Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book review: When I Break (When I Break #1) by Kendall Ryan

When I Break (When I Break #1)
by Kendall Ryan
New Adult contemporary romance
Paperback, 226 pages
Published February 24th 2014 by Kendall Ryan Books (first published February 22nd 2014)

What happens when a sex addict falls for a virgin?

This book is intended for a mature reading audience and contains adult language and themes. Contains a stubborn alpha male with addiction issues and loads of sexual tension between two damaged characters. Read at your own risk.

Knox Bauer's life has unraveled to the point of no return. Fighting to fill the emptiness inside himself, he seeks solace in unfamiliar beds with unfamiliar women. As guardian to his three younger brothers, he can't seem to do a thing right. But this can't go on...they look up to him in every way and all he’s done lately is prove how messed up he really is. Needing a change, he attends a local Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting, where he finds himself tempted by the alluring instructor, McKenna.

Twenty-one year old McKenna is trying to make amends. After losing her parents in a horrific accident, she knows if she can just be good enough, maybe she can forgive herself for what happened. With her newly acquired degree in counseling, she begins leading a sex addicts group where she meets the troubled Knox and her life takes on complications she never bargained for. She doesn't have time for a bad boy who only wants to take her to bed, even if her body disagrees. The fixer in her wants to help, but trusting Knox's true motivations might take more courage than she has.

When I Break is book 1 in a new series by New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Kendall Ryan. When I Surrender, book 2, will be available April 7, 2014. Please note this is not a standalone, as the story continues in book 2.

When I Break was one of those books I really wanted to love and sadly didn't. The synopsis intrigued me and c'mon, the cover is killer. Unfortuanately, as much as I found some segments gripping--like the great way Knox takes care of his younger brothers and the chemistry between Knox and McKenna practically overheated the battery in my Kindle--the other 'lesser' aspects took away from my full enjoyment of the story.

Let's talk about McKenna. Pretty, innocent, virginal, orphaned, she's a young woman, 21, with a very tragic past. A recent graduate, she is running a group for sex addicts and meets bad boy Knox at the first meeting. Being attracted to him is so wrong on so many levels and she knows it, but does what she wants. Knox also has a past and is living up to his 'bad boy' looks with his playboy ways. I know we females are drawn to those sexy types with bad reputations and deep down harbor a secret desire to help these types of guys change. How many do? In Knox's case, he's not all bad, not at all. He's really hard on himself and sees something attainable with McKenna, something like a good life. 

The story is formulaic and parts are implausible. The quick pace suited the writing which I liked. The chemistry was great, the family dynamics sweet, but the relationship itself left an icky feeling with me. So much of what they did seemed wrong, even if they thought they could be friends (yeah, right). McKenna may be right out of school, but she knows the basic idea of right and wrong (and the fact that at 21 she has a BS and is already leading a group made my eyes roll). Flirting with Knox, going to his house, eating with his family, not wise. I also wondered at some of the word choice used with Knox ('submissive,' 'dominant,' I thought this might turn into another bdsm tale). 

The relationship McKenna has with Brian has 'dysfunction' written all over it. Both story lines and the characters needed more development. They may have tension but they were lacking in other areas. The ending came so suddenly and right in the middle of something which screamed "cliffhanger." As a reader, certain things bug me and blatant cliffhangers inserted into a story to make the person purchase the next installment seems like an obvious ploy. Unfortunately, there are too many negatives with this first installment so I won't be finishing this particular series.

Rating: 3

Cover comment:
The main reason I picked up this book was the sexy cover.

Book source:

No comments:

Post a Comment