Monday, May 1, 2017

Susan's Review of Breathe by Donna Alward

BREATHE – (reprint) May 2017
Second Chances Series Book 3
Sometimes all you need is a second chance…
Anna Morelli’s life looked picture perfect—until her husband had an affair with the nanny. She’s ready to file for divorce when a freak accident claims his life, and she’s forced to act the grieving widow. Trouble is, she’s not much of an actress. She has to get away—somewhere her meddling family won’t think to find her. That place is Two Willows Winery, the new home of her former best friend and ex-lover, Jace, and prays their childhood friendship is strong enough that he won’t turn her away.
Jace never expected to see Anna at his door. He’d been the son of the help; she was the Morelli princess, and their affair was doomed from the start. He’s never forgiven her for breaking his heart—or marrying someone else. But he can’t turn her away. Not when she needs a roof over her children’s heads, and some peace of mind. He knows firsthand how strong her father’s influence can be, and her need to break away.
But their painful history isn’t forgotten, and as old secrets are finally revealed, their love is rekindled. Can Jace let go of his grudge and forgive her? Can she trust him again? Or are their wounds too deep to ever truly heal?

Feeling trapped like a butterfly under glass, she’d needed to get away. Somewhere safe. In her head she knew that Jace’s was the last place she should go. They had too much history. But, her heart told her differently. Here she could hide for a while. Ever since her husband’s funeral shed wanted to scream with the need to escape. And the only place she wanted to be was with Jace.

And that made absolutely no sense. 


Donna Award’s Breathe is a twist on the second chance at love theme. Both main characters fascinated me in this moving story of forgiveness, love and family set in the Shuswap Lake region of British Columbia.

Anna Morelli needs to breathe. She discovered her husband, Stefano, was having an affair with their nanny and was starting divorce proceedings when Stefano died. She’s overwhelmed; she’s been grieving for her marriage, caring for her two young children and working for her demanding father in the family’s winery. Anna and her children appear unannounced at her childhood friend Jace Willow’s vineyard. The author does a fabulous job describing Anna and Jace’s initial meeting and dinner with the two tired, cranky children. It’s obvious that Anna and Jace were more than friends and they have unfinished business.

The conversions between Anna and Jace drew me into the story. They misunderstand each other, jump to the wrong conclusions about each other and argue like a real couple. At first glance Breathe might seem like the typical rich girl loves poor boy romance but the compelling relationship between Anna and Jace unfolds as the couple gets reacquainted. Their love story is not a simple one; it’s fraught with mistakes, parental influences and tragedy. Anna and Jace have to work at rebuilding the trust that they once shared and realize that they have grown in the last ten years. Can they acknowledge their past and move forward? The conclusion to the thoughtful, poignant story was well written and perfect for this couple.

Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Book Provided by the Author

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