Author: Nicole Jacquelyn
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Military
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
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...
Title: Unbreak My heart
Author: Nicole Jacquelyn
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Release Date: June 7, 2016
I don’t remember the drive to the hospital or even where I parked that afternoon. I can’t recall what the nurse looked like as she searched for Rachel’s name in their computer system or the walk toward the room where I waited for someone to speak to me.
The first thing I remember clearly is the white-haired doctor’s kind face as he sat down across from me, and the young chaplain’s small smile as he chose the chair to my left. Their words became a litany that I would hear in my dreams for years.
My Rachel was gone, but her son was alive and in the NICU.
“Is there anyone you’d like for us to call? Any family or friends that you’d like to be here?”
The question jolted me out of the fog that seemed to be getting thicker and thicker around me. Dear God.
“I’ll make the calls,” I answered, looking blankly at the wall. “Can I have some privacy please?”
“Of course. I’ll be right outside if you need me,” the chaplain answered, reaching out to pat my hand. “I’ll take you up to the NICU when you’re ready.”
The room was silent after they left, and I fought the urge to scream at the top of my lungs just to hear it echo around me. I understood then why people hired mourners to wail at funerals. Sometimes the lack of sound is more painful than the anguished noise of a heart breaking.
My hands shook as I pulled my phone out of my front pocket and rested it on the table in front of me.
It only took a moment before the sound of ringing filled the room, and I rested my head in my hands as I stared at the name across the screen.
“Hello? Kate? What’s wrong?”
“Shane—” I said quietly, my voice hitching.
“What? Why are you calling me?” His voice was confused, but I could hear a small thread of panic in the urgency of his words.
“I need you to come to Tri-City Hospital,” I answered, tears rolling down my face and landing on the glass screen of my phone, distorting the letters and numbers.
“Who?” His voice was frantic, and I could hear him moving around, his breathing heavy.
“Rachel was in an accident.” I sobbed, covering my face to try and muffle the noise.
“No,” he argued desperately, as I heard two car doors shut almost simultaneously. “Is she okay?”
I shook my head, trying to catch my breath.
“Kate! Is she okay?” He screamed at me, his anguished voice filling the room as I’d wanted mine to just minutes before.
“No,” I answered through gritted teeth, feeling snot running down my upper lip as I heard him make a noise deep in his throat. “She’s gone.”
He didn’t say a word, and less than a second later, the connection was broken.
I rubbed at my forehead, trying to convince myself that it was all just a nightmare. Where was I supposed to be? What was I supposed to do now? My best friend in the entire world was there in that hospital, but not really. I couldn’t bear to see her. I couldn’t help her. Where the fuck was I supposed to go?”
I made my way to the NICU as quickly as I could, and within minutes, I was holding my new nephew in my arms. The nurses told me that he’d passed all of his tests with flying colors, and I was in awe as I sat down in a rocking chair, cradling him to my chest.
“You sure got a shitty beginning, little man,” I murmured against his fuzzy scalp, rocking back and forth gently. “I’m so sorry, buddy. You’re probably missing your mama and that warm bubble you’ve been in for so long. I can’t help you there.”
I sniffled, closing my eyes as tears rolled down my cheeks. My whole body ached, and even though I had that little boy in my arms, the whole day seemed like some sort of surreal dream, foggy in some parts and crystal clear in others. I wanted to hop up and take his sleeping, little form to Rachel, to tease her about the weird Mohawk thing he was sporting and make joking comments about how men always seem to sleep through the hard parts of life. I wanted to see her smile proudly at the sturdy boy she’d produced and grumble that I was hogging him.
I wanted everything to be different.
I hummed softly with my eyes closed for a long time, holding the baby close to me. It was quiet where we sat, nothing breaking up the stillness of the room until I heard someone open the door.
“There he is,” the nurse murmured from the doorway.
My eyes popped open to see Shane’s ravaged face just feet from me. He looked like he was barely holding on. I swallowed hard as his red rimmed eyes took in his son carefully before rising to meet mine.
“Is he okay?” he asked thickly, searching my face. I’d never seen him so frightened.
“He’s perfect,” I answered, my voice throbbing with emotion. “The nurses said he’s a rock star.”
He nodded twice, reaching up to cover his mouth with his hand, but before he could say another word, he was stumbling and falling to his knees with an almost inaudible sob.
Unbelievably well written, I was in a constant state of agony from the first page until the very last. You would think at some point happy would settle in, but there was just so much raw heartbreak throughout it was hard to see the sun through the continuous rain. That being said, I was completely enraptured with this jaw dropping piece of literature and I wouldn’t change a single thing. Every second of pain, anger and hopelessness was worth the outcome and the road traveled to get there. It’s books like this that demand the story stick with you; you couldn’t forget it if you tried.
I wouldn’t necessarily call this a second chance romance, more of a romance denied and our characters were given a second chance to get it right since it never left the gate the first time around. I am not kidding when I say you will want to cause bodily harm to one of these characters just about every page of the story. And I get where they were coming from, to an extent. I just wanted to shake them because it felt like the same thing would happen over and over and over again. Be horrible, break heart, other person argues but just takes it, they apologize, all is temporarily well-ish, then rinse wash and repeat. But it was exactly those things that made this book so memorable. While I wanted to throttle that character, I wanted to simultaneously wrap them up and never let go. The pain was just so RAW. I got to the end of the story and still felt like I couldn’t breathe.
There was one scene in particular that gutted me; pure flayed me right open. You’d have to not have a heart to feel everything that was going on in that instant. The words bled from the pages and settled deep within my soul. For that short time period I WAS that character. Her pain was my pain and I felt my heart break and the utter despair right along with her. I couldn’t stop crying, but it ended up being the catalyst for the remainder of the story. It was the one thing that got the ball rolling to a conclusion, an ah-ha moment if you will. It was the pivotal turning point and one that I’ll never forget for as long as I live.
The kids really made this book that extra something special. The way the interacted with Kate, especially after their mom passed. The way they interacted with each other and showed their strengths, vulnerabilities, and just their pure hearts. It was gut wrenching at times and heart breakingly beautiful at others. They truly made this story what it was. If you are looking for true, honest angst, this is most definitely the story for you and I cannot recommend it enough!
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