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review 2017-07-25 10:50
so freaking awesome!!!
Unbreak My Heart - K-lee Klein,Nick J. Russo
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO file of this book. I usually write a blurby bit but for this one I'm gonna jump straight in, with an apology up front if I gush too much. So, I went on holiday, and there I am, poolside, listening to this book. Oh, I CANNOT separate the book from the narration, I simply can't!. So, I'm poolside. I'm thinking this is good, I like this. Then I really don't like this, its making me cry! Its making me cheer, and making cry again, and its making sit straight upright, and shout, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! And its making me cry again. And people came up to me, asking if I was okay, cos let me tell ya, I was bawling my bloody eyes at this book!! Brett's heart break at losing Walt 3 years ago jumps off the page from the very beginning. His battle with himself comes over with every letter and song he wrote after Walt's death. It comes over with every emotion as Nick J. Russo narrates them, and reads the letters and songs. Brett's fight with himself to give in to love again, to let someone else in, after so much heart ache comes at you, in random places along the way, that just breaks your own heart for him! JT, the kid, has attraction for Brett from the beginning, and I loved that he lets Brett take the time he needs, that JT is so patient with Brett and his yoyo-ing back and forth. Loved how JT himself was so heart broken when Brett found out what JT had done. As I said, I simply CANNOT split the narration from the story itself. I have no doubt, none at all, had I READ this book, it would still have been a 5 star read, but so much of the emotions can't be portrayed when reading. THAT can only come from a highly skilled narrator, and Russo is such a master at his craft. I have listened to his work before, and loved all of them, but this one has to be my all time favourite. Its the way Russo reads Klein's work, because, without HER words, Russo wouldn't be able to give over such emotion and heart break, and such joy again, once Brett finally, FINALLY lets JT in. There is, at the very end of the book, a song Brett writes for JT. I don't usually use bits from books in my reviews, but I felt the need to do it here. These words touched me, possibly more so than the rest of the book, no idea why, but they did, and they NEEDED to be included. SO I give you... A Song For The Kid, by K-Lee Klein One hundred miles from Dallas On a ranch southwest of town An old heart battered and broken Was somehow saved and found They had nothing much in common A burnt-out musician and a college boy One from California And the other Southern as a belle is coy But an interfering mama And an old cowboy with a quiet way Saw fit to toss them together And the rest is history as they say Well, the musician he was stubborn, Determined his heart would never beat again But the kid was kind and patient Didn’t give up on what could have been I was lucky to find true love once When I was barely that California boy’s age Self-condemned to toss my heart and soul Beside my lover in his dark, lonely grave But now I understand the meaning Behind it’s better to have loved and lost Because there’s room in my heart for my beloved departed And for the new feelings that kid has caused So it’s with a hopeful heart and willing spirit I’m begging for a lot more time Because there’s nothing as important in my life Than needing that kid to be mine. And though I don’t believe in marital bliss Or in ceremonies trumped up for show If you’ll take my hand I can promise you I’ll never let you go I don’t have a whole lot to offer Someone with so much potential drive Just a bare-open, battered heart And an old guitar with a long-ago country vibe But I can vow to love you With every inch of my soul With this bandaged heart And just one important goal Please be my partner in life My friend at my side The one I turn to during the day The one I hold at night I wanna make you feel as loved As the warmth I have inside I wanna hold you so close to me Our hearts beating side by side I promise to love and honor And try to see things your way I promise, Darlin’, to love you Forever and a day So please be my partner in life My friend at my side The one I turn to during the day The one I hold at night ’Cause without you I’m cold I’m shut down and alone I can’t seem to function And my heart turns to stone So please be my partner in life My friend at my side The one I turn to during the day The one I hold at night I’ll hold back the sun Or steal the moon from the sky I’ll sail you round the world And together we’ll fly So will you be my partner? Will you be the love at my side? Will you be the one I turn to all day? Will you be the one I hold at night? I love you, kid, with all my heart From morning to night, from dusk to dawn All I need is a chance For our hearts to become one Let me show you how much love You make me feel every day I’m completely in love with you, Darlin’ So please—what do ya say? And FIVE full stars for the book AND the narration. I cannot express who much i freaking loved this book!!! ** same worded review will appear elsewhere** and now I'm blubbering again, just reading the song words!!

 

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review 2017-07-14 19:14
Tissues were required for this one...
Unbreak My Heart - K-lee Klein,Nick J. Russo

While K-lee Klein's not exactly a new to me author 'Unbreak My Heart' is the first novel that I've read and really I'm just wondering...what the hell was I thinking taking so long to enjoy one of her novels...ok, I admit it was once again a case of so many books, so little time and thank heavens for audio books and Nick J. Russo because once again he's done a superb job with narrating this audio book resulting in the fact that I'm actually kind of glad that I didn't get to this book sooner...nah, that's not true because I'm sure I would have totally enjoyed reading this and still would have made grabby hands for the audio book. But all that's neither here nor there because what's done is done and I totally and thoroughly enjoyed the audio book.

