I read (and loved!) this book before we were asked to participate in the tour, and let me say--it's right up my fic-loving
alley. I have to be up front and say that the main character, Quinn Rowland, is an asshole, plain and simple. After a knee injury puts him out of the game forever, his father forces him to go to school with his half-brother. His frat brothers and brother have a game, where the boys get points for making girls sleep with and fall for them. Each round goes along with major tennis tournaments, and the boys host grandiose parties with coveted invites. The story opens up with Quinn's sights set on the girl chosen as "top-seed" for this round in the game:
"Maybe we should go back downstai--"
I cut her off with a kiss, hesitant at first because that's what she expected, and waited for the inevitable sighed acceptance. From there, sex was as foregone a conclusion as the meeting downstairs. But the night still required patience, so I eased back the moment I felt her start to relax into me.
"I couldn't resist. We can go back to the party now."
Pushing never got a guy in anyone's pants. Okay, maybe it had, but that wasn't my style. Quinn Rowland took what he wanted, but it needed to at least seem like her idea. Top seed or not, Annette was no different.
Instead of answering, she leaned back into my mouth. Her heart pounded against my chest, skin hot, hands busy. So I took, and followed the rulebook because it never let me down.
Kissed her neck. Let my forearm "accidentally" brush her boob, and when she didn't protest, touched her on purpose. Watched her open up a little at a time, starting with her mouth and ending with every last piece of her. Including her heart. It had to be her heart, too, or I lose.
Sex and feelings. Shame and regret. That was the game.
The game is played out exactly as it should be, complete with crushed girl and some time later, it's time for another round, and another girl is chosen: Emilie Swanson. Problem is, she's friends with the girl at the beginning of the book and knows Quinn's moves. She's not like the typical girl that Quinn would go for and she doesn't fall as easily for his charms as everyone else. Of course, this intrigues Quinn, making him even more determined to win this round.
I loved Payne's writing style and this was definitely a book that I would recommend. I had a hard time deciding on the rating, but ultimately I went with four stars. There are things that I really loved
about this book and these characters, and ya'll know I love this storyline. But there were things that I really didn't like, mainly surrounding *surprise* Emilie. Although she portrayed herself to be a strong go-for-what-she-wants-girl, I don't understand her reasoning for allowing herself to be pulled in by Quinn. Yes, I realize that sounds ridiculous because you can't help who you fall in love with, but she knew
what kind of guy he was well before she walked into his house.
"He's gorgeous, but trust me, I know what I'm dealing with in Quinn Rowland. Maybe I just wanted to see what it felt like to kiss him."
"Mmhmm. And maybe you just want to see what it's like to see him naked, too?"
"Maybe. But that doesn't mean he's interested. I'm not exactly his type. And even if I were, I'm not sure I could stand to be a notch on some guy's belt."
Knowing Quinn's history with women, including her own sorority sister, makes me think that Emilie should have held out a little bit or run in the opposite direction as fast as she could. Though there's definitely something about Emilie that appeals to Quinn, I have to wonder how much of it has to do with her not falling all over him to begin with and her being the complete opposite of the typical girl he'd go for (except she's hot).
**spoiler**They don't use a condom when they have sex (at least once). Considering the fact that Emilie considers him synonymous with a manwhore, this is totally unacceptable.
There's a little mystery to this story: why
does Quinn continue to go along with the game, even when he wants out? What is his brother holding over his head? It was slightly unbelievable, but I really liked how things turned out. The end felt a little rushed to me, and though I would have liked to have seen a little more action
in the transformation that Quinn's character took toward redemption, I found myself rooting for him in the end.Broken at Love
is a great story with sizzling, undeniable chemistry in one of my favorite genres. I think you'll really enjoy this one, Fictionees, and I can't wait to read more from this author.