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Elements #1

The Air He Breathes

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2015)
I was warned about Tristan Cole.

“Stay away from him,” people said.
“He’s cruel.”
“He’s cold.”
“He’s damaged.”

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.

308 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 25, 2015

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Brittainy C. Cherry

65 books15.5k followers

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5 stars
28,747 (46%)
4 stars
19,941 (32%)
3 stars
9,371 (15%)
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2,743 (4%)
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Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,864 reviews30.2k followers
November 4, 2016
3 Stars


A lot of people say "I was able to overlook a, b, and c about the book and enjoy it" and "it's still on my tbr," and that's great. I'm not trying to disuade people from reading this. It should be on people's tbr because it's a great book.

And I'm glad others are overlooking certain things and loving it. I could have very well done the same. But I chose not to because that's just my true opinion. So please don't see my review as me not being able to "rise above" and see the good because that's not the case. And I'm not trying to compel others to do the same or not read this book. The below is simply MY opinion...

Don't stab me, brah.


So I know a lot of you might be thinking that cold-hearted, soulless Val once again just couldn't see past the sappiness sweetness to truly appreciate the poignancy here...


...or that maybe I just don't understand pain and grief.

Well, rest assured, that's not the case.

Cause I've been there.

And it's the worst fucking thing in the world, as I'm sure a lot of people here know and relate to.

But anysadz, I'm not one of those folks who like to repeatedly pick at my own scabs...which is actually why I typically avoid reading books like this one.


Because why remind yourself of some of your worst memories under the guise of "fun" reading, amiright?

However, in this case, I only read the blurb and not actual reviews of the book. All I saw was a shitload of 5-star reviews so I picked it up not realizing it dealt with certain topics I typically and unfailingly avoid.

That said, I really enjoyed this book.

Yes, you read that right.

The author did a really great job with these two severely broken characters.

The way they expressed their pain to each other?

The words they used to describe it?

The fucking feathers?


So heartfelt and so well done.

In fact, I was ready to smack 5 stars on this bad boy and wax poetic in my review.


Until about the 80% mark.


And then shit just seem to come off the rails a bit.

Things started to get rushed...

Some twists I had suspected early on started to unfold with a few too many "coincidences" to keep grounded in "realistic land" and propelled it straight into Days of Our Lives land...

A few other eye-roll-worthy 90210 style shenanigans ensued...

And then Tristan's behavior suddenly flew high and right.


Overall I just wanted this book to be longer.

As I said, I think the first 80% was great.

But I felt like instead of building on the foundation created in that first 80% - the progress Elizabeth and Tristan experienced both individually and as a unit - and THEN getting to the twists and turns, there was just a sense of "okay, good enough, now let's get to the end."

In fact, it was so abrupt and flagging that the last 20% dropped me down from an I'm-fucking-loving-this-5-star to a minus-2-what-the-fuck-just-happened-stars.


Keep in mind I am DEFINITELY in the minority on this one.

There really IS a lot to love about this book - It's a great story and it's very well-written

However, there was just one too many holes in the yacht floor for me.

Find me at:

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Okay, this ish has been blowing the fuck outta my feed with all my friends' 5 star reviews.

And when all of your friends jump off a cliff...

There is now a layer of bodies cushioning down there to land on...


Jay Kay, Jaaaaay Kay.

If all my peeps say this is awesome, I want to play too!
Profile Image for Christy.
3,923 reviews33.1k followers
September 6, 2017
5++ stars!!!


The Air He Breathes is the most beautiful book I’ve read this year. It’s a stunning, emotional, heartbreaking and powerful read. It’s outstanding and it’s by far Brittainy’s best work and my favorite book of hers. In fact, it’s my favorite book of 2015. Yes. You read that right. The same author that wrote my favorite book of 2014 (Loving Mr. Daniels) also wrote my favorite book of 2015. This is a book that will stay with you and one you don’t want to miss out on reading.


Loss. It can be devastating and debilitating. Losing someone you love has to be one of the worst feelings in the world. Losing the love of your life makes it that much worse. Elizabeth is trying her best to move on, to live every day. To breathe. It helps that she has Emma, her beautiful daughter. She has to stay strong. For her. After an extended visit with her Mama, Elizabeth decides to come home. It’s time. When she gets there, things around her are much of the same, but nothing feels the same for her.

Then she meets him. The new town jerk. The guy everyone talks about but avoids. Tristan Cole.
People in town called him an asshole, and I could see why. He wasn’t nice, he wasn’t stable, and he was broken in all of the wrong and right places.

There is more than Tristan than meets the eye. You know that loss we talked about earlier? Tristan has had the ultimate loss. And it forever changed him.


The last thing Tristan Cole wants is a friend. But Elizabeth befriends him anyway. He resists, but eventually, she wears him down. Her persistence is stronger then his stubbornness. For the first time since his loss, Tristan finds some happiness and even a little peace with Elizabeth and Emma. They are bonded together by their loss. Their loss is what connects them at first. It’s clear as day they are attracted to one another, though both are hesitant to act on it. The progression of their relationship is paced perfectly. They are both damaged, but together, they feel a little more whole. Even if it only is pretend… for now.
He and I together was a terrible idea. We were both unstable, we were both shattered, and there was no getting around it. He was thunder, I was lightning, and we were seconds away from creating the perfect storm.

I wasn’t him. She wasn’t her. But my God, it felt good to lie to ourselves.

Lets talk about the characters- Tristan was such a jerk at the beginning. I wasn’t sure he would win me over, but he certainly did. I loved that even when he and Liz’s friendship started to grow, he didn’t automatically change. It was a gradual progression and it worked well with the story. You could tell how hurt and damaged he was and it took a lot of time for him to come around. And a ton of patience on Liz’s part.

Lizzie was just amazing. She was such a strong heroine. She lost so much, yet was able to give so much of herself to helping Tristan and accepting him. I love that she didn’t care what others thought of her being friends with him etc. I loved the kind of mother she was to Emma and also what kind of friend she was. She had great character. And a special shout out to her best friend- seriously what a hoot! Faye brought some much needed laughter to the serious story and was a great addition.

Another thing I loved about this book is that it wasn’t predictable. There were several twists I didn’t see coming at all. I love being surprised in a book. I also loved so much how the friendship turned into something more. At first it started just as a way for the two of them to cope, then it turned into something beautiful.


Brittainy C Cherry can tell a story like no other. She has this way of sucking you in with her endearing tales, lovable characters and flawless writing. She is like a unicorn. That one special author that never fails to produce a book that goes straight to the top of my favorites list. The one who writes and speaks to my heart, my mind and my soul.

If you’re looking for a book that will make you feel, make you love, move you and make your heart soar, read this book. I cried, I smiled, I cried some more, and by the end, I may have cried again (those were the happy tears). I highlighted a ton because every page was stunning. Every scene had something worth highlighting. The lines in this book were beyond gorgeous.

The Air He Breathes is the most beautiful story of love, loss, friendship, healing and perseverance. It’s a book that is sitting at #1 on my favorites list and one I would recommend to any and everyone. I’m shouting it from the rooftops here READ THIS BOOK! You won’t regret it!


*I had the pleasure of beta reading this beautiful story for the lovely Brittainy C Cherry
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
852 reviews3,883 followers
February 15, 2021

Edit : Here's my romance scale, with the points that interest me (tell me if you think of something else^^)

Warning : This is a DNF review of a book I pretty much hated. As much as I would have wanted to finish it, I reached 34% and there's no redeeming this book.

Just a little over a year ago, I started reviewing books on Goodreads. I gave up on New Adult at roughly the same time. Well, more or less, and this is why :
- They often romanticize unhealthy/abusive relationships and are full of sexist tropes.
- Honestly, most of them aren't well-written.
- They rely on unrealistic and over the top drama.

So, yes. A few of them are good, and when I stumbled across The Air He Breathes, I decided to try it because a) Did you see the ridiculously high rating? b) It was part of the Romance Finalists in the Goodreads Choice Awards and c) It was a freebie. That blurb, though. I'm not gonna lie, it screamed cheap NA to me, but I know I can be judgmental towards blurbs so I didn't listen to my instincts.

Verdict : I should have trusted my guts, because this book is TERRIBLE, and if I usually understand why people love books I personally hate, I just can't here. Poorly written, following a ridiculous storyline filled with clichés and stereotypes & punctuated by cringing dialogues.

This leads me to : WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST READ?

The story starts with the two main characters relating the deaths of their loved-ones. Four, to be exact, because life is a bitch in NA, you know. What better way to picture characters who are BROKEN than let them shattered by the deaths of their respective significant others? Oh, I know : add a child's death (because tears. Tears are always good for sells) and a father's death, too, just for the sake of having the female-lead say things like,

"Mama became a whore after Dad died. (...) There weren't many other ways to put it other than that."

