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Blog Tour: Just Breathe by Rachel Brookes {Review+Character Interview}

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Just Breathe (Breathe #1)
   by: Rachel Brookes

Publication Date: July 5, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 296 pages
Order Links: Amazon
My Rating: 5/5 stars

For Savannah Rae, living life without her parents was unimaginable. But being blamed for her first love’s suicide? That destroyed every part of who she was.

Gone were the days of innocence, happiness, and dreams. Now her days simply meant attempting to survive. In her mind, her only means for that was replacing her grief with men, booze and the fast life. And for five years, it worked.

When an opportunity to leave the nightmares of her past in Australia opens up, she takes it. Los Angeles beckons - with hopes of late nights, new beginnings, and the promise of a string of endless men to distract her, she can’t wait to dive in.

One thing she didn’t count on was meeting her match.

In the eyes of outsiders, Tate Connors has it all; the ultimate LA bachelor who is content with his lifestyle of wild nights, women and one night stands. He's Mr. Unpredictable with looks that could destroy any woman with one glance.

The craziness of Los Angeles throws them into the chaotic path of each other. Savannah becomes the perfect game, and Tate becomes the ultimate prey. Lines are crossed, emotions are smashed, and the idea of who they truly are begins to be tangled.

However, one thing will become clear.

They are more alike than either one could ever have imagined.

My Review:

When I first saw Rachel post the link on Twitter to go sign up to be a part of the blog tour for her debut novel, I knew I had to sign up. And can I just say how incredibly glad I am that I did?!!? I really liked this book. We have a great cast of characters, a well developed plot, and good pacing. Rachel had a good blend of humor, angst, and definitely some elements of surprise.

I knew I would love Savannah (Sav) right from the start. She's sassy, feisty, and confident. However, she has also built steel-enforced walls around her heart after losing her parents at a young age and also after being blamed for the suicide of her first love (who happened to break her heart). She has found a way to escape the pain by losing herself in men and indulging in drinking and partying. Her dad's best friend and surrogate father, Mr. Davenport, has offered her a job in L.A. hoping she will change her wild ways and get a fresh beginning. Sav meets Tate Connors almost immediately upon arrival to her new apartment complex. She is instantly attracted to this man who just oozes sex appeal and plans on making him her next conquest.  If only a casual hook up could be that easy. Sav discovers that Tate is actually her new co-worker and friend Tanzi's twin brother. Despite the flirting the two of them do on their first official encounter, Sav quickly realizes that Tate is an arrogant asshole and refuses to let him use her. Tate definitely runs hot and cold to start. One minute he's flirtatious and protective of Savannah and the next he acts flippant and is back to his womanizing ways. However, the more time the two spend together, the more they both see the brokenness in the other and want to comfort one another. As much as Sav knows she shouldn't go there, who can resist the Tate Connors Effect?!  These two definitely have some serious chemistry going on and the sexual tension is suffocating!

Sav's character really does break my heart. Underneath the sassy exterior lies a very vulnerable woman who longs to feel comforted and taken care of. She uses one night stands as an escape, giving her a few hours of feeling needed, of being someone's world. Sav doesn't do relationships and as she starts getting deeper in with Tate, she feels her walls begin to crumble. However, both have been burned in the past and starting over is new and fragile. The slightest misconceptions and miscommunications cause jealousy and distrust to flair up and we see two people who slam their shields up instead of talking things out. Lasting relationships can't be built without trust and their relationship is certainly put to the test on several occasions.

