Breaking Angelina by T.J. and Rita Webb

Publisher: Robot Playground Inc
Date Published: November 2013
Genre: YA / NA Paranormal Romance
Series: Paranormal Investigations #1.5
Source: Author
Rating: Crazy Good 4 out of 5 stars
She's the Beauty. Can the Beast break her curse before the monsters break her?

I never told anyone my darkest secret.

Something evil whispers in my mind. It threatens to destroy everything I care about, and now it wants me to kidnap and murder a mythical creature. Refusal means excruciating pain or sleepwalking into oncoming traffic ... again.

I don’t dare refuse, even if I have to steal from my friends, sell my body, or ruin my college career. Anything to stop the feeling of its claws scraping the insides of my skull.

That’s when I hired the Hunter, a wolf-man from a magical world, to help me. A tracker for hire, an honorable man who has misplaced his honor, a twisted soul with no heart left to care.

But he has secrets of his own, and I don’t think anyone can save me from the trouble I’m in.
Angelina has heard the voices in her head since she was twelve years old. She's now nineteen and attending college in Alaska when odd and mysterious things begin to happen. The voices are taking control of her life more than ever, making Angelina do things and hurting her when she resists. Angelina is now on a quest for a love potion to get her sisters' best friend to fall in love with Angelina so the voices will stop torturing her. Will she make it before they break her?

Hunter is a chimera, part wolf, hawk, and man. Hunting is what he does best. He tracks and finds people and objects. With his family slaughtered by the Usurper he is cold and empty inside. But when a client double-crosses him and nearly gets him killed, Hunter is out for revenge. Along the way he discovers a bracelet that everyone seems to want and happens across a human girl in need of his services. A girl who recently had been in contact with the bracelet. How is it all connected? And should he care?
I don't know how to feel about Angelina. She seems a little on the weak side, but honestly? She's up against these voices in her head. So maybe she isn't so weak. I go back and forth on liking her in this. I can safely say that in the first few pages I most definitely did not like her. Angelina was... I don't know, almost, childish, I guess. No. That's not exactly right. It's like she's so naive and young, disgustingly so, on a lot of her opinions in the beginning of the book.

By the end of the book my opinion changes. You learn more about the voices and their hold on her. I don't like a lot of what Angelina does in the book, but most of what she does is controlled by the voices. Especially that scene where she goes psycho. By the end of the book I realized I didn't really know Angelina. She may be one of the two main protagonists (dual POV), but she did what anyone would do in her situation; she tried to stop the pain.

The places where her personality shined through and pushed past the voices was when she stood up for Brianna. And that one scene with Hunter where the voices left them alone. For the rest of the book her personality was suppressed. So I'll be interested to see what she is like in the future.

Hunter I liked. Well, for the most part. I empathize with him and feel a bucketload of sympathy for his loss and the crap he went through. To have your entire family slaughtered? I'm amazed he's kept going. He has his own brand of courage and determination. The entire book you can tell he's fighting, and, other than his alcohol problem, he's kind of winning. Sort of.

The one time I don't like him is the 'romantic' scene between him and Angelina. Maybe for some people having sex for a one night to help with a payment is okay, but it rubs me the wrong way. It's too close to prostitution. Even if it's only once. I get that he actually cared about Angelina, and her about him, but I just don't like it. I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil anything for anyone else. It's the one time in the book that I just really don't like. Everything else is okay. And he redeems himself in the end, kind of.

There are a few other secondary and minor characters in the book. I suppose you can count the voices as a character, though you don't figure them out until the end. Of course you have Jason and Emma from Playing Hooky, the first book. I think you can read Breaking Angelina as a standalone without having read Playing Hooky. There are some nemesis' of Angelina's you see, like Cyndi and Tyler (who totally gets what's coming to him). Spyder is a bit of a ghost in the book, you don't see much of him. Mostly just minor characters in this one. Of course there's the blue lady who has yet to be named. She's part dragon, part fae, I think. Hunter has a few enemies you run into, but again, they seem kind of minor to me.
I mostly liked Hunter, and I went back and worth with liking and disliking Angelina. I think most of the characters were static, unchanging, with the exceptions of Hunter and Angelina who were very dynamic and changed a lot throughout the story. Especially Angelina.

I liked the fast-paced story. I am so easily bored with having to wait for the author to set the scene, it was such a delight to jump right into the story. For those that like their slow build-ups, sorry, but I like jumping in head first. And it didn't really get dull. There were some small lulls in the story, but for the most part the story was great.

I already mentioned the one instance where I didn't like Hunter. And I place the blame mainly on Hunter because he allowed it to happen even knowing that Angelina was young and couldn't be that experienced. I don't really blame Angelina because of the voices, but she didn't really seem to mind all that much, considering it was her first time. It really irked me.
The writing was pretty great. The flow of the story went well, I liked the pace that was set, it all came together nicely. It was fairly short in length, but I do believe this series is made up of novellas. So not that short. Just not too long either. It was a pleasantly light read (as far as the length goes, the material was medium-heavy as far as content).

The book was pretty upbeat even though at times it was depressing. That sounds like a contradiction, but it makes sense if you read it. It was like even though the characters were going through a hard time, the writing still had an upbeat spin to it.

I would also label this as a young adult / new adult crossover. I would say it's NA because of the ages of the characters, but content wise its really just upper YA. I think it's a good thing, because you get a bigger audience. There's no racy bedroom scenes if that's what you're looking for in NA. It's pretty tame there. All behind closed doors. And it only happens once, so I definitely would label this as a YA / NA crossover. Minor violence.
I thought it was a wonderful read. Relatively short, but long enough to curl up and chill on the couch. The story was fascinating. I missed the world of fantasy that I saw in the first book and I cannot wait to read the second book (this 1.5, if you didn't know). I would definitely recommend it, even if you just read it as a standalone.


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Taking Chances (Paranormal Investigations Book 3) is now out as well! It'll be the next book on my reading list. I can't wait to see how things go with all of the characters. I hope to see Angelina and Hunter again! What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!


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