Review: Broken by Annie Jocoby

broken1Reviewed by Shelly

This is neither an HEA nor HFN and is the first in a trilogy in Annie Jocoby’s Broken series. Nick O’Hara is a professor teaching architecture at Columbia’s graduate program. He’s drawn to Scotty James’s vulnerability and wants her closer, so he proposes that she intern at this firm. Scotty’s barely living hand to mouth. She’s working as a bartender and depends on  generous tips, so when she’s offered an internship at Nick’s firm she doesn’t see how she can take it knowing that internships are usually without pay. As one of Nick’s students, Scotty is ‘eligible’ for a nomination as an intern but she knows that she won’t be able to intern without a salary. Nick offers her a salary.

There’s so much about this story that had me completely gobsmacked. The main thing that got me was Nick and his choices prior to coming to New York City to work at this prestigious firm. I get that he’s billionaire rich, powerful and absolutely mantastically sexilicious but he was also an as*shat. Dear reader, how am I, as a reader of all things romance, supposed to like, empathize, cheer for a hero, who was married to a woman, had 2 children with said woman, yet doesn’t communicate or make an effort to see his offspring? One of his children died. Even more, Nick’s secret love, Iris, who is married to his best friend, seems to have a more prominent place in his life than his kids.

Problem #2. How much cheering on can I give a hero who, while professing his affection for his heroine, continues to sleep with different women (yeah, not just one)? There’s no coming back from that unless there’s some sort of serious repenting or elapsed time frame. Neither happened.

Problem #3. This isn’t necessarily Nick’s fault, but possibly poor storyline timing. How at 33 years of age does Nick already have one of the most coveted awards in his field? If he’s such a man-whore and didn’t accelerate through college advancing through like the rest of us, how did he manage the time and much less garner the dedication, to put towards his career to get that award? I’m guessing it’s the same thought behind his skill on the piano.

Scotty was a lot more likable character than Nick, but I found inconsistencies in her character that made me not love her. I’m sure this happens more often than not (or does it?) but how did Scotty live in a car on the street for a whole year, get arrested 3 times for theft and no one suspected she was homeless? I’m assuming she didn’t know how to drive, so how was no one suspicious of this car that was parked for a whole year?

Then the whole idea of Jack taking her into his small apartment didn’t ring true to me either. Why did he do that? I’m not calling Scotty an idiot by any means, but for someone who has always been poor she had such knowledge much less enjoyment of classical music and art. Maybe she learned them in school, I don’t know. After working 2 years in a bar, how is she still so naive? As a reader, I felt there were lots of missing explanations. Maybe I expected Scotty to be product of her environment and when she wasn’t, there wasn’t an explanation as to why. Maybe I expected her to have much more street smarts than book smarts. Maybe I just expected too much. The only thing that really saved Scotty for me was the abuse that she suffered as a child. That gutted me and made me sad that she didn’t have anyone to look out for her. But that was only a part of her character development. Maybe the rest is in the upcoming installments.

I’ll leave with this – the convoluted ridiculousness of Portia was amusing. But someone needs to handle that business and handle it quickly.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: C

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Broken
by Annie Jocoby
Release Date: Janurary 4, 2014

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