Series: Unbreak My Heart #1
Published by Forever
Pub Date: June 7th 2016
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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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. . .
Shane and Kate have known each other since they were teenagers and she’s been mad crushing since. He, on the other hand, has never seen Kate in that way and has actually allowed her feelings to push him away. Over the years, they’ve gone from being best friends to barely on speaking terms. With Shane being on active duty in the military, he can really use all the help he can get to try and give his kids a sense of normalcy after having lost their mother. Kate and the kids have grown a special bond over the years and nobody is better qualified for the job than her. But with so much tension and mixed emotions, what could possibly go wrong?
I absolutely loved Kate’s character! Sure, I wanted to hit her upside the head with her own book at times, but she just has a heart of gold and I couldn’t hate her for that. I loved seeing how much she cared for those little ones and how much they loved her back. I’m the only girl out of my siblings who doesn’t have children of her own and I could really relate to her on the “aunt Kate” moments. I, too, am a proud member of the “spare car seat” club! With such a selfless attitude and the constant ability to want to please others, she’s easily a character that you’ll really find yourself rooting for.
However, Kate was only one half of the couple. The other half was Shane, and oh boy did he work my nerve! Going into this book I expected him to be a broken man who’s lost his wife at the age of 29 and is surprised by his sudden feelings for her best friend. I really wish the book summary had at least mildly prepared me for the virtual reality slap heading my way! I can’t think of the last villain I hated as much as I did Shane and the problem is he’s meant to be the male protagonist of this story! He was just so entitled and such an asshole that I just knew early on he would not be my cup of tea. There was no redeeming him in my eyes and I badly wanted a a random love interest, someone who was worthy of Kate, to come barging in and sweep her off her feet.
The supporting characters were incredible! I loved the feeling of a tight, dysfunctional, but tight family. This was a blended family that really worked and their closeness felt very realistic. As I was reading Unbreak My Heart I found myself wanting to get more of their stories. Needless to say, I was over the moon when I realized the second book in this duology, Change of Heart, would be based on Anita and Bram!
As for the writing, I wish the author had done a better job at transitioning between the chapters. One chapter would end in a heated argument and the next would pick up with birds chirping like nothing had ever happened and that was extremely frustrating. I was still angry with Shane for jerk move #24 and I expected Kate to also be enraged. It took me a while to realize that although only mere seconds had passed for me between the ending of one chapter and the beginning of the next, Kate had had a few days to cool off.
Nicole Jacquelyn‘s way of describing the heart wrenching moments was something really special! I love a book that makes me feel and this book really did that. I found myself crying, cursing, laughing, and angrily hitting my kindle to read the next page. (True story! lol) The only reason I couldn’t love this book more is Shane, but I look forward to checking out other books by Jacquelyn in the future!