10 May 2010

REVIEW: Breakaway by Rochelle Alers

Rochelle Alers
ISBN #: 9780373831821
Kimani Press Arabesque
May 2010
Contemporary Romance/AA


When E.R. doctor Celia Cole-Thomas is wounded and her fiancĂ© killed in a shootout at the hospital, the only way she can heal her body and her heart is to spend time at her mountain retreat. In her remote cabin on the Tennessee border, she isolates herself from the world—until Gavin Faulkner moves into a nearby lodge. And as hard as Celia tries to stay away, Gavin's friendship and sensuality are slowly bringing her back to life.

An FBI special agent, Gavin has been ordered to apprehend a fugitive in the area. The moment he meets Celia, he knows he can't pass up the chance to show this vibrant woman all the passion she's been missing. But his dangerous assignment could shatter the fragile trust they've built, unless he can convince her that love's rewards are worth the risks….

FIRST LINES (Prolouge):
Dr. Celia Cole-Thomas pulled back the curtain in the cubicle where she’d dressed the sutured forefinger of an elderly man. She immediately heard screams for help in English and Spanish coming from the E.R. waiting
room. Her heart rate quickened when she saw two young men in blood-soaked clothing struggling under
the weight of a limp body.


Confession time: I am a black woman who doesn't read a lot of romance novels featuring black heros and heroines. Yes, I read them but not a lot. I can probably count on my hands the number of romance novels that I've read by black authors in the last six months. It's not that it's something that I've consciously done. But it's very hard to decipher the good from the bad. There seems to be an unwritten rule in the black community that you don't trash your brother or sisters efforts. It seems that if you go on Amazon or Shelfari or any sites like that and look up books by black authors everyone LOVED the book. I've gotten burned many times by buying books because of rave reviews, cracking the book open, and being like 'really.' So since I'm careful on what I spend my money on, it's very rare that I buy black romance. Though I do pick it up when I see them at my library.

So, I'm very hesitant to comment on black romance. One, I have diarrhea of the mouth; and two, I feel that I'll be bashed horribly for daring to say what I really thought. LOL.

Oh well . . . I had a good life.

I so wanted to love this book, but I couldn't and here are the reasons why:

• Too much narrative: I felt like as if Breakaway was narrated to me instead of being shown a story. The narration confused me. There were times when the Celia and Gavin's thought processes didn't fit the words that came out of their mouths. I was pulled out of the story a lot and had to flip back so that I could try to keep up what was going on. I also had the strange feeling that I was being talked down to which is a weird thing to say. I apologize, I can't pinpoint a specific moment just an overwhelming feeling I had.

• Too much description. Pages and pages of description that took away from the plot and the Celia and Gavin's developing relationship. When I say description, I really mean description from the big to the large. Pages and pages of back story telling the history of Celia's family, while interesting had nothing to do with the plot. There was also paragraphs and paragraphs of description of what exactly Gavin and Celia were eating, wearing, lived. I know some people like those things, but I wish it was sprinkled in instead of just dumped there. I wanted to learn more about Celia and Gavin from their interactions not from large info dumps.

• Characters: I didn't believe in Celia and Gavin's relationship. I found it hard that they had respect for each other. They spent so much time battling for the upper hand in the relationship, that I lost interest in them and the chemistry for each other.

I don't know what else to say other than this book wasn't for me. I know that this author has an extensive fan base, but Breakaway just wasn't my thing.

Received galley copy from publisher via NetGalley


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3 people posted their 2 cents:

Dren said...

Love the honesty. I feel the same way about BCR too. It's hard to trust the reviews. It makes you wonder if it's done just to support the author - or they (the readers) really have no clue. I think it's a blend of both. Thanks for keeping it real!

Marq said...

You are not alone! I got hammered on Amazon when I posted my reviews of two Brenda Jackson books. I do feel like as a black woman, I have to like the book or else. I don't read a lot of black romance novels either. A couple of years ago I was on a Zane kick. But after reading 2 of her books in a row, I was like, this isn't good. But I kept buying them because I felt like I had to "support" her. And I love erotica and smut but her style of writing and plot lines were not my cup of tea. I've decided to stay away from Black romance books because I'm tired of being disappointed.

Lynette said...

So glad I'm not alone! I know about those reviews. They make you feel that you have to prove yourself if you don't like the book!

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