Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths #1)
Summary: 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 in 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.
Source: I received a digital copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed Ten Tiny Breaths. I really liked Kacey, even though I knew she had a ton of issues. She had this sort of sarcastic and badass charm to her, which was refreshing since she was starting over in a new place and could have easily been all weak and scared. She was fiercely loyal to her sister and determined to make her life better.
The characters in Ten Tiny Breaths were unforgettable. Kacey was blessed with a charming and sweet 15 year old sister. Their new apartment housed both Trent, the love interest in the book, and Storm, the gorgeous neighbor who connected with Kacey and Livie immediately. Storm set Kacey up in a bar where she was able to make some extra money and make even more friends. The author was able to create characters that were funny, charming, and memorable.
I loved the dynamic between Trent and Kacey. She was broken, but not in the traditional sense I usually get from NA romance. She was fierce, experienced, and took no shit from anyone. She wasn’t going to get anyone get in her way, but there was something magnetic about Trent. He seemed to be everywhere. Watching the two of them fall for one another was captivating. Just as often as I was trying to figure out what happened to Kacey and wondering if she’d heal from it, I wondered where on Earth Trent came from and what his deal was. I loved not knowing the full backstories and living in the present.
Ten Tiny Breaths had some predictable moments, but it still managed to surprise me by the direction it took in certain moments. I loved the characters and their complexity. Something about the writing drew me in and kept me so captivated the entire time. Also, despite this novel being the first in a series, it had an ending. It looks like the other books are about some of the other characters and their own romances, which was great. I liked that there was some closure with Kacey and Trent in this book.
I definitely recommend the book. It wasn’t at all raunchy and full of sex scenes like some NA romance, but it was certainly mature in theme, as Kacey had a checkered past and worked in a strip club. I love that the author stuck with the New Adult age group and the themes around it without going overboard with getting the characters together all of the time in graphic ways. There was still plenty of plot, action, and connection.
The best part about Ten Tiny Breaths was how engrossed I was in the story and how real the characters felt to me. And I say that because the whole theme and the reason for Kacey’s issues and the entire plot could have easily felt very unrealistic to me. In general, I would have thought Kacey was overreacting, but the author was able to make me see things from her perspective and understand where she was coming from.