I personally could find other ways to say that your mother dates a lot, but hey, maybe that's just me. Don't be too worried though! She's sure her mum never cheated on her father before his death, because "when he'd go off to work at the crack of dawn, she would have his breakfast and lunch packed with snacks".

So, just tell me if I misunderstood, girl, but you're either a whore or a housewife. Nice. (3%, and I already knew our relationship wouldn't be easy, UGH)

But moving on.

Because with four deaths we didn't reach the end of our NA drama feast (WOOT!), Liz hits a dog with her car. And then you think, she is a decent human being, I guess? She's going to take care of him, surely? Yes she does, but before checking on the poor dog LYING ON THE GROUND, she takes the time to a) stare fixedly into the eyes of the owner that "match the shadows of the sky right before a thunderstorm" (whatever that means), b) notice his clothes, his headphones, his muscular arms, his fucking (absence of) SHOES, all of this before looking at the poor dog LYING ON THE GROUND. I mean, okay. Psycho much? Unsurprisingly Tristan (of course he's our love interest!) is pretty pissed and sort of yell at her right away.

About this : the only criticism I've read about this book is the way Tristan acts when they meet. Let me get this straight : I don't condone any kind of violence, even verbal, BUT SHE JUST HIT HIS DOG WITH HER CAR AND IS STARING AT HIM LIKE A DROOLING FANGIRL. Trust me, I would be beyond pissed if someone hit my dog, and I'm not a yelling kind of person.

But moving on.

That's when I realized that this kind of book turned me into a psycho : they're at the vet, and kind of bicker all the way - not in a love/hate banter fashion, mind you, but more like this :

"Are you always... always..."
"Always what? Spit it out! Use words!" he ordered.

So charming, right?

So, they're at the vet. Poor dog is healed. And then, there's this (Liz is describing):

"He lost himself in his emotions, and when he exhaled, he began to sob uncontrollably. He wailed, his tears harsh, raw, and painful."

I laughed at that. I'm a terrible human being.

But moving on.

Because a NA wouldn't be a NA without some kind of woman hating, Liz encounters her old neighbors who - OF COURSE - are the perfect stereotypes of noisy, mean and gossip women. Of course Liz hates every second of their conversation. They complain about the poor state of her yard and say stuff like this : "After Stephen died, you left so fast that I wasn't able to make you any comfort food, so now I was finally able to make you this meatloaf to help you mourn" or this : "But, just to be clear, Emma [her little daughter] is not suffering from depression, is she? I hear that can be quite contagious with other kids." Because women are all kinds of stupid aren't they? ARGG.

Oh, by the way, thanks for the *discreet* info-dumping beautifully hidden in the dialogues. *snorts*

Speaking of women, let's talk about her best friend, okay? See, I'm always happy when authors picture women who have an active sex-life without slut-shaming them, so at first I thought, hey, good. I was a fool. There's a stereotype I hate almost as much : the crazy, over-the-top best-friend whose sex-life is never directly condemned but discreetly mocked.

Meet Faye. Faye is happy.

"[she] snuggled her head against my breasts, as if they were her pillow."

Faye is 27.

Faye doesn't know that a (bad) joke is always better told only once.

"Or, you could fire Sam," Faye offered. "He already has another part-time job! Plus, he's kind of creepy."
"I can hear you," Sam said, shyly."
(she's going to make that joke third times)

Faye has no filters.

"What do you mean you're trying to get laid?" I gasped. "Faye, are you having sex right now?"
"Well, if you mean is there a penis currently sitting in my vagina, then yes. I guess you could semi call that sex."
"Oh my God, Faye! Why the hell would you answer the phone?!"
"Um, because chicks before dicks? Like, literally." She laughed. I gagged."

Let's pay a little attention at what we're being sold, okay? Faye, the sexually active best-friend, is annoying and unbearable. She talks (loudly) about Liz's "aging" vagina while Liz is serving customers at the restaurant. She visits at night with friends after Liz explicitly texted her that she was fine (don't mind me on this, apparently that's okay - I'm certainly awkward to find that annoying). Truth is, it's sneaky, but I felt as if this ridiculous stereotype of a woman's purpose was to make us despise her, and with her, women who date (the mother is a whore, remember?).

This is what the book is telling us (in my opinion) : So, women, you want to have a sex-life? Don't you see how ridiculous you would be?

Fuck you, book.

But moving on.

I'm sure that by this point you're dying to know how the romance between our two *insert gagging emoji* broken souls will unfold.

Well, you know, the usual :

fighting ► forced kissOMG this is HAWT! ► pushing away.

ARGG. Terrible book, not recommended.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,337 followers
October 2, 2016
Wow! This was a highly emotional, and often depressing, story. Despite the fact that it dealt with some pretty gloomy subject matter, I was completely hooked on this story. I listened to the Audible version and I finished it in a single day. I couldn't pull myself away from it.

The author doesn't waste any time before plunging you into the desolate lives of Elizabeth and Tristan. Both of them are broken, trying to make it through their lives one day at a time. Elizabeth has lost her husband and is struggling to hold it together for her young daughter. Tristan can't move past the loss of his wife and son, becoming an antisocial recluse and the topic of town gossip.

A twist of fate has these two crossing paths when Elizabeth hits Tristan's dog with her car by accident. To say that Tristan is an ass, is putting it mildly. He is a pretty despicable person in the beginning.

As Elizabeth begins to peel back the layers, she sees far more than either of them had ever expected. She can see the pain that he hides with his gruff demeanor. She recognizes that he is afraid to get close to anyone, only to risk losing them again. She knows all of the signs, because she's feeling the same pain.

Gradually, Tristan warms up to Elizabeth and we get glimpses of the man he is inside. The two begin a "friends with benefits" relationship that soon morphs into much more. Along the way, I fell in love with Tristan. Of course, I loved Elizabeth from the get go.

Just when things are going perfectly, Ms. Cherry drops a bomb. Honestly, I kind of saw it coming. However, whether you figure out the twist or not, it will wreck your world. I was so heartbroken for these two, which was followed shortly by anger and outrage.

Up to that point, I was thinking this would be a five-star read for me. I was an emotional mess, but in the way that can only be achieved by reading a really great story. It was beautiful.

Then, the story took a turn for the worse. After the first big reveal, the secrets and twists started coming out of everywhere. For me, the story went from heartfelt to far-fetched and unbelievable. It was like the author couldn't decide which way to take the story, so she threw in everything that had crossed her mind and tried to wrap it up in a few short chapters.

Up until about 85-90% I was in love with this book. Then, it kind of got a little unnecessarily dramatic and lost some of it's appeal for me. However, even with the over the top ending, I really enjoyed this book.

It was still a fantastic story and I'm so glad I finally got around to it. Sometime soon, I hope to et to the second book in this series. I'm just taking a few days to get my emotions in check again.
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,416 reviews4,660 followers
September 19, 2015

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"How did two people so broken find each other's shattered pieces?"

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This book is so much more than it's gorgeous cover! I highly advise one-click purchasing because Britainy C. Cherry has delivered one of my favorite reads of 2015!

"Show me the shadows that keep you up at night. Kiss me with your darkness."

Ms. Cherry’s writing was simply fantastic, while her characters popped right off damn the page. I’m still reeling from the array of emotions that this story packed. The humor is original, the angst palpable, and the heartbreak is utterly crippling. The love I have for these characters is only surpassed by their love for one another.

The story is told in dual POVs of Tristan and Elizabeth who are both broken by loss. Elizabeth returns home after a few months to find that she has a new neighbor. Tristan Cole is the town’s new asshole. He’s inapproachable, hot as hell, angry, but he eventually sees his own pain reflected back in Elizabeth and her young daughter, Emma the possibilities are endless.

”He and I together was a terrible idea. We were both unstable, we were both shattered, and there was no getting around it. He was thunder, I was lightning, and we were seconds away from creating the perfect storm.”

Tristan and Elizabeth bare their losses to one another and slowly start to become a part of one another’s lives. Pretending in the bedroom helps them deal with the pain but does it hinder them from moving on?

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Their relationship takes a turn when true feelings for one another develop. The story unfolds with some very clever plot twists and heart stopping action. The supporting characters were a terrific addition and Elizabeth’s best friend, Faye is the SHIT! There is so much humor that evened out the heartbreak and this couple’s fall into love was pretty unforgettable.


Overall, this fantastic story is actually up for pre-order for .99 - crazy right? I read the story straight through and I can guarantee if you have loved this author’s previous works this book will exceed your expectations.

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*ARC provided by the author for an honest review *
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews10k followers
September 28, 2015
*****FIVE+++++++++++++++++ STARS*****
(ARC Generously Provided by Author in Exchange For An Honest Review)
{BR with Dee and Mel}


"Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day."

