Title: Unbreak My Heart
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn
Genre: Romance, New Adult
This review and blog tour stop was made possible for Corvisiero Literary Agency. Thanks for allowing me to participate!
Note: I received this book as an e-galley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to NetGalley and Forever for allowing me to read this release.
Summary provided by Corvisiero Literary Agency for review purposes:
If you’re Kate Evans, you keep your friend Rachel, bond with her kids, and bury your feelings for her husband. The fact that Shane’s in the military and away for long periods helps-but when tragedy strikes, everything changes.
After Rachel, pregnant with her fourth child, dies in a car accident and the baby miraculously survives, Kate upends her entire life to share parenting duties. Then on the first anniversary of Rachel’s death, Kate and Shane take comfort in each other in a night that they both soon regret.
Shane’s been angry for a year, and now he feels guilty too – for sleeping with his wife’s best friend and liking it . . . liking her. Kate’s ability to read him like a book may have once sent Shane running, but their lives are forever entwined and they are growing closer.
Now with Shane deployed for seven months, Kate is on her own and struggling with being a single parent. Shane is loving and supportive from thousands of miles away, but his homecoming brings a betrayal Kate never saw coming. So Kate’s only choice is to fight for the future she deserves – with or without Shane…
I went into this book loving the premise. Really, it’s what made me sign up to be a part of this blog tour. I could actually see myself in this situation – helping a friend with her children while her husband is away for months at a time. Then, add in the fact that she is in love with the friend’s husband? That could be interesting!
Plot Development: 3/5
In my mind, it fell through. After reading the book, I re-read the above summary and I realize that it’s all there. The summary matches the plot of the book, but not in the ways that I had imagined. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the book in general. It just didn’t amaze me.
The second paragraph in the above summary happened in the first couple of pages. While I do think it needed to happen early on in the book to allow the rest of the plot to unfold, I didn’t think it needed to be so quick. The accident, parenting duties, and 1-year anniversary were barely described with more than a passing glance.
Then there’s the “betrayal Kate never saw coming” – it happened very close to the end and I had a hard time of viewing it as a betrayal. I can’t delve too much into this because it would give away the majority of the book, but the betraying person didn’t have all the information and acted on instinct. It was impulsive and out of spite, but it was still instinct.
My issues described in the plot development stem from my dislike for the characters and their characterization in general.
Shane was unlikable. He was a hardened military guy who suddenly lost his wife; I get that. I thought he was unlikable before the wife died. He very quickly went from saying the perfect things, being the smiling, doting husband to an impulsive hothead who always seemed to have the most heinous insults waiting to be thrown at someone…and then right back again to the loving, cute guy. He did have some character growth throughout the book, but not enough to make him a suitable romance novel beau.
Kate was alright. I tried hard to empathize with her because she really was trying the best that she could in a terrible situation. However, she was also as capable of dangerously shifting personalities as Shane. The tension between them could go from sexual to murderous in an instant. It was actually kind of scary and I’m glad these are not real humans. Kate also had some of her background story revealed that helped clue the readers (and Shane) in on what’s going on, but it was done in two ways: an vague info-dump from Kate’s POV that read as “oh by the way you need to know this,” and a friend blindsiding Shane with the information to make him feel like an imbecile. I would have preferred a much vaguer foreshadowing early in the book and then the friend/Shane dialogue later so that the reader was feeling as much “OH CRAP” as Shane was at the time.
Rachel had a few lines of dialogue before dying. I really wish her character was fleshed out more, either in a longer beginning or through the use of flashbacks. I feel like it would have helped the readers understand why Shane was doing the crazy things he was doing, but we didn’t know her and he we didn’t truly know their relationship so Shane seemed like he was flying by the seat of his anger-fueled pants.
Writing Style: 3/5
The writing was okay. It got the job done. If the writing wasn’t okay, I don’t know if I’d have put up with the entire novel.
I understand that in real life, in real tense and angry situations, people swear at each other. I get that. I do not, however, think it translated well in the book. It’s harder for me to read swearing than it is to hear it. A couple well placed curse words in a book drives the point home for me whereas this made me feel like I was watching reality television. It needed toned down.
I also understand that this romance subgenre is New Adult, and while it’s not going to be as steamy as an Erotica book, there are going to be some pretty graphic scenes. I guess I just expected them to be necessary to the plot rather than just…there. Some of the graphic scenes were a little creepy and not necessary at all. If I could trade those pages in for some more backstory at the beginning before killing off Rachel, I would in a heartbeat.
Total Score: 15/25, avg. 3/5
Overall, it was alright. I didn’t hate it; I didn’t love it. I will most likely not read the next book in the series (unless I am asked to and provided a copy to read!).
About the Author
Nicole Jacquelyn is the mom of two little girls and a full time college student. She hasn’t watched television in well over a year, she still does things that drive her mother crazy, and she loves to read. At eight years old, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she told people she wanted to be a mom.
When she was twelve her answer changed- to author. By the time she was eighteen, when people asked her what she wanted to do with her life, she told them she really wanted to be a writer- but the odds of that happening were so slim that she’d get her business degree “just to be safe”. Her dreams stayed constant. First she became a mom, then she went to college, and during her senior year- with one daughter in first grade and the other in preschool, she sat down and wrote a story.
As always, thanks for reading. I hope to see you soon!
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