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text 2018-10-20 17:34
Breathe for Me (Be for Me, #1) by Natalie Anderson Free!
Breathe for Me - Natalie Anderson

The last thing Chelsea Greene wants is to be rescued, but that's exactly what happens when she's caught wearing nothing but her swimsuit during a midnight emergency evacuation drill. Turns out her 'hero' is a former lifeguard who has no hesitation in offering the kiss of life. So not happening, right? 


But for emotionally chastened Chelsea, one touch changes everything. She discovers a desire to satisfy this arrogant, demanding tease. Unable to express her own fantasies, she finds unspeakable pleasure in serving his.

Xander Lawson exudes easy charm. He likes a woman unafraid to match his appetite for unfettered fun. He doesn't do complicated or emotional. But the raw need emanating from fragile Chelsea compels him closer. He can't resist spinning a sensual fantasy world around them. 
As passion spills outside their carefully selected boundaries, Xander learns Chelsea's stronger than he first thought. But is she strong enough to handle the intensity he's always kept hidden?

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review 2018-10-19 10:02
Too Close to Breathe - Olivia Kiernan

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan has just returned to work after a traumatic event in which she nearly lost her life. Her first case appears to be a suicide but Frankie is quick to spot a clue that shows the death was caused by someone else. Soon the gears are in motion to track down the killer. And then another body is found.

 

Don’t be misled if you start to read this novel and think you’ve arrived in the middle of the series. You haven’t. Frankie was involved in an incident and has just returned to work when the body of Dr Eleanor Costello is found. She is still dealing with the ramifications of that previous event as she comes to investigate an apparent suicide that is in fact murder. As the story progresses Frankie has to face that history to discover what is happening in the here and now.

 

Frankie is brittle, dedicated and takes no-nonsense. She is hard-working and expects that from her team of detectives. She doesn’t come across as that friendly, except with her boss Jack Clancy and fellow detective Baz. The relationship between these three, and Frankie and Baz in particular, brought light relief to what is otherwise a dark novel.  It is the theme of the novel that makes it so dark, BDSM and the desire to feel death without dying is central to the plot but is not used in a gratuitous way. The story travels from Dublin to the coast and becomes a little more personal for Frankie when events happen in her home town. The reader is given only a brief glimpse into her past, but the feeling is there that these are to sow the seeds for further revalations in later books.

 

Too Close to Breathe is a strong debut and opener to a new series. There are other characters that make up the team, each one with their own specialism that makes for interesting dynamics. I am hoping that future books develop the characters further (with Frankie hopefully being a bit nicer to her colleagues, particularly poor Helen). The reader can only create a small picture of Frankie Sheehan from this novel. She keeps her cards close to her chest. I get the impression almost that every reader of the book will have their own vision of who the characters are.

 

I had figured out who the culprit was which perhaps explains why I was shaking my head at Frankie as the denouement played out, wondering how she managed to get herself into such scrapes and telling her what she should not be doing. However this did not spoil my enjoyment of the story.

 

An entertaining, well written novel with an unusual plot, that moves at just the right pace. I look forward to reading more from Olivia Kiernan in the future.

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review 2018-08-14 22:42
New Release Review!
How to Breathe Underwater - Vicky Skinner

 

There's a lot to unravel here, so bear with me. I'm still in awe of the profound emotional roller coaster I just experienced with this heartfelt story. Skinner has a way with words that elicits your emotions and keeps you engaged page after page.  
 
Kate is a fairly average teenager, save for one big exception, she's the best swimmer in the state. With her dad as her coach constantly pushing her to do more, be better, work harder, etc. there's a lot of emotional baggage tied into her sport. When Kate's life turns upside down after her dad's affair becomes public, it's more than just a relocation. It is the first time Kate really questions whether she wants to keep swimming now that she's not striving for her father's attention.
 