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This story was AMAZING!! If I didn't have so many RL distractions I would have devoured this book and honestly I am happy that I had those distractions, because I was able to savor this one!! After having finished this book, I can truly say that Brittainy C Cherry, is one hell of a writer! I would compare her to COHO from her Hopeless and Slammed days. The dialog between the characters goes from laugh out loud hysterical, to tug at your heart strings emotional!!! I literally highlighted the ENTIRE book!!!

Tristan and Lizzie are two people who suffered TREMENDOUS loss. It's the kind of loss that most people never recover from. Each grieve in somewhat different ways but both will feel a strong connection to each other.

Lizzie runs off with her little daughter Emma, and stays with her mom for a while. Being in her own home holds too many memories and she's not ready to face all the ghosts of the past. But living with her mom proves to be much harder for her, so eventually she decides to take her daughter back to their own home. On her first day back in town, she runs into the meanest and most mysterious resident in Meadows Creek. He keeps to himself and can often be seen running barefoot all over town. Lizzie, however, sees past appearances and finds Tristan to be very intriguing. There is something about his stormy eyes that draws her to him.

Tristan has become a recluse. A monster. He lives with so much guilt and pain from his past. I tell you, my heart broke wide open for this man. I seriously think if this had happened to me, I would beg God to take my life!! Just thinking now about his pain is making me get all teary eyed. He instantly feels something for Lizzie but fights so hard to push her away because he knows he doesn't deserve her and that eventually he'd only end up hurting her.

Eventually Lizzie, along with her little girl, Emma, are able to break through Tristan's walls and they form a very close bond. Lizzie and Tristan eventually take their relationship to the physical level and both even agree that they will use each other while having sex to get over the pain of missing their loved ones. As time passes, they both start to develop true feelings and can no longer go on with their arrangement of pretending they are someone else while being intimate. Now they want to be that special someone to each other, but are holding back for their own reasons, which in my opinion, were misguided.

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There wasn't much that I didn't love about this story. The secondary characters were well developed and happened to bring some of the laugh out loud moments and then also made some of the emotional scenes, gut wrenching. I loved sweet little Emma and her nickname for Tristan, aka TICK. Oh and those feathers!!!! I never knew the meaning behind "white feathers" but wow, what a beautiful sentiment!!

I swooned so hard over Tristan. Any man that would build a library for his woman and write little love post it notes as well, will always win me over hands down!!!

There were a couple of things I had issues with. I guess the author added them in to create the angst towards the end, and so I willingly overlooked them because damn I loved this book so HARD! I was sad when I got to the last page. This is the kind of book that makes me so hungry to find that next spectacular read!!

I HIGHLY recommend this one!!

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Profile Image for Mysza.
477 reviews391 followers
September 20, 2015
“Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day.”

Ah yes! What can I say? This book was simply wonderful. Damn, the author can write. It reads very fast because it is written so well. Beatiful words make beatiful sentences, which make beautiful story. Loved it all - the angst, the heartbreak, the healing, the falling in love, the humor - all was perfectly balanced.

I don't think I can say much about a plot without spoiling, I think you need to go blind into it, so let's just say that it is about Elizabeth and Tristan, both broken after the tragedies in their pasts, both trying to move on. Their initial meeting doesn't go very well but life throws them together anyway. But will they be enough for each other to heal? Will they be able to put back together their broken hearts? Ahhh, I won't tell, you have to read a book to find out...

Both main characters were simply amazing. Elizabeth was strong but vulnerable at the same time, she was broken but full of life, I'm happy she was able to see past Tristan's asshole facade and tried to be his friend. Tristan comes as an asshole and dick (oh sorry, I meant Tick), he doesn't want to feel, hates the world and is unapproachable. But once Lizzy and Emma is able to break that emotional wall around his heart, the man is ubelievable - warm, caring, sweet, loving, tender but sexy as hell too. I just wanted to hug him and cuddle and kiss him and take his pain away, seriously people top book boyfriend!
“She undressed me and made love to her past.
I slid into her and made love to my ghosts.
It wasn’t right, yet somehow it made sense.
Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned.
But when we were together, the hurting hurt a little less. When we were together, the past wasn’t as painful to take in. When we were together, I never for a second felt alone. ”
All the emotions were real, I shed a tear, I laughed, I felt the friendship and the love. In addition to exceptionally well written story, you will also get fabulous secondary charcters - little Emma and Zeus the dog, Sam, Faye, they were all so cool. Oh, I also loved Post-it notes they kept writing each other, it was adorable.

And I just want to give a shout out to Faye, Elizabeth's best friend, who was hilarious. Actually, beside the emotional part, the book had a spot-on dose of humor, it made me laugh out loud more than few times.
“But since we are on the subject, tell me…” Faye said, and I could almost see her grin through the phone. “Did he use tongue? Did he growl? Was he shirtless? Did he motorboat you? Did you touch his abs? Did you lick his sharp jaw? Is he the size of a horse? Did you giddy up? Did you find his Nemo? Did you Grace his Frankie? Did you Justin his Timberlake?”

"Sometimes when I’m cutting the grass and you’re sitting on your porch reading your dirty books, I see your face blush when you get to a really good part. That Mr. Darcy must have done some crazy shit to Elizabeth’s body. –TC"
This book is the first part in author's new series, it's a standalone without cliffhanger, written in both POVs. My favorite read of 2015 so far. Highly recommend!!!

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Drum roll please!

I was waiting and waiting and waiting for the best book of the year...

And the winner is!!!

Seriously people, pre-order while the price is insanely low, it is worth every penny!
The Air He Breathes amazon link
Profile Image for Ninoska Goris.
269 reviews162 followers
November 24, 2019
Español - English

Es el mejor libro que he leído hasta ahora este año. Pertenece a la serie Los Elementos, pero puede leerse como libro independiente.

Es el primer libro que leo de esta autora y estoy impresionada. Escribe bellísimo y de una forma que sientes como propio lo que le pasa a los personajes. Es un libro muy emotivo ya que los protagonistas han pasado por grandes pérdidas. Es de ira, auto-descubrimiento, perdón y aprender amar de nuevo.

La vida es impredecible.

Hace un año Elizabeth perdió a su esposo en un accidente de tránsito. Después del entierro, junto con su hija de cuatro años, se fue a pasar el duelo con su madre. Ahora decide regresar y comenzar de nuevo. No puede seguir viviendo en el pasado, se lo debe a su hija Emma.

Tristan perdió a su esposa Jamie y a su hijo Charlie. Es considerado el loco del pueblo y todos le odian o le temen. Prácticamente es un huraño, no habla con nadie y siempre está de mal humor. Qué hacer cuando todo lo que tenias te lo quitaron y te dejaron sin alma, sin aire para respirar?

Elizabeth y Tristan son vecinos y desde el principio ella pudo ver en sus ojos el dolor que estaba pasando. Cuando ambos saben de sus trágicas pérdidas, encuentran una coneccion que no siempre será fácil de manejar, pero cuando están juntos el dolor es más soportable y ya no se sienten solos.

Aunque fue difícil, Elizabeth nunca se dio por vencida con Tristan y una vez que logra traspasar su pared de hostilidad conoce al amable, amoroso y maravilloso ser humano que es.


This is my best read of the year (so far). It belongs to The Elements series, but can be read as an standalone book.

It is the first book I read from this author and I am impressed. She writes beautifuly and in a way that you feel as your own what happens to the characters. It is a very emotional book since the protagonists have gone through great losses. It is anger, self-discovery, forgiveness and learning to love again.

Life is unpredictable.

A year ago Elizabeth lost her husband in a traffic accident. After the funeral, together with his four-year-old daughter, she went to her mother's house because she couldn't be in her house anymore. Now she decides to go back and start again. She can't continue living in the past, she owes it to his daughter Emma.

Tristan lost his wife Jamie and his son Charlie. He is considered the madman of the town and everyone hates him or fears him. He is practically a sullen man, he does not talk to anyone and he is always in a bad mood. What to do when everything you had was taken away and they left you without a soul, without air to breathe?

Elizabeth and Tristan are neighbors and from the beginning she could see in his eyes the pain he was feeling. When both know of their tragic losses, they find a connection that will not always be easy to handle, but when they are together the pain is more bearable and they no longer feel alone.

Although it was difficult, Elizabeth never gave up on Tristan and once she manages to break through his wall of hostility she meets the kind, loving and wonderful human being that he is.
Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
September 6, 2021
“He and I together was a terrible idea. We were both unstable, we were both shattered, and there was no getting around it. He was thunder, I was lightning, and we were seconds away from creating the perfect storm.”

If you ask me why I started this book, I won't be able to give you an answer. I just...had to. Like I was compelled. Apparently the I-freaking-love-pain part of me was in charge. But if you ask me why I stayed up all night until I finished it and now coffee is the only thing that keeps me awake, the answer is simple. My lungs needed air, and Brittainy C. Cherry's words were my oxygen.
"Do I scare you Elizabeth?"
"Because I see you."

