And I want her.
Even if she's keeping secrets.
That could tear me to f*cking shreds.
I’ll be totally honest with y’all. (Like I’m ever anything but, right?) I only read this book because the author sent me a lovely, charming query letter and the blurb was intriguing. That’s it. I didn’t look at the cover, I didn’t read a sample like I usual do, I didn’t check out any of the reviews. So, if any of you authors don’t see the value in producing a good query letter and a good blurb, let this be a lesson to you. But I digress..
Hart Broken is an incredibly unique take on the standard romance novel. The hero, Cale, is disabled. He was in a terrible accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. I’ve never, ever read a romance novel about a disabled hero that wasn’t magically “fixed” by the end of the book. Typically, blind heroes get their vision back (see Teresa Medeiros’ Yours Until Dawn), which is a beautiful read, by the way), paralyzed heroes are eventually able to walk again after intense therapy (see the Ally Martinez young adult novel, Fighting Shadows), which is also a great read). But I’ve never read about a disabled hero who is still disabled at the end of the book. It was a refreshing change to read about a disabled man who struggles, but overcomes every challenge put in front of him with charm, grace and hard work. Cale was a joy to read about.
Mickey, the heroine, was a little harder to warm up to. She makes questionable choices and says things that occasionally make you want to reach through your Kindle and smack the living crap out of her. But as the story continues and bits and pieces of her tragic backstory are revealed, she slowly becomes more relatable. And honestly, the fact that Mickey wasn’t perfect and always understanding and patient was kind of refreshing, too. Too often in Romance Land we meet heroines who are veritable pillars of virtue. Real people are flawed and annoying and mean sometimes (some of us more than others). In that way, Mickey was just as relatable as Cale (just not always as likeable).
Was it a perfect read? No. There were a few shifts between points of view and time/place shifts that were a bit hard for me to track. (I think some chapter headings might have helped.) The ending was also a little abrupt and ambiguous, but I’m cutting the author some slack on that one because the cover says this was book 1. I’m assuming other books in the series will smooth the ending out a bit. These relatively were minor gripes, though, as they didn’t lessen my overall enjoyment of the story.
All in all, this was worth a read for anyone who is sick of the standard romance tropes and picture-perfect characters. This is a real story about real people. And as we all know, sometimes real people suck. And other times, real people are beautiful. This story includes a nice blend of good, the bad and the ugly. It reminded me of one of my favorite quotes from Goodwill Hunting (link: http://amzn.to/2bzW8k6): “You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.“ At the end of the day, I think Mikey and Cale were perfect for each other, and I’m glad I got to read their story.
Full disclosure: we were graciously given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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