Blog Tour + Excerpt + Teasers + Giveaway: Breathless - Rachel Brookes

Monday, December 2, 2013

Breathless - Rachel Brookes
One look from Savannah Rae was all it took for Tate Connors to fall.

From the first moment he laid eyes on her, his world was irrevocably shaken. He’s willing to accept that his life will never be the same again, but when she has to leave for New York the distance becomes more than either of them expected.

Tate is left alone with not only an empty bed but also a thousand thoughts running through his head. Insecurities soar as he wonders if he could ever really be the kind of man Savannah deserves.

When the demons of his past continue to threaten the future he so desperately craves, Tate knows he has to make the ultimate choice. Risk destroying his relationship and his family with one life changing decision, or gamble on fate and hope the past stays exactly that…the past.

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My Thoughts:
“A guy liked seeing that he can make his girl happy and shaky on her feet.”

The story started with Sav’s departure to New York. The spotlight now was on Tate. We had a glimpse of his past at Just Breathe; at Breathless, he will unveil every bit of who was and who is Tate Connors.
Will his past be only a part of his past? Or will it resurface yet again?
Will it ruin or strengthen his relationship with Savannah and Jellybean?
Will his fear consume him or will he fight it?

Tate Connors. I take your word: INTENSE.
“This trip was going to be intense.”

You just said what happened. From Just Breathe, I knew how Tate was. Well, sort of. But I was sure about his: insecurities and fear. He was dreading that he might become like his Dad. Since the spotlight was on him now, there were loads of things that were delved into; and as a reader, I got to know more about Tate. Especially how deep his anxieties were yet how he tried to prove to everyone and to himself that he could fight it but he needed to cover his bases. How would he cover his bases? Face his past.

Before delving on those past, I loved how it started. How Tate was really doing tons of effort to contact Sav and mostly how he sort of proved himself to Mr. Davenport and to Tanzi. The two latter mentioned people were having doubts against him, so there was the need on Tate’s part to show how real his love for Sav was. One of which was: He went after Sav… yes, he went to New York!

I was happy that the humor and sarcasm still filled the story! That Tanzi and Jack were still those mental friends, every moment were just so fun-filled! It was so consistent with Book 1, since I read it months ago, that it felt like I didn’t miss anything!

“You are going to be the death of me. Can we please talk of puppies or rainbows or something?”
I hear you, Sav. *cracks up*
Tate and his mouth. Dirty or not. Tate Connors, you never cease to amaze me.
I swear, utter explosion of serious sexual: angry, makeup, every kind of s*x; it was in there. Primal. Harsh. Gentle. The author didn’t disappoint. If Just Breathe made you gasp for every lingering and desirable touches and was craving to breathe with each desire. Breathless was the total knockout. Yep, the title even said it. Gasp no more; their fiery encounters were something worth knocking your breaths out. Turn the thermostat on full. You totally need it.

Actually, there were times I felt I was intruding. It felt very personal. How Tate asked Sav; how he wanted to be selfless and bring Sav pleasure. I loved how the author didn’t lessen the ecstasy of every moment. Whether they were f*cking or making love, both which were in that bubble of desire borderline worshiping each other.
Each touch, consoling.
Every words, comforting.
Everything felt perfect until his past came crushing him and everything around him down (yet again).

They both made a reader feel each caress. I meant: you could feel that love, that bond that connected them. Aside from Jellybean, it was exerting from the two. They knew that pleasure that never existed before. Plus, a reader could feel how Sav and Tate were so wonderful about Jellybean! Every movement, the baby was already included. ALWAYS. So another swoon moment: “Tate-opedia”. Love love love! Tate just proved he was a slave for Sav. To take care of Sav and Jellybean. He was already demonstrating that he would devote himself to Savannah and to Jellybean.

I have my favorite quote in book, all-time fave (well, as of the moment):

“I always wanted to impress her. I knew she was mine, but the idea of making her fall in love with me time and time again was what I lived for.”