How do you start over when your whole life is ripped apart? How do you continue breathing when your pain crushes your lungs? How do you live when inside you are dead? When you want to be dead? Elizabeth and Tristan sought the answers to those questions and they found them in each other's haunted eyes and scarred soul. At first they used their bodies to feel whole again, to feel wanted and loved when in fact they didn't think they deserved it. They had to learn how to cope with their losses and their guilt, to remember the past while they faced the present and planned the future. They had to learn how to love again.
“The magic is in the tiny moments. The small touches, the gentle smiles, the quiet laughs. The magic is about living for today and allowing yourself to breathe and be happy. My dear boy, to love is the magic.”

What started as an unhealthy and twisted relationship turned into a tender, beautiful love story. While reading The Air He Breathes I experienced so many emotions at once, as if a storm was brewing in my chest, as if my chest would explode into a rain of colours, green for anger, black for grief, red for pain, yellow for joy, white for love. With those colours Brittainy C. Cherry painted the canvas of my soul and she signed it with blood taken from my own heart. The heart that ached for the trials Tristan and Elizabeth went through, that bled when they lost the battles against their demons, that warmed up when they started falling in love, that shattered when they were torn apart.
“As long as air moves in and out of my lungs … as long as I breathe, I will fight for you. I will fight for us.”

When a book makes you try to hold back your tears and a few pages later makes you burst into maniacal laughter, it is a good book. There were so many quotes that were touching, so many lines I highlighted because they inspired me ,so many scenes that were beautifully written. It wasn't flawless, I didn't like the time gaps that took you weeks or months later because sometimes they were abrupt and I wanted more details about what happened in between, but that didn't prevent me from loving Brittainy C. Cherry's writing. Her characters were so painfully realistic, Tristan and Elizabeth healed each other and filled the void their losses had created step by step, each step a small victory against the monster of grief and death. They made mistakes, they fucked up what they'd created, but Elizabeth saw the human beneath Tristan's jerkish attitude, and Tristan saw his redemption in Elizabeth's smile. I loved the relationship between Tristan and Emma, Elizabeth's daughter, they were so silly and adorable. I loved Faye and her inappropriate comments. I loved the brutal plot twist towards the end. And I loved that I could not sleep because every time I closed my eyes I saw white feathers.

Five bruised and bleeding stars for two bruised and bleeding hearts.
“It was obvious what she was to me, it was so clear why I always wanted her near.
She was simply the air I breathed.”
Profile Image for ~♡AB♡~.
974 reviews668 followers
September 26, 2015
★★★★★ 4.5 Stars ★★★★★

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Wow! I could read this story it all over again, I had the serious case of feels - this book was an amazing read! It was a fabulous combination of interesting characters, humour, sadness and hope. On top of that we are gifted with an aloof hero as the main character that you just want to cuddle and do dirty things with in equal measure.

The Air He Breathes is about two broken people who have both suffered a huge loss in their lives and are trying to get through day by day. After having spent the past year mourning her husband, Elizabeth returns home from an extended visit at her mothers, back to the house that she shared with her husband. She is still incredibly raw from her loss, but is trying to be a whole person again for her five year old daughter, Emma.

Back in a familiar place, she is feeling like she will never be the woman she was before, and even surrounded by her friends and family she has no-one to turn to who understands her pain. That is until she meets her next door neighbour, Tristan.

Tristan has completely shut down from anyone, since he lost his wife and son and is a shell of a man merely surviving each day through pain, with only his dog Zeus and his boss, the eccentric Mr. Henson for company, he is extremely lonely.

When Elizabeth and Tristan meet, the connection is instant, but the friendship isn't and so their relationship goes through many different stages, from indifference to lust to friendship to love.

"You're beautiful. You're a beautiful, broken kind of monster."

What starts off as them using each other to remember their past loved ones, turns into something very beautiful and I for one though that it was a very unique and engaging story.

"I wasn't him. She wasn't her. But my God, it felt good to lie to ourselves."

Not only did I fall in love with the main characters pretty much off the bat, but the relationship between Tristan & Emma pretty much sealed the deal.

To top it off, we had Elizabeth's best friend Faye, who was a hoot and balanced out all the sad that was within the pages. So many great quotes from the supporting cast, including this one which has become my new favourite mantra.

Sometimes life is weird. You just have to deal with the weirdness and hope that you find some weirdos who will move forward with you."

There was a bit of drama towards the end which felt came a little out of left field, hence my half star reduction, but really it was a minor blip on my radar and would consider this a five star read in every other way.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a gut-wrenching read that will make you cry and then lift you up in the best way. A fantastic job from Brittainy C. Cherry!

This is a standalone contemporary romance, told in dual POV.

ARC gratefully received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Profile Image for Patrycja.
639 reviews3,792 followers
September 22, 2015

Title: The Air He Breathes
Series: Romance Elements #1, can be read as a standalone
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Release Date: September 25, 2015
Rating: 4.5 - 5 stars
Cliffhanger:. no

The Air He Breathes is perfectly written story. A story that took me on amazing journey full of feelings and emotions so real I can still feel my heart crumbling. This is one of those novels that stay with readers forever – the print it leaves on soul too strong to ever fade away. And even if the details of it will blur with time, the depth and the meaning of the story will definitely still be remembered.

That’s why Brittainy C. Cherry is one of my favorite authors – the way she can tug on my heartstrings is unmistakably beautiful and moving. She simply creates a plot and characters so broken yet real that the reading experience is so powerful you feel overwhelmed with. In the best way of course.

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"The magic is in the tiny moments. The small touches, the gentle smiles, the quiet laughs. The magic is about living for today and allowing yourself to breathe and be happy. My dear boy, to love is the magic."
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The Air He Breathes tells a story about two people who had just survived the loss of the loved ones. They are both broken and having a hard time dealing with the death of their soulmate.

When Elizabeth lost her husband the only thing that had the strength to pull her just a little bit of the darkness was her little daughter Emma. If not her Liz would probably have lost herself in despair.

Tristan had even less luck. His eight year old son was killed in an accident right along with his wife. Having no one to focus on Tristan completely crumbled. He became a recluse, believing he doesn’t deserve to have people love him…

Due to serendipity Tristan moved into house next door to Elizabeth. Together they learn how to let go, how to heal and feel free again – but it’s not pretty.

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"Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned.
But when we were together, the hurting hurt a little less. When we were together, the past wasn’t as painful to take in. When we were together, I never for a second felt alone.."

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On the pages of The Air He Breathes you can find everything what makes a story perfect - from the heartbreak to the silly dose of humor, from sensual and intense romance and intimacy to very well pictured secondary characters and friendship.

This book exceed my expectations - it was angstier and sexier that I thought was possible. It had as well the most moving and touching plotline - it simply left me breathless. It teaches that there is beauty in every tragedy and that love comes with loss yet still a single moment of happiness is worth the pain.

Reasuming, Brittainy C. Cherry yet again nailed it! I think she only gets better and better at creating realistic, beautiful and unique plotlines. I cannot wait to read her next book, because even right now I’m pretty sure it would be the bomb.

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Profile Image for Brandi.
634 reviews1,276 followers
September 28, 2015


There are tons of wonderful reviews for this story, so I will keep it short and sweet.

The Air He Breathes is an emotional story, about two people who have suffered enormous loss, but together they find a way to live and love again.

I enjoyed this read, but the drama and coincidences during the last 10-20% was a bit much, in my opinion. That said, I still found this to be a great story, overall.
Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews796 followers
January 13, 2016

I have to say my biggest fear is losing my husband. He isn’t perfect, but he is my soulmate and I can’t imagine a life without him in it. Thank God I haven’t experienced this type of loss, because reading about it nearly broken my heart in two. Not every author or story can make me feel the pain the characters are feeling, but Brittainy’s writing makes me feel everything. I felt their loss, their grief, and their doubts. I felt their love, their healing and their hope.

"Sometimes the hardest part of existing without your loved one was remembering how to breathe.”

Elizabeth Bailey is a single mother to Emma. When we first meet Liz it has been a year since her husband’s death and she is moving back to their home in Meadow’s Creek. Meadow Creek is a small community and she is immediately bombarded with nosey neighbors and caring friends and family. Despite being surrounded by family and friends she still feels this deep loneliness, an ache in her heart that won’t let up.

Tristan Cole isn’t from Meadow’s Creek, it’s just the town he ran to when everything he loved was taken from him. His world was shattered when he lost his wife and son. His grief has turned to anger and he doesn’t hold back. At first glance it’s easy to believe he is just a grumpy, self-centered, rude asshole, that is certainly Liz’s first impression. She isn’t thrilled to learn Tristan is her neighbor now, nor is he pleased to see Liz and Emma next door. Tristan is burdened down by his grief. He has let his pain fester, has isolated anyone who cares about him, and is completely alone.

