Just Breathe - Rachel Brookes

Friday, July 5, 2013

"Please remember, no matter what...
Just breathe."

Just Breathe - Rachel Brookes
For Savannah Rae, living life without her parents was unimaginable. But being blamed for her first love’s suicide? That destroyed every part of who she was. 

Gone were the days of innocence, happiness, and dreams. Now her days simply meant attempting to survive. In her mind, her only means for that was replacing her grief with men, booze and the fast life. And for five years, it worked.

When an opportunity to leave the nightmares of her past in Australia opens up, she takes it. Los Angeles beckons - with hopes of late nights, new beginnings, and the promise of a string of endless men to distract her, she can’t wait to dive in.

One thing she didn’t count on was meeting her match.

In the eyes of outsiders, Tate Connors has it all; the ultimate LA bachelor who is content with his lifestyle of wild nights, women and one night stands. He's Mr. Unpredictable with looks that could destroy any woman with one glance.

The craziness of Los Angeles throws them into the chaotic path of each other. Savannah becomes the perfect game, and Tate becomes the ultimate prey. Lines are crossed, emotions are smashed, and the idea of who they truly are begins to be tangled.

However, one thing will become clear.

They are more alike than either one could ever have imagined.

Purchase Links:      Amazon UK     ||     Amazon US

My thoughts:
The cover, title, summary:
I love a book that catches my eyes, makes me curious by the title and summary, and makes me grab a book because it satisfied my eye-ogling and curious mind. Just Breathe, did it to me. Have you appreciated the cover? The words that popped in my mind when I saw it were: Lost and Free.
The lady is beautiful (even if her hair wasn’t caramel-blonde) and she seems wandering… I just love it so much! I mean how nothing was out of place, the lightness in the background, down to the fonts used and the birds and dandelion’s silhouette. It portrayed Savannah, the heroine, as she accepts everything and finally able to just breathe.
 I just fell in love with cover! *coughs the-book-cover-whore-in-me coughs*

The story:
What if running away from your problems are getting out of your home town and be living in another country? When you half-decided to get rid of your past? But then you find yourself being drawn yet again… but in a most intense level?

                It was a story of a girl who knew how to play a guy’s game. A guy can melt a woman with his looks: those wickedly handsome faces and hot body, top it with those husky voice uttering words that makes a woman a puddle for her own good. Those guys who just want to get what they want and leave before anything. A man can do it, why can’t a woman do it too?

And let’s just say our heroine plays the same game.
                Then that guy comes along and he also plays the game.
But in their case, they were using these escapades because they were avoiding being attached; they were both broken and running away from their own past. Sex and alcohol were their way of running and trying to forget the past.

                Yet they were in for a surprise when lust was taken over by the passionate pleasure of falling love.

Get all your shots ready, because you’re in for a cray cray story!
Hot, rough, steamy and intense. That will surely make you hot and bothered.
*prepare your hands for fanning self or have air cons on full blast*

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Longer rantings:

Lust at first sight.
This girl knows the game. That guy found his match.
(Un)fortunately, sexual tension is an explosion. And they didn’t expect lust mixing up with love.
Unexpectedly, they found themselves falling fast and hard.

Savannah Maree Rae did not mind being called a slut or whatever derogatory words, it did not even bother her in any bit. She played this game because if guys can snatch strange women to bed, she can too; and this was her way to run away from her dreadful past, alongside with her best friend, tequila. Having lost her loving parents and her ex-boyfriend (who blamed her and wrote in his suicide letter that it was her fault); she was left with emptiness and the fear of falling in love. She found herself leaving Australia for Los Angeles and she will find that everything that she feared will be faced there.

                And she will be faced head-to-head with the captivating Tate Connors: the owner of the bar, Red Velvet, and the strikingly-handsome twin of her new best friend, Tanzi. A charming playboy who knows what he wants and will get it in any way; an insufferable arsehole for Sav but finding herself enamored by this hot piece of specimen. But also broken with his past: his so-called Dad and his past love.

