ARC Review: Broken English by Marita A. Hansen

Title: Broken English
Author: Marita A. Hansen
Genre: General Fiction
Type: Book 1 of 3 from Broken Lives series
POV: First Person – Dual
Expected Publication: August 2, 2016


For me, the name Dante conjured up two images. The first was the epic depictions of Hell from Dante’s Inferno, with people burning for their sins. The second image was a sexual depiction. I don’t know where it came from, but as far back as I can remember, I had always associated the name Dante with a beautiful and sexy man. I’d imagined a dark-haired, dark-eyed, gorgeous lothario, the type who could capture a woman’s heart with just one look. Dante was the Fabio of my generation, the heartthrob that got women’s hearts beating fast, made us want this man to rip our clothes off and to throw us onto the bed.

Little did I know that the Dante that walked into my life was very different from the one I’d imagined. Oh, he was dark-haired, dark-eyed, gorgeous, even a lothario … just … he wasn’t a man. He was a fifteen-year-old boy who was going to send me to the Hell his namesake had written about.

And I was his teacher.


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ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Clara Hatton moved from England to teach at Wera High School, a lower socio-economic area of Auckland. As a teacher, she was determined to make a difference in the lives of her problematic students. But she underestimated the difficulties in handling them especially when one of them demanded her attention with not only his attitude but also his good looks.

Dante Rata was only fifteen, but life lessons forced him to grow up before he was ready. His stunning looks not only earned him admirations but also contempt. It thrilled him when one of the admiration came from the new beautiful teacher. For someone who always gotten himself into trouble, this latest one might end up more than he could handle.

I have to admit, this book caught my attention not only because the student in this story was male but also only fifteen. But those two elements were only a small fraction of what the story was about because it went deeper than that.

Dante was such an interesting character. On the surface, he was such a troublemaker whose sexuality went beyond his years. But deep down inside he was just a scared and insecured teenage boy. And everytime he showed that hidden side if him, my heart ached for him. It’s just hard not to care for him.

I should’ve shut him down straight away, treating him like any other student. But that was the problem … he wasn’t like any other student, because if he were, I wouldn’t be reacting in such an unethical manner.

Despite being the older teacher, Clara was not a sleazy character. She can’t helped but being drawn to Dante not just physically,  but also emotionally. She was protective of him as a good teacher should.

Even though I knew it was wrong to do, I flopped back onto the mattress, wondering what it would be like to live in a place like this and to have a nice woman like Mrs. Hatton to wake up to. For a moment , I felt jealous of her husband, wishing I had what he had.

This book is not about romance. There wasn’t really a relationship between them, but more about their individual issues and growth that crossover between them. And the story also expanded to the secondary characters and how their actions affecting the main characters in major way. I would say the pace is more muted but looks like the next book could potentially be explosive.

“I kept her secret, like I’ll keep yours, no matter how much you both make me feel like a worthless piece of shit.”

Broken English is a story of two individuals learning and fighting attractions to each other due to circumstances. Despite their situation, the book was not written in a disturbing way, instead it’s a hard look on how life could be when you’re from the other side of the track.

Final Verdict:

This review is also available on Goodreads.


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Marita A. Hansen was born in New Zealand, where Behind the Hood is based. Marita loves to write, compose compicturistic art, coach youth football, and referee the occasional match.

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