 

I love stories about damaged men putting themselves back together and grabbing the second chance that life has given them and if at least one of those men happens to be a cowboy well...happy me and ironically while I'm not a huge fan of stories with rock stars in them for some reason country and western singers totally do it for me which is hilarious because I'm really not a big fan of the music...go figure we like what we like.

 

My only niggle with this story was the use of the endearment Darlin', it was used by Brett both in his letters to his deceased lover Walter and with JT and I have to admit I would really have preferred if Brett had used another endearment for JT...even the dreaded Babe...maybe. However, while this was as I said a bit of a niggle overall it didn't really spoil how much I enjoyed this story. 

 

JT Campbell is looking to get away from his life and ends up at Brett Taylor's farm when Brett's mom picks him up at the side of the road. Brett's mom to say the least is a character. Despite his reluctance Brett gives JT a place to stay and a job.

 

Brett and JT have a few things in common not the least of which both men are looking to escape their past. JT's doing it by leaving his home in California and Brett's choice of escape lies in the bottom of a bottle that he keeps in his office where he hides out most evenings. Brett's days as a country music star ended when he lost the love of his life three years ago and he's spent the time since swirling in the pain and grief brought on by that loss and he's more than willing to let life go on in this mode.

 

I totally appreciated the fact that 'Unbreak My Heart' isn't a 'love-at-first-sight-story'. Brett and JT start out essentially as two men who are brought together by circumstances and initially Brett's really not in a place for any kind of relationship. It takes time and effort on JT's part for Brett to even really consider a relationship as a possibility and while JT's patient, he's not perfect making a few mistakes of his own as things progress between the two men.

 

Much of Brett's story is shared with us through his letters to Walter, letters that were both touching and heartbreaking and along with his time spent getting to know JT a sweet slow building romance is created...one that was made even more enjoyable through Nick J. Russo's  skilled narration of the audio book.

 

While there was a definite age gap here of 13 years once again it wasn't an issue for me. JT was 28 to Brett's 41. I liked both of these characters and the fact that while JT was in some ways in a better place in his life he wasn't perfect, but he did have a maturity that helped him to realize that more than anything Brett needed him as a patient friend...a friend who was willing to wait for Brett's own feelings to catch up with JT's growing feelings.

 

I loved the ending of this book or maybe I should say the beginning of Brett and JT's life together. I'm looking forward to more of their story as I continue with this series my only quandry is do I want to read the e-books or hopefully wait for the remainder of the series to be released on audio...decisions, decisions...really whatever is a girl to do?

 

********************

An audio book of 'Unbreak My Heart' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-10-08 21:43
Lost in Loveland (Welcome to Loveland Book Two) K-Lee Klein
Lost in Loveland (Welcome to Loveland Book 2) - K-lee Klein “Sometimes all you need is a big leap of faith.” ~ Sean Bean When Jack and Lucky, of 'Lost in Loveland' by K-Lee Klein, start dating, they decide to take it slow to give them time to get to know each other before considering anything serious. It has been six months now; they've settled into a warm and comfortable pattern and are happier than they have ever been before. They are in love yet, for fear of driving the other away, Lucky and Jack still hesitate to take the next step. They need to trust their feelings and take the necessary leap of faith that will cement their relationship. Something needs to happen to shake them out of their fear and into each other’s loving arms. When Jack comes to Loveland, he hopes to make a new start; to leave the grief from losing his parents and the conflicts he's always had with his three sisters behind. Life is never that simple. Jack is the executor of his parents’ estate and has the final say on anything concerning it. Jack's sisters constantly call him but, not wanting to deal with their selfishness, pettiness, and just plain spitefulness, Jack avoids their calls. When he finally contacts one of them, she tricks him into coming back home under the guise that they have sold their parents' home. When Jack tells Lucky what has happened and that he needs to go back and deal with it, Lucky is ready to drop everything and go with Jack, for moral support if nothing else, but Jack tells Lucky he doesn't want him there. Jack fears that contact with his crazy family will cause Lucky to run in the opposite direction. Understandably, Lucky is hurt but he has no choice but to honor Jack's wishes and stay behind. Lucky misses Jack terribly while he is gone. Their lives are so entangled that seldom does a day go by when they aren't together. With Jack gone, Lucky doesn't quite know what to do with himself. Without Jack's reassurance, Lucky begins to doubt himself. He wracks his brain for something he's done that Jack might be upset about. Lucky's past insecurity creeps back in and he begins to wonder whether or not he's good enough for Jack. Lucky knows practically nothing about Jack's family because Jack is unwilling to share that information. After talking to one of Jack's students, who is certain that Jack won't be back, Lucky's imagination begins to run away with him and he begins to wonder. Lucky begins to fear that once Jack gets back home, he will realize how much he misses it and will want to stay, soon forgetting about him. Jack and Lucky are suffering from something lots of people face, a lack of understanding due to poor communication. They are so tied up in the bad choices they've made in the past, that they hesitate to let the present determine their future. Love doesn't have to be as complicated as people make it; they need to listen more to their hearts and less to their heads. I adore Jack and Lucky. They are such complicated, yet genuine people that I couldn't help but become attached. This is the second book in the 'Welcome to Loveland' series and should be read sequentially. If you like long-haired, hippie-like school teachers and plaid-shirted, wool-capped hockey players, and an endearing host of townspeople living in a very special place, you may enjoy this story. Thanks, K-lee, for another pleasurable visit with Jack and Lucky. I look forward to reading your next book.
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review 2016-08-18 11:43
Just not for me
Unbreak My Heart - K-lee Klein

