by K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Papoti Books (Dec 2013)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Format: eARC (262 pages)
Source: Free book from publisher (NetGalley) for honest review
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Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.
But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.
Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.
But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.
At A Glance
So emotional, so powerful. I want more already.
All I can say is, dude, Kacey lost her mother, father, boyfriend, and best friend in a car accident that left her with a year’s worth of physical therapy to recover. Give a girl a break. I have to tell you the truth, I think I would have spiraled out of control and into a nice numb state just as she did if that happened to me. Hard to come back from that one.
First, I loved the writing style. Tucker kept me reading page after page with her emotional and descriptive prose. And the plot and storyline just amazed me. It’s hard to picture what Kacey and her sister Livie went through and were still going through as they tried to make it on their own. Such strong girls. Mad respect. I think Tucker handled the traumatic concept perfectly.
Kacey blew me away. She went through something no one should have to. And she broke because of it. She doesn’t want to feel anymore, but she keeps going just for Livie. I 100% got why Kacey was so closed off and distant to the things and people around her. But I loved how her amazing friends pulled the real Kacey out of the dark and showed her the light. Kacey fought tooth and nail, remained stubborn the whole way through, but even she realized that living with emotions, bad or good, was so worth it. Kacey was both weak and strong, and that’s what made her an interesting protagonist. When she starts to feel things, she FEELS them. Like a freakin’ punch in the face. And that’s okay, because she had people around her that loved her and were there for her. I kinda wish I had her makeshift family, because they were awesome.
Out of Kacey’s new friends, Storm, her Barbie doll looking, works at a strip club neighbor, and Storm’s daughter, Mia, where the ones who stood out the most. Despite her looks, Storm was not a b*tch, lol. She was a truly genuine person who just wanted to help any way she could. She does so many things for Kacey I almost want to cry just thinking about it. And Mia. OMG, cutest little girl ever. I want a Mia of my very own and I don’t even want kids. But Mia is a sweetheart with a mischievous streak. Though Livie is a teenager and Mia is a little girl, they hit it off instantly. I loved their relationship so much. I tended to always make friends with the younger kids through school, camps, and so on, so I totally got why Livie loved Mia’s company so much.
Then we have Trent. Trent was such a mystery in the beginning. He seemed so laid back and carefree. He smiled and winked his ways into Kacey’s libido. But when Trent realized Kacey was damaged, he brought out the big guns. He gets deep, he gets sweet, and he gets stalkerish. But a good stalkerish. Trent watched over Kacey in every way possible because he saw a girl who needed fixing, and he wanted to make her whole. Trent was an amazing person, it was evident from the get-go. He cared so deeply and felt so much. About half way through, I figured out the big twist and was heartbroken because I knew sh*t was going to hit the fan. But no matter what was up with Trent, I always knew he meant the best. If I was in his position, I might have done the same thing. I have this urge to fix things, just like he did.
The ending was very satisfying. At first I thought it was a little too easy, but then I thought it worked perfectly for the story. I was so proud of Kacey and Trent for working our their individual issues.
Ten Tiny Breaths is like a living entity. You FEEL it, you BREATH it, you LIVE it. It has substance and weight. It leaves you heavy, but you just love those extra pounds. You fall in love with the characters and you want them in your life. I have already read the next book in the series and it only gets better.
The sex scenes, or lack thereof, were disappointing. I was so surprised that the sex scenes where so glossed over and even had the whole fade to black thing going on. This is a new adult book, there could have been a little more to them. Not that I need sex in my books, but this was such a powerful, present read that I think the sex scenes should have been just as powerful and present.
This is were the half star went. Like I mentioned above, the sex scenes did not fit with the overall feel of the book. Very YA-ish.
But despite the no sexy time, I still loved Kacey and Trent together. Their relationship made me laugh, cry, and shiver. It was so intense. And there was a lot of sexual tension.
I will for sure be continuing this series. This book really left a mark. Ten Tiny Breaths is a book you will never forget. Be careful though, it’s emotional and sad to read sometimes. But that’s okay, we all must suffer for awesome books. 🙂 Highly recommended.
“Just breathe. Ten tiny breaths … Seize them. Feel them. Love them.”
“You don’t want me, Ben. I’m seven layers of f*cked up with a side of bullsh*t.”
“I can feel his very existence as if it’s wrapping its hand around my soul, cradling it, trying to protect it from harm and I’m terrified. Terrified because I don’t ever want the feeling to end.”
“What if he’s a psychopath who tries to stuff kittens in ATMs?”
“And if that’s all he’s looking for then we’ll set fire to his balls.”
“What?” Storm’s face twists in a mixture of shock and amusement. I shrug. “What can I say, Storm? I’m into some weird sh*t.”
“I want to make you smile. For real. Always. We’re going to go for dinners, and see movies, and walk on the beach. We’ll go hang-gliding, or bungee jumping, or whatever you want to do. Whatever makes you smile and laugh more. Let me make you smile.”