Hard to Break (Alpha's Heart #2) by Bella Jewel

by Kristen D · 19 Oct 2015
Hard to Break (Alpha's Heart #2) by Bella Jewel
Do you guys know any car people? Are you a car person? I am not particularly a car person. I don’t understand how cars are beautiful and I have absolutely no emotional connection to the sound of an engine. My husband, however? A car dude. A petrolhead. A lover of things that go fast and loud. Thus, I have become car lover adjacent. I now watch Formula 1 races and have formed opinions on drivers teams out of a sheer need to have something to contribute to the weekends of our lives where we are glued to a couch watching cars go round and round in a circle and no I am not annoyed or bitter what are you talking about?

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I jest.

Sort of. ANYWAY.

Hard to Break is a book about people who love cars. People who may just bleed injector fluid if you pricked them. People who know more about how to manage their garage than their lives.

It’s also about addiction and how that particular monster weaves its tentacles through lives and can ruin them if one is not careful or surrounded by love and grace. Trigger warning on this one, chickens ­ if reading about alcoholism hits a little too close to home for you, you’re going to need to give this one a pass. The writing about it is real and gut wrenching and all too familiar to anyone who has lived that life. This is not a book where you can gloss over certain parts of it which may trigger you ­ the effects of Quinn’s dad’s disease is all over every page of this thing.

Which leads me to another point ­ y’all. Quinn is not my favorite. Because of how she lives her life ­ or more specifically, how her dad lives his, she makes poor decisions out of desperation and essentially throws a hundred­page long temper tantrum when something happens she doesn’t love. And I wanted to throttle her. I actually found myself talking to her “woman. This is not how we behave. You have got to get yourself some therapy and self­awareness to separate your life out.” I was giving her tips on how to compartmentalize her dad’s drama from hers. I was shaking my fist at how she was being treated and how she was reacting to that treatment.

Which means that Bella Jewel did her job because damn if these characters were not entirely believable.

Quinn is a mechanic and a frigging good one at that. She’s been a certified mechanic since her teen years and has been keeping her dad’s garage afloat while he floats his liver to oblivion. The novel opens with her finding out exactly how much debt he’s put her into and then subsequently finding the garage sold out from underneath her.

The buyer of the garage is hot dude Tazen Watts. Professional hot dude and car genius Tazen Watts, we’re told. He’s a panty melter who builds custom cars and when Quinn first meets him, she’s flabbergasted and tongue tied ­ until he insults her ability and assumes she’s an idiot because she possesses boobs.

Things get off to an antagonistic start ­ hence the hate­to­love tag ­ until a simple event makes them both realize that acting like adults sometimes also means tearing each other’s clothes off and they spend the rest of the book having creative and energetic sex. A lot of creative and energetic sex.

The main conflict after they’re sorted is between Quinn and her dad. There’s a few minor skirmishes over an ex­girlfriend of Tazen’s who is a piece of work, but the core conflict is Dad. I appreciated how Tazen just took care of business when the time came and took burdens away from Quinn instead of adding to them. A core fear of relatives of addicts is that they’ll loose other people over that addiction ­ being related to an addict is a full­time job and not everyone is cut out for being family to someone who is trying to love someone under the control of a demon. People who step into other people’s trauma and help have a special place in my heart, so thanks Tazen.

This book is ABSOLUTELY recommended for petrolheads and any others who like cars and racing and etcetera. It’s also recommended for folks who like to read about hotheads who learn to calm the hell down and use their passion for good and not evil ­ ie, for sex instead of stupid fighting. It’s a hot book about hot people, alpha male and female both. Looking forward to the next offering by Jewel for sure.

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