Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I was warned about Tristan Cole.
ÔÇ£Stay away from him,ÔÇØ people said.ÔÇ£HeÔÇÖs cruel.ÔÇØÔÇ£HeÔÇÖs cold.ÔÇØÔÇ£HeÔÇÖs damaged.ÔÇØ
ItÔÇÖs easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.
But I couldnÔÇÖt 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.
I was looking forward to reading “The Air He Breathes” by Brittainy C. Cherry. The blurb sounded absolutely amazing and the cover did the rest. A bearded hero is one of my many weaknesses.
Unfortunately, the book didn’t live up to my expectations.
Don’t get me wrong. The writing style is superb, it flows easily and makes the emotions tangible.
The first thirty percent were great with the story of Tristan and Liz unfolding slowly.
Both had lost someone they loved and were now drowning in grief, unable to breathe. And both tried to deal with their pain as good as they could.
For Tristan, this meant to push everyone away, punishing himself for a tragedy he considered to be his own fault. Liz on the other hand tried to hold it together for her daughter despite falling apart on the inside.
They quickly recognized each other’s broken soul. But despite the draw they felt, Tristan couldn’t let Liz close. Not as a neighbor, not as a friend and definitely not as someone he might be attracted to.
So he was rude, harsh and mean. Liz didn’t hold it against him though, understanding the feelings grief can cause.
And their grief and pain was truly tangible. It was heart-breaking in its intensity and I cried so much during this part of the book.
When they start to get closer and find a rather unconventional way to deal with their grief, it’s easy to see how lost they really are. How much the loss they experienced has wrecked them.
Their friendship was tender and fragile, but it worked – mainly because Liz was able to see the good parts in Tristan. The things no one else saw. And she didn’t give up on him even though he still wouldn’t let her in and was pushing her away.
And then he did a 180 turn – from one moment onto another. He went from a reclusive, grumpy and rude grizzly, to a man head over heels.
That’s where the story started to lose the previous awesomeness for me.
The reason for his sudden change of heart was a mystery, making his character lose the depth it previously had.
And then there came twists and turns with his mom, his late wife and most of all with Lizzie’s friend Tanner. Those ruined the story for me. The unnecessary drama didn’t sit right with me and took away any emotional investment I had in the character and their relationship.
The one thing that made it up to me was Lizzie’s friend Faye. Inappropriate, loud and big-mouthed, she was utterly charming.
I wish I could’ve loved the book more but it just wasn’t for me. I’m still going to give other books by Ms. Cherry a try, because her writing style is really intriguing.
3.5 not-what-I-was-expecting stars.
~Review by Paula