In UNBREAK ME, LJ Delisle is a Haitian-Creole cowboy with a heart as big as his smile. When he meets Andra Lawler, she’s living like a hermit on her family’s horse ranch and has barely spoken to a man in years. She’s been through hell, and when LJ shows up in her life, a girl might be forgiven for thinking he was a gift from the karma fairy, here to make up for all the hard knocks she took in her early twenties.
Here are five ways he turns the head of a woman who had sworn off men for life:
- He knows his way around a kitchen
When LJ wants to make friends, he takes a tack few men ever try: he bakes her a cake. When he sees her collection of TV dinners, he’s so horrified he makes her dinner and spaghetti spins quickly into cooking lessons that start out with warm companionship and start to spark into flirtation. But ladies, how can you resist a man who can cook? Andra sure can’t.
- Animals love him
LJ and Andra meet when he gets a job training her horses: specifically her baby horses! She’s won over by how gentle and playful he is with them, how he never tries to muscle them into obedience but instead tries to capture their interest so they want to work with him. Even before she trusts him with her heart, she trusts him with her beloved animals.
- He can rodeo
LJ’s a horse trainer by trade, but he’s cowboy enough to throw down in the local rodeo and put on a fan-girl-worthy display of ranch-style horsemanship. As he humbly puts it, “I didn’t write home about it, but I did send a text message.”
- He loves his mama
From the first day they meet, LJ’s texting pictures and jokes to his beloved mama, who rules with an iron fist and loves him with every last breath in her body. Even with her walls all the way up, Andra has to admit she respects a guy who remembers to call his mother.
- He plays the sexiest of all musical instruments
The first time LJ wants to declare his feelings for Andra, because of her past, he knows she’s not ready for sex. As he puts it, “I know we need to take it slow. That there are things that might remind you of something bad, when it’s supposed to be nothing but good.” He touched her chin, lifting it enough that he could leave the softest of kisses on her lips. “So listen instead, because music is always pure. Always safe, the way you are with me, okay?” And so he communicates his love through the smooth, raw notes of his saxophone. Cue the swoon!
I can’t wait for you to meet LJ and Andra, and follow them on their journey from the big skies of her Montana horse ranch to the centuries-old streets of his hometown of New Orleans.
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$10 Amazon gift card plus a digital copy of A Cruel Kind of Beautiful.
What could two troubled souls from different walks of life have in common? Maybe everything.
Andra Lawler lives isolated at her family’s horse ranch, imprisoned by the memories of an assault in college. When she needs help training her foals, she hires a Haitian-Creole cowboy from New Orleans with a laugh as big as the Montana sky.
LJ Delisle can’t stand the idea that Andra might be lonely–or eating frozen TV dinners. He bakes his way into her kitchen with a lemon velvet cake, and offers her cooking lessons that set them on the road to romance. But even their love can’t escape the shadow of what they’ve been through. Despite their growing friendship and his gentle rapport with the horses, LJ is still an outsider facing small-town suspicions.
Before they can work through their issues, LJ is called home by a family emergency. In the centuries-old, raggedly rebuilt streets of New Orleans, he must confront memories of Hurricane Katrina and familiar discrimination. And Andra must decide if she’s brave enough to leave the shelter of the ranch for an uncertain future with LJ.
About Michelle Hazen
Michelle Hazen is a nomad with a writing problem. Years ago, she and her husband ducked out of the 9 to 5 world and moved into their truck. As a result, she wrote most of her books with solar power in odd places, including a bus in Thailand, a golf cart in a sandstorm, and a beach in Honduras. Currently, she’s addicted to The Walking Dead, hiking, and Tillamook cheese.