Book Review: Alice Bello’s Hope Breaks

June 18, 2013 5 out of 5, Contemporary Romance, review 2 ★★★★★

Book Review: Alice Bello’s Hope BreaksTitle: Hope Breaks
Author: Alice Bello
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: five-stars
My Copy: Review Copy via Author
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Hope Jones has two problems: one is new, the other is depressingly old.

The new problem: the bestselling author the publisher she shoots romance novel covers for hates her newest batch of covers. She has until the end of the week to come up with a breathtaking shot or she’ll be replaced. And there’s a sudden model shortage; they’re out of season.

The old, depressing problem: she hasn’t had a date, sex or a relationship in over two years.

She also has one hell of a headache.

Hope finds the cures for her two problems during a search through Wal-Mart for a painkiller to kill her headache.

Turns out the aisles of the retail giant are rampant with hot young model worthy specimens. And when her trusty Ford Taurus breaks down in the parking lot, a hunky mechanic in the Tire and Lube Express department fixes more than just her car.

Seemingly her troubles are good as gone…but then her new, fabulous cover is rejected, and in a desperate moment she has to choose between keeping her job and keeping the man she’s just starting to fall in love with.

Hope Jones wishes she could start the day over again. Not only has her car broken down, but her job is in jeopardy. As a photographer of romance novel covers, she loves her job and she’s one of the best in the business. When the publisher she works with orders new book cover mock-ups because the bestselling author they want to retain has threated to sign elsewhere, Hope realizes she needs to take new photographs, but she’s under a time constraint. Heading into the local Wal-Mart for painkillers, she comes across a few men who are model potential, but it’s the mechanic at a local repair shop that steals her breath. Jake is attracted to Hope on sight and he sets out to woo her. There’s one slight problem, Hope isn’t sure about her feelings and she’s too focused on her job. Will Hope take a chance on Jake and save her job?

I loved Hope Breaks! Alice Bello has done a great job with this engaging and witty novella. Narration is first person perspective told through Hope. First person narration can be tricky because you miss the thoughts of the other characters including their actions. In this case, Bello does an excellent job detailing exactly what is going on around Hope that you don’t miss not knowing what Jake is thinking, doing, etc. She’s pretty detailed about it. I won’t go into detail, but there’s a heart wrenching scene at the end and the way Bello describes it, you can pretty much imagine you’re in the room and Jake’s body language is pretty apparent. We get that all through Hope’s eyes. Some reviewers have commented on the ending, but I think it’s perfect because it opens up knowing more about Hope in the second installment and it’s no different from other books ending on a cliffhanger.

Character development is strong and I feel we get to know Hope and Jake equally despite it being told in first person narrative. Hope has closed herself off from dating and she’s cautious. We aren’t told exactly why nor do we know all of her past history, but this is part one in a trilogy and therefore it makes sense that we get to know Hope as the story progresses. As for Jake, he’s very open and even admits to knowing Hope in high school, but she doesn’t remember him. They know several people in common and it will be interesting to see if any of them make a future appearance. We have several secondary characters, but one stands out. Bette is Hope’s neighbor and she’s nosy so you’ll be thanking your lucky stars she isn’t your neighbor!

I have several favorite scenes but the ones that stand out the most are Hope’s trip to Wal-Mart and the time Jake and Hope spend together. You’ll be laughing and enjoying every minute of it. It was great to see Hope open herself up to the possibility of love and Jake is just swoon worthy.

Memorable quote:

“Wal-Mart really did have everything: Tylenol, hot young studs, and even mechanics to change your starter.”

Hope Breaks is a wonderful read! If you’re looking for a funny contemporary romance with a mouth watering hero, then this is your must summer read. I do have to warn you, you won’t look at Wal-Mart or hear a Jimmy Buffett song the same way after reading this. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

2 Responses to “Book Review: Alice Bello’s Hope Breaks”

  1. Jen

    Oh my God, this books sounds amazing! Although I read very few novellas as I find they typically only skim the surface of a story, I’m a sucker for contemporary adult romance and for $.99 on Amazon.com right now, it looks like I can’t say no. I do have to ask: What makes you believe this is the first novella in a series? When I checked on Goodreads I couldn’t find any information about this story being continued in a later novella 🙁
    Jen recently posted…The Top 10 Books On My Summer To-Be-Read ListMy Profile

    • Jessica

      I’m not a fan of novellas as a whole for the same reason you gave. There is a bit of “instant” love, but I think of it more as lust in this case and if you read it, you’ll know why. I know on Goodreads it’s not listed a series, but in the email request she sent she made note that it was the first in a trilogy. Also on her blog she mentions 3 in the series (http://alicebelloromance.blogspot.com/2013/04/about-me.html). I’m sure she’ll modify the goodreads entry once she knows what to name it, etc.

      If you do read it, let me know your thoughts (even if you hate it). I read it one sitting and loved it especially the Wal-Mart scene.

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