Happy Release Day to me!
Welcome everyone and thank you Open Skye for taking part in my blog tour. Today is release day for Unbroken Hearts from Dreamspinner Press. This is the second book in the Unbreak My Heart series, and though it’s the second edition, it includes not only the original polished, rewritten story but also the short Unwrapped Hearts, and 25,000 words of new content in Brett and JT’s love story.
Since today is special, I decided to share a deleted scene from the Unbreak My Heart universe. You’ll find all the important characters doing what they like best—being together and bugging the crap out of each other. That’s what family’s for, right?
I hope you enjoy and please don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Enjoy.
Unbroken Hearts deleted scene
“You look awful proud of yourself, kid,” Brett said as he sat down beside JT. He flicked JT’s hat, offering him a lopsided grin. “Done something I should know about?”
JT feigned annoyance with a huff. “Well, I have this Texas asshole for a boss—”
“I’ll bet he’s a really great guy.” Brett stole a kiss, then kicked his legs out in front of him. “Can’t imagine how downright wonderful he has to be to make his best employee work on a Sunday. WOOEEE.”
Sunday, JT reflected, was by far his favorite day of the week. Not that any of JT’s days were really bad, especially when he and Brett had the odd night out on a Friday or Saturday, or even on a weekday if JT could wrangle his cowboy into doing something non-habitual. And there was no denying how stepping out on Brett’s arm, metaphorically speaking, still gave JT goosebumps—non-metaphorically.
Brett had a way with people that even a guy trained and educated in the psychology of man couldn’t learn. He was a natural entertainer whether on stage or sitting in a bar full of local yokels, despite how adorably he’d perfected the Grumpy Cat look he tried to hide behind. Some of JT’s favorite parts of their dates were kicking back and watching Brett in his element. Of course, he reveled in the fact that no matter how charming Brett was to everyone, no matter how flirty he was—Brett vehemently denied that one—JT always got to take him home.
But Sundays fell into a category all their own.
Things around the ranch were more laid back, a hard task to accomplish when one considered how calm and casual Brett and Ray usually were anyhow. They basically threw the majority of the chore list out the window, except for the bare minimum that had to be done. Sundays always saw everyone in good spirits from sunset to sundown.
And kicking back on the porch became a much-looked-forward-to habit whether in the hot days of summer or the dreary ones of winter.
“Suppose you boys think the day’s over, eh?”
JT smirked before stealing a page out of Brett’s book and scowling up at Ray when he surprised them. He was impossibly good at being stealthy, which had to be some kind of cowboy witchcraft—or was a darn good trick. JT suspected the man had never done anything quietly in his whole life.
“I guess I could find you something else to do, old man.” Brett winked at JT, then motioned to the case of beer between them. “Or you could sit your ass down and let me beat you at crib.”
Ray tossed his hat on one of the empty chairs and fell into the other one with a sigh. He swept a hand through his thinning salt and pepper coif and blew out a breath. “I don’t have the strength to wrestle with you today, kid.”
JT offered him a brew before shifting closer to Brett. There was a slight chill in the air and JT was grateful Brett was like a walking furnace. “Wrestling? Will there be mud involved?”
“Get your damn mind out of the gutter,” Ray said before taking a long pull on his bottle.
“Yeah,” Brett agreed. And suddenly JT wondered if hell had frozen over or pigs were going to start soaring out of the clouds until… “I prefer my competition to be a little more agile and pretty.”
Ray shook his head and kicked at Brett’s boot. “We gonna play or just sit here yappin’ all afternoon? I get no damn respect around here.”
Yes, that was the other big reason that JT loved Sundays—because they meant family. Crazy, dysfunctional, Grumpy Cat family perhaps, but family nonetheless.
“So impatient, old man. I reckon you should sit back and smell the roses for a while.”
With a huff of disagreement, Ray reached for the deck of cards on the little weather-worn table. “That’s rich coming from you. Ain’t letting you have the blue pegs now. Not with that attitude.” He motioned to the crib board. “Giving the kid that color. You’ll be red today, sweetheart.”
“I hate red,” Brett grumbled before burying his nose in the side of JT’s neck. He was such a drama queen, but the heat of his breath sent shivers down JT’s spine.
Besides, it was good drama, definitely not the kind JT had grown up with. Sundays back in the day had been no different than any other, and family togetherness had never been in the cards. Since the Campbells weren’t church-going people, his parents had usually spent the day at their respective jobs or sequestered away in their separate offices while JT kept as wide a berth as possible. That had suited him fine.
