A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

TBR Challenge 1/22: Breaking Point by Emma Darcy

on January 19, 2022

The theme: Quickie

Why this one: I’ve been in the mood for the quick catharsis of Harlequin Presents lately.

There’s overwrought and then there’s overwrought, and this book thrusts you immediately and continually into the mind of a character, Tanya, who’s all the feels, all the time. I dislike this style immensely, but I became intrigued enough, albeit in an irritated way, to keep reading.

Tanya has been married to real estate tycoon Rafe for a few years and she’s in utter despair. She feels he doesn’t share anything with her, only wants her for sex, and is being poisoned against her by his indispensable assistant, Niki — and she thinks, and says, these same thoughts over and over ad nauseam. Eventually it reaches a showdown, where Tanya makes a “her or me” ultimatum.

What was most interesting/irritating to me about the situation is that Rafe is unquestionably right, at least in his dealings with Niki. (It creeps me out that I couldn’t find one GoodReads review that agreed with me on this.) He clearly has no unprofessional interest in her, argues that it would be completely unfair to fire her from a job she’s worked hard for and does well, and points out that it would not solve their problems. I would have liked for Tanya to see something beyond her own wangst and at least acknowledge Rafe’s points. (Perhaps they could have worked something out sensibly. Oh what am I saying, this is a Harlequin Presents! I’m not reading it for sensible!) And though I realize it’s unfair to criticize an author for the book she didn’t write, she came so close to satisfying me here, when Tanya starts to understand how being put in the position of “man of the family” when he was young had shaped Rafe’s character.

Was this why control was so important to him; not to let desire rule his life and seduce him into forgetting his responsibilities? Was it his past she was fighting, and not Niki Sandstrom at all?

No! It’s the children who are wrong! It was both! She was still fighting that poisonous woman, all right.

Rafe and Tanya do start understanding each other better, which left me feeling that have the potential for a genuine happy ending, unlike many a tense HP couple. But the ending! There’s melodrama and then there’s melodrama… and this one is certainly not as bad as it could have been, but it’s a lot more than it needed to be. The author actually pulls the most interesting punch, oddly enough. If you absolutely must have an Evil Other Woman, give us some payoff.


11 responses to “TBR Challenge 1/22: Breaking Point by Emma Darcy

  1. Miss Bates says:

    “I became intrigued enough, albeit in an irritated way, to keep reading.” This is EXACTLY how I’m pulled in to many an HP. 🙂

  2. azteclady says:

    If Niki got fired, there better be a book where she gets a much better job, ffs. (sorry, but really)

  3. Dorine says:

    Sounds like I need some HP just to find out about the craziness. LOL

  4. SuperWendy says:

    Oh what am I saying, this is a Harlequin Presents! I’m not reading it for sensible!

    OMG, I practically cackled out loud. So true. There is nothing quite as satisfying as the HP zaniness when that’s what one is in the mood for.

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