*Thank you to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to review Real Men Don’t Break Hearts!*
Date Read: January 4rd, 2013
“Burronga was a small place, and people had long memories.”
In a nutshell, Seth left Ally at the altar. Nate goes to the ceremony to be the man Seth isn’t and tell Ally Seth isn’t coming to the wedding to her face.
Fast forward roughly six years and you have ex-Seth coming back to their hometown to marry Paige, Nate is buying the building Ally’s shop and the apartment above is housed in and you get a recipe for a contemporary romance that will leave you smiling. Or at least, that’s how I felt when I finished reading Real Men Don’t Break Hearts.
For the most part I really liked this sweet Aussie contemporary. It was the first story I have read based in Australia and I’ll definitely be reading more in this particular setting.
I loved the relationship between Ally and her sister. It was one of those relationships that was so real, you could picture you and your sister doing some of the same things. While I don’t have a sister, I do have a cousin I consider a sister, and I can tell you she and I are just like Ally and her sister, spitting images. My cousin however, is more like Ally.
For this reason I didn’t 100% connect with Ally, because some of the ways Ally approached things I just wouldn’t do. Ally’s character matured greatly over the course of the novel, which I also felt was a real portrayal of character growth. People don’t change overnight.
Right from the start I liked Nate. Of course the reader is given glimpses of Nate before Ally sees them, but Nate is a good guy, much better than cowardly Seth. I like how he pushed Ally out of her comfort zone and had her being the captain of her own life, instead of allowing everyone else to tell her what to do.
Perhaps the only thing about Nate that I couldn’t quite grasp was his need for a career change at such a young age. He’s in his early 30 (I’m guessing) and he wants to get back to his roots? I didn’t buy it. I will acquiesce this could be a cultural thing. American’s experience this type of “itch” typically during their 40s.
Some of what I didn’t like about this story was the way it jumped around, there were some drastic time inconsistencies that made the read a little unsettling.For me it was too much going on in one chapter. First Nate is talking to Ally in Burronga, then Nate is in Sydney, then Nate is back in Burronga in a matter of a few pages. Talk about jarring. Now I did read an ARC so they could have altered that in the final copy. I’m not sure.
Something else I wasn’t fond of, and this is all me, and that was the degree of explicitness between Nate and Ally later on in the story. It wasn’t anything too descriptive and I’ve certainly seen more on one of the teen TV programs I watch, I just didn’t expect it, so I wasn’t prepared.
Coleen’s strong command of the written language gave her novel maturity and class. Her ability to interweave vocabulary I never see in YA and rarely in the NA, which is the category I’m placing this novel in, was seamless and beautiful and made reading a pure delight!
All in all, Mrs. Kwan is a fantastic storyteller and I will definitely be reading more from her in the future.
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…
Author: Coleen Kwan
Source: Entangled Publishing via NetGalley
Edition: arc, Digital Copy for Kindle
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Published Date: December 10th, 2012
My Rating: .5/5