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Summary

Brett Taylor's world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he's starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it's time to move on. They're flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he's doing just fine. He doesn't want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude.

JT Campbell's world has been defined by his parents' money, status, and his own empty relationships, until he's desperately sick of it. A quest to find something meaningful leads him to Brett's failing ranch. It's supposed to be a brief stay. JT never wanted to be anyone's savior or compete with the ghosts of lovers past. Still, he can't help wanting this gruff and grieving man.

JT's mind knows it's a bad idea, but his heart keeps pushing him to find out what lies beneath Brett's rough and broken exterior. Brett's not going to make it easy. JT can only be patient, keep his sense of humor, and hope for the day he may be allowed far enough into Brett's world to unbreak his heart.

©2016 K-lee Klein (P)2017 Dreamspinner Press

What listeners say about Unbreak My Heart

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Narration great but story weak

Some of this worked for me - the grief and one of the main character’s inability to forgive himself and move on with his life - the letters to his dead lover were heartbreaking.

But I didn’t like the other main character very much and found the story very slow and repetitive.

The narrator is one of my favourites and, as always, was excellent but even he couldn’t maintain my interest.

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A wonderful story with perfect narration from Nick

Unbreak My Heart remains one of my favourite romances, and was one of the first M/M stories I read back in 2013. Heart breaking, chock full of feels and emotion, and narrated so brilliantly by Nick. He certainly can do voices, and although he only really has 4 to choose from in this particular story, you can tell that he's totally invested in the story and the characters...unlike some other narrators I could mention. Why people bother to be narrators when you...sorry, THEY can't be bothered to differentiate between the characters AND have such boring voices is beyond me I'm afraid. One very popular narrator at the moment springs to mind [name your narrator here].... his voice annoys the hell out of me and I won't listen to anything he narrates, so even though some of his work includes some of my very favourite stories, I vote with my purse. 😕

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Profile Image for Anastacia Hess
  • Anastacia Hess
  • 06-07-17

Yay!

If you could sum up Unbreak My Heart in three words, what would they be?

beautiful, sad, funny

What does Nick J. Russo bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nick brought out the passion that the writing calls for. I remember reading this book when it first came out. It's one of my favorites. I get nervous when one of my favs goes to audio. A terrible narrator can make a great book unbearable. I'm glad Nick did it. I knew then it will be good.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Joan
  • 04-07-17

Unsuspectingly awesome!

So Good! I can't even find the words for this book. It felt so rich, a bit heartbreaking but a while Lotta healing, a whole Lotta love, humor and It really came full circle. I love the falling in love process between J. T and Brett.

This was a story of a great love lost, but a greater one found in the process of grieving (albeit after 3 years, everyone grieves at their own pace) Throw in a meddling mama with a father figure /best friend /brother and you've got the recipe for this story.

The author took us on a journey and it slowly unwrapped throughout the book at the perfect time when u needed the answers to your questions. My favorite scenes were the barn with the two MCs and at Thanksgiving. You have to get the book to understand. Plus, the song at The end was so fitting for all they went through. It is a really well written book and perfectly narrated by Nick J. Russo, you could always tell who was speaking at any given time. Loved it. Job well done.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Rebecca Azizov
  • 20-09-17

perfect the book was just perfect!!!

did I loved it ?
of course I did, I loved the writing style the perfect as always, lovely and talented Nick j. russo...
I loved that the songs in the book was actually written.
I felt much more from the lyrics of songs that I could ever felt by the words of the book....
the story was absolutely beautiful I love the characters... each one of them and I can count only 5 of them in the book it was genius!
the fells!!! owww the fells!!! So much guilt!!! So much hurt!!! so much pain!!! and so much loveeee!!! loved the book so much!

4 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for RACHEL REED
  • RACHEL REED
  • 31-12-20

A sweet contemporary hurt /comfort romance!

This was a sweet contemporary hurt /comfort cowboy romance.
Nick J. Russo performed an emotional, moving and heartfelt audio delivery.
I really enjoyed listening to the narrator flesh out the characters and bring to life this beautiful story.
The writing style was engaging and compelling and the characters were real and well sketched out.

This book really took me on a roller-coaster of emotions and I loved listening to this.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for H. Martin
  • H. Martin
  • 05-12-17

Unbreak My Heart

Unbreak My Heart is Book 1 in K-lee Klein's Unbreak My Heart series. This is the first time I've read/listened to this author and it was a nice surprise.

Three years ago Brett lost the love of his life. He's spent three years mourning his partner, drinking himself silly every night, and writing letters to his lost love. Brett has quit living life and instead just makes the motions. All that changes when one night Brett's mama shows up with a man she picked up from the side of the road. JT isn't sure where his life is taking him, but Brett's mama is a forced to be reckoned with and he ends up staying on Brett's ranch and working for him. JT is instantly attracted to Brett but he tries to keep his feelings hidden since he's already been attacked once in town for being gay. But, Brett's other employee Ray, figures out the attraction and encourages both men and pushes them together every change he gets.

Brett was a heartbreaking character, a man who had it all. He was a country music singer, who's career was taking off when he lost Walt and then he just shut down. He struggled through every day because of his guilt of how he failed Walt. I really liked JT's character. He was a hard worker, and though he'd never worked on a ranch he fit in well. JT is understanding, sympathetic and willing to just go at Brett's pace in everything. JT has an education but he just hasn't found the place that he fits, until he's been at the ranch and it's starting to feel like home.