Sav is incredibly lucky to have found so many friends after just moving countries. She has a pretty great support system and they definitely add so much more to the story! I love Tanzi. She's fun, outgoing, and she also doesn't take crap from anyone. Being twins, her and Tate have a close relationship- but she definitely calls him out on his shit, which was always fun to watch. She is an awesome friend to Sav and is someone she can rely on and trust. Jack, Tanzi's boyfriend and Tate's best friend, is another great character. He treats Sav like a little sister and tends to serve as a mediator when things with Tate and Tanzi heat up. He is also pretty good at talking Tate down and helping him see sense. Lucas, who is a friend of Jack's,ends up becoming a good friend to Sav and sticks by her, even after incurring Hurricane Tate's wrath and jealousy. Lucas however is interested in Ali, Tate and Tanzi's cousin, which would lead you to believe Tate would let up on the guy a bit. Not so much. Tate has a possessive streak- he knows how Sav plays guys and once he realizes the depth of his feelings for her, he is determined to make her his and won't give up until he does.

I love how the prologue of the book and the last chapter really come full circle and tie in together. I won't even lie- reading those last few chapters I felt this knot begin to form in my stomach and I don't think it will be going away until I get my hands on the next book. Thankfully, Rachel does not end on a cliffhanger but it really does get your mind churning as to what is going to happen next. Tate and Sav have some big decisions awaiting them. Will their pasts control their futures? Or will they be able to overcome it and move forward? So much weighs on an already fragile foundation. I only hope that Tate and Sav can come out stronger and little by little continue to strengthen that foundation.

This is definitely a must-read. I loved this book, loved the characters, and I cannot wait to see where Rachel takes the series next!

~Character Interview with Tate Connors~

Hey Tate! Glad you could stop by for a quick chat! I’m sure life has been a bit crazy for you lately what with everything going on.
Can you tell us something about yourself that we may not know?

Thanks for having me and yes life is pretty crazy!

Ok, hmmm something about myself….I played drums when I was in high school, I make a mean chicken pasta and I love watching chick flicks. How’s that? You get three.

What were your thoughts when you first saw Savannah as she was walking into the complex? And then when you saw her pop up in your apartment?

Do you want honesty because that’s what I am going to give you…. I wanted to fuck her. She was seriously the hottest girl I’d ever seen and instantly I just wanted to be around her. She was wearing these tight skinny jeans and her hair was out and she had hardly any make up on and she was absolutely gorgeous. Then when I saw her in my apartment I nearly had to excuse myself and take care of business if you know what I mean. I thought she was hot in reception but when I saw her in the apartment she was stunning. She is something else! And then she spoke and I heard her accent for the first time and I was done for. Hot, Australian and feisty. Seriously, I should have known then that she was going to put me on my ass.

You own a bar called Red Velvet- where did you get the inspiration for that name?

Growing up I remember Mom always in the kitchen making Tanzi and I Red Velvet cupcakes and that’s one of my best memories of my childhood, just the three of us sitting around the kitchen eating Mom’s freshly baked Red Velvet cupcakes, laughing and being silly. There are still days when I drive to San Diego just to have Mom’s red velvet cupcake. Calling my bar Red Velvet made it so Mom is here with me in LA every day.

How would you describe Savannah in 5 words?

Stubborn, sassy, unforgettable, beautiful, mine.

How would she describe you?

Great in bed!

We know that you have some history with Blake. What were you thinking when you first saw him making eyes at Sav?

That I wanted to punch his face in. I was not impressed when Jack booked his band to play at Red Velvet but I wasn’t going to let Blake have the upper hand. I am too stubborn to let that happen. It was the first day that I had met Sav and I wanted to keep her as far away from Blake as possible but as usual she was stubborn, more stubborn than me. I couldn’t do anything but sit back and watch and it killed me. Blake is a dickwad and I do not have time for him yet he still choses to attempt to have conversations with me. He chose what he did in college and as far as I am concerned he is nothing to me. 

What’s it like having a twin? What are the positives and negatives?

Tanzi knows me better than anyone. We love each other, we piss each other off, we fight, we laugh but at the end of the day we are twins and that trumps everything. She frustrates me to tears but she gets me. The negative is that I am too damn protective of her at times and that causes us to fight, the positive is that I will always have her, she is my other half. I am so proud of Tanzi, I couldn’t imagine my life without her. Oh hang on, the biggest negative of all is that she thinks because we are twins that I need to know everything and that includes her bedroom antics, a brother does NOT need to know that.

