Whenever I choose my next book to read, I am always searching for that book that’s going to make me feel.  I don’t want to simply read the words, I want to experience the story along with the characters.  Unbreak My Heart had me feeling every emotion imaginable.  From the synopsis alone, I knew that it was going to be heartbreaking, but I never imagined that it would make me feel such a vast array of emotions.  It’s a story about loss, grief, and second chances.  It’s not a sweet, easy love story.  The author takes this story places that I never expected it to go, but I am so glad that I went along for the ride.

Shane is a twenty-nine-year-old military man, father of four, and a widower.  When his wife is taken from him in a tragic accident, her best friend, Kate, steps in to help with the children.  Kate is a godsend.  Despite her buried unrequited feelings for Shane, and the way that he has dismissed her as part of his life over the past several years, she doesn’t hesitate to put her own life on the back burner to help him.  She loves those children deeply as if they were her own.  She is selfless, caring, nurturing, and forgiving - almost to a fault.  But despite all of the help that Kate has been giving, Shane still treats her like an unimportant, uninvited house guest, a fixture to be overlooked and used.

Shane’s treatment of Kate is cruel, despicable, and heartless.  My heart sank into the pit of my stomach with every harsh word that he uttered to her.  As I was reading the book, I tried putting myself in his shoes.  How would I cope with the loss?  How would I maintain a normal home life for my young children?  It’s an unimaginable, devastating scenario that he’s found himself in.  I kept trying to tell myself that people deal with their grief in their own personal way.  I felt a great amount of sympathy for him and his loss, but it still didn’t even come close to excusing his deplorable behavior. 

Nicole Jacquelyn has written a story that is chock full of angst.  I appreciate and respect the fact that she was fearless in delivering a character that many readers would find loathsome.  He’s not your typical swoon-worthy character that readers will fall in love with right from page one.  He is real, brutally honest, and flawed.  As much as I hated him at times, I also enjoyed hating him.  He frustrated me, angered me, and still drew me in like a moth to a flame.  He’s a man who is afraid to let go and give himself permission to move on.  He feels guilty about his growing feelings for Kate and doesn’t want to snuff out or diminish the memory of his wife, so he lashes out at the one person who is always there for him. 

I was invested and hooked on this story right from the beginning.  I read it in less than a day and haven’t stopped thinking about it since.  Whenever a book can make me hold my Kindle in a death grip and want to scream, make me cry, make me laugh, and make me want to read it all over again, that’s a real gem.  Unbreak My Heart is a raw, heart-wrenching story that bleeds emotion from every page.

​*5 Stars


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Unbreak My Heart
 By Nicole Jacquelyn