Unf;nished by J.R. Barten #LGBT #Review #MentalHealthAwareness

Wendy reviews Unf;nished by J.R. Barten.  Self published August 28, 2016, 285 pages.

unfinished-coverCould a pair of tattoos ignite a passionate romance?

Technical analyst Garrett Jones lives a solitary life. Occasionally, he must venture into the outside world to get what he needs. On one such occasion, he finds himself at a local tattoo shop getting inked for the first time with a semi-colon as a reminder of his past–a past he cannot allow himself to forget.

Fun-loving and outspoken Dev Hemingway is a social worker for a local LGBTQ shelter. He’s covered in tatts, has long hair, and though most people think he belongs on a Harley, he prefers his Venom electric scooter. He’s adding a semi-colon to his tattoo repertoire to mark eight years since his mental health diagnosis.

Though they start seeing each other casually, Garrett and Dev’s relationship soon deepens into something more than either one could have prepared for. But will the illness that brought them together ultimately be the one to tear them apart? Could this be the end of their story, or is there still too much left unfinished?


I was given a complimentary copy of this book.


Why I read this book:

I met this author through a Facebook event, she had just released this book.I learned that this book was very personal to her and her life. For that reason alone, I hesitated to jump right in and read it, even though she had given me a copy with no strings attached. I almost felt like I would be intruding on her life a little bit. But that’s not the case at all! This author couldn’t be a nicer person or a braver one for putting some of the realness in life out there to help make us more aware. We NEED to be more aware of the many mental illnesses that plague many of our friends and loved ones. Especially this time of the year when emotions seem to be closest to the surface.

I love both of the MC’s in this book but I think I really connected with Garrett. I can only explain him by saying that I think he fell into himself. He hid inside his head for a good portion of this story. I know I’ve done that too, maybe that’s why I adore him so much. He tries. I mean he really TRIES so hard to work on what he knows is wrong in his life, but it’s a struggle and guilt eats at him. Like so many people who are co-dependent and enablers, he doesn’t recognize some of what he’s doing or done and most of what he should do is a complete mystery to him. But he keeps at it. I love the kind of inner strength that he has. He also doesn’t see himself as others see him so he has a bit of a self esteem thing going on. Not a huge deal, he just doesn’t realize that he’s got the sexy nerd thing down.

Dev is adorable! Another character that has a TON of inner strength and charisma and charm. Some of that is part of his illness I learned that that’s part of him too, just another part that makes up the whole of who he is. He’s open and warm, he loves with his whole heart and I love him. His character gives a great look at what it takes to manage a disease like Bi-polar depression and how it’s with him every single day. Some days are better than others, but it never goes away.

These two together between the sheets are soooo hotttt! Even their kisses make me melt! Serious feels!

The secondary characters are great and the entire book is very well written. There is a LOT of realness going on in this book, but it doesn’t take away from the romance and it adds so much to the story. Well done J.R. Barten! Thank you for this book, I can tell that you put a lot of your soul into this story.



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J.R., or Jen as friends call her, has always been an avid reader, oftentimes reading five to six books a week. When she was a kid, she found a huge box of old paperbacks for sale at a neighbor’s garage sale. She offered the woman a quarter for the entire haul, and then went home and locked herself in her bedroom so her younger brother couldn’t interrupt her while she read. This fueled her love for romantic fiction and inspired her to try her hand at writing. In 2013 Jen started writing fan-fiction, and then began creating her own original stories in 2014. Currently, her favorite genre to read and write is contemporary gay romance.

J.R. Barten was born and raised in Iowa and now resides in the Twin Cities of Minnesota with her partner of seventeen years and two rescue dogs.

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