Breathe by Carly Phillips ~ Sarah A’s Review

Breathe, an all-new second chance romance from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips is available now!

Fall in love with the Wards…

From troubled teen to successful general contractor, Jake Nichols turned his life around from his time in foster care. Divorced and single, he juggles his time between his daughter and his work. Next on his agenda, a new project that is his chance to prove his worth at the job he loves. Except he never anticipates that the only girl he’s ever loved and lost as a teen is now a grown and beautiful woman in charge of the project.

Phoebe Ward has survived and conquered a painful past that includes foster care and becoming a teenaged mom. She wants nothing more than to focus on the present but it’s hard when she looks into the eyes of her son, knowing she’s tried and failed to find his father. She’s resigned herself to raising him alone with the help of her family… Until a client meeting brings her face to face with her first love. A boy… now a sexy man she thought she’d never see again … and the father of her child.

So many years have gone by and both of their lives have changed drastically. Will they be able to put the past behind them and find the second chance they both deserve?

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Breathe was a sweet little romance.  I couldn’t put it down and finished the entire thing before lunch.  My heart ached for Phoebe and Jake from the start, and after finding out what their histories were like, it broke for them.  Books about people who have been in the foster care system always pull at my heartstrings and this one was a double-whammy.

I was astonished by Phoebe’s strength, especially when I found out her backstory.  She’s suffered so much heartbreak and loss in her short life, and she was still an amazing mom who never hesitated to put her son first and do whatever she needed to protect and provide for him.  Phoebe continually impressed me with her resilience when faced with challenges, even when the fears developed by her past reared their ugly heads.

Jake was wonderful.  I mean to the point of being the perfect man wonderful.  He was protective and understanding.  He was loving and patient.  He’d been to hell and back and still managed to make a success of himself and become a stellar father.  At every turn, I was impressed by his maturity and level-headedness.

Though the conflict was minimal in Breathe and somewhat predictable, it never felt stagnant.  There was so much to learn about Phoebe and Jake’s individual pasts, history together, and then getting reacquainted after so many years, the lack of action only served to heighten the importance of their connection and what they meant to one another.

Breathe is the second book in Carly Phillips’ Rosewood Bay series.  These books can be read as standalones, I haven’t read the first book, Fearless, and had no problems understanding exactly what was going on in this book.  I did find myself dying to read that book and will definitely be revisiting that first book before I read the third book, Freed.  Breathe is written in limited third-person perspective, alternatively following Phoebe and Jake’s thoughts.

I discovered Carly Phillips as part of a crossover event for one of my favorite authors, and I was so impressed with her writing, I knew I needed to consume anything of hers I could get my hands on.  Breathe delivered fabulously.  I loved the characters, the plot was so sweet, and the pacing was spot on.

“Are you my guardian?” she quipped, trying to keep things light as she tipped her head slightly, studying his tight, serious expression.

“I want to be.” His voice was serious as hell. His tone rubbed her in the most intimate way, her body swaying toward him.

“Jake.” He reached out a hand to cup her face, his calloused fingertips rough against her skin. So intense were his features, so erotic was his touch, his protectiveness cloaking her in heat. Her nipples even puckered into tight points of need.

“If I had my way, nobody would be able to take advantage of you, because they’d have to go through me in order to get to you.” Her face warmed at his words.

“That’s sweet of you to say.”

“I’m not feeling very sweet. In fact, I’m feeling pretty damned protective.” He was, and she liked it. A lot. His fingers skimmed her cheek as he spoke.

“I was lucky enough to find you again. I want a chance to see what could be between us,” he said, taking her off guard. But God, she wanted that, too.

Despite her brain telling her they needed to tread carefully, that they had a little boy to protect, her traitorous heart still wanted more. His blue gaze bored into hers, causing her heart to pound hard in her chest.

“I know things are complicated right now, but how many people get second chances?”

“Not many,” she agreed, knowing how lucky they were.

“So wouldn’t we be foolish to waste the opportunity?”

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Carly Phillips is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

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