Rating: 4.5 stars
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Guilt and grief have ruled ex-country music star Brett Taylor’s life for the past three years. The death of his lover and Brett’s inability to move on have left Brett a cranky hermit who drinks too much. Losing the love of his life was the hardest thing he’s been through and he doesn’t understand why his mother and his friend can’t get that. But everyone seems determined to see Brett move on whether he feels he’s ready or not. Taking on a ranch was not something Brett ever thought he’d do, but he feels he owes it to Walt’s memory. He’s doing his best. Living life to the best of his ability now that he’s missing a piece of himself. But still his mama can’t leave well enough alone.
JT Campbell isn’t sure what he wants from life. What he does know is that what he wants and what his parents want are completely opposite. So he left California and hasn’t looked back. That’s how he found himself wandering around the middle-of-nowhere, Texas, and just so happened to be caught up in the whirlwind known as Millie Taylor. When Millie picked up JT from the side of the road, the last thing he expected was to be taken to her son’s house and offered a job. Unsure of his place and of his boss, JT treads lightly. Getting to know Brett – his moodiness, his heart of gold, his quiet moments – is a journey that leads JT’s heart into uncharted territory, especially as he learns of Brett’s heartache.
The attraction that Brett feels for JT is unsettling, and as time passes giving into that attraction brings less and less guilt, much to Brett’s surprise. JT must learn to be patient and Brett has to be open and honest in order to give their fledgling relationship a chance. But as the two men work through their pasts and their fears, secrets surface that threaten to tear the fragile bond between them.
First, this book is heartbreakingly precious. Klein reaches into these characters and pulls their emotions, their fears, their weaknesses, and their strengths to the forefront. She gives readers a story of heartbreak and healing, of lust and love, of fear and the chance to overcome. This story is definitely a rollercoaster ride, but so worth it in the end.
So, what exactly did I like about this book? Well, first off, it’s not an easy book to read, in that it’s not a fluffy, feel good book. Now you may be thinking, Crissy, I thought you liked fluffy? I do. But sometimes I need a real meaty, emotionally-driven plot that makes me think. And this story definitely makes me think. Let’s face it. Most of us love a happily-ever-after, but not all are easy. This author presents a relationship with HEA potential, but the hurdles the characters have to jump are difficult for everyone to handle. And in the end, the beauty of their relationship comes from the storm that Brett and JT have to weather.
Second, both of these characters are broken from the get go. Brett is filled with grief for the loss of his one true love, blaming himself for what happened to Walt, and stuck in a rut, unable to dig his way out. He’s a situational alcoholic and a grouch. JT is a psychologist-come-wanderer, tired of trying to be what his parents want him to be, searching for himself. He’s never been in a relationship and doesn’t know the first thing about commitment, outside of what psychology tells him. These two were bound to butt heads from the beginning, but that’s only because they were so perfect for one another.
That leads me to my third point. I love their relationship as a whole. They’re not so much May/December as they are maybe June/November. There are thirteen years that separate them, yet they work so well together. Their relationship is a slow build, from friends to lovers. They get to know one another – not everything, obviously, or it would be too easy. They spend time together and that time eventually leads to some hot, hot lovemaking scenes that I thoroughly approve of.
And finally, the musical aspect of this book. If the title of this book made you think of Toni Braxton’s hit, you are not alone, but I’m not entirely sure if the author used the song as inspiration or not. I will tell you that the lyrics Klein pens as Brett’s in this book are beautiful in a way that I would love to hear them as part of a ballad. The lyrics to Klein’s/Brett’s Unbreak My Heart are heart-wrenchingly beautiful. They are not the only lyrics written in for this book, so I will tell you know to look forward to some wonderful lyrics you can almost hear sung inside your head while reading.
Overall, Unbreak My Heart by K-lee Klein is a beautiful story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s emotional and sweet. I have loved this author’s work from the first time I picked up one of her books. I can’t wait to see what she has in store in the future. I highly recommend Unbreak My Heart by K-lee Klein.