Jesse Andersen is a broken man. His life is shattering around him, leaving him tired and alone—wondering if there is anything left of his soul. Then one rainy night, the winds of fate blow his way and suddenly he finds a woman who can make him smile once more.
Kari Hawkins has her own wounds to heal. Dating Jesse is a risky proposition—a gamble with emotions that are still raw and painful. Except something about this man calls to her heart with a voice that shares her sadness and offers hope. Hope that maybe, just maybe, he can be the one…
Like the pieces of a puzzle, Kari and Jesse come together for solace, for warmth and finally for passion. It’s not easy or casual, but it is hot and sensual—and what they both need. Neither wants to ask if it will last—nor do they anticipate the future until it confronts them head-on. Then it’s time to ask if their broken lives have truly healed…
At first I thought not to blog about this story at all. My reviews usually are quite balanced, at least I hope so, and I don’t do snark. Then I thought about this sorry piece of work again and decided to talk about it after all, if only to prevent people from reading it.
I know from experience that stories published by Ellora’s Cave are heavy on the sex side, but this story was not only that but badly written to boot. On top of everything else its plot made no sense whatsoever.
Talking about that plot and its inconsistencies already gives this book too much credit since it indicates there is actually a plot to discuss. I’ll try anyway for the benefit of potential readers. Forewarned is forearmed.
Kari is recovering from an abusive relationship and longs for a new and steady one. What does she do in the prologue? She goes out with friends to have a look at what is out there. Nothing wrong with that. She picks up a piano player at a bar and decides "she had found the warm body she wanted for this night". What follows is a sex scene that is totally not enjoyable (for both, her and the reader). Is that the behaviour of someone who is looking for a serious relationship? Find a body “for this night”?
Anyway, the next day she meets Jesse in front of her house when she goes to work. Jesse who is totally plastered watched Kari through a gap in the curtain crying her little heart out while she was showering the night before. He recognizes her through his stupor and after sobering up visits her in the diner she works at. They arrange a date. Right, I can only repeat it, the woman who just experienced a bad one night stand and who longs for a serious relationship with a nice fellow (I’m not saying Jesse won’t turn out as a nice fellow, he will, but she doesn’t know that yet, does she?) is arranging a date with a man she met a few hours earlier while he was half slouching over her car, half sitting in a pile of trash with rubbish in his hair, pissed as a newt. Makes sense?
Jesse’s issues have to do with his ex girlfriend who told him he was not good enough for her and that he doesn’t give her enough freedom. As a result he is "broken". Oh, is he? Not so sure about that. He is pretty social, open, invites Kari on a date and more or less immediately wants to fuck her. There is no indication he is down, depressed or crushed, other than that we are told frequently that he is. No, wait a minute, he does slump in his chair a bit after meeting his ex at a restaurant during his date with Kari. And a few lines later he “was now withdrawn, somewhat hidden”. Does that count?
And there we come to the main problem with this story. I often wondered about what the difference was between telling and showing. Now I know. If you need a prime example of a story where things are being told constantly but never shown then read this one.
Just one example:
Before he could reach the latch, she kissed him.
Her tongue was hot and wet as it slid into Jesse’s mouth. Kari’s pussy was already hot and was now becoming wetter by the moment as his hands fondled her body.
This was passion at its peak.
Oh, was it? You could have fooled me. "Passion at its peak" might be a nice alliteration but the fact remains that I didn’t notice anything particularly passionate about the character’s actions.
I am no native English speaker so I hardly ever comment on choice of words, sentence structure and on whether a certain expression is appropriate in a given context or not. However, I can’t refrain from doing so in this case.
A passage (one of many) that struck me a little odd:
“God, I thought you were full from dinner. Oh, my…” Jesse moaned, feeling her pull up.
With a pop, Kari let him free from her tight lips. Panting, she answered back. “It’s not this pair of lips that are hungry. It’s these.”
She climbed on Jesse and reached back to close the open car door.
Isn’t this just awful? Is this supposed to be witty, funny or seductive? Sorry, it is neither. There are plenty of examples for this sort of “dialogue” along the lines of “I am hungry” – “I’ll give you something to swallow”. Wow, I’ve got to say, I am impressed. If a man said that to me I’d be his sex slave for life.
Kari dug into her purse on the floorboard. She smeared her juices along the length of his cock resting between the lips of her pussy.
Did she find her juices in her purse and got them out in order to use them? As it turns out she dug into her purse for a condom, but for a second I was surprised.
Also, this is erotica (at least I thought so before I started reading) and I personally do not think it is very erotic to read about people who are literally drooling. And they drool quite a bit – either because they are drunk or horny. Also, I find the following expression a bit unfortunate:
Her mind was a blur of thoughts. Her mouth sucking and slobbering over Jesse’s straining cock.
Excuse me? She was "slobbering" over his cock? Isn’t that what dogs do? Well, not necessarily over a man’s dick, but in general? The image of a woman "slobbering" is such a turn off that I didn’t want to continue reading.
And that is why I stopped. I can’t believe I paid money for this miserable excuse for an erotic story. It is neither erotic nor sensual. Before you go and spend anything on this go and look for free erotic stories on the net. I assure you you cannot do worse and you will probably do much better.
||S. L. Carpenter
||Buy Broken, if you must