I was a puddle of the Tate-tastic effect. When I thought I wouldn’t love Tate more, he just showed me that he would prove to be one of those hot fictional boyfriends for keeps (but very taken). Then Tate mentioned that ‘he already knows how he will propose’. MAJOR SWOON. *squeals*

Aside from my unhealthy bias of having a guy POV, what I loved was that: I understood Savannah on Tate’s POV. How she looks; I meant, we saw things on Sav’s eyes (on Just Breathe) and for some time, we need another POV to look at those things we often overlook. At Just Breathe, we saw Tate and the others; we saw it on Sav’s bias and sole opinion. Here, we read what was going on Tate’s mind and how he saw Sav. In Just Breathe, I felt the emptiness and longing for family Savannah was craving for. In Breathless, I saw how things made Sav happy – the brightening of her face every time she sees Tate and how she swooned over Tate. For Tate: she was fragile, should be taken care of; bold and feisty; yet vulnerable. Then, I saw Sav happy and how Tate felt when he manages to make her smile. Whenever she was tongue-tied or when caught off guard: she was just being a girl being swept off her feet by her guy. Savannah loves Tate so much. How she looked, how she savored every touch Tate gave her. How overprotective she already was about Jellybean. I (and most of us) already knew:
Sav, you’re it.  You’re Tate’s.
You own him through and through.

There was this scene and I have this urge to share, this really cracked me up. I imagined Tate’s reaction, how his body and mind contradicted each other:
“I had a girlfriend who knew what she had and what it did to me.”
Last paragraph of page 127 (depends on your copy, I have the eARC). That moment Tate shuddered when he said something. I was so shocked and was literally laughing out loud. I mean, really Tate? That was just all sorts of wrong *insert mega laughing*. You’re a guy through and through… so, seriously?!

Hm. The book sort of looked-like a smooth-sailing, huh?
Well, it didn’t last. When Tate was trying to fix things up, when everything was sort of going into plan…
Chelsea strutted in. (Note: At least Tate realized what a man-whore he was. *raises eyebrow at Tate*)

The ignition of something real from the twisted past would devastate their not so stable relationship. Take into consideration that they were still at that part wherein they were creating a foreground; and from their past, it was difficult to do that especially to give your trust. But much more difficult when that trust was somehow broken… Again.

The right words. The right time – to put a twist and to put a saving grace.
The words: how it was formed to sentences; how detailed it was with those carefully mixed words; and was fused into something brilliant. I was amazed on how each word: describing the intimacy, the friendship, the arguments and even the misunderstandings. It was like, when the author uses a word, it had this power to either make the most wonderful scenes or it could devastate it. The author knew how to let a reader feel the words: may it be narrating the scenes, a dialogue or even just the thought of the character. During the smexy scenes, the author never cheapened a moment. I loved that. Even those times when she used the same words, it felt like an emphasis to what Tate was feeling.
The depth or the shallowness of how those words were said.
The words uttered were making an impact to solidify the characters.

Then, I loved how he asked for closure. Before he went to New York, he tried to fix other things, one of which: Candice. How he cleared what was and still is Candice, yet telling who Sav is and how it affects him now. You know, I thought (and still think) it was mature of him to decide to conquer his past. As much as Tanzi was barely supporting what Tate wanted, she was still there; and Tate already made up his mind. The thing was: “Was there still something to lose?” because after everything that had happened at Breathless, there nothing to lose but so much to gain. Since there were doubts from either side: from Tanzi and Mr. Davenport and most especially, Sav… especially to bring the trust back.

There was something beautiful yet shattering to a guy who can cry because he feels vulnerable – when he can’t take it anymore. And Tate did that, which made him more real to me. Because it was just that: he was human and he was consumed by his emotions. He thought about making it all clear to Sav – his pasts. I saw how Tate was new to all of this. He loved Sav so much. It hurt: the jealousy, the flirting. He was having that caveman rise up in him. He never loved that much. Yes, he loved Candice but it was in another level. THIS. This was like: every move he made was a make or break; an all or nothing. He was lost and confused. He didn’t know what to do. It was natural what he felt but he couldn’t and didn’t know how control it. The jammed-pack emotions were crashing at him (almost crushing him).

It was like when Jack needed to prove himself to Tanzi and Tate’s Mom for Tanzi before; now the tables had turned, it was now Tate’s. What Tate needed and did do: constant proof to Sav (and to the readers) how much he loves Sav, unconditionally. *sings Katy Perry’s Unconditionally*

How do you prove yourself to someone?
Tate. A lot’s on your shoulders. And I, myself, would be looking how you will prove yourself. You broke her yet again. Get that trust back. I don’t know how you’ll fix it Tate. I have all my cards saying that what Mr. Davenport said (threatened) at Chapter 3 would be happening. I’ll see you proving yourself yet again, Tate. I know you’re a good man. Those past were just messed up. Fix it. And I know Savannah would believe you, just try harder. Let’s read your well-deserved happy ending!

