Reviews, Romance & Reality

By Christopher Scott

Recent reviews of my third novel, Broken Again, can only be described as scathing. This after overwhelmingly positive reviews for my first two novels. The following is a sampling of critiques available for your viewing pleasure on Amazon:

Good writing but weak, egotistical, narcissistic protagonist ruins the story…This is not a romance in any shape or form. Sadly, it is just another example of a pathetic loser of a man trying to boost his own vainglorious ego because he can’t step up and take responsibility for his choices.

I should have stopped after the second book…Not a romance and not something I want to read about…It took a couple I was happy with and ruined them for me. Sad choice by the author.

I’m afraid this book dismayed and confused me all at once…This book is nothing but some kind of fantasy fulfillment where cheating is not only accepted but rewarded. While the plot has its merit, it fails to deliver because the characters didn’t grow one iota.

This book made me want to punch people in the face…The thing that kills me about this story is that Jack doesn’t seem to have a conscience or any remorse at all.

You get the idea, and ironically, this feedback is exactly what I was seeking when writing the book. The reviewers are right. Broken Again is not a traditional romance and is intended as a kind of mid-life train wreck where the reader becomes more and more angry while witnessing the flawed protagonist continuing to make poor choices.

The face puncher actually understood and appreciated my intent. Despite her proclivity for violence, she rewarded the book with the highest five star rating. The other raters, likely expecting a typical love story, weren’t so generous with their stars, a response I understand entirely.

But I’ve labeled the Broken Man Series a Reality Romance for a reason. It doesn’t follow the guidelines of traditional romance, even if the first two novels didn’t stray far from the formula. And within the context of the entire series including the upcoming fourth and final installment, Broken Again fits in nicely despite alienating the majority of my readers.

With that in mind, I’m gonna let everyone in on a little secret. Men cheat. Some chronically, some only one time. Some feel remorse, some don’t. Some are even able to separate from their entire life when they go out of town and then return like nothing ever happened.

I don’t look at Jack as one of those guys. He’s a one-timer and does feel remorse even as he attempts to rationalize his behavior. He makes bad choices at times, but in the end, he tries to learn from his mistakes. He’s far from perfect, he’s flawed, he’s human. But try not to give up on him quite yet.

I don’t think he’s going to make the same mistakes again.

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