There is this insane beautifulness to Tristan and Liz’s connection. They are both lost, lonely and searching. They are both grief stricken, stuck and terrified to move on, afraid to forget. They are stagnate in their lives and consumed by their hopelessness, until they finally accept help from each other.

Tristan and Liz’s relationship was perfect. They are not your typical hero and heroine, they are two damaged souls in desperate need of healing. Together they help each other grieve and eventually move forward. I absolutely loved these two together. I loved how Tristan is damaged and afraid. I could feel Tristan’s pain and loss, and my heart broken for him. I loved how Liz was the light he needed, even in her own grief she offered a solace to Tristan.

"One must know what it feels like to be weak in order to really find their own strength.”

The Air He Breathes was perfection on paper. It was devastating sad, but had these moments I found hope in. It was heavy and emotional, but had these amazing light, fun, humorous moments. Brittainy built this deep soulful connection between Tristan and Liz, and I loved it. But she also added in these perfect, fun, even crude moments that made me laugh out loud. I also love how she was able to captivate and surprise me. She delivered on all fronts!

When you are looking for a book that is hopeful, beautiful, uplifting, unique, emotional and sexy this is the book you need to read. I will never forget this story or how I felt when reading it. Definitely one of my Top 2015 Reads!

"Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day.”

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
August 28, 2016
LIVE http://amzn.to/1JtdGqf


Such a beautiful and captivating story that will steal your heart,like it did with mine!My heart was broken, I couldn't stop reading this beautiful story and I was crying so many times feeling sorry for Tristan and Elizabeth!Their story touched me in so many ways.This is one of those books that you will want to read countless times. The Air He Breathes is a heartbreaking,sweet,romantic,hot,intense and passionate story.It's about loss,forgiveness,forget,second chances and love.


How can two people live when they've lost the most important people in their lives.Tristan and Elizabeth are two broken souls who find each other when they most need it.Their beginning was difficult because Tristan is closed off and is reluctant to open up to someone he doesn't know.They have something in common..they feel so desperate and sad they want to love again.Their past is haunting them..but maybe is time to leave it back...Can they do it??


Tristan stole my heart!I loved him and I could feel his loss and how he felt all the time.There were moments he is a little a@e but I couldn't stop myself from falling in love with him!My heart ached for him and Elisabeth!I wanted so bad to see them finally happy.They deserve to have a new life again!Elizabeth is so strong,I can't imagine how can be for a woman to be alone with a kid without her husband.And I can see how difficult it was for her!When there were together you can feel their connection,the passion and how intense can be together!There are hot moments but it's not the sex only these two are so connected that you feel so many things!


There are so many quotes that I wanted to add in my review.Every page has something for me..I feel so connected with the story that I read it so fast and I was so sad when the story ended...I need more!!
Brittainy C. Cherry is a new author for me,I knew her but I haven't read a book from her and I feel so ashamed now because she is so talented!!
This book is up for pre-order only 99cents, do yourself a favor and bought this book because it's amazing!!!

AMAZON http://amzn.to/1Qq6pgc


Profile Image for Hulya Kara Yuksel.
933 reviews1,097 followers
September 13, 2017
My God, this book was so beautiful. <3
I cried too much while I was reading it... :(

"Right before I turned to leave, a small white feather came floating down from above and landed against my arm. A wave of comfort washed over me as I nodded. “I’ll be okay. I’ll be good,” I muttered, knowing that it was a kiss from my loved ones. I knew I would be okay one day, because it was obvious that I wasn’t alone."...


“I thought I had more time, but sometimes tomorrow never comes and you’re only left with the memories of yesterdays.”

“I just kind of wonder what it would be like to find someone who loves you the same amount that you love them. You know, that person who you see looking your way and smiling because they are just as wild for you as you are for them.”

“Show me the part of you that you try to keep buried. Show me where it hurts the most. I want to see your soul.”

“Even though I was death, she took the time to resuscitate me. She breathed life back into my soul. She brought me back from the shadows.”

“Sometimes the hardest part of existing without your loved ones was remembering how to breathe.”

“You know that place between nightmares and dreams? The place where tomorrows never come and yesterdays don't hurt anymore? The place where your heart beats in sync with mine? The place where time doesn't exist, and it's easy to breathe?
I want to live there with you.”

“It’s easier with you.”
“What’s easier with me?”
His hand found my lower back. My hips arched toward him, our bodies slowly becoming one. He ran his fingers against my neck as I closed my eyes, and he spoke softly into my soul. “Being alive.”

“He and I together was a terrible idea. We were both unstable, we were both shattered, and there was no getting around it. He was thunder, I was lightning, and we were seconds away from creating the perfect storm.”

“As long as air moves in and out of my lungs … as long as I breathe, I will fight for you. I will fight for us.”

"Right before I turned to leave, a small white feather came floating down from above and landed against my arm. A wave of comfort washed over me as I nodded. “I’ll be okay. I’ll be good,” I muttered, knowing that it was a kiss from my loved ones. I knew I would be okay one day, because it was obvious that I wasn’t alone."

“Because at the end of the day, it’s not about the tarot cards, or the crystals, or the special teas. That’s not where the magic lives. The magic is in the tiny moments. The small touches, the gentle smiles, the quiet laughs. The magic is about living for today and allowing yourself to breathe and be happy. My dear boy, to love is the magic.”

“She undressed me and made love to her past. I slid into her and made love to my ghosts. It wasn’t right, yet somehow it made sense. Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned. But when we were together, the hurting hurt a little less. When we were together, the past wasn’t as painful to take in. When we were together, I never for a second felt alone.”
January 5, 2019
4.5 Stars

I'm in love. The Air He Breathes is my first book by Brittainy C. Cherry, but it won't be my last. Damn but she tore my heart out, and slowly pieced it back together with this emotional read. I loved both the hero and the heroine. I knew going into the read that the main couple lost their husband/wife and that they start out using each other. I really thought it would have bothered me more. It was why I have held off reading it for so long. But it was written so well that it didn't bother me at all. I love that they stopped pretending pretty fast. I also love that even though they started out using each other I didn't feel either one was second to the dead ex. This book was just wow no words. I really loved it. The only reason it's not a full 5 stars is I was a tad bit upset that Tristan left for so long. But still I could kinda of understand it too. Other than that it was amazing. I can't believe I waited so long to pick this book up!
Profile Image for ✦❋Arianna✦❋.
790 reviews2,527 followers
October 2, 2015
4.5 Stars!!


“The Air He Breathes” is one of the most touching romance story I’ve read this year. It was simply perfect, beautifully, beautifully written and so touching. It was heartbreaking, emotional and also heartwarming, a story that definitely will stay with me for a while. It’s a story about loss, forgiveness and learning to love and live again. It was exactly what I expected from one of my favorite authors who every time with her amazing words manages to create an outstanding story.

Now take a moment and imagine you lost your husband/wife, the father/mother of your child, the man/woman who represented everything for you, your reason to live and breathe, your world. Honestly I can’t imagine losing my husband. I will be more than broken, more than devastated, more than lost. The main characters in this book, Elizabeth and Tristan have experienced a huge loss losing their loved ones, their world, a husband and wife and son respectively.

“The hardest part about losing someone you love is the fact that you also lose yourself.”

Elizabeth lost herself when she lost her husband in a car accident. Everyday it’s a struggle. She is trying her best to move on, to live, to breathe, to be a mother for her little daughter. She doesn’t think she knows how to do all that anymore, but she knows she has to stay strong. She knows if it hadn’t been for her daughter she would have lost herself to the grief. After the tragic accident Lizzie and her daughter, Emma went to stay with her mother, but now a year later they are ready to go home.

“People in town called him an asshole, and I could see why. He wasn’t nice, he wasn’t stable, and he was broken in all of the wrong and right places, but I couldn’t blame him for his coldness.”

When Lizzie meets Tristan, the new man in town, the town jerk, the man everyone avoids, she’s drawn to him. His sad eyes tell a tragic story. He’s like her, broken. She can tell. Tristan lost his reason to live a while ago and now he’s changed man, a broken man who doesn’t want to live anymore or to have a family and friends. Lizzie wants to be his friend, she wants to talk to each other, to heal each other, but Tristan doesn’t want to do anything with her or with her daughter. He’s angry and bitter at first, but eventually both Lizzie and Emma manage to warm his heart. Lizzie makes him hope and feel. They are attracted to each other, but both of them are hesitant to get involved in something new and possible dangerous for their hearts.

“He and I together was a terrible idea. We were both unstable, we were both shattered, and there was no getting around it. He was thunder, I was lightning, and we were seconds away from creating the perfect storm.”

They start using each other to remember their past loved ones, but eventually what they initially started becomes so much more.

“She undressed me and made love to her past.
I slid into her and made love to my ghosts.
It wasn’t right, yet somehow it made sense.
Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned.
But when we were together, the hurting hurt a little less. When we were together, the past wasn’t as painful to take in. When we were together, I never for a second felt alone.”

