Monday, March 11, 2013

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

(Ten Tiny Breaths series, book 1)
Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind – all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson is apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

“I’d fix it all for you if I could. You know that right?” He whispers. I wonder if he’s talking about my scars or the last four years of my life.
“Yes,” is all I say. Yes to all of it.


This is one hell of a journey; it is a story of love, loss, healing, and the power of forgiveness. After Kacey loses four of the most important people in her life to a drunk driver, she refuses to let anyone get to close her again. If she doesn’t let anyone in, she can’t experience the grief of losing someone again. There is only one person Kacey wants in her life: her younger sister, Livie. When their uncle crawls into Livie’s bed one night, Kacey decides it’s time for her and Livie to get out of Grand Rapids, and start all over in Miami, Florida. While they are working on building a new life together, not one…not two… but several people, including her sex-on-a-stick neighbor Trent, manage to finagle their way into Kacey’s life and as hard as she tries, she just can’t shut them out. But when she finds out about Trent’s past, all the progress she has made comes crashing down into a suffocating heap of betrayal.

Sweet mercy, I am so in love with this book. The characters, each and every single one of them, officially takes up residence in my heart – Kacey, Trent, Livie, Storm, Mia, Dan, Ben, Tanner, Nate – I absolutely adored all of them for very different reasons. I honestly can’t remember the last book I read where I cared so exponentially not just about the main characters, but the secondary ones as well. I love reading about well-developed characters; the ones where it’s obvious that the writer is just as invested in the secondary characters, as they are in the main characters. Ten Tiny Breaths is a blinding example of wonderfully developed characters.

The chemistry between Kacey and Trent sent steam rolling off the pages, and their gradual relationship was refreshing. Sure, Trent was the one pumping the brakes every time things got heated between them, but it was nice to see their relationship evolve without sex overshadowing it. Trent’s ability to slowly break down the walls Kacey had built up was heartwarming, sweet, charming, and just plain freaking perfect. I love them together; love.

I will admit, I kind of had my suspicions on what Trent was hiding about his past and as it turned out, I was right. The thing is…I wasn’t even mad at him. My heart broke for him and Kacey in that moment but surprisingly, I didn’t cry! What?!? I know! The only part of this book that broke me down and finally turned on the waterworks was the scene with Kacey, Cole, a one-way mirror, and a tear-jerking apology. As much as I felt like I should dislike Cole, I couldn’t – not one ounce of me wanted to dislike him. He made a terrible decision four years ago that shattered his life just as much as it ripped apart Kacey’s, and I empathized with him…especially in that room.   

Ten Tiny Breaths is absolutely fabulous, and is definitely one that I will buying in paperback – who doesn’t need physical copies of their favorite books, even if they buy the ebook first?! This will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions, and show you the power of forgiveness, empathy, and closure. It’s incredibly moving…honestly, I can’t say enough about this book. Just read it. I promise you won’t regret it.

"Just breathe," my mom would say. "Ten tiny breaths...Seize them. Feel them. Love them."

PS – I think this novel paints a very ugly and very real picture of how driving drunk can not only change your life, but it can change the life of an innocent person who just happens to be on the road at the same time you decided to get behind the wheel after too many drinks. Would you rather spend the money on a cab ride insuring you get home safe, or risk hurting yourself and/or someone else…and then having to live with that guilt? Don’t drink and drive, y’all; believe me – it’s worth it to spend $20 on a cab.  

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