An Ali Audiobook Review: Unbreak My Heart (Unbreak My Heart #1) by K-lee Klein and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.
This was a touching, slow burn romance.  JT has his work cut out for him with Brett.  Brett is struggling so hard with Walt’s death that he hasn’t allowed himself to heal or to move on in any way.  Once he realizes he cares for JT he’s racked with guilt.
The two men become friends first and Brett is hesitant with even that.  As the story goes on Brett begins to open up with JT.  It’s a hard road though because Brett can’t let go of the past and he’s even more afraid to risk his heart again.  J.T. is more in control of his feelings but he too sways a bit when things get difficult between them. Both of them make their share of mistakes along the way.
There are some really lovely moments in this story.  There some sad ones where you see glimpse of Brett’s past with Walt that will tear your heart out.  There are also some really romantic ones between Brett and J.T. when they finally get together.
There aren’t a lot of characters in this.  Besides the main two, it’s mostly a ranch hand/mentor/friend of Brett’s and Brett’s mother, both of whom I adored.  Both of these characters really added to the plot and they were as well done as the MC’s.
This audiobook was narrated by Nick J. Russo and I thought he did a very good job.  He did a nice job on Brett’s voice by giving it an authentic Southern cadence (rather than the stereotypical ones often done).  All of the characters had unique voices and they were are equally well done.  I think hearing this story added a level of emotion that made it even better.
Overall I found this really enjoyable.  This was a touching story that had some of my favorite components; hurt/comfort, a bit of angst and a lot of romance and tender moments.  It was well narrated and that added another layer of emotion to it.  I had never read this author before and I’m eager now to read more of her works.
Cover art by Reese Dante is gorgeous, capturing the people beautifully.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon | Audible | iTunes
Audiobook Details:
Audiobook, 2nd Edition, 11 pages
Published June 28th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published August 25th 2013)
ASINB073BPHYLN
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesUnbreak My Heart #1

Julia Talbot on Rodeo, Wrangler Butts, and her release ‘Sparkle and Shine’ (author guest post)

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Sparkle and Shine (Spurs & Saddles) by Julia Talbot

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Available for Purchase at Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Julia Talbot here today talking about why she loves rodeos, cowboys and her latest release Sparkle and Shine! Welcome back, Julia!

♦︎

What is it about the rodeo, anyway?

Hey, y’all! I’m Julia Talbot, and I’m here to talk about a favorite story of mine called Sparkle and Shine. Dreamspinner is being kind enough to rerelease it for me, and I’m so tickled I might have a feather up my—Ahem. Right.

Sparkle and Shine is about Brock and Evan, who are best friends and rodeo partners. They’re dealing with a little girl, a vengeful rodeo princess, and a general lack of funds. They’re also admitting they might be more than friends.

I a rodeo fan. Not as much of a super fan as I used to be, just because I’m old and don’t like to sit outside in the heat as much as I did even ten years ago. I’m also a pagan, politically liberal, organic foods girl. So I have a lot of friends who ask, “What is it about the rodeo, anyway? Why do you like it?”

The obvious answer is cowboys. Not just Wrangler butts. The whole deal, hat to boots and all of the dirt that goes with them. Cowboys are a breed of men who take no guff but will give you the shirt off their back. They’ll start a fight in a bar over any stupid thing, then turn around and dive into a raging river to save a drowning calf. In short, cowboys are a lot like me: living with a foot in two worlds.

See, my mom came from cowboy folks. I would say she was a cowboy, despite leaving home at 18 to see the world in the Army. My dad was a farmer’s kid from the deep South, but he went West as soon as he could, and he loved the rodeo and cowboy culture as much as my mom.

I grew up in New Mexico and Colorado. I knew horse ranchers and rodeo people, Native American ranchers and transplanted Texans. Rodeo honors their way of life, and celebrates their skills. It also allows them to honor the animals they work with every day. If you’ve ever seen a roping horse dancing to be given his head behind the barrier… yeah. They love to work.

Like anything in life, there are some issues I have problems with, but I can honestly say that these guys will try to understand those issues. My father in law is a Texas cowboy all the way, and he works hard to find common ground with me and my wife, even if he really doesn’t get us all the time. He’s a roper, by the way. He thinks roughstock cowboys like bronc riders and bull riders are just a tiny bit trashy.

So, yeah, rodeo is a celebration of culture for me. Mine, my family’s, my family by marriage.

The Wrangler butts aren’t bad, either.

Blurb:

All that glitters is not gold. No-frills cowboy Evan learned that lesson the hard way while married to a rodeo princess, a relationship that was all flash and no substance. At least Evan held on to his daughter, Cheyenne, and his best friend, Brooks, when the sparkle wore off and things fell apart. Life could be a lot worse.

But it could also be better… if Evan and Brooks took a step beyond friendship. Just as they start to explore their feelings, Evan’s ex-wife sticks her nose in to sabotage them. Suddenly everything is up in the air, and they have difficult choices to make about the rodeo, Cheyenne, and the romance they both want so badly to pursue

First edition published by Torquere Press, November 2007.

Buy Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/sparkle-and-shine-by-julia-talbot-8712-b

About the Author

Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner and Changeling Press among many others. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at http://www.juliatalbot.com “The mountains are calling, and I must go”

www.juliatalbot.com

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