- Author Michelle Hazen
- Release Date August 13, 2019
- Publisher Berkley
- ISBN/ASIN 9781984803290
- Our Rating
- Reviewed by Jo
UNBREAK ME was an emotional read on many levels. LJ is a Black man who lives with his mom in the poor section of New Orleans, which got hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. She’s sickly, but he loves horses and has an interview to be a horse trainer on a family-run ranch in Montana, so he goes to see if he can have a future there. His mom gives her blessing, hoping he can make something of himself.
Andra, the co-owner of the ranch with her dad and brother, is white. She’s had a trauma in her life, is skittish around men, and has severe panic attacks. Everyone on the ranch gives her the space they think she wants, and LJ becomes her friend, but he gives her what she needs.
I loved their interactions and how he is gentle with her, teaching her to cook as well as trying to get her out of her shell. They have a good relationship but sometimes have trouble communicating.
The descriptions of the city, the ranch, and the people are spot on. Adding in elements of music to the mountains and majestic horses just makes the story richer. There are a lot of stories being told, and they are seamlessly woven together. We get to see the prejudices that LJ and his friends and those in their community have to live with, and it’s a hard truth for Andra to swallow. The racial issues are brought up tastefully but definitely have teeth to them. There are some very steamy moments, so be warned, but they fit nicely into the story.
With great flow, pacing, well thought out characters, and a tightly woven plot, UNBREAK ME is a wonderful contemporary romance. (I especially liked the epilogue!) There are some loose ends, and Stacia and Jason seem to need their story to be told. (Hint, Hint.) I love the cover; the darkness and roiling sky seem a precursor of what is to come.
Ms. Hazen is a new-to-me author. I look forward to reading more of her books.