- Book Title: Broken Star and Unbreakable
- Book Series: Box Set – 2 Novels in 1
- Author: Joann Lee
- Publisher: JMS Books LLC (June 13, 2016)
- Book Length: 428 pages
- Genre: Lesbian Romance, Erotic Romance
- Reviewed by: Petra
- Rating: 2 Star
Being famous might have its perks (after all, we all know wealth trumps bigotry) but it also has some major drawbacks. And I am not convinced the positives are enough to cancel out the negatives.
Never knowing if people are in your life for you or for your fame and money; the difficulty of maintaining a relationship, or a family, when most (or a large part) of your life is lived on the road and in hotels; the pressure of management; always having to keep up a certain image; not being able to go out unless you are wearing a disguise; paparazzi; stalkers…
It might be fun at first, but I can imagine the fun wears thin quickly.
Lynn Feoras is a successful singer, a best-selling author—well, her debut novel is a hit—and, according to the magazines, a total player. True enough, Lynn doesn’t want a relationship and chooses to have one-night stands. Something all the women she sleeps with understand.
Alexis Donatella is a police officer working for the Special Victims Unit, a single mother to the precocious Calista, and has a deep founded distrust of celebrities after her celebrity girlfriend tried to hide her in the closet and then left her when Alexis became pregnant through IVF.
Yet, despite their differences, the two women hit it off. Their relationship isn’t without its hiccups, but they manage to battle through them.
The first book, Broken Star, is fast paced and stretches over a handful of months. With plenty of action—a serial killer, a rapist, a long-lost sister, an engagement—it is an engaging read.
The second book, Unbreakable, spans a significant longer period of time but has a lot more gaps in the timeline. Although not terrible, it did make reading slightly more stilted. At times it felt as if I was missing a couple of pages.
Fairly quickly into the story, a knife-wielding stalker comes into the lives of the two women. And, without an actual resolution or a bigger role, disappears again. Ms Lee tried to ‘rescue’ this oversight in the epilogue but did so clumsily.
Then again, that might have been done on purpose, in preparation for a possible third story in the series. She did do something similar in the first book. Neither book one nor book two has cliff-hangers, but there enough threads hanging lose to allow a follow-up.
When I started to read the set, I really wanted to love it. So, I went in with an open mind and an open heart. Although I don’t hate it, I’m also not rushing off for the next story by this author, or any of the works her publisher has brought out for other writers. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First and foremost, the editing was lackadaisical at best, non-existent at worst. The editorial issues range from plot holes to an exorbitant number of spelling errors (I promise, you set something ON the floor, not IN), to a whole host of grammatical issues. The repetitiveness of the sex scenes should also have been addressed. If it wasn’t for the fact that I know Ms Lee produced this work via a publisher, I would’ve said it hadn’t been looked at by an editor at all.
Secondly, the publisher has dubbed this work as an ‘erotic novel’. However, ‘sexually explicit’ is more accurate. Besides the sex scenes being wearisome (they literally do the same thing, every single time!), they are not all that often or drawn out. There are, in the second book, some references to toys and there is one instance in each book of ‘sex in a public place’, but that is about the stretch of it.
Although the characters are reasonably well developed, they never really come to live. That is partially to blame on the poor editing, but also due to the way the story is written; this story is a fine example of ‘show’ versus ‘tell’ and it switches too often between the two. Telling this story from a first person perspective would probably have been a better idea.
The setting switches from Florida to Manhattan to the Manhattan suburbs, interspersed with a couple of hotel rooms. Interesting enough, but never original and slightly clinical.
No matter how much I wanted to love this story, I never did fall in love, but… the story was written and especially the first book was captivating to a certain extent. Therefore, I am giving the entire box set 2 out of 5 stars. Individually, Broken Star gets 2.5 stars and Unbreakable gets 1.5 stars.
Still, you might love this story more than I did, so give it a chance and make up your own mind.
Joann Lee’s best-selling lesbian romance series together in one box set for the first time! Contains the stories:
Broken Star: From the outside looking in, Lynn Feoras seemingly has everything a woman could desire. With numerous platinum selling CDs, lavish homes, and the ability to bring down the house with her powerful vocals, who could want for more?
Alexis Donatella is a jaded SVU officer who has no tolerance for the rich and famous. She has devoted her life to raising her daughter and to the Florida division of the Special Victims Unit. Venturing into a relationship is the furthest thing from her mind.
When Alexis and Lynn meet on the sandy beaches, sparks do not exactly fly, at least not for Alexis. When you add in a rambunctious child, a tragic secret from Lynn’s past, and obstacles no one could have foreseen, it makes for one frenzied summer.
In the midst of madness, is it possible for these two women to find love?
Unbreakable: After finding happiness, Lynn Feoras was convinced life with Alexis and Calista would be perfect. But when she and Alexis begin the tedious journey of expanding their family, she soon comes to learn that money doesn’t buy everything.
In the midst of doctor’s visits, a move to New York, and a whirlwind tour, life remains chaotic for the Feoras family. New friends emerge, old ones return, and an unexpected reappearance of someone from Lynn’s past leaves her questioning her ability to be a parent.
Will Lynn and Alexis be able to overcome the obstacles placed before them? Will their relationship crumble under the strain or will they come out on top, stronger than before?
Joann Lee grew up in a small southern town; a town where she never felt like she fit in. Needing an escape, she quickly grew to love the written word. As a teenager, she was addicted to Nancy Drew novels. Now that she is much older, she still loves to read; her favorite author is the brilliant Gerri Hill.
Joann’s specialty is lesbian romance. She tends to grow quite attached to her characters and loves to get lost in the realms of fiction. Her first published novel is, Broken Star. Unbreakable, a sequel to Broken Star, was released November 10th!
Her other interests include music, tattoos, travel, photography, concerts, New York City, Las Vegas, and reading. Of course, writing is her favorite hobby. She would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or visit her website to send an e-mail.