Review: Broken at Love by Lyla Payne


Title: Broken at Love (Whitman University 1)
Author: Lyla Payne
Date of publication: 12 March 2013
Genre: New Adult / Contemporary Romance

My rating: 3 stars

Goodreads Blurb

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.

My review

In tennis: "If you lose your service without scoring a single point, you were broken at love." - Quinn Rowland

I enjoyed this story but expected more of it. It reminds me a bit of the movie "Dangerous Liaisons" with the games of seduction the characters play.

I liked the tennis metaphors and their strong presence in the whole story. Quinn was a great character - really broken, cynical, unable to experience real emotions and to connect with anyone. He is was such a confident professional player, both on the tennis court and on college field in a twisted game of seduction he and his frat brothers play. At the same time, he was completely weak and indecisive when it came to his father and Sebastian, but most importantly Emilie. I really hated him for being so weak and just running away from any challenge he met. His only response was to self-destruct. 

On the other hand, Emilie was presented as a strong and mature young woman who was sure of her feelings from very early on. She went through her own family drama and doubts about the future. I liked that she was not some good innocent girl who managed to save the bad boy from himself. She knew who she was and what she wanted and could get from Quinn. The relationship that developed between them was a surprise for both of them. Even after she knew she about the seduction game, still he found strength to follow her heart and try to help Quinn. 

Despite, all these positive qualities of the novel, there were also some things that I didn't quite like. At times I felt that the conflicts which arose between Quinn and Emilie were too contrite and unrealistic, their fight after the tennis lesson is a case in point. I was also annoyed at Quinn's insistence of pushing Emilie away and her stubborn refusal to give up on him also seemed a bit over the top. It seemed like they were going in circles and having the same argument over and over again.

There were also some spelling and grammar mistakes, together with some issues with the editing which distracted me from fully enjoying the story. Despite the happy end, the epilogue fell flat for me. The story of Quinn and Emilie was left somewhat incomplete.

Author's links: Website / Facebook / Goodreads

I was provided with a copy of the book through the New Adult group on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. 

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