***DNF 27%***

Dissenting opinion ahead!



Well, this is painful. This book is a re-edition and the previous version was flooded with shining reviews and lots of swooning. I expected lots of swooning from my part, too. I was ready for it. But that didn’t happen. In fact, the book required a big effort from me to keep reading.

I was bored to tears.

It’s not that I have something definite to blame for the fail. There is no pet peeve exactly, not a tangible reason I can point to. It’s just this tedious writing that can’t even move me. Not even with the dead partner drama. Not even with the alcohol drama. Not with anything. Indiference is not a good companion. It can’t hold my interest for long.



This time the cover is much more attractive. I grant that.

But not even the plot was original. It reminded me of:

-Chase the Storm: the mature guy who had been matched up with the love of his life, who died. Some time passes, and the younger guy gets into scene and puts everything upside-down. They are in a ranch. They train horses. This book works since the very beginning.

-After Ben: the mature guy who had been matched up with the love of his life, who was older than him, and now that some time has passed, he still hasn’t overcome his death, and he meets a much younger guy for whom he falls without a chance to prevent it. We are in Seattle instead of in the South. We are in an Internet forum instead of in a ranch. But more or less, the parallelism is there. This book took a little longer to grab my attention for real but it never wandered.



Still, I wanted to give this a chance.

However, this didn’t work for me.

Now that I’m writing about it, yes, there was something that upset me here.

An emphatic person never says he’s emphatic. It’s arrogant and pretentious. I’ve dealt with a bunch of doctors and psychologists myself and those who say they are emphatic are preciselly the ones whose face I wanted to scratch to pieces.



I speak the truth, those who don’t talk about themselves but focus on the patient are the ones I really like. Seriously, there is this untold rule that says that it’s haughty to talk so highly about yourself for no good reason, but so far, TJ hasn’t heard about that statement. We are repeteadly told how emphatic he is, how good he is at reading expressions, how he has a gift to understand people’s pain and put himself in their shoes.

But you know what? I never believed him as this other-worldly emphatic creature. In fact, TJ sounds so paternalistic in and out of his head he fails miserably at the humbling part.



That’s why he abandoned Medicine and got into Psychology. Why? Because Medicine (or Surgery, as he implies) is not empathic at all. WTF? Have you heard about Psychiatry? Or Pediatrics? Or Oncology? How can you make a person with a descompensated schizophrenia trust you if he’s hearing voices who command him to suspect of everyone? How do you order a 5-year-old kid to stop crying and let himself be put the stickers on his chest for the ECG? How do you tell someone she has breast cancer and the options she has to erase it? Delicate specialities, those, but most are that way.

Surgery, not empathic? Uhm… how can make the person trust you to put his life in your hands? Being a bastard, maybe that works?

I’ll tell you this: I’ve met Neurosurgeons and Pediatric Surgeons and Cardiologists with more empathy than you would be led to believe. I even met Plastic Surgeons I adored. People who reconstruct faces or give new skin to burnt people or even provide breasts after their total removal. Have you heard about those? No empathy? Really?

There is more than meets the eye.

Choosing a “prestigious” career doesn’t mean you are an insensitive asshole. Of course, I’ve also met lots of insensitive assholes. There are sharks everywhere.

And it’s funny because his teachers tell him he’s not made for Medicine/Psychology, that he gets invested too much himself. Forgetting that part (OMG, he’s so empathic he’s making himself sick), I’m sorry, but it’s hard for me to believe that situation: a medical/psychologist student being psychoanalyzed and adviced to see if he’s fit for this career and being told he’s not. Really, I’ve never heard of this before.

Well, whatever, he says he’s not made for being doctor nor a psychologist. That’s why he’s travelling so far from home.

Uhm.



I prefer Brett’s POV, by a long shot.

Still, the love story is a slow burning one. So slow I never got to see a sparkle. Apparently, none of this guys is the other’s one type, but they are immediately attracted to each other. It wasn’t believable to me. Not at all.

So yes, I’m moving on.

*****



***Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***

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text 2016-07-25 13:49
Status Update: 17%
Unbreak My Heart - K-lee Klein

On the fence again...

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