And while I’m sulking here in the corner while waiting for the release of the last book; you can join me after you read. Let’s have a pity party over Tim Tams and Hot chocolate (well, I prefer Tim Tams + Milk).

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

P.S. Rachel Brookes’ trademark: Letters plus cliffies!
So I ask you Rachel, why do you love cliffies so much? I was hanging on the edge, babe, I really was.
Does Jack know something? There was a shift in his eyes when he saw the other guy.
What does Chelsea want? *Well aside from Tate, because I want Tate too but I love him with Sav so… (calls Abbie from April Showers and helps her with arson). And though she can bail, I hope Tate pursues legal actions, it was not consensual… that b*tch.
 Blake, man. You confound me. *babbles questions that cannot be uttered here*
And when some of the questions were answered, another surfaces.

Blake Ryan would always be the thorn in my side, and every time he climbed out of his little hole, the thorn would dig a little deeper into my flesh. Why I even thought about him pissed me off. I had no right to be jealous of anything that had happened between him and Savannah—she hadn’t been mine then. 
But it was almost like he was a constant reminder of what I didn’t want to become. He didn’t give a shit about anyone but himself, and he was willing to hurt those closest to him for a meaningless screw—and that’s what he did with Sarah. The one thing that pissed me off the most about Blake wasn’t the fact that he’d screwed my ex-girlfriend or that I’d treated him like a brother and he had decided to shit all over that with one move. It was that I knew if he were in trouble I’d be there in a millisecond. He’d ripped my heart out, stomped on it, and laughed in my face, but I knew that if I ever got the call, if he ever reached out to me, I’d be by his side without question. So here’s a giant fuck you to those who think I don’t have a heart. 
Standing in the loneliness of the boardroom, I watched her closely through the glass wall. Savannah was pissed and kept her eyes from mine. The sound of her slamming things down on her desk with a look of feisty annoyance plastered on her face swum through the office. She ripped open the top drawer of her desk and grabbed her handbag before raising her eyes, knowing I would be watching. Her eyes narrowed in at me. With one look she could either set me on a wave of ecstasy or throw me to hell, and now, as she glared at me, she was throwing me to fiery depths of hell. I manned up and walked out towards her, knowing I had to bite my tongue before I said something else. I was pissed about Blake—Sav knew how much I despised him. 
“So I hear that I’m being sent home because my arsehole of a boyfriend has decided to turn up. The boyfriend that also doesn’t know when to think before he speaks.” 
I moved towards her. “Sav, look, I’m—”But she shook her head in warning and raised her hand.
 “Tate, I don’t want to hear it.” 
She took off through the office, not speaking to me or anyone in her path. Following closely, I felt my frustrations bubbling deep inside me. This was not how our reunion was supposed to turn out. We should be laughing and joking with each other. Right now I should be saying and doing inappropriate things to her. We shouldn’t have this silence that was engulfing us. She stormed through the office, only stopping briefly at the reception desk to speak to the cute girl who had helped me earlier. She looked between Sav and me and dropped her head. She didn’t have to be a brainiac to pick up on the tension. 
The sounds and fiasco of New York City consumed me as soon as we exited the building. Here we were, walking down one of the busiest streets in the world with hundreds of people surrounding us, but the silence between us was strangling me. I could sense the familiar feeling of panic rising within me as we walked down Fifth Avenue. Our bodies weren’t touching, we weren’t talking, and we weren’t being us. 
“Why don’t you trust me?” Sav’s voice asked quietly against the echo of New York City. 
“I do trust you.”
Savannah stopped suddenly in the middle of the sidewalk and turned towards me. People stepped around us, muttering under their breath for us to move, but I didn’t give a fuck about them. My only concern was for my girlfriend, who was now looking completely defeated and crushed because of my stupid mouth. “Well what is it, Tate? You’ve got to stop doing this. I can’t stick around, waiting for you to decide to believe that I am with you and only you. You need to decide whether you trust me or not. I have another person to think of now.” My eyes followed her hands as she cradled her stomach protectively. 


Just Breathe (Breathe #1) by Rachel Brookes

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.

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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, was released in July 2013, her dream of releasing a book became reality. With another three books already taking up her mind, she cannot wait to start this crazy ride.

Author Links:
Website/Blog     |     Facebook     |     Twitter      |     Goodreads 

-     Jassie

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