Book Review – Breathe by Kristen Ashley

by Maryse on August 18, 2014 · 19 comments

in My Book Reviews

Wow… I have NO idea how I missed reading this one upon it’s release. Especially considering I’ve read this author’s books that have come out since then, and I remember being excited for this one, way back when. It was the one with the cute, shy librarian that was crushing HARD on the alpha-male, no-nonsense cop, that didn’t have time for all of that.

From the start, it had that pure Kristen Ashley “old-school” feel to it, and I was SO into it. It had that whole unrequited love thing going on, but with an emotional, heartachey *oomph!*.

Maryse: Just started “Breathe” by Kristen Ashley and *gasp!* Chase is almost worse than Tate in his jerkish ways!!! The stuff he tells her. Gah! So meeeean. She’s got her work cut out for her. Yay me!!!

Tracie: OMG have you not read this one?! This was my first KA book ever and I FELL IN LOVE!!! Faye is the best fraking heroine ever!! I cried a few times in this one. Oh Maryse I’m so excited for you!

Maryse’s Book Blog: I know Tracie. I am chagrined. *shakes head* I can’t even believe it, but I feel like I fell into quite the hidden-treasure that has been out in the open all this time. So I’m happy I get to indulge in some old-school KA magic.

Tracie: No doubt this is one of her best! Way to Kick off your weekend!!

Angela: Ahhh, my niece is Ella Mae Bowen that sings “Holding Out For Hero”!!! I love me some Kristen Ashley! You absolutely rock Maryse-not sure what’d I do without your blog

Maryse’s Book Blog: Wow Angela, she did an AMAZING job on that!!! …And yes, I am in KA heaven right now!!

Angela: Thank you Maryse! We’re really proud of her. I’m so grateful Kristen appreciated her as well! Love all around!!!

Melanie: I know but omg Chase he will make you love him! But hey I love all KA’s alphas!

Cherie: This is one of my KA faves for that very reason. I love how she can redeem a hero.

Aly: This is my favorite KA Book EVER! Love love love it! I think I should do a re read with you!

Natalie: Chase is my all time fav KA man

Tracie: Agree with that^^

Susan: One of my fav KA books – I love Chase!!! I am thinking a re-read is in order!

Yvonne: Breathe gave me one of my biggest “Holy crap” KA moments ever ! Loved that book.

Bobbi: You haven’t read it yet?!? I loved this one! Chase gets better And this is one of her books that made me tear up, too. Oh and keep your eye out for a fun glimpse of a Rock Chick couple towards the end (Not a spoiler, promise)

Alyssa: Just wait. It gets, well interesting. And better. And awesome.

Erin: Love love love that book

Carissa: I’ve read Breathe like 5 times! Love it!!

Melissa: Since you mentioned it, I haven’t been able to get it off my mind, so I am going to re-read it tonight!!!

LK: I adored Breathe! Probably my favourite KA

Yvette: Omg I loved that book!!!!!!!

Cm: Love, love, love breathe. I’ve re-read it countless times!

Renate: Did you get to the part AFTER dinner with his mom yet….???? <— side note from Maryse. GAH!!!! THAT IS THE MOMENT THAT IS ONE OF THE BEST EMOTIONAL MOMENTS I HAVE EVER READ!!!! YES I AM SCREAMING! :P

Kodi: Ooooooh I loved this one hard!

Oh yesssss….. it had the abrupt hero that keeps rebuffing the heroine at every turn. Rudely (and I mean RUDELY) discouraging her from even trying to get his attention.

You know the type. Disgruntled, angry at the world (or namely his father, the police station he worked for, his wife…) you get the picture (and what a crazy picture it is!). Gorgeous. Respected. Cop (so he’s got that hero-potential). And one ya gotta chase. Really, work for. Just. My. Book-type. ;)

Wait. WHAT!?? Our heroine is crushing on a married man? His wife? Well… yeah that was part of the previous book, and let’s just say it was a “marriage of convenience” but not his convenience. Essentially blackmailed into marrying this crazy woman, to protect his mother from what his father did… awww… it’s a long story. I’ll let you discover all of the ins-and-outs of that one. And anyway… she ended up murdered in a big bad shebang in the previous book, and well… he’s done.

