Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hope Breaks by Alice Bello

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synopsis copy

From Amazon:

Hope Jones has two problems: one is new, the other is depressingly old.
The new problem: the bestselling author the publisher she shoots romance novel covers for hates her newest batch of covers. She has until the end of the week to come up with a breathtaking shot or she'll be replaced. And there's a sudden model shortage; they're out of season.

The old, depressing problem: she hasn't had a date, sex or a relationship in over two years.

She also has one hell of a headache.

Hope finds the cures for her two problems during a search through Wal-Mart for a painkiller to kill her headache.

Turns out the aisles of the retail giant are rampant with hot young model worthy specimens. And when her trusty Ford Taurus breaks down in the parking lot, a hunky mechanic in the Tire and Lube Express department fixes more than just her car.

Seemingly her troubles are good as gone...but then her new, fabulous cover is rejected, and in a desperate moment she has to choose between keeping her job and keeping the man she's just starting to fall in love with.

thoughts copy

In Hope Breaks, you’ll find that yes, you can find a hot, single, swoon-worthy mechanic of at all places… WALMART


Hope has a job most women who love books would envy, that of a cover photographer. Unfortunately she has a SERIOUS problem in that the company she works for is trying desperately to preserve their relationship with their biggest author, who’s exacting new standards are giving the e-book company, and Hope, a run for their money.

Hope is on a mission to find a new cover model for the author, but having exhausted the stable of models from her usual agency and all of her back catalog of previous modeling shoots, she’s in panic mode at having NOTHING to keep the author happy, creating the mother of all headaches and sending her on a run to Wal-Mart for a little medicinal relief. This is where we find Hope ogling cute stock boy Drew, and trying to convince him that she’s not out to proposition him for sex, but for a modeling gig. She hands off her card to him, telling him to bring along his girlfriend (kill two birds with one stone, right?).


Now that’s the kind of “stock boy” I’d like to find at Wallie World


imagesBilly? Is that you?

Unfortunately for our heroine, not all is well. The click click click of her car’s starter alerts Hope that her precious Ford Focus is in fact dead, prompting her to finally put to use that AAA card she carries. Hope has no idea where she needs to take her car to be fixed, so Billy, the handsome Texas tow truck driver,  recommends his buddy, Jake, the mechanic at the Wal-Mart Tire & Lube Express.
Finally, we meet Jake.
Because you can never see this enough

Oh sweet Jake, you are yummy and swoony and sweet! His leaving Hope “high and dry” after a veritable snog fest quickly reminded me of when Hubs and I first started seeing each other… Thank goodness both came back for more!

I did have several issues with this novella, despite the fact that I really liked the story.

Issue #1 – This really could have used more editing in my opinion. The author used the highly clich├ęd phrase “his hands found purchase…” I REALLY dislike this as it’s overused in nearly every romance novel ever written. What did his hands buy? It’s time to use some creativity, authors!

Issue #2 – The love scene, specifically the language used to describe what’s heating up the characters. **Insert language warning here**

  • Cocks have tips, not lips, as the author wrote. Va-jay-jays have lips in case you’ve forgotten.
  • “Then I pulled back and dug my tongue into his piss slit, roughing up the tip.” Piss slit? REALLY? That’s not hot, romantic, sexy, or smexy AT ALL! I was actually kind of offended by this.
  • “He pulled his hips back, ripping his manhood jarringly from my lips.” Oww! Hopefully he didn’t knock out any teeth!

Issue #3 – The ending of the novella. There wasn’t one. I understand leaving a cliffy at the end to encourage your readers to want to purchase more books in a series, but here the author allows the ending to flounder like a fish out of water. It’s jarring and abrupt and really could have been done much better.


I’ve had a really difficult time lately finding myself flouncing a lot of the free novellas and novels that I’ve been finding lately; I flounced seven this weekend alone! I almost threw my Kindle against the wall after I finished reading Hope Breaks, but after a little research I discovered my fears were probably unfounded. According to Alice Bello’s author page on Amazon, this is book #1 in a three book series. Despite my disappointment at the ending, this book was a cute quick read with several comedic moments thrown in.

freebie copy

**I purchased my copy of Hope Breaks for Kindle for $0.00, and it's currently available on Amazon for $0.00 as of the date of this post**

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