H&H’s bloggers are all avid readers, of course, and each has their favorite genre.
So, of course, we challenged them to read outside of their favorite genre—to read a book, in fact, in a genre they never read in. And we asked another H&H blogger who does read in that genre to choose the best book for the neophyte to read.
We’ll be posting the results of the Genre Experiment as each blogger finishes—or does not finish (DNFs)—their book. Today, Evangeline Holland reads Megan Hart’s Broken from a recommendation by Tori Benson.
I sound like a broken record when I say I don’t read romance for the sex. Sure, I love a good sex scene like most of us, and I like the sound of sexy premises, but the thought of reading a book where a large majority of the plot is created to lead up to as many sex scenes as possible bores me to tears. Yet I loved the Fifty Shades trilogy, which has plenty of sex, and I’m an Emma Holly fangirl (I guess her traditional blurbs lured me in, haha), so when H&H challenged a few of us to try genres we’d never read, I decided to join in and see if my boredom was justified.
The recommendation I got was Megan Hart’s Broken, and I was open to it since I have heard so many great things about Hart’s novels, but unfortunately, I was very disappointed. Let me explain why (be warned: There are spoilers!).
The blurb sounds fantastic: a woman meeting a stranger to listen to his sexual exploits. It turns out that Sadie is married to a paraplegic, and hasn’t been touched—physically or emotionally—in years. A really harrowing situation, true, but it wasn’t as gut-wrenching as I thought. In fact, I was incredibly underwhelmed, not least because I felt Broken chickened out on the relationship between Sadie and Adam, and the second half of the book was full of emotional roller-coasters that were mostly tied up in a neat, if half-baked, little bow. The premise was interesting in that it dealt with emotional infidelity and the brokenness of Sadie’s marriage after Adam’s accident left him a quadriplegic. What I found quite boring and distracting were the endless encounters Sadie relived via Joe’s conquests. For an erotic novel, the multiple sex scenes were incredibly unerotic and sterile, and I was seriously, seriously creeped out that Joe and Sadie bonded over stories about him having sex with tons of women.
I also scoffed over Adam’s death—is it just me, or did anyone else think he deliberately placed his health in danger? Anyways, because this was my perception of his passing, Sadie’s—hastily zoomed through—grief wasn’t very moving. And for that matter, I was seriously unconvinced by the state of her marriage and her whole emotional turmoil over Adam: first she tells the story of their magnetic love-at-first-sight, and then later on in the book, when he’s all rage and bitterness, all flashbacks are about how inadequate he made her feel, or how suffocating and uncomfortable their marriage was, even before his accident. It made me feel like my emotions and perceptions were being manipulated so I’d root for Joe and Sadie, when in fact, I was hoping she and Adam would reunite and make a life together.
I found Broken competently written, and some of the passages struck an emotional chord (such as Sadie’s conflict with her sister and mother, which was also speedily concluded), but overall, I was seriously underwhelmed and a bit annoyed by the events in the book. I haven’t completely written off Hart or the erotic romance genre, but for my first official outing, I could have used more oomph with the plot, the characters, and the sex! Does anyone have any recommendations for ER that deftly balances the sexual content with the emotional content?
Evangeline Holland is a writer of historical romances, an amateur milliner, and a really great cook. When not writing or reading, you can find her blogging about the Edwardian era on her website, the aptly titled Edwardian Promenade.