Reviews: Break: Charity Parkerson

Break (Hard Hit #6)
Charity Parkerson
Released April 18, 2016
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Noah’s career means everything to him. That is, until he loses his true everything.

Noah has been in love with his best friend, Troy, for as far back as he can remember. There is no one else he can picture spending his life with. After signing a contract with the Blue Fires, Noah heads to New Orleans, ready to start his new life as a pro hockey player. With the career he’s always dreamed of having in his hands and the man he’s always loved in his bed, Noah thinks everything is golden.

But nothing could prepare Noah for how being the star player would change his life. Each time he finds a reporter’s mic underneath his nose, Noah can’t stop himself from pushing Troy farther away, making Troy the dirty secret. That is, until the day Troy has had enough.

With Troy gone, Noah can’t find his footing, but neither does he have the words to fix the things he’s broken. No matter how many times Noah picks up the phone, fear stops him from saying all the words he’s avoided. Until a single call and a tragic accident changes everything.

“He arrived at St. Luke’s Medical Center… Labels no longer counted. Opinions were out the window. Nothing mattered any longer.”

Hurt, anger, and bitterness have Noah throwing back the curtain, showing the world his every secret. But is it too little too late?

Break is the sixth novella in Charity Parkerson’s Hard Hit series and the first that I have read, both in this series and from this author. While I really enjoyed the way the story played out here, this book suffers from the one big issue that I have with almost all novellas: there is too much story to fit in such a short length.

Noah and Troy have been best friends since childhood. Each is in love with the other, though neither can stomach the idea of risking losing the friendship in order to admit it to the other. Before leaving Troy in Phoenix to move to New Orleans after signing a hockey contract, Noah confesses his love for Troy after their drunken celebration of achieving his goal to be a professional hockey player. Suddenly he has everything he ever wished for. But the pressures of being in the public eye and the fear of what would happen if everyone knows they are the couple cause Noah to treat Troy like a dirty secret, ruining what they have. It takes Troy being nearly killed in an accident for Noah to throw caution to the wind and do whatever it takes in his effort to win Troy back, but he fears it’s too late.

Novellas. The lure of getting a nice, full story in a compact two- or three-hour time span is often too tempting for me to refuse, especially when something about the blurb strikes me just so. And yet, nine times out of ten, they let me down, especially those in the romance genre. There just isn’t enough space to do everything a good romance should do: full and rich character development, the process of discovering love, the process of discovering each other sexually, establishing and expanding the conflict, and resolving the conflict before sending the heroes on their happily-ever-after or at least a happy-for-now. Unless an author is extremely talented, it’s impossible to do all this well in fewer than two hundred pages, let alone in fewer than a hundred (which I assume this would be if I had read it in paperback.)

This story jumps right in to the first fuck and admission of feelings on the celebratory night for Noah’s contract. Hot sex, sure, but there’s no build and no burn. I really like to get to know the characters and understand why they feel so much for the other before I get the reward of them being together. It doesn’t even have to be much: twenty pages just to get my brain going first, but here there is almost nothing, and I completely miss it. Then, in a matter of a single chapter, the year-long process of them drifting apart takes place and the accident happens. It’s all just so rushed up to this point. I confess that I didn’t care a lick about either of them at this point, didn’t believe what was happening, and didn’t care how it was going to turn out.

Really, this is too bad because once the story finally hits its stride, it’s already half done. The second half is a wonderful story, watching Noah doing everything to keep his best friend first and then trying to win his heart back. In this second half, we finally get to learn a little about the characters and what makes them tick, though we never really learn why they’re so interested in each other. In spite of this, what we do get is some of the slow burn during this rebuilding phase that was missing from the front end of the novella, and it leads up to a wonderful ending between the two of them and an epilogue that fills in some of the gaps that we should have been privy to earlier.

There’s nothing difficult or complex here. Overall, Break is a good book, one that I just wish were twice as long in order to develop the things the author chose to skip over. So keep this warning in mind: save it for a time when you want to experience an angsty story about love lost and rebuilt without having to get through the initial establishment of a relationship. In this quick-and-dirty read context, it’s a very good book, and because of that fact, I imagine I will read more of the books in this series.

The publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Break in exchange for this fair and honest review.
Charity Parkerson
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Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with Ellora's Cave Publishing, Midnight Books, and Punk & Sissy Publications. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*Winner of 2, 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards
*2014 Golden Ankh nominee 
*2013 Readers' Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers' Choice Award Winner
*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath


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