Unbreak My Heart by K-lee Klein
Series: Unbreak My Heart, Book 1
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on August 5, 2016 (2nd edition)
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
For the past three years, Brett Taylor has put everything he has into his ranch. After losing the man who meant everything to him, the ranch seemed like all he had left. And while Brett would say he’s doing just fine, those around him can see that he’s struggling to let go, to move on. And Brett’s mother has no reservations about making her opinion known. So when she brings JT Campbell to the ranch after finding him along the road, it’s clear she has more in mind than Brett giving him a job. And through her machinations, the two men grow closer. But JT has some baggage from his own past, and there are secrets that Brett isn’t very willing to share. Can they find a way to get past it and see if they can each truly be what the other needs?
This is one of those stories where the only obstacles the characters face are themselves. Brett is in his own way, but it’s not something he can see. And JT can’t find his way in, even though his professional training should give him some good ideas of how to approach the situation. Even with everyone around them rooting for the two of them to make it, they still struggle to make it through. But it’s a charming and endearing read, that I recommend for a cold or rainy day when just want something comforting and sweet. (And as long as you don’t mind wanting to shake Brett repeatedly throughout the book.)
Lazy Sundays by K-lee Klein
Published by: Goodreads M/M Romance Group on July 3, 2012
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
Scott can hardly believe he’s landed Devon. Devon’s edgy and rugged, sporting long hair and tattoos. Scott, in contrast, is geeky, straight-laced, and clean-cut. He’s an accountant, and he lives many of the stereotypes. So when Devon turns into more than just a one-time thing, Scott can’t help his surprise. The two fall into a routine. Devon shows up on Saturday nights, and they spend all day Sunday together. Devon’s company feels right to Scott, and the time they spend in bed feels even better. But Scott realizes something after several weeks–they never go out. And the one time they did, Devon cut the date short and they headed home. Already insecure about being with Devon, Scott can’t help thinking that Devon is hiding something. And the truth is that he is. But it’s nothing like what Scott expects.
This novella is a short and engaging read. Although it jumps in after Scott and Devon have started their relationship, there’s no problem being right there with them. And the author gets us into Scott’s head right away. Early on, we know of his insecurities and we know his reservations. The story is all from Scott’s perspective, so we, as readers, know just as much about Devon as the character does. And that makes it even easier to understand where Scott is coming from. (Though I found that I still wanted to shake some sense into him more than once.)
The theme of trust–acting because of insecurities and misunderstandings–is strong here. Forgiveness and admitting to one’s mistakes also end up at the center. While none of these themes are particularly surprising in a romance story, the strong writing makes them resonate with the reader. Making something expected feel unexpected is a hallmark of good writing. And you’ll find good writing here.