When they thought they were seducing, they both found themselves attracting each other.
The once game became a challenge and lead to a passionate story of lust turning to the depths of falling in love. Keeping and fighting their own demons and surviving their past.
Both broken. Both similar.
They found themselves helping each other.
And I will use what Savannah said: it was either to sink or swim.

Here’s the thing: I kept on asking myself if one of them was bipolar. I swear I was being dumbfounded that they’re okay then they’re not. I mean, I get it but it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t question their sanity once in a while. The thing was that, they both over think.

I am still lost on what or how to feel: character deaths that had huge impact in their lives; a person that should have been a parent figure… But then with all those that hindered me, there was the fun, “live while we’re young” vibe in it. And really, I am torn on what to say, it was fun but it definitely had the moments that makes you realize, it is not just pure fun in life. The story was a natural, free-flow, real story that makes you feel being strained in the past but then letting go; being serious about work but then having fun with life. It was just real that you both have your ups-and-downs parts.

The story pace was fast for my own liking but I did not really care, I was enjoying every bit of it. Savannah did mention that she was falling fast and hard. And it did reflect the story, since it was only on her point-of-view; a reader would read how she thinks, over thinks, dread and progress throughout the story. The secrets were divulged instantaneously but then it correlates with the events. The story had a spontaneous feel in it, that you get in the head of the heroine but also observe the other characters; aside from the flow of the story, the writing was freely-written, no highfalutin words, it was easy to grasp and be connected to the story. There were no random or abrupt moments that lose your focus on the story and the characters were a pleasurable read. A reader understands immediately what and who the characters were; and that was how detailed the author wrote it.

The prologue was a beautiful letter Sav’s Dad had written, and it was perfect in every sense, talk about Dad was so wise to write such letter. And Sav kept this letter everywhere she goes, and remembers the words: Just Breathe. It was noted that our lovely heroine was an ice princess. But then she was shattered so it made sense… she was shattered emotionally by her past and now, that ice was shattered by Tate coming to make her feel once again.

Tate was (and still is) drool-worthy, I shall give every girls out there some tissues to avoid public drooling and uhm, I know I shouldn’t say this publicly so let’s imagine I am whispering this: Beware of panty/knickers-dropping moments and being hot and bothered *coughs or-you-can-just-ignore-the-panties-to-save-you-the-worry coughs* He is smoldering hot and he can cook. The guy can freaking cook, he just slashed and ripped out my tick box as sexy-hot-smirking-toe-curling-lip-locking… okay I will not rant about this guy. Let’s say he’s beautifully broken and romantic? More than the physical and other lovable things about Tate, I loved his character when he was shown as being powerful but he was so vulnerable. And this thought ran my mind: Being able to shed a tear or tears does not make you less of a man; it showed how a strong person has their own weakness or weaknesses. Tate was such a romantic, which he only unleashes with Sav.

Savannah knew what she wanted and like Tate, she has ground rules already. She was a total heartbreaker. She has the confidence, the best friend (tequila) and she was like a bitch but in a very fun character. The way her story and her character (and the other characters) written was very enjoyable! Her character being told was like the story was being said in front of me; it felt like Sav was sharing with me but not in boring way. You know the feeling of having a girls-night-out and you are telling some random topic? It was like that with Sav, it felt like you were partying with her and she was telling her story over drinks. Her character was just so entertaining just like Tanzi, the new best friend and the twin-sister of Tate. Tanzi was such a filler-character, she was just the positive vibe of everyone and alongside with her boyfriend, Jack, they were the perfect happy couple.

