Jamie Howard’s debut contemporary romance/new adult novel Until We Break is out today! Read our review and download your copy.
[Some Spoilers; For Mature Audiences]
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
“Just make it stop, Luke. I can’t take it anymore. There’s nothing left to break.”
I’ll start by saying, this was an intense ride.
Luke Evans is a manwhore. He knows it. He owns it. He doesn’t let it bother him. The truth of the matter is, sex is the one thing he can enjoy that takes away everything else in his crappy world. He comes from a broken home with a drunk mother, a little brother that’s twelve years younger than him that he’s practically raised, and no money at all. The times he can forget, he takes full advantage of, and he’s never felt bad about. Then Sloane Avery shows up and changes everything.
Sloane and her sister, Blaire, are staying the summer with her grandmother to help her out at the diner she owns. They wait tables during the day, and at night, Blaire tries to Sloane out of the house and into party mode to forget about her cheating ex-boyfriend, Nick. She’s not in the mood for a relationship because she’s been hurt, and once she meets Luke, she vows to stay away from his kind. He’s a player and probably a cheater. He has sex with anyone that shows interest without strings, and Sloane knows that if she has sex, there’s most definitely strings attached.
Over the course of the summer, they form a tenuous friendship that always pushes the boundaries of more, yet Luke doesn’t stop his sleeping around and Sloane’s heart breaks a little more. After a tragic accident throws their lives into chaos, they share a night together. After which Sloane realizes that she needs to tell him that she loves him, and Luke believes he needs to end what’s happening between them at all cost.
What comes next breaks Sloane and sends her down a path that transforms her from the girl she was that summer to someone none of her old friends and family recognize.
I don’t read books like this because I’m allergic to angst. Seriously. I get all itchy and twitchy. It’s sad. Still, I read the summary of this book and was intrigued.
I really like summertime Sloane. She’s smart, funny, not naïve. She understands that she could very well get her heart broken, but she decides to take a chance anyway. Sloane wants to show Luke that he’s more than he believes himself to be.
I like summertime Luke, too. He’s up front about what he wants, and he doesn’t lead girls on. He’s got so much against him and a terrible home life that his behavior makes sense. Luke is a good guy. He’s charismatic and nice, but he accepts his position as the toy to be passed around. He doesn’t really care because he’s good with it, but at the same time, Sloane makes him question if this is something that he should be doing.
I thought the turning point in the story was so believable. I can see Luke reacting the way he does and seeking out Sloane for comfort. I believed that Sloane’s response was because she loves him and wants to help him. I even understand why Luke did what he did afterward. He’s a stupid guy and doesn’t really think things through until it’s over.
What follows tears Sloane apart, and she spends the next five years running away from her past and embracing Luke’s old ways. If sex is just an action, then no one can hurt her. Feelings are for the weak and stupid. There is no such things as an HEA.
And this is where I started hating everyone.
Sloane gets conned into coming back home for a few weeks, and of course she runs into her sister, who she’s avoided for years, and Luke. This time, Blaire is engaged to a guy named Harrison and Luke is in a relationship with a girl named Haley.
What comes next is Sloane being absolutely terrible to all parties involved. Not going to lie, I did love the part where she confronts Luke. I felt like she deserved that vindication.
Raising a water glass, she clinks a fork against it. “Excuse me, everyone, I’m sorry to interrupt your lovely dinners, but will you please raise your hand if you’ve ever slept with Luke Evans?”
Yeah, she gets him good, but she’s still so nasty to everyone. Even the people that don’t deserve it.
With the story’s ending, I didn’t feel like it proved anything good about the characters. Luke is still the same guy he was that summer, just package a little differently because he thinks his girlfriend, “Sloane lite”, will help him be stable. Sloane is mean and bitter. She doesn’t regret the things she’s said at all.
I think the way that Haley is treated is really sad, and I see that the next book is about her so I hope she finds a good man and gets nothing but swoons.
“I’m sorry. I set an alarm so that I could get up on time and talk to you, but my phone’s dead—”
“You set an alarm? An alarm?”
Shit, that did not sound like a bad thing in my head.
See…*shakes head* Luke needs some serious talking to.
In my opinion, the ending was a little too forced to be the true HEA we look for in romance. The story might have flowed better had there not been so much time spent on the summer they were friends and more spent on the reconciliation and growth after they find each other again.
I’d recommend this to those looking for a good, angsty read. The writing is very solid and the emotions radiate off the page. You’ll love characters, you’ll hate them, you’ll want to slap them. I think that’s the mark of a good book. Until We Break is out TODAY, so add to your Goodreads TBR list and grab your copy!
Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing an advanced review copy.