Title: Broken At Love
Author: Lyla Payne
Series: Whitman University #1
Release Date: March 8, 2013
When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.
College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.
But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?
Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.
To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.
Broken At Love is a creative, fun and heartwarming story. First of all, who doesn’t love a book where the player gets played?! Seriously. I love a female character who just makes that cocky womanizer lose his mind… and his heart! Emilie is the perfect girl to do just that and Quinn has no idea that with Emilie, all the rules have changed. Surrounded by their insane families and friends, they have to find a way to fight for the life they want and walk away from the life that has been planned for them.
I loved the storyline of this book. The fact that Quinn was a retired tennis pro who was forced to return to a life he never wanted to begin with creates the perfect backdrop for a journey of angst, pain and self-discovery. Especially with an evil half-brother who is determined to ruin everything and everyone. The house parties that Quinn throws around the major tennis tournaments and the colorful cast of characters that run in his elite and entitled circle provide all the drama, awkward situations and intense moments you could want in a book.
Emilie and Quinn are unique and interesting characters. This isn’t the story of two broken souls who find each other and live happily ever after. Emilie isn’t necessarily broken; there is no tragedy from her past that haunts her. I appreciated the lack of drama in her past and I empathized with her very real challenge of living up to her parents’ expectations. Emilie is simply an artist from a privileged background who wants to live for her paintings and leave behind the life of rules and practicality her parents have set before her. She is strong and determined to stick to what she loves, even if she can’t afford to lose her parent’s financial support. She is sassy and a bit fierce. I loved seeing her with her friends and I was ecstatic to see her hold her own with Quinn. That guy needed to be knocked down a peg or two.
Broken At Love was a great story that captivated me and had me wishing I went to Whitman University. Lyla Payne did a fabulous job creating unique and well defined characters and she made their journeys of self-discovery and personal growth exciting and emotional. There were moments of legitimate hatred, intense frustration, exhausting sadness, and overwhelming joy. I enjoyed Quinn and Emilie’s story as they struggled to figure out who they were and what they wanted. With so many intriguing characters being introduced throughout this book, I can’t wait to read the next book in the Whitman University series!
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Don’t miss the rest of the Whitman University series:
By Referral Only (Whitman University #2)
Be My Downfall (Whitman University #3)
Staying On Top (Whitman University #4)
Living the Dream (Whitman University #5)
Whitman University Series Box Set