So I loved that. I love the thrill of the chase, and her emotional internal dialogue. I loved being her (even though in real life, I would have hated it, at first). I loved feeling aghast at how anyone can speak to anyone else that way. Living in her head while she attempted worked him out of her system (and regain her self-esteem) in the process.

The heartache. The sad songs on repeat. Her friends. Knowing she had a support system that would get her over this decade-long crush.

And then I loved how he tentatively came back for her, despite his demands that she stay away from him. Because, you see, even though he didn’t “want all that”, he really really DID.

That was my favorite part of the book, and we get a good deal of it. My second favorite part of the book is the attempt at a relationship. And you know Kristen Ashley’s alphas. When they decide on “Mine!” there’s no room for negotiations. Mind you, they are absolute sweethearts under all of that chest-pounding, modern-caveman exterior, and they’d do ANYTHING for their woman. But it’s always fun being that woman, in her head, dealing with all of… that. <— Tee hee!!

And my other favorite part of the book? Oh my goodness. An easy 5-star for this section alone was a certain back-bone developing moment that blew me away!!!!!!!!!!!! At first, I was sad. Feeling cold all over. Just. Like. Her. Knowing… something was happening, and it wasn’t good. Then I was appalled. FURIOUS!!! And I was right there with her every single step of the way. OH that was one of my absolute favorite parts in any book I’ve ever read. I think… no. I have. Acted and said… those exact same things once. Rational? Irrational? Whatever that reaction was… it was me. That moment was one of the truest moments I’ve ever read in a book, and I’ll never forget it!

My qualms? Well… I’d say the middle and the end (especially the epilogue) were a bit…. longish, for me. Almost too comfortable to be exciting. Too easy-going (and maybe for a bit too long). I’d find myself skimming scenes, conversations, thoughts, just to get to a part I could get charged up about. And then it got exciting again. Many times. (whether emotionally, or action-wise), but when that would come back, I was right back in! Now of course, you can’t keep torturing these characters with non-stop crazy… I get that. I mean, after all, I DO love to “live” falling in love, with them. But… there was just something about this one that lost me (or my attention) every once in awhile. I’d put it down, but with every intention of finishing. Just some skimming here and there. ;)

It was good! Heck, it’s classic Kristen Ashley, so you know you’re gonna feel it big time!

4 stars for the exciting stuff. The pining, the initial crush-crushing. Grrrr! (fun!!), the relationship roller coaster moments (actually 5 stars for that!!!), and some parts of two simultaneous story sidelines (the homeless boy and the dangerous bad-guys) <—although some of this was a bit too convoluted, to keep me glued. Oh and 5 stars for all the reasons of “Breathe”. You’ll see what I mean. Genius for so many reasons!!

3.5 to 4 stars for it, overall.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

bev August 18, 2014 at 6:26 PM

You finished, Yay! I’m glad you liked it. Chase and Faye have to be two of my favorites. I think I connect to Faye more, shy a little introverted, not to much into drama, than some other KA heroines. Oh, and Chase when he comes around, just love him. I like how both of them knew exactly what type of partner they wanted and did not want to settle.
The Drift Away part about the handclapping still makes me laugh. And yes the backbone scene so great, especially coming from Faye because she isn’t really about the drama or fighting. The little details in this book that get me. The curl tugs, rules about drinks, Twyla ,another princess, and Aslan. Tons of other things too. Do agree some of the sub plot could be condensed and the initial will they wont they could be alittle longer. I love the slow burn/build.

Jill August 18, 2014 at 6:56 PM

I agree with it being too long. Towards the end I was skimming. It was good and like you said, classic KA is always fun to read, but for me, Tate and Joe/Cal still are my fave Kristen Ashley books!

