Heartbreak Highway

Heartbreak Highway - Harper Whitmore SPOILER ALERT: This is a four part story - four books, one story. There is no reason for anyone to read parts two or three if they haven't read part one. So I'm reviewing the entire story here - four books, one review. I'll try not to spoil anything, but be forewarned that I'll be discussing things that happen after the cliffhangers. So here we go...


I grabbed this because it was a freebie on Amazon. I had no idea that it was a cliffhanger and would continue on in three more parts. They hook you in with that freebie, then end the book in the middle of the climax so you're forced to buy the second book. Even if you only want to find out how the one cliffhanger scene ends. But I'm onto you, Amazon. I was able to find out how the scene ended by ordering the free sample for the next book. Gaming the system, bitches.

Unfortunately, the sample included a couple more scenes that only made me want to continue reading, so I had to buy the next book anyway. YOU GOT ME, AMAZON. You fuckers.

So, part one. Well, there is a lot going on. Let me figure out how to explain without spoiling. As a last request of Marshall's grandpa, Eva and Marshall are supposed to go on a cross country road trip to scatter grandpa's ashes in the ocean. Grandpa has left an itinerary - go to Dollywood, explore the history of New Orleans, visit this old mansion, etc. Eva adores Marshall, but sticks to that whole "suffer in silence so I don't ruin our friendship" thing like a true martyr. And Marshall has been dating a gold-digging manipulative whore named Simone since forever. Like a true moron, he invites Simone along with them on their road trip. Oh, and grandpa isn't actually dead.



Because this is a four parter, there is time for the author to cover the romance, the drama, and the road trip. Eva, Marshall, and Simone stop at numerous historical or interesting landmarks and we get a little history lesson at each one. Sometimes perhaps not little enough. The author goes on a bit a few times when I really just wanted to find out what was happening next. No area of the story suffers due to too much attention being paid to another.

On the other hand, sometimes you're left wondering what the fuck is going on. Something weird or crazy happens every few chapters and very little thought is given by the characters to the weird or crazy thing that happened earlier. In the second book, somebody (not a main character) dies and Eva sees their ghost. She never gives it another thought. Somebody else almost dies and after the ensuing "OMG you're alive!" drama, nobody thinks about it again. Actually, a lot of people die, almost die, kinda die, or are dying. Shitload of dead in this story now that I think about it.

But there's so much insanity, you kinda get this feeling... every time the characters step out of the car, like "Shit, what could possibly happen this time?" Which is kinda fun, but also exasperating. Eva was a Mary Sue and I know nothing about Marshall except he's rich for some reason, both of them exasperating. And then the editing... the editing might be the most exasperating of all.



The tense randomly switches from third-person past tense to first-person past tense, to first-person present tense, and back again. We're talking "he", "she", "it" and suddenly it's "I", "I", "I", and I have no idea whose POV I'm reading. And that happened right in the middle of a paragraph. On top of that, Simone is sometimes referring to as "Eva". And then there were continuity issues, like having a character do something twice like the author forgot they had already done it.

My only complaint about the relationship is that these two people took years to get together. They're in love with each other for years, but it took some serious shit for them to admit it to each other. The next page, Eva is calling Marshall her boyfriend in a very proprietary manner. They're calling each other "babe" and "baby"... It feels disingenuous. There is not "getting comfortable" phase, they just jump right into the type of relationship that takes weeks to develop. I found that intensely annoying. I dated and then married my best friend. When we started dating, there were a couple weeks of "OMG this is so new and wonderful" and we had to feel each other out in regards to this new relationship. After years of being just friends, we didn't jump right into pet names and all that. So it's weird to see Eva and Marshall act like they've been together for longer than they have.

Aside from the editing, this is a very entertaining read. Also a bit educational if you're interested in Southern U.S. history. The romance is sweet, the characters are amusing. I haven't read the fourth and final part, but I'm convinced I know how it will end. I'll add a bit to this review when I do finish the series.