Review ~ Break Me by Autumn Stark


Book: Break Me

Series: In Plain Sight #1

Author: Autumn Stark

Format: e-book

Page Count: 100

Published: Books With Benefits Press, January 7, 2014

Source: Publisher


Abigail Stevens, an efficient and no-nonsense editor for one of the biggest names in the romance novel industry, has a big problem. She’s been desperately in love with Anthony Tate, Mr. Romance-Writer himself, for the last four years. She’s settled for friendship and professional success for the last four years, but now the sexy writer needs something more from her and she can’t find a reason to refuse.

Tony Tate has built a career centered on his identity as America’s most romantic writer. That identity does not include a debauched temper tantrum in the aftermath of his very public break-up with his on-again, off-again girlfriend. Tony has known that Abby has had the hots for him since the moment they met, but when his Plain Jane best friend and controlling editor ends up being his only option to exorcise his demons and pent-up sexual frustration, he can’t wait to break her prim and proper shell.

As Tony and Abby push each other farther than they’ve ever gone before, the question becomes, who will break whom?


I know this book is shelved as romance, but I think it’s more contemporary erotic romance, for the relationship between Abby and Tony relied heavily on the rough sex they had. And I’m sorry to say, that’s pretty much what the book is about.

Abby is a workaholic editor for Tony the Romance Wiz. As well as being Tony’s editor, she’s his caretaker, assistant, babysitter, housekeeper and probably some other things in between. Added more recently, his fuck buddy, pardon my French. I don’t have to say how much the plot intrigued me when I first read it, about a no nonsense editor and her self involved author hitting it on, but starting from the beginning I was disappointed. For one thing, there wasn’t much romance in the story to suck me in. The sex was hot, I’ll give Abby and Tony that, but the romance-since Tony’s supposed to realize how much Abby means to him- was lacking. I didn’t sense any sincerity in their relationship, despite Tony’s efforts to make Abby believe that he fell in love with her. I get where Abby was coming from in her disbelief considering Tony’s been a womanizer for the four years she’s known him, but I felt she started her arguments for all the wrong reasons. While I thought she was being disrespected and used by Tony and thus fumed where I sat, she took it like it was no big deal, and made a scene and stood up for herself just when the guy was cleaning his act. If this wasn’t bad timing, I don’t know what is. Of course when she did that, she came out as the childish and irrational one, even though she might’ve been right had she set her foot down when she should’ve. One of the most frustrating things about a character is a back and forth approach they take on anything, and I’m sorry but this was exactly what Abby did. She didn’t seem like a strong heroine either, with her constant self doubt and her need of approval from others, mainly Tony. I get an emotionally weak personality, but for me as a reader to come to relate to that character is through her discovery of her inner strength. Unfortunately Abby never reaches that point and that fails her as a good heroine in my eyes.
Tony, on the other hand, was the more predictable character. He took a turn from being the womanizer to the one-woman man, and though it wasn’t the best of transformations, I can’t say it was that bad compared to Abby’s flailing emotions.

Like I mentioned earlier, the sex was hot. It was just the right amount of rough sex, the fantasy of being dominated by the man, but the spice is not enough to suck me in the story on its own. Especially if I’m looking for romance. Everything started out the way I enjoyed and was looking forward to, the self centered hero and the heroine who had it enough with his usual selfishness, and just when I was ready for the turn from lust to love, I found myself having already made the turn and I haven’t even realized it. I don’t particularly enjoy being left out of all the fun of seeing the hero suffer.

As is the case with many series first books, I haven’t lost all hope. I’m already thinking of how the next book could go, I even have hopes for another potential couple. I do hope, while keeping the sexiness the same, the romance can be taken up a notch without sacrificing any relatable characteristics of both the hero and the heroine.

I’m adding one spoonful of this story into my hodgepodge.




In Plain Sight series by Autumn Stark:

  1. Break Me
  2. All In

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