He wasn’t sure if Texans believed in the sanctity of the day of rest or if it was strictly a Brett thing, born from exhaustive touring. Whatever the cause, it was just one of the new things JT had eventually, after much discomfort, gotten used to. In the beginning, he’d looked to Brett for cues and hadn’t initiated much in the way of togetherness on his own.
Things changed though. Brett changed a lot of things in JT’s life; past, present, and future. Now he would have happily spent a month of Sundays just basking in having Brett warm and solid beside him, hearing his steady inhales and exhales in the quiet of the early evening, or having his ass kicked at crib.
Besides Brett, Ray and Millie had also quickly become the family unit JT had missed in his upbringing. With the exception of his grandma, he had no regrets about leaving that past life behind. And soul-soothing Sundays only solidified that he’d made the right decision.
“You boys are getting lazy. You want me to have a heart attack from carrying all this stuff from the car.”
Brett and Ray jumped to their feet so fast JT startled. “Jesus, Mama. You can’t just say shi—stuff like that,” Brett said. Between him and Ray, Millie’s arms were already empty by the time JT lifted to his feet.
Millie smacked Brett on the back before leaning up to kiss his cheek. “If you think carrying a few things is gonna do me in, I’ve got a plot of swampland to sell you real cheap.” She patted Ray’s jaw then turned to JT. “Hi, baby. Are these idiots giving you a hard time?”
JT took Millie’s proffered hand, then kissed her forehead. “I’m so happy you’re here to save me.”
“Suck-up,” Brett said, narrowing his eyes. “If we’re so damn mean, I don’t suppose we have to share whatever goodies Mama brought us. Do we, old man?”
Ray waved a hand as he opened the screen door. “I ain’t getting in the middle of your marital problems. Come on, Millie. The company’s better inside anyhow.”
Brett stayed planted to the spot, his attempt at remaining grumpy obvious and losing steam quickly. JT sauntered up to him, facing him dead-on. He tucked his thumbs in Brett’s belt loops and tugged him forward.
“You know you can’t deprive me, Darlin’,” JT cooed, leaning-in to kiss Brett flush on the mouth.
“Brat. You sure you’re not underestimating me?” Brett flashed a crooked smile, holding something JT knew was mouthwateringly delicious just out of JT’s reach. Truth was, he could’ve grabbed at it but then Brett would’ve gotten loose. He did appreciate the Eskimo kiss though.
“Nice try. I’ve got you wrapped around my little finger.”
“And everything else, sweetheart.”
“Brett! You better not have run off!” Millie yelled from inside the house.
JT smirked. “Drat. Looks like your plan has been foiled.”
“We could run off together. No one would be the wiser.” Brett stepped back and waggled his eyebrows. “You. Me. Sweet sugary goodness. I could even wax poetic about it if you like.”
Now JT was curious. “How would that look exactly?”
“Wouldn’t look all that different. More of a sound actually. Unless you’d like me to dust off my high school drama skills for ya.”
“I’d pay money to see that.” Brett moved-in again, tongue peeking out to swipe his bottom lip. “You’re convincing—“
Ray interrupted the moment, the screen door slamming behind him. “I’m not as nice as your Mama. Give me that damn bag and take a hike.”
“You just don’t wanna share,” Brett called after him.
“It’s pie, kid. ‘Bout time you grew some smarts.”
And there it was, the final reason JT loved Sundays—Millie’s weekly pie delivery.
~~Country singer turned rancher Brett Taylor fought his way out of the bottle, so he could have JT Campbell in his life. JT’s patience, intelligence, and humor broke through Brett’s walls of depression, and now the once-isolated rancher and his young California guy in search of himself are together on Brett’s Texas ranch.
While Brett and JT are more in love than ever, they’re still dealing with past baggage and learning how to move forward. Brett’s former lover casts a long shadow over their lives—one JT tries to pretend doesn’t bother him. Can Brett soothe his fears with the sort of sappy, sentimental Valentine’s Day JT was taught to shun growing up—but secretly always wanted?
When Halloween rolls around, a costumed night out at the local bar might lead to another romantic first. And on Christmas morning, JT awakes to some sweet loving and the most meaningful gift he could ever imagine. The New Year truly brings a new beginning—ushered in by some silly, sparkly, and sexy fun.
One year. Four important holidays. Two men who have worked hard for the love and trust they share and the bright future that’s finally within their grasp.~~
K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.
Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.
K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.
Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.