Monday, December 28, 2015

Book: You're Not Broken by Gemma Hart

You're Not BrokenYou're Not Broken by Gemma Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a digital ARC of You're Not Broken via Hidden Gems for the purposes of providing an objective review.

Friends to lovers or second chance romances are my romance trope catnip, and You're Not Broken was a bit of both, with more emphasis on second chances than on friends to lovers.

Kat and Jason meet one night in her uncle's diner, she senses his loneliness, and spends a little time with him after her shift is over. It's the first and last time she sees him, for over two years - he's deployed overseas. They write at first, then his letters stop, and Kat grieves for a while, then decides she needs to just get over him and move on. She's got too much crap to do to waste any more time on this guy.

Her family life is rife with tragedy throughout the book; she's a big sister holding the family together almost by sheer will, and her stubbornness comes in handy while Jason's gone.

No word from Jason for over two years and she runs into him again in a most unexpected place. She's cold and dismissive with him, not without reason. Jason's pretty determined to make some sort of amends, though, and he keeps showing up.

So far, despite the poor editing and numerous grammatical errors, I'm enjoying the story. Hart has me hooked, even if I am reading with a mental red pen in hand. Oy vey.

Then, the sex happens. It's a romance, so sex is gonna happen. I like a good raunchy sex scene. Well, frankly, I LOVE a good raunchy sex scene. But the section with the sex in it is decidedly different from the rest of the book, almost as if two different people wrote the disparate segments. It's also out of character for both the heroine and hero - in this case, the language changed, with the descriptions getting coarser and the characters going from zero to sixty in one weird scene.

When I read the first bit of it, my first thought was, "In the diner? With all the frakking windows? No way would she do it there. No way would he subject her to the potential humiliation of being seen. And what happened to all his objections? They're just magically swept away?" I still have a really hard time believing these two did the deed in full view of anyone who might have been outside. On top of the difference in writing, that took me out of the story entirely. Their first time deserved a little more thought put into it.

My favorite line was one which truly resonated with me: "If anything, I feel more useless and inept the older I get. I think it's because I keep comparing myself to who I thought I would be by now." For much of my adult life, this was a core part of my consciousness - comparing myself to the myself I thought I'd be and coming up way short. I get Kat, in that way at least.

Final evaluation: Good story. Promising writer. I'll be watching Gemma Hart in the future. With the help of a good editor or at least a proofreader, she has the potential to be great.

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