Hope Breaks by Alice Bello

Hope Breaks
Grade: C
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary

Series: 1st book in a same couple trilogy
Reviewed by Kate

Hope is a professional photographer whose specialty is romance book covers. She needs an exciting and new cover or her job is toast. Unfortunately, the only model agency in town is fresh out of models. A trip to the local Wal-Mart produces two potential models (see Wal-Mart really does carry everything, cover models-aisle 23) as well as a broken down car. Luckily Jake, a mechanic in the Tire and Lube Express department is there to save the day. Jake and Hope go on a whirlwind dating adventure. Then Hope makes a mistake that makes Jake walk away.

I liked that Jake and Hope are such normal people, not über-rich. Jake, of the thick and luscious lips, is your everyday grease monkey (but sexy, of course). Hope has worked her way into a rut lately, just the same old, same old. Her main excitement comes from her dreams of Brad Pitt. Jake and Hope together are cute and sweet and they have that urgent excitement of a new relationship. I felt like I could know them in my daily life.

While I found the dialogue well written, at times the rest of the writing wasn’t as smooth. There were also a few things that pulled me out of the story. At different points in the story, Hope is referred to as being both twenty six and thirty-seven. Hope has some relationship issues that are strongly hinted at, but never disclosed. On the other hand, Jake’s history seems to be a blank slate. No issues or problems to speak of. The love scene, while very descriptive, went on way too long for me.

Hope Breaks, the first in a trilogy by new author Alice Bello, does not include an HEA. I would assume that will come in the last book. The characters and dialogue were the strong points of the story. In this debut novella, Ms. Bello shows promise. I look forward to finding out what happens to Jake and Hope next.

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