I imagine switching schools after growing up with the same team is difficult in itself, then add the pressure of being "the best", any kid would have a hard time. Kate manages to navigate her new circumstances with less than stellar grace and a few bad choices to makes things more challenging. Crushing on the boy next door is adorable and sweet, but navigating through an existing girlfriend and trying to make new friends does not make it easy. 
 
Kate's struggles with her new family life are an integral part of the story. Divorce is a difficult topic to write about, but Skinner does an exceptional job keeping things just the right amount of heavy without feeling overwhelming. It was important that we see how the divorce is affecting Kate's mom and sister as well. The camaraderie of their shared heartache is a refreshingly honest look at the emotional toll divorce can have on a family. 
 
Michael and Kate's friendship is the bright light in an otherwise tumultuous world. There's one particular scene that stands out in my mind where they sit in the hallway across from each other in the middle of the night eating ice cream. That sweet moment of friendship made me wish I had a neighbor like that, especially as I suffered from insomnia in high school too. I found their story endearing and frustrating at the same time. It is a splendid story fraught with awkward moments, sweet gestures, and a fair amount of hardship. 
 
I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy a heartfelt look at what strengths lie in moving on and forgiveness. 
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review 2018-06-02 21:13
Too Close to Breathe
Too Close to Breathe - Olivia Kiernan

The Irish are fantastic storytellers, and Olivia Kiernan proves that she is going to be one of the best. Too Close to Breathe is the first in the Frankie Sheehan mystery/thriller series and debut novel for her. 

 

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan who four months earlier, was almost killed in an attack trying to apprehend a killer. When she is called to a Dublin suburb to investigate the supposed suicide of a woman, Eleanor Costello,  who is found hanging from a rope in her home. At first, it seems cut and dried and the case can be closed but after the autopsy report shows old wounds and broken bones Frankie realizes that this is not a suicide. Of course, the first suspect is the husband.

 

Another woman's body is discovered with the same MO as Eleanor's. Then Paul Costello is found and that really throws the investigation into a tailspin. Frankie is challenged with all she has to try to figure out what really happened. Frankie is a strong but flawed, a bit rough around the edges, woman who tries to take charge of her demons and keep an open mind in her investigation. With the help of her team, Frankie pulls out all the stops in this case.

 

Too Close to Breathe is a taut thriller that will have fans of Tanya French and Gillian Flynn excited to read this new author. I really loved the story and definitely want to read more from Olivia Kiernan. 

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review 2018-05-15 16:35
Breathe - Carly Phillips
I could not put this book down....I read it in one day! This book is the second in the series and Phoebe Ward's story. Phoebe fell in love with Jake Nichols when they were in foster care together. Phoebe gave up her virginity to him as a teenager only to be caught by her foster family and permanently separated from Jake. After finding out she was pregnant, Phoebe couldn't find Jake to tell him and ended up raising her son, Jamie by herself. Now, Phoebe is a realtor, and is helping her friend out with overseeing the work on her house. Imagine Phoebe's surprise when she goes to meet with the contractor and it ends up being Jake Nichols!
It has been 12 years since Phoebe has seen Jake so what does she do? She freaks out and leaves! LOL. After coming to her senses, she realizes that she has to tell Jake about Jamie but of course he finds out before she can tell him and then that's when the fun begins.

Jake of course wants to be a part of Jamie's life, but he also has to deal with his own six year old daughter Callie from his previous marriage as well as an ex-wife. It was fun watching Jake interact with Jamie and I loved all the together time. I also loved how Phoebe and Jake still had such strong feelings for each other after all those years apart and how they quickly picked things back up. I just adored both of the kids in this story. It is funny how sometimes adults can complicate things so much that kids see so matter-of-factly. I really liked how true love prevailed and Jake and Phoebe got their happy ending. This was another great addition to this series. We also get a sneak peak at the missing sister, Juliette. I can't wait for her story. It looks like it is going to be awesome too!
 
 
 
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