Wednesday, September 13, 2017

[Jen's Review[: "Unbreak My Heart"

Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn
Publisher: Forever (June 7, 2016)
Series: Fostering Love, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Dual 1st POV

What do you do when your soul mate marries your best friend?

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...

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Jen's Review:

It’s sort of interesting to think about what to do when a romance just isn’t working for you. If I’m just bored, I’ll DNF or maybe just skim forward and read the sex scenes. There’s always hate-reading if I just can’t turn away from the what-the-fuckery. Other times, the feelings are milder and more introspective: Would I stay with a character that acted that way? Would I choose that road? Would I stay or would I leave? I love reading about these choices and how people navigate relationship obstacles. I almost always love it when one of them fucks up, and he has to grovel their way back. I love groveling! People make mistakes, and how you deal with it says everything about who you are. But Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn exists in some inexplicable place I’ve never before visited: I was actively rooting for the heroine to dump the hero on his ass, ride off into the sunset, and literally never speak his name again. His behavior was so unforgivable that no amount of groveling would have satisfied me. I wanted him to die in a horrible accident while overseas, leaving the heroine with a huge insurance settlement, a nice house in San Diego, and custody of his children. This is perhaps the only romance I’ve ever read where I did not want the two main characters to end up together.

I’ll give a brief summary, but it’s not going to make a lot of sense because so much of this book didn’t make sense to me. Kate’s best friend Rachel is married to Shane. Kate and Shane kind of grew up together, they’re like foster siblings or something *jazz hands*, and Kate has always felt betrayed by them getting together. Either way, it’s years later and Rachel is pregnant with their fourth child. Shane is in the Navy and is deployed for months at a time, and Kate basically lives with Rachel while he’s gone and then Rachel kicks her out when he comes back home. Either way, Rachel dies in a car accident in the first chapter, but the baby survives. Kate moves in to help Shane with the four kids, apparently out of the goodness of her heart and without being paid.

The only thing that kept me going in this complete soap opera of a book was Kate. I genuinely liked her, and at the same time I wanted to FedEx her a goddamn spine. Yes, she genuinely loves those kids, but I could not fathom why she let Rachel treat her that way. It gets worse because after Rachel dies, Shane comes along and is not just “hold my beer” but more like “hold my keg.”

The rest of this review contains spoilers, because I just have to talk about what a jerk he is. The book picks up a year after Rachel’s death, and Kate and Shane end up very drunk and they have have sex. The next morning, Shane is breathtakingly cruel to her, accusing her of trapping him. Kate is so upset and hungover that she is literally ill, vomiting all over, and he just walks out and leaves her. I hadn’t like him much before, but this is when I started to hate him. For the rest of the book, his terrible behavior continues. He is rude, dismissive, and hot-tempered, accusing her of whatever thing floats through his head.

Kate’s sense of love and responsibility towards the kids means she won’t quit him. He’s about to be deployed for the next six months and she has agreed to take care of the kids while he’s away. OF COURSE, she ends up pregnant. OF COURSE, she decides to keep the baby. OF COURSE, it’s a terrible, difficult pregnancy. I am ashamed to admit this, but I wished she would had a miscarriage. I wanted her to be able to walk away from this sorry excuse for a man and a father. There’s a few scenes of them skyping while he’s gone, which the author probably intended to show a real connection between them, but it was not enough. There was no part of me that believed that this relationship would ever work.

Finally, Shane returns from his deployment and Kate is near the end of her pregnancy. She’s taken the kids to her family’s in Oregon because she’s on bedrest. Shane is pissed, thinking she’s just ignored his wishes, and he storms up to retrieve the kids. He realizes what terrible shape she’s in, but rather than staying there to support her for once, he packs up the kids and abandons her. There is literally no discussion of what he plans to do when she goes into labor. It’s clear that she’s on her own. OF COURSE, he gets the kids home and they are a fucking wreck because they barely know their own father and the woman they love is gone. Shane calls her in a panic, and from her bed, she sings the kids to sleep while her water is breaking. This was the 60% mark, and the only thing that kept me going was the hope that she would have the baby and never see him again.

I don’t know. Maybe I just am not cut out for the melodrama. She returns with him to San Diego, but only because she misses those kids and she’s fucking exhausted. I was exhausted reading it. They end up together, but it isn’t satisfying; it’s sad. No epilogue in the world could make me believe they’d make it. Leaping five years into the future with Kate pregnant again didn’t make me feel happy, it made me want to pour myself a drink and weep for women who put up with this bullshit from the men in their lives.

It’s hard for me to rate this. I liked Kate and wanted her to find love, but this is a romance where I fervently hoped the couple would not end up together and didn’t believe the HEA ending.

1 STAR! 

~ * ~ * ~

Jen got this from the library.

~ * ~ * ~

Thanks for the review, Jen! It's bringing back alllll the memories from when I read this. But when I reviewed it (only last year, at that -- WTF, past me?!), I was still stuck in this meek "Oh no, I can't do a negative review, so I'll give it a meh rating and mention the shit that pissed me off but then try to smooth over my words right after." *sigh*

Man, a year can really change a person, huh? I'm definitely more vocal and critical now. Only took me, you know, 9 years of blogging. 😂

Anyway--have you read Nicole Jacquelyn?


Do you have a romance where you absolutely hated the romance/couple?


Until Next Time,

No comments :