review: Breaking Hearts by MJ Summers

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Thank you to NetGalley and Indigo Group for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. It’s appreciated, as always!

Official Synopsis
Three years have passed since handsome, devil-may-care Trey Johnson betrayed his cousin, Cole, and left the family ranch in Colorado behind. Guilt-ridden, a reformed Trey has kept his nose to the grindstone and has done his best to distance himself from his reckless past. Now he’s shocked to discover that he is about to become a full-time father to his son, a child he barely knows.

Traveling to Brazil, Trey embarks on the fight of his life in order to bring his little boy home. Broke and very much alone, the last thing he expects is to find himself falling for Alessandra Santos, his son’s nanny. The sparks between them fly, but is there too much at stake?

Alessandra, obedient daughter and top law student, always does what others expect. Whether trying to meet the expectations of her hard-nosed mother or the unreasonable demands of her employer, Alessandra finds it almost impossible to reach for what she really wants. But now that Trey Johnson has sauntered into her life, she will have to find her true voice or lose him forever.

Joined by the fate of a little boy, Alessandra and Trey must decide if they can find a way to open their hearts to each other or turn away from a chance at love.

This is quite a lovely book, but I’m not sure I read it at the right time. I just finished with The Widow by Fiona Barton, which may end up being one of my favourite books of the year. After that kind of high, Breaking Hearts just didn’t… click for me. But, like I said, it is a lovely story, without the typical “Billionaire meets Bella Swan girl” trope that has taken over the New Adult genre.

The tale is told from two perspectives – on one hand, there’s Trey, a hardworking young man, just finishing up his degree and hoping to begin to supporting his son Tomas, who lives in far away Brazil with his mother. On the other hand, there’s Alessandra, Trey’s son’s nanny, a law student, intelligent and warm-hearted. When Tomas’ mother dies, Trey has to step up to the plate and take responsibility. While doing so, he can’t help but notice that Alessandra is one hot little number, and as they play happy families, he begins to fall for her.

The language in this book is oddly… formal. Trey, especially, is unlike any other guy I’ve ever known. He speaks only in complete sentences, and says things like “tomcatting around” and “pretty as a peach”. It’s a tad disarming, and not really in a good way. I think it’s vital for authors to forget how they might speak, and get into the skin of their characters. Maybe this is common slang for young men from Colorado? It sounds more like something a grandmother might say, if I’m being honest. I have zero against people who speak well. But I DO have an issue with characters who sound like robots.

Alessandra is also very formal. In the beginning, that is. Once she and Trey get together, she starts acting like a bratty teenager with a chip on her shoulder the size of the Grand Canyon. It gets worse before it gets better. The conflict between them made me roll my eyes. What did you expect would happen, given how you rushed into a relationship after approximately five seconds of knowing each other? Especially in such a volatile and emotional situation? Argh, I could have told you two what would happen. Disaster.

The sex scenes also left a lot to be desired. Why is that male parts get explicitly labeled, but New Adult authors seem to prance around euphemisms for female genitalia? It’s maddening.

Regardless, the last part of the book is quite satisfying, even if the melodrama gets wrapped up too neatly for my liking. It’s a lovely romance, but could I believe it? Not as much as I would have liked. But what do I know? This book has a 4.67 rating on…. apparently I’m the only one who didn’t quite ‘get’ it. Maybe I’m too cynical.

(Note: I am definitely too cynical).


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