Title: Real Men Don’t Break Hearts [Goodreads][Amazon]
Publisher: Bliss by Entangled
Release Date: December 10, 2012
In My Opinion: Worth a try!
One Line: It has appeal and one heck of a guy, but there was no spark for me.
Ally Griffin is horrified to learn her new landlord is none other than the infuriating playboy Nate Hardy—the man whose wiles she just knows got her jilted at the altar six years ago. Add to it that her ex-fiancé Seth is showing up in her hometown of Burronga, Australia, to marry his beautiful new bride…for real this time. But the kicker? Everybody’s treating Ally as though she’s still heartbroken. She’s just fine, thank you very much, but could The Jilter have the decency not to hire her sister as his florist?
Nate Hardy is tired of his high-flying city career and bachelor lifestyle and is looking for something more real. The last thing he needs is to find himself undeniably attracted to Ally, the woman with whom he never saw eye-to-eye. But is he even capable of what Ally wants and deserves?
As Ally tries to pull her life out of the rut it’s fallen in, she doesn’t count on Nate stirring up her emotions. A short-term fling with the resident bad boy is practically irresistible, but only if she can guard her heart…
I have to say, I really wanted to like this one, and I did like it, to a degree, but I didn’t love it like I usually do with Bliss titles. The synopsis is interesting enough and there were definitely some fun moments, but it was a bit lackluster for me. Ally didn’t really appeal to me, the secondary characters were fun, to an extent. I’d say Nate was pretty much the one aspect who had me holding on until the end.
After reading the synopsis, I expected to see a bit more of Ally’s ex-fiance, Seth, and although she finally gets her closure and moves on, it wasn’t all that epic as I would’ve liked it to be. Seth’s story arc added very little to the entire plot and I felt its only purpose was to have another aspect to pull Nate and Ally together. Her character wasn’t one of my favorites either, although she’s a great person who cares for others deeply, she was always so unsure of things and a bit too dependent and weak for my taste. I wasn’t happy with the fact that, even at the end, she still hadn’t really gotten anywhere with her life and the path I would’ve liked her to take, would’ve expected her to take, she didn’t follow.
Nate was definitely the highlight of the story. Throughout the book he is constantly trying to change for the better, discovering what’s important in life, making amends, and figuring out what he wants. He’s confident, sexy, successful, and caring. Even when he was being a bit of a jerk at the beginning, he still appealed to me and I could see that none of it was intentional. He definitely had a difficult life growing up and even though he was a rebel and an ass, he does a complete 360 and turns into such a great guy.
The storyline, aside from Seth’s wedding, is about Nate becoming Ally’s landlord and her figuring out what she wants to do with her life and her grandmother’s gift shop. She has a lot of ideas and hopes, but is so uncertain and insecure about it all that it was a big turn off for me. The only thing she was sure about was how she wanted her relationship with Nate to go. She knows he’s the kind of guy you have a good time with, not the one you settle down with, and she lays all her cards on the table up front, which I totally respect. Things change and get deeper along the way and they both come to terms with some secrets from their past, and, if anything, I liked how their relationship progressed.
The secondary characters didn’t do it for me at all. Ally’s family seemed like they didn’t know her at all. It got pretty annoying how strongly her family was sure that Ally wasn’t over Seth. I felt like they treated her like a child and didn’t support her much. Especially her grandmother, who I know is older and “set in her ways”, but she was a little unreasonable at times and I didn’t really care for the family dynamic.
I know I’m pointing out a lot of flaws, but I just wanted to say that if you’re looking for a well-rounded contemporary, then this isn’t it. The romance is great – intense, touching, and sweet at times, but otherwise, there’s not much substance to it.