Aside from what I said awhile ago, I praise the author, Rachel Brookes, about the story, how it was written, the plot and most especially the characters. She had written a story that is exciting and sassy. Other than just being a reader, I felt like I was in the story too. Truth be told, it was like, I was Sav’s BFF there for the moment and while she was ranting her story sans the overtly drama… we were just having fun and know more about everyone. Every moment felt like having a girls-night-out: drinks, guys and stories to share. She knows how to give you fun, when you want to have a wild night, let go and be free but it shocks you when she gives you drama.

Like the worst thing to break is a broken person. It takes a lot of proving to trust a person; and a double-whamy comes your way the moment that person was broken and you break the trust he or she entrusted you with. And dang did Tate did that to Savannah. Boy did that created a mess to their lives. When you think that they were being fixed; the one messes up. It took a lot of patience on Tate’s part and understanding on Sav’s. The way that it was written was not sugary-sweet, it was real, it showed how Sav really try to fight herself: the emotions, the urge, all the feelings were genuine. And honestly, that was my favorite part.

Lastly, saving the best for last, I love that the story also revolved in friendship. And they, the characters, were so enthusiastic; every each character was a very supportive one. It was crazy how I enjoyed being with them. If everyone has their own fictional boyfriend, I would say I now have a fictional circle of friends. Being with the story of the happy couple, Tanzi and Jack, who were such a fun couple to read and their antics, especially Jack’s; the new couple, Lucas and Ali, mentioning how a true friend Lucas was; and of course, the extreme warmth of love between Sav and Tate’s. All of the individual characters were such a joy to read. And you can feel them warming up and willingly welcoming you to their group. They showcased such a tight friendship that was to be envied about.

And oh, Mr. Davenport, Can you be my foster parent? Gods, you “damn sexy poppa”, you are such a heartbreaker. I will highly-settle with being a foster child even if you were being an ultimate fantasy at Beautify Magazine. You have the looks, the finesse, the reputation, the voice plus the accent. You are mega-swoon-worthy; the age is nonsense.

There were things I wish I had seen: the letter of Corey; Sav’s work, since I really wanted to know how she is in a workplace; and more of the beach, because I’m greedy to have beach scenes. But nonetheless, I had enjoyed the fantastic read.

Outrageous enough, I like my Tim Tams more…
Let’s just say, eating Tim Tams are now a wonderfully “Tatey-Savory” delight?
(That was such a fail attempt at Tate-Sav pun *facepalm*
Tatey? That sounded like a child saying tasty *again with the facepalm*)

Cheers to a game that became a challenge and to falling in love! Bottoms up!
To all of us: Just Breathe!

P.S. To Rachel:
Dear Rachel,
I was this (shows a tiniest gap between forefinger and thumb) close to loving you entirely, but how could you just drop the bomb like that? Whyyyy, those 3 words killed me!

I have my expectations about the Book 2 already, since I can sense how both beautifully broken couple will be able to face their relationship “more”. Will we know more about Savannah, and the other lively characters? Will Tate’s past make a comeback to make Sav and Tate’s relationship stronger? Like, will Daddy Connors and Tate or Sav’s exes show themselves up, all of a sudden?

*sighing while fingers tap the wooden desk waiting for Book 2*
I shall recall all your Aussie words! 

Author Bio:
Rachel Brookes is from a coastal town on the east coast of Australia where beaches, kangaroos and surfers roam free. She writes angsty love stories with a pinch of craziness, a dash of drama, a cup of romance and a spoonful of sexiness… oh and the main ingredient hot guys. 

Rachel sometimes forgets to eat, sometimes forgets to sleep and sometimes can’t remember the last time she cleaned her apartment but that’s because she is in a long term relationship with her laptop and is constantly writing. 

When she does step away from her laptop she can be found taking too many photos, making scrumptious cocktails, laughing at Adam Sandler movies and spending her time with her amazing family and friends. 
With her first novel, Just Breathe, due to be released in July 2013, her dream of releasing a book will become reality. With another three books already taking up her mind, she cannot wait to start this crazy ride.

Author Links:

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-     Jassie

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