-top in the extreme, and while there’s nothing wrong with a good, outgoing best friend, there were times when it felt so forced that it made her sound years younger than she was. Raelynn also felt immature at times.

Again, none of this stopped me from reading. Because of the story’s pace, the amount of action, and the need to know what was going on, I had no problem pushing past those things.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Raelynn and Kody. Though, I wish their relationship, especially in the beginning, had been fleshed out a bit more. I wish we could have actually seen them growing close, as opposed to having it summed up in a time jump. As an author myself though, I understand that’s necessary sometimes. The romance isn’t the main focus of the book.

The two of them working to discover what’s going on after a picture of her mother is found, who’d supposedly died a decade ago, was really the focus. And the twists and turns throughout the book were mind blowing. Seeing the pieces come together was fantastic. I’m not a mystery reader, but this type of adventure while trying to figure things out is definitely something I could get into.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and will continue the series. Cassie has a fantasy trilogy releasing this spring that I’m even more excited about. I feel like she’ll do well in that genre.

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