Title: The Air He Breathes
Series: Romance Elements #1
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Release Date: September 25, 2015
I was warned about Tristan Cole.
“Stay away from him,” people said.
It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.
But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.
We were both empty.
We were both looking for something else. Something more.
We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.
Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.
Title: The Air He Breathes
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series or Standalone: Standalone Series (Romance Elements #1)
The last time I sat down and picked up a Brittainy Cherry book, I wasn’t working as part of a blog. I was just this girl who read a whole lot of books and came across a type of book I’d never read and wanted to give it a try.
That book was Loving Mr. Daniels and it moved me. Despite the taboo nature of the story, I didn’t feel that way at all about it. It was just an incredibly moving story that gripped me from page one and had me firmly planted until the very end, with tears being shed along the way.
That same response is what happened with The Air He Breathes. Based on that previous book, when I requested this one as part of a blog, I knew I would be going into an emotionally gripping story. One that would most likely make me cry. I just didn’t expect that it would nail me that way right from the first couple of pages.
Loss is a huge factor in these pages, for both the hero in Tristan and the heroine in Elizabeth. Their losses the same, yet different, but the scars left behind, the weight of their pain no worse or better than the other. They both suffered such a tremendous and profound loss. One that most people might never believe they can recover from, but somehow, they do. A loss that the more you read, you find out connects them in more ways than just them being neighbors.
What starts off as a game of pretend quickly becomes more real than either of them are ready to admit and this is where the author takes you, grips you tight and puts you through an emotional onslaught to which you feel as though you may never recover.
Healing, Hope. Love. Tenderness, Forgiveness, Growth. Happiness and Happily Ever After. They’re all topics along with the loss that are touched on within the pages of this story and each aspect is more beautiful than the next. Each one given equal billing throughout and so real in how it’s portrayed by the characters that at times you feel as though you’re living through it yourself.
Reality can be a scary thing, but in this case it was anything but scary. It was moving, it was life altering and it was beautiful in its agony and simplicity at times. Elizabeth’s daughter and Tristan’s dog adding an element that managed to keep me above the tide when often times I felt like I was drowning along with the characters.
Given the type of story you can see it is right off the top, I wasn’t expecting the level of humor that appeared throughout. So Faye, from the bottom of my ripped apart and put back together heart, thank you for existing. Much like Elizabeth’s daughter and Zeus, she kept me afloat. It was fantastic and a nice addition.
The pacing was brilliant. Just like her previous work it moved in a way where everything seemed to be contained within the pages, but it wasn’t bogged down or heavy in any manner that would make it less than an enjoyable read.
The “Tanner Incident” as I like to refer to it—a suspense driven aspect that comes into play later in the story—I struggled with my feelings on when I was finished. It’s what made this review so long coming. I needed to process whether or not that was enough for me to be bothered overall in any way by the story.
Why would it change things? Well, as I’ve said already, this was already a pretty emotional tale. There was enough give and take and issues going on for the couple alone without needing that extra element added in. So when it happened, it threw me off. Right off the road I was on because in a way I felt it came out of left field. Tanner himself didn’t. The crap he was pulling, that all seemed to work for me. It was what it all leads into that threw me off. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t enough to pull me away from the overall 5*, if not more, that this love story deserves.
Brittainy C. Cherry, you have outdone yourself with this. It’s so much more than a love story. It’s a story of healing, of happiness, of love and acceptance. A story of forgiveness and giving yourself permission to live your life after loss. This story is basically everything good about fiction and stories in general.
Thank you for writing it. Thank you for allowing me to see it before its release. Thank you most of all for making me feel, making me cry and making me unashamed of doing so, whether in public or private. My hat is off to you and the beauty that exists in your mind.
If you’re a romance fan, a fan of stories where two people grow, heal and find something in each other that often times doesn’t seem possible. If you’re a fan of a little drama in your stories. If you’re just a fan of fiction in general, this book is for you. Just be warned. You’re probably going to need tissues.
Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing--poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! Brittainy lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family. When she's not running a million errands and crafting stories, she's probably playing with her adorable pets.