When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis
career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered
to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid
who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic
half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls
how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their
pleasure. College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s
reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into
therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them
closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn
than people think. But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts? Quinn
and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s
not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She
willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out
as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might
never forgive him. To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might
finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that
means letting Emilie walk away for good.
I don't consider myself a usual reader of romance... they don't really do it for me. It's my usual opinion the stories are very rarely unique and aren't made of much more than the sum of their summaries. And while it could be argued, with enough evidence to drown me I'm sure, that the stories I've most enjoyed have romantic elements, the books bent on bedroom antics have a tendency of falling pretty low on my list of recommendations (when they make it on that list at all).
But when the author of something I've come to respect, enjoy and strongly recommend for another genre* goes rogue to publish her first "New Adult" romance - well sign me up in support of the new venture. Romance genre be damned because I'm coming for a visit!
Anyway, all the kidding aside, I was pleasantly surprised by 'Broken at Love' by Lyla Payne. The story of Quinn and Emilie was engaging, gritty and even playful at times. Good enough for me to put aside my usual angst-engulfed, rich boy with issues hate, because he was tempered with the strong, level headed Emilie. Good enough for me to sit back and enjoy watching these two overcome their obstacles together and, almost more importantly, apart. Great enough for me to put the story of Quinn and Emilie falling in love above the bedroom antics.
Bottom Line: Even though this one is a more, ahem, mature read, I'm tempted to recommend this to you if you enjoyed 'Callum & Harper', but you may want to skip over it if you're still too young for a rated R movie ticket. Not sure how die-hards of the romance genre would feel about it, but from an outsiders perspective, the focus of this lies title squarely on telling a story of compassion, growth and budding love making it definitely worth the read.
*An author reviewed a glowing review here on TTP mid-February under a different moniker for one of the best YA dystopia/fantasy series I'd picked in a long, long while.