Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Breakaway - Deirdre Martin (Berkley - Feb 2012)

Series: New York Blades (Book 9)

They had it all planned out: college, marriage, happily ever after. But it didn't quite work out that way...

Erin O'Brien was everyone's favorite in Ballycraig, while Rory Brady was the town's golden boy: the local lad who moved to America and became a professional hockey player. Rory promised to return to sweep Erin away to the life of her dreams in New York. But the bright lights and late nights turned his head and he never came back.

Two years later, Rory realizes he's made the worst mistake of his life. Heading back to Ballycraig, he's confident that all he needs to do is flash his winning smile and Erin will fall back into his arms. But Erin's moved on. Racing the clock, Rory needs to prove to her that the man she fell in love with is still there. But can happy-go-lucky Erin risk it all and give another chance to the man who broke her heart?

This was a pretty good book. Rory had grown up in Ballycraig with Erin where the were sweethearts. He and his parents moved to America when he was fifteen, but he still spent summers in Ballycraig. They had their plans all made for their future until Rory became a professional hockey player. Then the lifestyle sucked him in and he broke things off with Erin. Two years later he's finally figured out that he messed up and he wants Erin back.

Rory really bugged me at the beginning of the book. He had left Ballycraig behind, never coming back, even to see his grandmother. He broke up with Erin by phone, and totally blew off his friendship with his best buddy. He showed up in town driving a fancy car and behaved like nothing had ever happened, expecting to be treated the way he always had been. He was dead certain that a heartfelt apology will be enough to have Erin forgive him and get things back on track. I loved his surprise when his reception was less than welcoming by the townspeople, Erin told him to get lost, and his buddy Jake punched him in the nose. He finally started to get the idea that it wasn't going to be as easy as he had thought.

Erin had been devastated by Rory's actions and it took awhile for her to get over it. One thing she was determined about was that his departure wasn't going to stop her from following her own dreams. My early view of Erin was that she had built up her independence, her backbone and her sass. She has been working on getting her art history degree while at the same time helping at her parents' B&B. Her mother hasn't exactly been supportive of her plans, and has done everything she can to keep Erin at home. Erin isn't happy when she discovers that Rory is back. She feels that she finally has her life back in order and she doesn't want him tempting her into risking her heart again.

Once Rory got the idea that he was going to have to prove that he had changed, the story got a bit better. I really liked the effort that he put into showing Erin and the others that he had learned his lesson. He was determined to show Erin that he still loved her, so he kept trying in spite of her resistance. I liked the fact that Erin didn't cave in right away, but made Rory work for her forgiveness. I liked seeing them repair their relationship and begin to build their future.

In the later part of the books, the roles suddenly reverse and Erin turns into an insecure idiot. Things had been going very well between she and Rory until a chance meeting with a visiting New Yorker. Suddenly Erin is sure that she isn't good enough for Rory, and when a friend sees Rory in suspicious circumstances, Erin is certain that he's regretting their renewed relationship. She makes accusations of cheating, doesn't want to listen or believe his explanation, and flounces away in a huff. Even after she realizes she was wrong, she still has issues that reappear a short time later. I was really impressed with Rory at this point, because he understands what is happening and gives her what she needs to overcome her fears. I really liked the ending and the surprise Erin had for Rory.

The secondary characters were also really good. I loved Erin's friend Sandra. She and Erin had a great relationship and I loved how they were there for each other in times of trouble. Sandra was pretty blunt at times and some of the things she said were pretty funny. I also like Rory's friend Jake. He didn't have any trouble telling Rory off, but he was also there when Rory needed him. Erin's mom was also an interesting character. I didn't like her much throughout most of the book because of the way she treated Erin, but she did redeem herself somewhat by the end.

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