Series Review: Whitman University by Lyla Payne

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Broken at Love by Lyla Payne | Whitman University

book2 book3 book4 book5

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Broken at Love (from Goodreads):
When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.

College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.

But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?

Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.

To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

breakdown

Series: Whitman University
Author: Lyla Payne
# of Books: 5 (Full Series Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: Toasty
Point of View: First Person, Alternating & Single
Publication Dates: March 2013 – November 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

My Thoughts on Broken at Love:

I was really excited to read this book. I don’t know what it is, but I love stories about people falling “accidentally” in love and with this one, there seemed to be a darker element to it so that really drew me in.

Unfortunately, while I really liked this book, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It wasn’t as dark as I thought it was going to be–I think I was hoping for a Cruel Intentions kind of book–so that was a little disappointing as that is NOT what we get. It focused more on them trying to become a couple and Emilie helping Quinn deal with his issues (though there is a bit about Emilie with hers) than their past or the twisted brother Sebastain.

Another thing that didn’t really do it for me was Emilie. I find Emilie is a character that confuses me as I think parts of her thought/action processes conflict with each other. She knows Quinn’s reputation and saw her roommate fall apart from a relationship with him but she still plays right into his hands. She even says at one point that the whole thing seemed planned yet still she flirts and kisses him, and then seems surprised when she learns the truth :S From how she acted in the first two chapters (leading up to meeting Quinn) I guess I just assumed she would be a different, smarter character than what we were given. Other than that, she was a nice girl who really cared about Quinn despite everything that happens.

I really liked Quinn’s character though. I understand where he was coming from and it was apparent to me why he liked Emilie as a person. I enjoyed his POV chapters. I think you see Quinn deal with his past more so than Emilie and I liked that aspect of the book. The hopeless romantic in me likes to read about stories where love heals 😛

To focus on the writing of the book, I really liked the delivery of the POVs. I find that when we have two POV characters we often get alternating chapters between the two, where one picks up where the other left off. Here, we got alternating chapters but you might have Quinn’s POV for chapter 5-7 and then Emilie’s for 7-10. I liked this change and I think it helped the story flow better. I also think the writing was pretty mature as well (ie. they didn’t sound like they were in high school) and the story wraps up nicely within this book.

The next book in the series, By Referral Only, we get to see Emilie’s best friend Ruby fall in love. From the little doses of Ruby we get in Broken at Love I’m looking forward to reading it and am hoping that the love triangle hinted at in the synopsis isn’t actually going to be a real one!

updates

–September 3, 2018– Book #2: By Referral Only

**I DNF’d this at 18% (start of Chapter 5)**

I actually liked Ruby when we met her in Broken at Love? Wow, I surprised myself by I immediately disliked her by the end of Chapter 1 in this instalment…

Ruby was just a little much for me as a narrator. Some of her thoughts are a little rude; she isn’t the most mature person and she has an overall negative energy about her. But perhaps her worst aspect is that she’s SUPER hypocritical: she judges people while not wanting to be judged (example: premise of the referral service); and for being upset that guys only want sex when that’s all she wants too. It hurt me a little to be stuck inside her brain because her logic isn’t always the most sound…

I’m all for embracing female sexuality and I love that Ruby isn’t afraid to get what she wants in that respect. The premise of the referral service is what kept this book on my TBR for years. It’s an interesting one and I love the double-standard aspect of it. That wouldn’t fly at all if it was girls that were the subject of critic. But not much is done with that (and from what I gather from other readers, it really doesn’t later on in the book) and I think that’s a shame because it would be a great conversation (especially with the #metoo movement).

Series Rating: DNF

Broken at Love 4/5 | By Referral Only DNF

overall

If you like melodramatics and wish-washy characters OR want a guilty pleasure read, this might be the series for you!

Read if You Like: drama, steamy romances
Avoid if You: need strong characters

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