Heather {My Little HEA} August 18, 2014 at 7:12 PM

OMG this is such a great post to read today. This is my (when I’m not reading anything else on my phone) and has been since Book Bash, so I definitely needed to hear again how fab it is!

Maryse August 18, 2014 at 7:51 PM

“Tate and Joe/Cal still are my fave Kristen Ashley books!” <— ME TOO!!!

KA perfection. Ty from Lady Luck, too. That one was great!

Jaime August 18, 2014 at 8:08 PM

I started readng this after you said you were. I’m sort of newish to KA, but have liked everything so far. My only issue with this book is that it’s a bit too long or maybe too wordy for me. I’m 50% in and I feel like I should be closer to the end. I’ve put it down several times which is another reason I probably feel like its taking too long to finish. I definitely do want to finish it though! Now I really want to get to “that” part!

Maryse August 18, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Sounds like me, Jaime. She’s awesome, but this one was a bit lengthy for me. I also put it down a few times, but boy oh boy that “scene” REALLY picks up the pace… *whoooooo* SO worth it!!!!!

Maryse August 18, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Right on par with what I expect from a KA book. Intense, emotional, REAL.

julie o August 19, 2014 at 1:55 AM

Joe/Cal will always be my favorite followed by Ty, Tate and Tack (they
sound like triplets!). Will always love my KA books and read them over and over.

Georgia August 19, 2014 at 5:23 AM

I enjoyed this KA book as well as all her others, but all her books are long. It establishes some normality as you indicated before the craziness starts again. I also enjoyed the Rock Chick connection in the end. Have you read that series yet? The first book in that series is not the strongest but after that they just get better and better. Enjoy!

Renate August 19, 2014 at 6:10 AM

Right on Maryse!!!!! but my favourite KA book is still Play it Safe!!!! aahhhhmazing! give it a try!

MichelleS August 19, 2014 at 7:29 AM

Renata – that was one of my faves as well (Play it Safe). I skipped it time and time again because it is a true stand alone and I’m not a big cowboy fan….. UNTIL GRAYSON CODY!!!! What was I thinking? I loved just about everything about that book. I still don’t read cowboy romance – but I would revisit Grayson anytime.

Maryse August 19, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Is Play it Safe the one where she’s a Vegas Showgirl? If so I read it! I liked it!

Kate August 19, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Read most of KA’s books. I love Tate (he was my first ;) ), but my favorite by far is my Sammy. Sampson Cooper of Heaven and Hell is just the one for me!

Cynthia August 19, 2014 at 11:35 AM

I’m fairly new to KA as well. I have loved everything so far. My fave is Mystery Man…loved, loved it and loved Hawke! ….also just began Wildest Dreams. OMG it’s the perfect escape right now!! :)

Georgia August 19, 2014 at 11:42 AM

It’s soo hard to chose their just soo many KA Alpha males to choose from. Sampson Cooper is up there. I would say Top Three but their too many that I absolutely loved. Tate, Tack, Holden, Dax Lan, Frey … Eddie,Luke, Van, Hector etc. to many to narrow down. Just love them all !!! Starting The Will and The Promise now. I willl be in KA glory ! Enjoy!

Maryse August 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Cynthia YES!!!! THAT One is my favorite next Sweet Dreams. HAWK!!! Gah how could I have forgotten him? Him and Tate are neck ‘n neck in my #1s!

Joyce August 20, 2014 at 7:17 PM

For me it was 5 stars. I liked it that she wasn’t feisty…instead she was a nerdy librarian and just what he needed.

Angie August 21, 2014 at 9:29 PM

You may have mentioned this above and I missed it, but do you need to read this series in order? I’ve read the 1st one, but wasn’t sure if I could jump straight to this one (#3) based on your exciting review.

bev August 22, 2014 at 12:12 AM

@ Angie I’d definitely suggest you read Sweet Dreams & Lady Luck first. First you do not want to miss out on Tate. But your also going to want the backstory that really sets up Chase’ s story. Plus these characters show up.

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