Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Published by BCherry Books on September 25, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: BookBonanza 18
I was warned about Tristan Cole.
“Stay away from him,” people said.
It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.
But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.
We were both empty.
We were both looking for something else. Something more.
We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.
Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.
Lexxie and I roped our reader wife, Denise, into reading and chatting about The Air He Breathes with us. (her comments are in orange.) This will not be the last time y’all see reviews of Brittainy Cherry’s work here. We *all* loved this one! This story was chock full of twists and turns that we never saw coming. It was a gripping story as well as poignant and suspenseful. I’m thrilled we chose The Air He Breathes for us to buddy read!
I thought the way Liz was introduced was interesting – how her history with her mom was conveyed. How did you feel that history was relevant to Liz?
I felt that the other relationships her mother had defiantly played in her view of men but she was able to hold onto the relationship that her parents had so that helped her in the long run.
I think that most of Liz’s decisions in the beginning were based on how much she wanted and needed to be different from her mother. And she was afraid to become vacant – like her mother had been after her father’s death. I agree that the letters, and her parents love also did allow her to have some hope. But at the same time, I felt like Liz also thought her time for loving was over after the death of her own husband.
It definitely illustrated her strained relationship with her mom which ended up circling back around but I thought it also showed how her relationships – especially with a man – would be “colored” by her experience. Her parents’ love and then her mother’s subsequent “relationships” were in direct opposition to one another. Those men that came after her father would certainly serve to make her leery of men. At the same time though, her parents’ love and that love she shared with her husband was so powerful that it allowed her to be…hopeful?
Liz’s first meeting with Tristan was powerful in many way. I went from gasping and laughing to growling at his outrageous behavior. How did you feel about Tristan from that point considering we were privy to information that Liz was not?
When I was reading this interaction I thought he was over the top even knowing what we did at that point. however I was really able to laugh due to the d**k part, I laughed till I cried and still call people ticks. LOL. I agree by the end of the story I totally understood Thor.
I felt so bad for Tristan – but at the same time, my heart also completely broke for Liz! She felt so very bad about Tristan’s dog, and he truly acted like an arse. But Liz was really good with both him and the dog. Even when she felt like Tristan didn’t deserve it, she knew that SHE deserved it. And I loved how Liz’s daughter called Tristan Tick *grins*
I understood – knowing what I knew – how he could become who he’d become but I was also a bit shocked. Thinking on it now – even though there were some light moments… “Mommy, what’s a d*ck?” … I *do* get his reaction. Again, knowing what I already knew then and what I found out by the end – about Thor – yeah, his reaction made sense.
I really liked how Cherry developed the romance – gently, and sometimes not so gently, peeling back Tristan’s layers until we finally got to see the gentle man beneath. The way Liz and Tristan first approached things was interesting and understandable even if it wasn’t logical. What did you think about how the romance started and then developed?
I really liked the story progression. It made it seem more realistic and not instant connection. She did a great job with the progression and intertwining the past of both characters and the issues that they both brought to the story.
I loved the slow burn – especially because both Tristan and Liz were so broken by their losses. I haven’t cried so much reading a book in a very long time, though. Cherry really managed to make me feel those losses, and also how they so desperately wanted to hold on to the past. Alas, holding on the past is not really possible.
As I said, I liked it. Things moved at a pace that felt genuine – even with the way Tristan and Liz “helped” each other deal with the grief they were experiencing. That felt real, too.
Cherry built an excellent secondary cast. I was particularly fond of Liz’s friend, Faye, and Liz’s daughter, Lilly. How did you feel about the rest of the cast and their roles?
Cherry did a great job with the other characters and how she incorporated them. Faye, her co-worker and friend, was hilarious, even though some of her thinking was a little crazy, she brought a different view to Liz’s situations. Lilly was the cutest; it is amazing how children’s honesty is lost on adults.
I loved how Cherry brought life to the secondary characters, and I think that Liz’s daughter kind of saved her. Tristan was truly on his own, but Liz still had a little piece of Stephen (was that her late husband’s name??) and someone she had to be strong for. Having a fully fleshed out cast surrounding Tristan and Liz made the story very real to me.
I liked Faye and Liz’s daughter for the comic relief they provided. Cherry also did well incorporating a child into the story, giving her the right amount of importance. I liked how Liz had a history with parts of the cast, too. That history was shocking at some points and I liked that Cherry could surprise me like that.
The suspense elements – both the BIG reveals – were things I didn’t see coming and made huge impacts. What did you think about them and how Tristan handled the one?
Cherry was able to shock me. those two points were unbelievable and I did not see them coming. I thought Thor would have handled the one a bit different but his a true reaction and he needed to deal so he did that in his own way. The second one was just crazy and completely blind sided me but it gave the story a twist that made a great story even more interesting.
Oh my gosh. I was so very shocked! I was thinking a little bit of one of the things – but not the other. And I’m totally staying vague here. I still felt like Tristan could have done a little better. At the same time, I was glad he finally went to see his parents again. There were definitely tings to mend there, too. And that was part of his healing process.
I liked that Cherry was able to surprise me like she did. I didn’t see any of it coming, honestly, and that’s impressive. The reveals definitely made big impacts and took the story in directions that made my pulse race. I didn’t like how Tristan reacted to the one thing but it was also understandable. He needed to step back and deal with some things before he and Liz could move forward and the reveal gave him the opportunity to do that. However, I still wanted to shake him for it.
I liked the feathers. How did you feel about them?
The feathers were a touch that was very deep. I loved the way she incorporated them at the end.
I loved the feathers! It was such a symbolic way to deal with grief, and feeling close to the person no longer among them. And I loved that Tristan found a feather himself in the wild.
I liked how Cherry used the feathers – in ways that were apparent and in the ways they seemed like they came from a higher power or whatever. It was a nice touch considering what Liz, her daughter, and Tristan had endured and it made it feel as though something stronger than serendipity was on their side.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: