Thursday, October 22, 2015

Until We Break by Jamie Howard ARC Book Review


When Sloane Avery stops to help a stranded driver, she finds more than a broken down car on the side of the road. Luke Evans is faster and sexier than her Maserati, but with her heart still on the mend, she’s not interested in taking him for a test drive. Despite their initial disdain for each other, emotion and passion simmer, complicating their fragile friendship. But when a tragic loss and devastating betrayal send them spiraling, their growing love isn’t enough to save them.

That was five years ago, practically a different lifetime and definitely a different Sloane. Before she’s been hardened by booze, sex, and as much distance as she could get from the past. Now, called home on a family emergency, she’s determined to hold onto her heart the next time she sees Luke.

Except Sloane’s not the only one who’s changed. Luke’s turned his life around. Only the reappearance of Sloane and the reminder of his biggest mistake can put a dent in his plans. Luke is set on fixing what he’s broken. But with her emotions boiling to the surface, Sloane needs to decide if falling in love is life’s greatest gift or its cruelest joke.

* A special thanks to St. Martin's Press for continuously supporting my book habit by supplying this review copy*

I've been on a heavy NA kick lately--despite my growing pile of YA books I need to review. Which is what led me to requesting and reading this book almost immediately. But once again NA, has not failed to remain unbelievably predictable. Predictable is the word of the day. 

This book is predictable down to the very ending, and I know that might sound like a negative thing and it is in a sense but it was an enjoyable predictable ride. It has to be tough to write a love story no one has ever heard before. So, I give kudos to the author for doing her best to make it interesting, and easy to read.

The Story: In a nutshell, girl falls for womanizing, outrageously handsome man--who in turn screws up time and time again. Fast forward five years and they meet again only now he's reformed (or is he?) and she's not. (Or is she?) Enter HEA, and there you have it. I don't mean to trivialize this author's work but it is what it is my friends. 

The Characters: Luke Evans: Cocky, sure of himself, man toy, womanizing piece of eye candy. He doesn't have much going for him aside from his stunning looks. (Must all of the NA males be so stunning, how about cute, or quirky?) He's into Sloane for reasons he can't explain or ignore. He goes after her and disaster ensues. 

I think as a character Luke was pretty entertaining. He was low on the douche level, I've met far worse. His back story wasn't anything I haven't heard before but it gave him much needed depth.

Sloane: She's rich, and unaccustomed to some things but she's not whiny or entitled. Her character is pretty strong initially and then after the five year jump, she becomes unrecognizable--in a way I didn't care for. Dare I say she became far too bi*chy? She was hard to like towards the end of the book. But she does rectify herself by the end--but just barely. 

There are other characters obviously but I don't feel like I need to mention them--they don't feel that significant--and this review is already getting lengthy. 

Moving along...

The romance: There was a lot of angst here folks. Not painful but more of a, JUST GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY FEELING--that sort of lingered throughout. 

Leisa Rayven is the queen of angst that both hurts and feels good, that title has yet to be stolen in my book.

 Anyway, it does take a while to build, so there is that time for development and the "slow build." I wasn't blown away by their love but it was cute, something to smile about, if only briefly. 

I can honestly say I can see how this book might annoy some readers, with it's slow-build, not so spicy romance, and the way Sloane turns out at the end. BUT, this is far from the worst NA. It was pretty good. So don't be deterred.

The author has a clever sense of humor which works for all of her characters. The fact that we get an HEA was a relief and it has it's moments. 

If you like your NA fairly angsty, and quick to read--this will be perfect for you. 

Interested parties can look for this title from St. Martin's Griffin, November 10th. Enjoy!


  1. I think the predictability is why I had to take a break from this genre. As much as I love it, after a while they all seem to have the same story line. :) Great honest review!

  2. Totally agree NA has become super predictable almost all of the time. Glad this one was still a pretty decent read for you!

    1. Yeah it was pretty decent just slightly disappointing.

  3. Sometimes predictable an be a good thing. When I need a break I'll usually read a book like this one lol
    Thanks for the review :)

  4. Yeah Jaz, NA is always predictable. The same thing over and over again. Despite the authors trying to make it different and it's always hard to pull off but nether less I would always love to see something different being created!

  5. I am somehow a bit more generous to romance novels being predictable. I mean, we all want the same thing, right? :D

  6. Yeah, I don't expect to be surprised by NA (or romance novels in general) and that's a good thing. For me, what sets some apart is my connection with the characters, and banter. Must have banter and really FEEL the romance. Sometimes that even works in other genres as well. Have you read Book of Ivy? Typical dystopian in so many ways, but I loved it so much because of the characters and the relationship between them and the way it made me feel. Glad you enjoyed this one! ~Pam