Title: Heartbreak for Hire
Author: Sonia Hartl
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: July 27th, 2021
Brinkley Saunders has a secret.
To everyone in the academic world she left behind, she lost it all when she dropped out of grad school. Once a rising star following in her mother’s footsteps, she’s now an administrative assistant at an insurance agency—or so they think.
In reality, Brinkley works at Heartbreak for Hire, a secret service that specializes in revenge for jilted lovers, frenemies, and long-suffering coworkers with a little cash to spare and a man who needs to be taken down a notch. It might not be as prestigious as academia, but it helps Brinkley save for her dream of opening an art gallery and lets her exorcise a few demons, all while helping to empower women.
But when her boss announces she’s hiring male heartbreakers for the first time, Brinkley’s no longer so sure she’s doing the right thing—especially when her new coworker turns out to be a target she was paid to take down. Though Mark spends his days struggling up the academic ladder, he seems to be the opposite of a backstabbing adjunct: a nerd at heart in criminally sexy sweater vests who’s attentive both in and out of the bedroom. But as Brinkley finds it increasingly more difficult to focus on anything but Mark, she soon realizes that like herself, people aren’t always who they appear to be.
Heartbreak for Hire is definitely a unique concept, with the MC working for a company that is paid to get revenge on men that harm women in 4 different ways – Egos, Cheaters, Grifters, and Players. Four women take out their targets and head up each division based on the way they were hurt before as a form of therapy. Brinkley’s newest target doesn’t seem like the typical Ego she deals with, and when he finds herself breaking all the rules and hooking up with Markus, she has no idea what’s going on. And further, when Markus shows up as her new work partner, things get really interesting…
I overall enjoyed this romance, which is a bit heavier than your typical rom com. However, I feel like too much was tackled within this book – from Brinkley’s issues with her mom, dad, Margo, and her career goals – there was so much happening and the plot flitted back and forth without much structure. The concept was totally cool, and I loved the relationship scenes and the somewhat insta-love connection between Brinkley and Markus – and the oh so steamy scenes – but there were definitely side plots that could have been cut.
I also really wanted Margo to be taken down a notch and for there to be an epilogue. I personally feel that epilogues are required in romance books. Again, I really enjoyed this book outside of the critiques listed, it was entertaining and kept my attention even with the back and forth.
Thank you to Gallery Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!