Unbreak My Heart was originally published in 2013 but was rereleased by Dreamspinner Press in 2016. Recently, it was also made into an audiobook with the fabulous Nick J. Russo as the narrator. The second book in the series, Unbroken Hearts, will be published in the fall of 2017.
Unbreak My Heart – Blurb
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.
A NOISE from somewhere in the darkness of the house startled Brett Taylor into a sudden, uncomfortable state of wakefulness. He lifted his head from his arms where he’d dozed off at—or rather on—his desk. He flinched away from the harshness of the lamp glaring blindingly at him, curling his fingers around the base as he twisted it so it would shine in the opposite direction.
Scrubbing a rough hand over his face, he wiped at his sleepy eyes and the dot of drool that had formed in the corner of his mouth. He slid his stiff body to a sitting position in his old leather chair, ears straining to find whatever noise had snapped him from his half-buzzed doze—or was it half-dozed buzz?
Brett was positive he’d heard the slamming of a door, but what the hell did he know anyhow with a half-pickled brain and a head so heavy he could barely hold it up? There didn’t seem to be anything amiss, and suspecting he’d merely been caught up in one of his booze-induced dreams, he didn’t bother hurrying to check it out.
Resigning himself to the fact he was too damn old to be passing out on his desk, he righted his skewed reading glasses then pushed himself from the chair and stumbled to a standing position. He clutched the edge as he fought the slightly spinning room and his wobbly knees until everything seemed less jellylike.
The yellow paper he’d been resting on caught his eye, the tip of his favorite pen still pointing at the last of the jottings on the page. He cursed at the tiny wet spot—his own goddamn drool—that had soaked and smudged the lines of ink near the top. His mind flip-flopped from moving to his bedroom, where he could sleep off the headache already niggling at the base of his skull, or rewriting the page and finishing it off. His decision was made for him when the voice behind door number three shouted loudly from the other room.
“Brett! Where are you, son? You’ve got visitors. Don’t make me come lookin’ for you.”
Brett groaned, screwing his eyes shut while his fingers swept through his tangled hair. What in the hell was his mama doing here in the middle of the goddamn night? He contemplated keeping quiet in hopes she’d just assume he wasn’t home, but his mama hadn’t raised a stupid child, and he knew there’d be worse hell to pay if he tried to avoid her. Plus, in his heart of hearts, he knew he could never do that.
“God’s tarnation, woman. Keep your knickers on,” he muttered before carefully placing the pad of paper in the long drawer of the desk. He traced a finger over the image in the small picture frame just beyond the desk blotter, a sad grin curling one side of his mouth as he picked it up.
“Guess I’ll have to finish up after I’ve gotten rid of her. You know how she is. I’ll be back, Darlin’.”
In the beginning, he’d been embarrassed, or maybe thought he was slowly losing his mind by talking to the photo when he was alone in the office. But those times had passed, and it wasn’t anyone else’s damn business if he talked to a photograph or to himself for that matter. If that was what he needed at the end of the day to fill some kind of hole inside him, he’d do as he damned well pleased.
When he heard footsteps in the kitchen, his mind hesitantly circled back to the present. He placed the photo carefully on top of the yellow paper before he shut the drawer again. One more swipe at his face to clear the cobwebs and memories from his head, and he exited the office to meet whatever the hell was waiting for him.
“Brett.” Her voice warmed when Brett came into view. “You look a mess, son. Didn’t wake you up, did we?”
“Just a little doze, Mama.” The irritated-as-fuck thread running through him thinned when he took in her familiar sweet smile and loving blue eyes. “Kinda late for a visit, ain’t it?”
“It’s barely ten o’clock. I swear you’re turning into your daddy with all your darn grumpin’.” Goddamn, he loved his mama, but he was positive she’d be the death of him one day.
The tension in his head eased a little as he quirked his lips into a self-satisfied smile and crossed his arms over his chest. He planted his feet shoulder width apart for balance, then winked at his grinning mama. “And just which daddy would that be, ma’am?”
Millie Taylor-Montgomery-Allan jutted out her hip, laying a ring-abundant hand over it while she narrowed her eyes at him. “You watch your mouth, boy. You’re not too big or old for me to hang a beatin’ on. You best remember that.”
His smugness turned into a full-out crooked smirk. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Good. Now where’re your manners? Give your mama a hug and politely greet your guest.”
Brett’s adrenaline rose, involuntarily sobering him in a way he didn’t appreciate. He scanned the kitchen while he frowned and stepped into his mama’s embrace. Guest? He caught a slight movement from the corner of his eye and peered into the shadow of the doorway.
Why the hell was there a man—a stranger—in his house, and with his mama yet? He wound an arm around her waist, squeezed gently, then kissed her cheek before stepping back. He kept watch on the figure standing behind her.
Millie motioned for the shadow to step forward, wrapped her fingers around his forearm and pulled him into the light. Brett did a quick assessment, his gaze traveling from head to toe as he contemplated whether the guy was a threat in any way possible. Fisting one hand in the hem of his T-shirt, he forced back a protective growl that tickled the back of his throat.
It was a habit he’d never been able to completely rid himself of—protecting the woman who’d raised him and taken care of him his whole life. He guessed if there was one inbred instinct he’d never been able to shake, that was the best one possible to hang on to. Plus, he wasn’t accustomed to having strangers—or anyone—in his house.
The guy was young and around six feet tall, though his build was far slighter than Brett’s. He was wiry, but toned, if the ropey biceps and cut of his jeans were any indication. His dark blond hair was curly, falling just past his ears, messy and giving him a scruffy look that matched the stubble on his jaw and cheeks. His eyes were the color of brown velvet— almost black in the shadow of the overhead light—wide, deep, frayed around the edges with uncertainty. And, if Brett wasn’t mistaken, the kid seemed to be a little worse for wear if the bruising around his right eye and the redness beneath the stubble of the left side of his jaw were any indication.
People told Brett all the time that he looked younger than his forty-one years, but if this kid was any older than twenty-three, then Brett was surely ready for the old folks’ home in town. The purple shirt he wore had seen much better days, stained or maybe spattered with something dark—possibly blood from his cut lip—with a rip at the collar. It was snug across his noticeably toned chest and hung loose over the waistband of a very tight pair of black jeans. The black-and-purple-striped kicks completed the trying-too-hard city-boy category Brett automatically put him in. He hoped the kid hadn’t been doing any drinking in the local bars because, damn, he stuck out like a pinto in a herd of quarter horses.
K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.
Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.
K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.
Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.
Places to find K-lee.
Website – kleeklein.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon
Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/