This was one beautiful story that I guarantee will move you to tears. Like I mentioned, this author’s words are simply perfect and evoked so many different emotions in me. Both Lizzie and Tristan are remarkable, well developed characters, characters I fell in love with so hard from the start. Lizzie was broken, but she was such a great strong heroine. I loved her relationship with her daughter Emma and the way she loved her. She was such a great mother to her. She also was a great friend to Faye, her best friend and later to Tristan. Tristan was portrayed as a jerk at first, but I never hated him or judged him, because let’s face it, loss can changed everyone of us. His story broke my heart and some scenes from his past were really gut-wrenching. I wanted so much to see him smile and hope again, fall in love and learn to breathe again. And fortunately he will learn how to.

“Do you ever think of me in a way that is more than a friendship?” When she looked into my eyes, she had to see the answer. I felt her soul staring deep into mine. Her eyes were full of wondering interest and her beauty was softened by an air of mystery.
I blinked once. “Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day.”

Lizzie and Tristan’s relationship was fantastically done. I loved the slow build relationship and how gradually they became more than friends. Their connections was palpable from the beginning and later you can actually feel how much they feel for each other, how much they mean for each other.

As for the supportive characters, what can I say? They were simply fantastic. I loved Faye, Lizzie’s best friend. She was a great person. She was kind, funny and at times everything Lizzie need it. Emma, Lizzie’s daughter was simply adorable and like I said I loved the relationship between these two. It warmed my heart. But what I really loved was the relationship between Emma and Tristan. Their interaction were amazing, so damn sweet and put big smile on my face.

Overall, a wonderful emotional read that I highly recommend it!

“Sometimes life is weird. You just have to deal with the weirdness and hope that you find some weirdos who will move forward with you.”
Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,547 followers
October 21, 2015
The cheese factor was high with this one.

I thought I'd sink into this and roll around like a two year old in a ball pit but instead I just sank. It started off okay, with the buildup to the meet-cute and Tristan's ass-holery front and center. As soon as we established how "broken" the protagonists were, though, it all went downhill. There were so many quotes that made me cringe, but the first one that made me question whether or not I'd finish was this tidbit. People just don't say shit like this. It's like cheesy role play.

"We'll use each other to remember them?"

"Only if you want to."

"This sounds like a terrible idea, in the best kind of way."

"There's still this giant part of me that misses Jamie every day. And holding you" - his tongue danced across my bottom lip - "helps me remember holding her."

"Feeling your heartbeats" - I placed my hand against his chest" - "reminds me of his heartbeats."

"Running my fingers through your hair" - he tangled his hands through my blonde locks, making me gasp lightly - "helps me remember her."

"Feeling your skin against my skin" - I slowly lifted his T-shirt - "reminds me of him."

Add in the way Tristan goes from uber macho bad boy to needy and super clingy on a dime and the way the heroine practically begs him for scraps of attention (and then literally begs him to sleep with her) and I just can't. I skimmed some of the rest, but gave up a little over the halfway point.
Profile Image for Amy | Foxy Blogs.
1,476 reviews975 followers
January 16, 2016
My first 5 star read for 2016.

"In the blink of an eye, in one moment's time, everything I knew about life changed."

I loved this opening quote because it's holds true for all of us. It's relatable and makes us feel the story even deeper. Life is unpredictable and our paths can be altered in just the blink of an eye. Adventuring with the characters on their journey from hurt-to-healing-to-finding love is one that kept me up reading late into the night.

I enjoyed The Air He Breathes even though I had a moment where this book dipped below 5 stars for me. I found the ending with Tanner to be over the top drama that didn't match up with the flow of the story. After pondering my star rating I decided that for 95% of the book it was definitely worthy of five stars and that OTT moment is something I can look past. Alright enough about that part because the rest of the book was fantastic.

For those who haven't read it yet...what are you waiting for?!


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Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
965 reviews1,248 followers
September 25, 2015

Title: The Air He Breathes
Series: Elements #1
Author: Brittany C. Cherry
Release date: September 25, 2015
Cliffhanger: No

In a blink of an eye, in one moment's time, everything I knew about life changed.

This is my first Brittany C. Cherry book, (stupid, stupid me) and this is one thing I can tell you with complete confidence: when you pick up a book from this author, you're holding something precious in your hands. I had no idea what I was missing out on all this time and I feel like I'm finally realizing how deprived I've been. Believe me, this author has hit my auto-buy list-solidly. Sometimes an author has a voice that really speaks to you. Immediately, completely, and perfectly. That's what I feel here. If I could give this book a million more stars I would. Within the first chapter I was already laughing, crying, and sometimes both at the same time. Can you say that about many books? This book is something special, you need to introduce yourself to this hauntingly beautiful story.

It's a story of overwhelming, soul crushing grief. A story of pain. The kind that shreds you and dehumanizes you into someone you don't recognize.

It's about finding strength through that brokenness and pulling yourself out of the darkness even when you don't think you can. And these emotions were expressed with such crystal clarity, I felt every bit of hurt these characters were going through. The loss of loved ones is a subject that I can imagine isn't easy to write about. But it was done with sensitivity and it just...moved me. There's no other way to say it.

Both Tristan and Elizabeth have lost a loved one. Her husband, his wife and young son. They're going through the motions of life, but the've been dead inside since the day of their loss.

I hurt so bad for them seeing their emptiness and loneliness. Especially for Tristan who didn't even have the comfort of his child to cushion the blow. Elizabeth pushes on-for her daughter. But Tristan lives only with the memories of what was taken from him. And his wounds have cut him so deeply that he lashes out at anyone who crosses his path. Even though he was hateful and hurtful to Elizabeth, their common link bound them together and wouldn't let her write him off. Looking in his eyes was like looking into a mirror and she only wanted to get closer.

He was hard to look at, because he was so broken, but every scarred part of his existence seemed to draw me in.

The relationship she had with her best friend was the perfect way to deal with the difficult emotions you go through in this book. They were hilarious together-every scene between them had me smiling and chuckling at Faye's outrageousness. Elizabeth's sense of humor added a lightness to the story that balanced out all the dark. Without it, I don't know if I could have handled the harshness so easily.

Hmm. It seemed he wasn't a morning, afternoon, or night kind of person, so he had that going for him.

The beginning of their relationship grows from a very unhealthy place. They're both still just trying to survive. But after their dislike wears off, they evolve into something more. But it's not real. They cling to each other, but they're only clinging to ghosts. They're fine with that, in fact they need it desperately. To feel like they're holding on to a piece of their past through each other. This is completely wrong and it was like taking 10 steps back in their healing process. But in some small way, maybe it was needed for them to break out their torment and inability to move on. Pushing past this crutch, they were finally able to give each other what they really needed. Someone to listen. Someone to see them. They come from a parallel place and no one else could understand the emotions they battle every day except each other.

"Everyone in this town is afraid of me. Do I scare you, Elizabeth?" he whispered, his breaths against my lips.
"Why not?"
"Because I see you."

We see Tristan's hard heart start to soften being around Elizabeth and her daughter Emma. The way he symbolically gave her messages from her father with the feathers was enough to make me cry like a baby. I can't even tell you how many times I was overwhelmed with emotion. My whole brain was screaming and my throat was clogged for pretty much the majority of the book. If I could have soaked in every word slowly and made this experience stretch out longer I would have. I just don't have the words to explain how incredible this book was. It was pure, raw, unfiltered emotion, I loved every minute of it. We see the bottomless lows they go through and that's what makes them soar so high in the end. Read. This. Book. You won't ever forget it.

**When I finished this book, this song came to mind. It's like it was made to explain how this book makes you feel. Beautiful, haunting, and lovely. Listen to it along with the book. It made me cry.



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Profile Image for Jasmine.
269 reviews669 followers
August 12, 2016
5 STARS! ★★★★★

"But as long as air moves in and out of my lungs, as long as I breathe, I will fight for you. I will fight for us."

Once again, Brittainy C Cherry has delivered a top-notch romance read and dare I say rather effortlessly. Her previous work, Art & Soul easily snagged one of my top reads of 2015 and so does this one. Right from the prologue, I already knew this book would put me through for an emotional ride.

This is a story about loss, forgiveness, redemption and finding love again. Both MCs, Tristan and Elizabeth have experienced a crippling loss by losing their most loved ones and stumbled upon each other when they became neighbours. Tristan is the least of welcoming and puts up an icy exterior to every person he comes in contact with. Even after an attempt by Elizabeth who saved his dog, Tristan wants nothing to do with this woman.

Eventually when they realised they shared a common loss, they saw a chance to make their pain more bearable by holding onto their past through each other. Two broken souls who desperately seeks the feelings they once felt and longed for. But will they be able to move forward if they keep latching onto their pasts?

"She undressed me and made love to her past. I slid into her and made love to my ghosts."

