Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Date Released: March 18, 2011
Format Reviewed: PDF
Length: Novel (965KB in PDF format)
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Jason and Remi want the same thing—no-strings-attached, screw-their-brains-out, burn-the-sheets-up fun. Pro hockey player Jason just broke up with his girlfriend because she got too serious. Schoolteacher Remi just saw the last of the younger siblings she raised leave the nest. Jace isn’t ready for responsibility. Remi’s had enough responsibility. They’re perfect playmates.
But fun and sexy games get complicated when emotions get involved. Then responsibility and commitment crash the party when Jason’s past comes back to haunt him. Like it or not, Jason and Remi both have to figure out what they really want. (from the Ellora’s Cave website)
This story begins with Remi’s friends staging an intervention to get her a life now that she’s a single young woman living alone and not a surrogate parent to her siblings. They take her out on the town and she hooks up with Jason, a professional hockey player who is out with his teammates to celebrate his own newly-unattached status. The book then follows this couple as they go from their professed “just having fun” relationship into a more serious one and then through how they deal with that relationship being in peril.
I bought this story based on the excerpt on the publisher’s site and was intrigued by the writing. Ms. Jamieson pulled me into the sample scene so well that I could imagine being in that place. The descriptive writing and emotional tone were very appealing as well as very descriptive. After reading Breakaway, I can attest that Ms. Jamieson also writes some very good sex scenes. I enjoyed the simple pleasures aspect of Breakaway and I really liked the fact that it didn’t come out perfectly (usually too perfectly) in the end. Compromises had to be made and the unexpected accommodated.
Unfortunately, I liked Breakaway overall, but did not love it. Where I felt this story fell down for me was in two places, really.
I really felt Breakaway was missing the fundamental storytelling aspect of character growth. I wanted to like this story and I definitely did at the beginning. Jason had an air of being solidly grounded but without the “star jock” ego that he could have slipped into. He was down-to-earth and plainspoken. Remi was vulnerable but didn’t seem to be too much of a wimp. She was well educated and seemed intelligent and willing to go out on a limb, even if she wasn’t comfortable doing so. I even liked Remi’s maternal nature toward her siblings. With these two characters to start with, I was eager to see them evolve throughout the story. But instead of the story demonstrating the characters’ weaknesses and flaws and then showing how they grow and mature, I felt like they didn’t grow and may have regressed. At points both characters were almost whiny and Remi, in particular, never did seem to grow the backbone she seriously needed to.
I also had some issues with some story details. I really liked the fact Ms. Jamieson introduced a behavioral aspect into the story, but I felt it was not fully explored and did not really play out in the character behavior. I have long-standing and intimate knowledge of that particular behavioral issue and while it was treated sympathetically, I think it could have been better addressed and could have been used to move the story along as well as give some character insights otherwise lacking. In some cases, Remi seemed almost willfully…uncurious. Or maybe ignorant/obtuse. Either way, I found that aspect frustrating and wanted to give her a good kick in the pants and a few web search links.
Though I had problems with Breakaway as a story, I did like Ms. Jamieson’s voice and will try another story by her in the future.