The narrator of this story is Nick J. Russo and he did an absolutely fantastic job! The narrator brought this story to life! He gives each character their own voice which makes it so easy to just hear the story and not have to focus on keeping characters straight. The narrator had a great pace, diction and appropriate emotions to the story. There is a point where one of the MC's is in tears and I felt like the narrator had to be in tears just listening to him.

One big issue I did have with this story. Towards the end of the book, Brett and JT have a huge argument and Brett punches him in the face, and a few minutes later shoves him to the ground hard enough to hurt him. I don't care if a book is MF, FF, MM, or whatever, this is domestic violence. Brett didn't hit JT to defend himself, he did it because he was mad. I absolutely loved this story up until this point. It completely changed my outlook of Brett and took away any sympathy I had felt for him before. It doesn't matter that Brett felt guilty about it, every abuser feels sorry at first. What mattered was that he got mad and his reaction was to punch JT in the face. That just makes me wonder how many times JT is going to get hit in the future because Brett loses his temper. But, JT believes in second chances and he's not going to become a victim for any relationship.

This story ends with a HFN ending, and their story continues in the next book. This story is long and a very slow build. The focus in this story was of Brett and JT building a friendship before considering a relationship, and sex comes last. I'm glad I listened to this book in audio, because I think it would have been a struggle for it to have kept my attention if I was reading it. But, with this narrator it made it easy to listen to.

Overall: 4.5
Performance: 5
Story 4

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Profile Image for Debbie Attenborough
  • Debbie Attenborough
  • 25-07-17

so freaking awesome, and such awesome narration!

Any additional comments?

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!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sin2sea
  • 08-12-19

A second chance at love with all the feels

Someone recommended this book a hike back and I finally needed something slower and a little angsty. Doesn’t hurt that one of the MC is an old country singer who lost his life partner and is grieving. The love songs he wrote are truly heartbreaking. Love the slow burn and the banter interspersed with the heartache and grief. Nick is an excellent choice to narrate the book because he gave each of them a distinct voice and the emotional depth and angst in Brad’s is simply heart wrenching. If you are looking for a slow burn cowboy gay love story, you can’t go wrong with this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • ButtonsMom2003
  • 11-06-18

A great listen, a great story.

Although I have several books by K-Lee Klein in my digital library, this is the first one I've read (OK, I didn't read it, I listened to it). I won a copy of the audiobook in a Facebook contest and decided to give it a try; I'm glad I did.

The story kept my attention (who doesn't love a cowboy) and the audio performance was great. Nick J. Russo did a great job with the different voices; the gruff sounding cowboy, Brett and the younger man, JT as well as the other secondary characters.

Brett lost the love of his life three years ago and he blames himself for not being around as much as he should have been. JT's parents want him to be something he isn't and when he goes on a quest to find who he is he finds Brett.

This story stirred up a lot of emotions. I felt sad for Brett's loss but I also wanted to shake him for what he's been doing to himself the last few years. JT may be young but he knows what he wants and that's Brett. Now if he can only get him to wake up and see that they can have a good future together.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for John K. Brown
  • John K. Brown
  • 27-12-17

A sweet story.

I truly enjoyed this story.

Brett broke my heart. No spoilers ;)..... but his grief and sadness was well written and you genuinely feel for him and the pain he is experiencing.

JT is ok. I found him grating at times. His constant psychological evaluation of things was a little dull and predictable. But he is a good character.

The supporting characters are also enjoyable.

Overall it was a very sweet story and I do recommend it. :) :).

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Susan65
  • Susan65
  • 16-09-17

A wonderful heartbreaker with a happy ending

What a complete heartbreaker. There was so much emotion locked into this story and Nick J. Russo was stellar getting all the feels out to the listeners. Brett Taylor is not living, he is a grief stricken cowboy who is saddled with guilt over the loss of his partner, and has no plans to be any other way. Until momma brings a stray home for the Brett to help out.

JT Campbell left a difficult home life and set out to see what the world had to offer. Having Brett’s momma pick him up on the side of the road and landing on Brett’s ranch was a Godsend and curse all rolled into one. The attraction he feels for Brett is almost instantaneous, but the pain in the man’s eye is near devastating. A decent man doesn’t hit on another when they are grief stricken to the point of hitting the bottle on the regular. Brett is not really an alcoholic, but uses the liquid courage to write heartbreaking letters to his deceased lover.

I was almost concerned that they would never be on the same page because Brett didn’t want to get better. He didn’t think he deserved to get better. He didn’t kill his lover, but he wasn’t there when he needed him most. His guilt was undeserved but you can’t tell that to the bereaved. Ray, Brett’s friend and the only other ranch hand, was a hoot. He was the perfect secondary character is this super romantic, but terribly tragic romance.

Nick J. Russo does an outstanding job bringing all of the characters to life. His performance, capped with the emotionally charged scenes, just tore my heart apart, but, he has such a smooth voice, and with Brett being such a romantic at heart, I was also smiling like a loon, at times too.

Honestly, this was really a beautiful story and I know many who thrive on the books heavy in the romance department. Admittedly, I went for it based on the heartbreaker theme, but the romance was just enough to temper the sadness. The result being a near 5 star story and performance and one that I highly recommend.

Overall Impression: I loved it!

*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*

1 person found this helpful