I've said it before but I'll say it again: this author has a way of writing so beautifully that will tug at your heartstrings in every book she puts out. From the admirable characters whether main or supporting, you can't help but be smitten by all of them. Even right down to the golden retriever, Zeus. She brings the light moments into the read by bringing in characters like Faye who says the darnest things that cracked me up like mad! But most of all, this author writes like she pours her heart and soul into every read because you will truly feel for these characters and experience their love, their loss and their heartbreak of it all.

"The magic is in the tiny moments. The small touches, the gentle smiles, the quiet laughs. The magic is about living for today and allowing yourself to breathe and be happy. My dear boy, to love is the magic."

Easily another of my top read of 2015, The Air He Breathes promises a love story that teaches you that with loss, there can still be love. There is beauty in tragedy and there can always be more than one happily ever afters in your life. This story will gripped you from start till end and also promises some unexpected twists that will shock you. I'd highly recommend this read for sure!!

P/S: It's only $0.99 for this crazily amazing book!! Pre-order now -> HERE

ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Air He Breathes is a contemporary romance standalone read. This is also the first standalone book in her Romance Elements series.

Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
July 24, 2019
It was worth taking that next breath.

Life's a funny thing. What's worse, finding out your loved one has two months to live or will die instantly in a car crash? Both are bad, but when you lose the opportunity for one last goodbye, how do you move on? The Air He Breathes was one of the best and emotional reads I've experienced in a long time. I cried through the whole thing and continually questioned how on earth I could come out the other side with a smile on my face. For two people to have that much pain in their lives and still manage to keep breathing was inspiring. I will try and remember (for the next 24 hours at least) to make the most of each day and tell my loved ones how much they mean to me.

The writing style flowed well and even though there were a few flashbacks, which I'm not normally a fan of, they helped you get a better understanding of how things had played out previously. The characters were brilliantly crafted with the supporting ones bringing the story to life. There were intimate scenes to show the strong connection between Tristan and Elizabeth, but they weren't over the top or put in to make the story better. They were just there to show the couple's progression. The relationship with Tristan and Emma was beautifully told and you could see that the author wasn't using Elizabeth's daughter as a replacement for him.

I'm not the sort of person who enjoys stories that makes you weep, but this one was special and will stay with me for a long while to come. Ms Cherry has made me stop and think before judging people by their looks or even their actions....maybe there's a reason for the monster to keep breathing.

September 30, 2015
4 "Big, fat, giant TICK!" Stars!

Sometimes the hardest part of existing without your love ones was remembering how to breathe.

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The Air He Breathes
is a first Brittainy C Cherry book for me. I'll admit the book buzz was contagious and I pretty much dropped everything to read this. Problem with buzz books for me is they tend to give me a false high expectation. Because of that, I forced myself to read very few reviews...but I don't live under a rock. This book was everywhere on social media- well deserved, I might add. With that being said...

I love the premise of a book with two protagonists suffering a major loss. Nothing produces insta-angst like that. But Ms Cherry captured my heart with a little five-year old spit-fire more than anything else. Elizabeth is a single mother, a widow, trying to get through her grief one step at a time. When taking off to live with her mother gets stale, she decides to move back to her home, a small town filled with gossip mongers and a house filled with memories...and a lawn grown up to her knees. What she didn't bank on is hitting a man's Golden Retriever just as she entered town. A man that was clearly jogging...barefoot. And he's not too happy. How is this her fault?

From the very beginning, we were gifted with a fantastic banter between a clearly assholish disgruntled hero and a sweet heroine that still has a backbone to defend herself. He too is suffering from the loss of both his wife and child and chooses to be a grade-A dick because, quite frankly he doesn't deserve anyone's sympathy or compassion. At least that's what he tells himself. Keep the walls up and the sympathizers at bay so he can wallow alone. So he chooses to withdraw from townsfolk by being the town asshole. Something about Tristan Cole drew Elizabeth to him. Yes, his bark was pretty ferocious but she didn't sway from getting under his tough exterior. Couple that with her adorable daughter Emma, and Tristan doesn't stand a chance.

Nothing I love more in a love story than that angsty tug of war from within. Of two people fighting their attractions for whatever reasons. So when the two MCs decide to take their release within each other, it was fantastic and steaming!

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I could seriously highlight 90% of this book. It's simply very beautiful and I actually took quite a bit away from some of the philosophical quotes within this novel.

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Yes, sometimes I found myself thinking, "What guy really talks like this?" The sap factor was high but my heart swooned nonetheless. Sometimes we like alpha tough brooding heroes, but Tristan is more the damaged "bark is worse than his bite" sympathetic-type character. Secondary characters almost stole the show for me. Her daughter Emma, her best friend Faye, the town "weirdo" Mr. Henson all added that extra bulk to the story. Set in dual POVs (my favorite) we get clear picture of Lizzy and Tristan's grief and ensuing feelings for each other.

The first 80% of the book was clearly a five-star read for me. Then things started to deteriorate a bit. I have very little tolerance for immature drama (which is why I don't read much NA- but these MCs are in their early thirties). Drama I can take if it fits the character and the author stays true to that but with these two, revelations occur and they appeared to turn into two different people. Immature, selfish and heartless to a little girl who's endured enough. I also wasn't entirely in love with the whole suspenseful plot device towards the end. It just was a bit far-fetched and changed the whole tone of the book for me. But overall, I enjoyed this book and I look forward to more from Ms Cherry.

Profile Image for * Meli Mel *.
856 reviews655 followers
October 2, 2015

♥ ♥ ♥ 4 STARS ♥ ♥ ♥

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“Sometimes the hardest part of existing without your loved one was remembering how to breathe.”

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I could not wait to read this book after seeing so many love it. I was hoping to feel the same, but I didn't fully love it as others. I did, however, enjoy it for the most part.

Elizabeth has had a very difficult year, to say the least. She lost her husband and has been trying to figure out how to cope with the grief. It's come to the point where she has to pull herself together for her five year old daughter's sake. So, she decides to go back to the small town where her life crumbled and live in the house she shared with her husband. This where she meets a strange and rude man who is actually her neighbour. His name is Tristan, and no matter what Elizabeth does to make this angry man a friend, he always has to act like a jerk. But, as days go on, it seems the share something in common. They are both struggling with the weight of their grief.

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“Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned.
But when we were together, the hurting hurt a little less. When we were together, the past wasn’t as painful to take in. When we were together, I never for a second felt alone.”

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Tristan has lost his wife and his son, and has not been able to recover since it happened. The only person who seems to understand what he is going through is Elizabeth. He finds he is able to breathe easier and smile for the first time in months with Elizabeth and her daughter Emma in his life. That connection they share quickly turns into a hunger for their past. They want what they lost, and so, they use each other to pretend it was never gone. But soon, it becomes so much more. The attraction grows along with their feelings, to the point where they just want to be with each other and not the ghosts of their past.

The story itself, I felt flowed really well, and the way the relationship developed was at a really good pace. I liked the characters for the most part. Elizabeth I felt tried so hard and didn't want to give up on moving on even if it was painful. I liked that even though she was going through so much that she was able to be selfless and help this man with moving on as well. She was kind with him, and helped him slowly come back to himself. Tristan was such a big jerk at first. But you can see him change slowly throughout the book. They were both broken and they both helped each other try to put all their pieces back together. I loved watching their relationship grow, although the pretend part of their relationship I didn't really care for. It was just too weird to me. Thankfully it didn't last too long.

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“Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day.”

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This book wasn't all sadness and tears, although I did feel and do that plenty of times while reading it. I was super happy to have some comic relief with my favourite character of the book, Faye, Elizabeth's best friend. She was blunt, hilarious, and just awesome. She had me laughing out loud many times. The writing was done really well, you could feel everything the characters were feeling. But near the end, I wasn't expecting things to turn so twisty. The first twist definitely got me and made things so much more interesting with a bit of angst. But the next one was so over the top. It was just so dramatic I didn't know if I was still reading the same book. The very end and epilogue however, left me very satisfied. I was very happy with how things concluded for them. Overall, it was a really great read. It wasn't perfect and I didn't completely love it, but there were many moments that were very enjoyable.

Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,229 reviews8,058 followers
February 12, 2023
**༻Complimentary Copy༺** Provided by the author
"Brittainy C. Cherry " in exchange for an honest review..Thank you!!

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TITLE: The Air He Breathes
SERIES: (Romance Elements, #1)
AUTHOR: Brittainy C. Cherry
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: September 25th 2015


**༻ This is my first time reading something by this author **༻

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She undressed me and made love to her past.
I slid into her and made love to my ghosts.
It wasn’t right, yet somehow it made sense.
Her soul was scarred, and mine was burned.
But when we were together, the hurting hurt a little less.
When we were together, the past wasn’t as painful to take in.
When we were together, I never for a second felt alone.

The synopsis had me but the cover truly hooked and reeled me in..The cover is just beautiful..

