When one of your favorite authors replies to you on a social media post, you geek out in total happiness. Case in point: after reading Lorelei James‘ “Hillbilly Rockstar,” I placed a comment on Ms. James’ Instagram page, asking if there are any plans to write about the Wright Brothers (minor characters in “Hillbilly”). About 24 hours later, I checked my Instagram account again, spat out the coffee I was drinking, because, HOT DAMN, Ms. James REPLIED. Granted, her answer was “nope no books about them at this time 😁,” but, holy Batman and Robin, she replied!
When one of your favorite authors’ team member messages you on Facebook and asks you if you want to get an ARC of Ms. James’ New Adult book, which you have already earmarked for purchase on your personal calendar, you die. Just die. Then, you promptly resuscitate yourself, and beg/borrow/steal a Kindle device just so you can get your greedy hands on “Unbreak My Heart.” Your ultimate purpose, you chant to yourself, is “it’s for the good of my fellow people that I read it first.”
In reality, I promised my sister that I’d give her my first child if she’ll just let me borrow her Kindle device (stupid Kindle Cloud!) for the weekend. After doing so, I buckled down and just enjoyed Boone West and Sierra Daniels, a.k.a. Sierra McKay, coming back to life, right in front of my eyes.
If you haven’t read Ms. James’ “Rough Riders” series, then let me just ask: “Why?!” 🙂 I mean, you should, if you like love stories that are both dirty and sweet, at the same time. I know, I know! Those are two polar opposites when it comes to describing a romance novel, but that’s what Ms. James’ books are to me. Some might say you can read “Unbreak My Heart” without reading about Boone and Sierra’s background in “Gone Country,” but they’d be dead wrong. READ MY WORDS (not my lips, since you can’t seem those): Please do yourself a favor, and browse through “Gone Country” first; else, you might end up not liking “Unbreak My Heart.”
In this new book, Ms. James acquiesced to her (ahem, demanding) fans and wrote a book for two seemingly star-crossed teenaged lovers. Personally, I was a bit in love with Boone West already, in “Gone Country,” but Sierra… it took a while for me to get used to her, because she was NOT who I was when I was a teen girl and I couldn’t relate to her. Then, again, her fictional background is as effed up as it could possibly be (that birth-mother of hers makes Cinderella’s stepmother look like Mother Teresa). I say they were “star-crossed,” not because their families are feuding with each other, but because they MADE themselves that way. Boone was from a highly dysfunctional family, lived on the poorer side of the economic scale, and had ambitions to be more. Sierra was her successful businessman-father’s daughter and is part of a boisterous yet loving branch of the McKay family. As lovers, their angst-filled and drama-ridden relationship carries over from adolescence to adulthood.
In reality, if Boone and Sierra were real people, and I had a first-hand “seat” in seeing their adult relationship unfold, I woulda told Boone, “Honey, I’m a better bet than she is.” SERIOUSLY. His panty-burning words are… for lack of a better description, exactly what romantic readers like me want to hear. (Yo, shoutout to Sierra and to all real-life 20-something women in the world, when you’re in your 30’s and your man is parked in front of the TV, you’ll understand what I mean.)
Oh, but… ah, the heart wants what it wants… do Boone and Sierra live happily ever after? Well, yes, because this is Lorelei James, not Nicholas Sparks or Jojo Moyes. If I need to scream it out loud, I will. I LOVE HAPPY EVER AFTERS, okay?
Yes, there’s plenty of drama. That’s what makes this really good fiction. But, how do Boone and Sierra resolve the hurdles that seem insurmountable, now that they are, finally, reasonable adults who have gained (a bit of) control over their hormones? Ah, dear readers, this is where I advise you to do yourselves a favor. Pick up a copy of “Gone Country,” then read “Unbreak My Heart.” Your weekend and the succeeding 3 days after that marathon read would be just as merry, angst-filled, and sexily divine (fictionally speaking) as mine was.