Audio Review ~ Drowning to Breathe ~ A.L. Jackson

Posted 31 August, 2022 by Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 4 Comments

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Audio Review ~ Drowning to Breathe ~ A.L. JacksonDrowning to Breathe by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Series: Bleeding Stars #2
Published by Audible Studios on August 25, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Length: 10 hrs, 53 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Purchase
3.5 Stars

Sebastian Stone, Sunder front man and guitarist with a rap sheet about 10 miles long, escaped to Savannah, Georgia, to get away from the trouble he'd caused, not find more of it. The moment he met Shea Bentley, he saw beneath all her sweetness and innocence something that went deeper. Darker. Their relationship was built on secrets, their love built on lies. Sebastian never imagined how deep her secrets went.

When the past and present collide, Sebastian and Shea find themselves fighting for a future neither believed they deserved. Their passion is consuming and their need unending. Now, holding the truth in his hands, Sebastian is faced with sacrificing everything he's come to love to protect Shea and his family.

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After that cliffhanger ending in A Stone in the Sea, I had to dive right into Drowning to Breathe. It was imperative to see if Baz could redeem himself – in my eyes – and whether or not he and Shea had what it took to go the distance.

All secrets have been revealed now and Shea and Baz find their pasts intertwined, interconnected in ways they could never have imagined. Now they have to decide if their love is worth fighting for when the elements of their pasts will attempt to use their weaknesses – each other and Callie – against them.

I didn’t understand why Shea hadn’t explained her past to Baz before because it was going to cause issues. And boy did it. However, the way Jackson used the common element of Shea’s and Baz’s pasts to create the impressive amount of conflict was well-done. I lost my mind when Baz, well, lost his mind at one point in the story. His reaction was expected, honestly, but was hoping he’d hold it together. I was disappointed when he didn’t.

Drowning to Breathe details Shea making peace with her past, Baz growing up, and how these two things allow them to move forward together. Baz had the most difficult task. Sure, he’d had to grow up early, having to care for his little brother after a family tragedy left his parents incapable. However, he hadn’t matured in ways that were necessary to build a lasting relationship with Shea. It was painful to witness his growing process a lot of the time, particularly as Callie was involved. It took a while before Baz realized how his actions affected her. In the end though, he got it together because Shea and Callie made him want to be a better man.

Again, there was some OTT drama for these two. I wished they’d talk rather than go to bed. There were times when I had to pause my listening for some time before I could continue because I needed the mental break. I did enjoy getting to see more of the other band members as well as Baz’s little brother. Those scenes helped convey the type of man Baz was underneath the anger and drama. Overall though, the story was satisfying.

The narration was stellar. Andi Arndt and Sebastian York were, as usual, incredible narrators. They brought these characters to life and made it pleasurable to listen to the story despite my desire to shake sense into the characters.


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Brandee is a mom of 3 and a soon-to-be empty nester. She is also an avid reader, a genre omnivore, and a compulsive one-clicker - but she's in recovery. Besides being a reader, she's also a writer and hopes to divide the vast quantities of spare time she'll soon have between reading and finally publishing her first book.

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4 responses to “Audio Review ~ Drowning to Breathe ~ A.L. Jackson

  1. Hey Linda- how have you been? And great review Brandee! Glad this was good even if there were a few issues. It;s amazing how great narration can really elevate a book, too.

    Hope you are both well!

  2. Great review, Brandee! I read A Stone in the Sea a couple years ago and (it being the second I’d read from Jackson) realized her writing just wasn’t for me. Her writing style seems to lean hard into the overly dramatic which made very thing feel so melodramatic and over the top. I was mildly interested in what came after the cliffhanger, but I just couldn’t deal with anymore melodrama. LOL It sounds like it definitely continued in book #2. I’m glad this one still mostly worked for you.

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