Two broken lost souls whom have lost so much in life..As soon as I started reading this late lastnight I was invested in the heartbreak of these two characters which had me racing through the pages with the need to uncover their story..

The hardest part about losing someone you love is the fact that you also lose yourself.

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Much love in the beginning and much more heartbreak there after..

Their first encounter will go down in history books as being the worst first encounter ever, his dog runs onto the road, she doesn't stop in time, she repeatedly apologises even to the point of driving him and his hurt dog to the vets with him being an ass the whole time.. Ass is really putting it nicely..

The vet came out to inform us that Zeus would be fine, just a few bruises and a fractured front leg.

Every inch of “Tristan Cole.” began to shake. With one deep inhale, the angry asshole disappeared and was replaced with despair. He lost himself in his emotions, and when he exhaled, he began to sob uncontrollably. He wailed, his tears harsh, raw, and painful.

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Is it too early being only a few chapters in to fall in love with this book already?? *Sighs* it's just so beautifully written, I want to crawl in the book and grab onto all the feels without letting go..Such a beautiful poignant story..

Sometimes the hardest part of existing was remembering how to breathe.

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“Stop following me,” he hissed. “I’m not.” “You are.” “Not.” “Are.” “Not not not!”
He cocked his brow again. “You’re like a five-year-old.”
“I guess we’re neighbors,” I said with a chuckle.

This pulled a few hidden emotions out of me, one minute I'd be giggling the next I'd have tears in my eyes..

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Gah I can't tell you how much I loved this book because I'm at a loss for words (snorts) shocker right!! Such a unique emotional story line that will have your emotions going up and down like a yoyo..I Cray Cray loved every second, minute, hour I spent absorbed in this book, don't think about one clicking this, take my word for it and do it..

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Profile Image for Dee Montoya.
942 reviews587 followers
September 23, 2015
***** 5 Breathtaking Stars*****

(ARC kindly provided by Author)
(BR with Mel and Patty <3)

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When I first learned about this book, my first thought was, what a gorgeous cover! But what's inside the pages of this novel surpasses the attractive cover or any expectations I had about Brittainy C. Cherry's new book. The Air He Breathes is a thing of beauty, raw and emotional.

Elizabeth has been grieving the death of her husband. He died in a car accident a year ago and right after the funeral, she grabbed her daughter and left town. She went to live with her mother because she needed distance between her and the home she shared with her husband. Being there without him was simply too painful for her.

Her relationship with her mother is not the best. Elizabeth doesn't approve of her mom's lifestyle. Ever since her father died her mom has been going from man to man looking for an answer to the loss. Fed-up with it, Elizabeth decides is time for her and her daughter Emma to go back home and face their new life.

Elizabeth has a new neighbor; Tristan Cole, a recluse that everybody claims is the new town crazy. When she comes face to face with him, she can see past his rugged and unkempt appearance. She can see her own soul in his eyes. She can see that they share the same pain, the same loss.

After a few explosive encounters, Tristan starts to realized that whenever Liz is around his numbness goes away. Whether it's annoyance or sexual tension, he feels. He no longer is a walking dead man when he is with her. Tristan and Liz start opening up about their pain. They've both lost loved ones and a big piece of themselves as well, and so they try to find refuge in each other. They find that they can both re-live their pasts through kisses and a fierce passion that while still painful, and makes them feel guilty, is the only thing that takes the loneliness away.

One day, they no longer see their dead spouses in each other. They only see and crave Tristan and Liz. The pain of the past has given them hope for the future. Tristan has fallen in love with Elizabeth and her daughter Emma. But just when things start looking up and they can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel a terrible secret threatens to take everything away, again.

"As long as air moves in and out of my lungs, as long as I breathe, I will fight for you. I will fight for us."

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This is one is one of those books you just want to hug tight. It was beautiful and heartbreaking but it also had a few moments where it made me laugh, hard. Every character in this story was complex and unique. Apart from loving Tristan and Liz; I adored her best friend Faye and Liz's daughter Emma, they added humor to the story. Even though this is a story mainly about grief and finding love after a big loss, it wasn't all sad. I've read a few books where grief is the main component in the plot and they make it all about the sadness and you even feel depressed after you read it, but not this one. Yes, it had sad moments but I found it so hopeful too. The message in this book was that love can heal, and that it's possible to love and do it hard even after a huge loss. Beautiful read, I loved it!

My The Air He Breathes music playlist:
*I Miss Her by Jessie J
*Babe I'm Gonna Leave You by Led Zeppellin
*Lover of The Light by Mumford and Sons
*One Day You Will by lady Antebellum
*Tomorrow by Avril Lavigne.

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Profile Image for ♥ℂĦℝΪՖƬΪℕÅ.
230 reviews3,935 followers
November 14, 2018
5 Every second. Every minute. Every hour. Every day. ★'s

“You don’t have to be good all the time. It’s okay to be hurt sometimes. It’s okay to feel lost like you’re wandering around in the dark. It’s the bad days that make the good ones so much better.”

Wow! I mean damn this book, I love it!! It has all the feels, that for me is what makes a good book :) I love books with broken people, who learn to love again...in finding themselves in one another. It has such heartbreak and it's so raw. The Air He Breathes drew me in right way, from the very first sentence in the Prologue I was a goner. Hell Brittainy C. Cherry had put tears in my eyes within the first couple of chapters. I don't normally get all misty-eyed so early in a book but I love the way she writes and the way she tells a story. This is the very first book I have had the pleasure of reading by Brittainy and I do believe I will have a long-standing love here on out for her books. Okay, I think my review is good enough lol. This is keeping me from doing what I really gonna do and that is to check out the second book The Fire Between High & Lo.

♥By the way, that beautiful man on the cover is Franggy Yanez!♥ (sigh)

*Each book is a complete standalone with different characters.*
Profile Image for Olga therebelreader.
888 reviews698 followers
September 20, 2015
This story is so beautifully-crafted! I felt like I couldn’t read fast enough to know what would happen next. This was much more than just your typical romantic story. It was laugh, love, hurt, mystery all wrapped in one. The force in which the author writes about the inexplicable sorrow at having lost a wife or husband and a child is so intense and vivid.

It’s about two broken souls, Tristan and Elizabeth. Tristan lost his wife and 8 yr old son in a car accident about a year ago. Haunted by guilt, pain and sorrow, he left his house and family without a word and started anew in a different town. He now lives in isolation, his appearance is disheveled, he speaks little to people around him and the only thing he does is just work and mourn for those he’s lost.
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Elizabeth is a young woman who lost her husband a year ago and lives next to Tristan’s new house with her 5 yr old daughter, Emma. She has spiraled into a major depression, she’s living life in autopilot and only her lovely daughter helps her appreciate life.

Life’s games have sometimes unexpected twists and surprise us in the most weird way. This heart-wrenching and yet heart-warming story of two people who found love in darkness is absolutely powerful in its honesty and its true exploration of relationships, marriage and friendship. The author expertly guides us through this process whispering hope and optimism.
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I recommend keeping some tissues close by, because shedding a few tears are more than likely. This story is chock full of realism and at times very melancholic and gloomy. The author gives us a poignant story, with secondary characters that add a little humor and sanity to a disheartening situation.

Life is full of coincidences, some very minor – but occasionally extraordinary. It’s unbelievable the power of coincidence and surprising connections all the time in our daily lives, yet we often fail to appreciate how they can guide us on our life’s path. This book explores how meaningful coincidence operates in our daily lives and intimate relationships. Truly spectacular!

ARC provided for an honest review.
Profile Image for S.M. West.
Author 39 books1,175 followers
September 30, 2015
4.5 "Because I see you" STARS

"There were small signs from the angels, letting us know they were always close by, watching over us."

I truly love discovering a new author and then falling in love with their characters and story. Thank you, Ms. Cherry! You made me smile, you made me laugh, you made me cry and Tristan, Elizabeth, Emma and Zeus stole my heart.

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This was a beautiful, breathtaking read with so many emotions. It covers the very harsh and dreadful reality of death, grief and loss of your partner, your child and your life as you know it.

Ms. Cherry did a brilliant job of creating such vibrant, broken and life-like characters that made this story so deep and moving. We all grieve differently and there is no right and wrong. This story is all about that and how two shattered souls find a way to make their broken pieces fit.

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"Show me the shadows that keep you up at night. Kiss me with your darkness."

"She undressed me and made love to her past. I slid into her and made love to my ghosts."

I would have given this 5 stars but two things jarred me. Towards the last 20% of the book, the pace picked up to the point that it felt rushed (up until then it had been a slow and measured build) and drama ensued that seemed out of nowhere. Sure, there were some very minor clues in retrospect but there was no indication it was going in that direction. But needless to say, this was not big enough to kill the aura and beauty of this tale.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a story to move them, empty them and then fill them up again in the best way possible!

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