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review 2018-08-25 18:43
Unbreak My Heart by Lauren Blakely
Unbreak My Heart - Lauren Blakely

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was really good! I usually try to go into books as blindly as possible and I don't think that I beyond Lauren Blakely's name and the shirtless guy on the cover when I made the decision to read this book. I thought that I had a pretty good idea of what kind of book this would be and expected a fun little romance. I did get a romance but to me this book was really all about Andrew. I am so glad that I had the chance to listen to this audiobook.

When we meet Andrew at the start of this book, he is at a very low point. He is deep in grief after losing his brother who was the person he was closest to. He is not handling things well at all. I felt so bad for Andrew but I completely understood some of the things he was feeling. I thought that his thoughts during this time were very well done and felt very authentic.

Holland and Andrew have known each other for a very long time. Their parents were friends and they dated for a while. Their relationship ended largely because Holland was living in Tokyo while Andrew needed to be in the United States. I love a good second chance romance and these two were really great together. They never stopping caring about each other and the chemistry between them was great. Holland seemed to understand exactly what Andrew needed and was very clear with her expectations.

Both of the narrators really nailed this performance. I had never listened to any of Joe Arden's work before a few months ago but I think that this is the third time that I have listened to him in just a few weeks. I am really impressed by his work and I thought that this was an exceptional performance. He does such a good job with the wide range of emotions that Andrew goes through in this story. Since this was Andrew's story more than anything, I think that Joe Arden read a bit more of the book than the female narrator, Erin Mallon. This was my first time listening to Erin Mallon and I really liked her narration. I thought she did a great job with Holland and really helped to bring the story to life. These two worked really well together and I wouldn't hesitate to listen to either narrator again in the future.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. I love second chance romances and books that deal with grief are also a favorite so this was a great pick for me. This audiobook does include a short story, The Story of Us, that takes up the last hour or so of the total running time. I cannot wait to read more of Lauren Blakely's work.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from Lauren Blakely Books via Inkslinger PR.

Initial Thoughts
This was good! I will be honest that I picked this up because when I saw the shirtless guy on the cover and Lauren Blakely's name I had a pretty good idea what would be waiting for me. But this book was different. This is really a story about grief and moving on. Yes, Andrew and Holland do find love in this story but it was really more about getting over loss. Both of the narrators completely nailed their delivery of this story. This audiobook also contains the short story, The Start of Us, which accounts for around the last hour of the audiobook.

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review 2018-08-15 15:50
Audiobook Review: Unbreak My Heart by Lauren Blakely (Author), Joe Arden (Narrator), Erin Mallon (Narrator)
Unbreak My Heart - Lauren Blakely


How do you find the courage to walk away even as your heart is begging to stay? Andrew and Holland have a fight on their hands. Blakely pens the most haunting love story of the year. Unbreak My Heart is a story about love at the best and worst of times. To reach the rainbow, you have to survive the storm. From heartbreaking grief, to unanswered questions, shocking revelations and undying love, there's turbulence at every turn. Yet despite the pain there are moments of intense joy. Lauren Blakely has written a prolific masterpiece that deals with real emotions. Arden and Mallon bring that intensity to life with sincerity and soulfulness that speak to the pain, inspire the heart and lay claim to the soul.

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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 2016-11-26 13:01
Review: UnBreakBroken - After the End by J.K. Hogan
Unbreak Broken: After The End - J.K. Hogan


Luuuuuve epilogues and I nearly missed this.



Sweet HEA of the very sweet couple Rory and Bennett.


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