Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #1
Publication date: February 12th, 2013
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Just breathe, Kacey. Ten tiny breaths. Seize them. Feel them. Love them.
Four years ago Kacey Cleary's life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend, and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, holding her boyfriend's lifeless hand and listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, twenty-year-old Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. Struggling to make ends meet, Kacey needs to figure out how to get by. But Kacey's not worried. She can handle anything--anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.
Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes, deep dimples, and he perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable and Trent is determined to find a way into Kacey's guarded heart--even if it means that an explosive secret could shatter both their worlds.
This was another of my first giveaway wins from a long time ago. I had also accumulated the next installments in the series for review, but I just never got around to reading any of them. That had to change. Especially since I had heard nothing but good things about this little gem and the author who wrote it. I decided to give it a go.
Kacey is completely closed off from every single person in her life aside from her baby sister. She refuses to let herself get close to people because she is sure that the minute she does, they will leave her in some fashion. She struggles with flashbacks of the tragic accident that she was the sole survivor in. She takes her sister away to Miami to escape odd relatives who seem to have ulterior motives for keeping the girls around. On her way she finds herself in situations where she is presented with two new relationships she hadn't thought she'd ever struggle with again: friendship and love. But the demons of her past are always there to threaten any shred of happiness Kacey may find in her new surroundings. With the help of the hunk-next-door can Kacey finally put an end to her anxiety issues and fear to find true happiness?
However, the hunk-next-door, Trent, has his own demons and his own reasons for wanting to get close to Kacey. He has secrets that if Kacey ever found out about, it could destroy her world entirely.
This story was one of the hardest I have ever had to read. Not because it was a bad plot or a bad story but because the main character went through so much. The pain Kacey felt every waking moment was palpable and dripped off the pages to make even my own chest ache for her. Kacey dealt with so much and it seemed every time she found a bit of happiness or forgot her problems for even a nanosecond, something happened to drag her back into her pits of despair and fear. I loved when Kacey went into her "bitch mode" where she got snarky and sarcastic. The other characters always seemed so put off by it and I am sure they saw it as her defense mechanism, but I almost wished to see more of that side of her.
I could tell something monumental would happen with Trent and I almost resented the further I got into the story because I feared the grand revelation. Avoiding spoilers, let me just say... it's a doozy. I alternated between hating Trent and loving his patience with Kacey. I have not had such a rollercoaster love affair with a book boyfriend in ages. It shifted from chapter to chapter. I hated him in chapter so-and-so but flip the page and I was swooning. I wonder if I should sent K.A. an angry letter for all the heart palpitations she inflicted on me!
Ten Tiny Breaths is a story that sends it's readers on an emotional upheaval of love, hate, and absolute despair when it ends.