Tell us about Jack. He obviously means a lot to both you and your sister- when did you first meet him?

I met Jack when I first opened Red Velvet, he had just moved over to LA from DC and was looking for a job. Tanzi was with me at Red Velvet when Jack first came in and she started doing that thing that girls do when they want something, she was flirting and batting her eyelashes and shit, she latched on to him straight away. I went into protective brother mode and refused to give him a job. Yes I was an ass. He kept coming back to the bar, he was persistent and I finally gave him a job. We bonded over football, girls and beer. He would encourage my ways with the ladies, he didn’t ask questions and he was with me from the very early days of Red Velvet. Jack was the first one I spoke to about Sav. He is the brother I never had but always wanted… well until he interrupts Sav and I… which he constantly does and it pisses me off.

What was it about Sav that made you want to remake your life? What was the defining moment where you realized that you didn’t want to continue to path you were on?

She knocked me on my ass, she didn’t put up with my bullshit and she made me work for it. I don’t want to sound conceited but I never had to work for a girl before. She provided me with something I’d never experienced before and the moment I met her I knew she was different to everyone I had ever known before. She is as stubborn as fuck and we constantly frustrate each other but I need her, it’s as simple as that. I think the moment I questioned everything was when I found her in her apartment in a complete mess. I saw a girl that was so broken and immediately I wanted to put her back together, I needed to be that person. It scared me because that wasn’t me. A girl wasn’t meant to do this to me. She was no longer a conquest to me, she had the potential to be my life.

 You and Sav both have some serious demons to overcome in this book.  What advice do you have for people who are going through tough situations?

It gets better. I refused to believe that and I was content with fucking up everything but then life gave me something to smile about. If you give it a chance, life can completely spin on its axis and be better than you could have ever imagined. You’ve just got to give it a chance and I am so thankful that I gave life a second chance.

Ok. We need a few fun questions:

If you could go anywhere in the world- where would you go?  Wherever Savannah is

Who is your favorite superhero- and why? Thor, I’d love to throw my hammer around all day

What is the most interesting thing you have in your wallet? A receipt from mine and Sav’s first trip to Lachie’s. One of my best days ever.

Zombies or Vampires? Vampires, I have a sister that swoons over twilight and vampires all the damn time… I could only resist them for so long. I am known to be team Edward. 

Song that reminds you of Sav: ‘Only One’ by Yellowcard

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today! I do all kinds of heart you.

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  1. That was such a cute interview. Loved it! I think I need to meet Tate. This sounds like an awesome read and I am so tempted to go buy it right now. Great review!

    1. :D Right? I love doing character interviews. I seriously get SO excited when I get them back. Loved this book!

  2. I think I like Tate! Haha. This book is at the top of my next buy list :D

    1. Haha Tate cracks me up! And makes me mad! And I love him! Sigh. SO MANY FEELS!

  3. Tate seems fun! And so does the book. Fun and all the feels, that's me hooked right in!

    1. Tate is SO much fun! When he's not driving me crazy! Haha! I really did enjoy this one. :D

  4. Excellent Review and Interview with Tate! He sounds sexy, blunt, and interesting! This book sounds right up my alley! I'm adding it to my TBR ASAP! I love that the main character was vulnerable! Tate's twin sister sounds awesome! I'm glad she calls him out. I love characters like that, and even the secondary characters sound awesome! Thanks for sharing Jessica!'

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    1. YAY! I think you'll really like this one Lindy! I know I told Rachel, tell Tate not to hold back in his interview. We want to see the real him! :D

  5. I like Tate, lol! This one definitely seems like a book I would enjoy! Great review and interview!

    1. Haha! Tate is so awesome! I told Rachel- don't hold back with his interview! :D Thanks Michelle!


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