Review – Drowning to Breathe by A.L. Jackson

DTB_BlogTourBannerSynopsisThe danger in pretending is it becoming real…

Sebastian Stone, Sunder front man and guitarist with a rap sheet about ten miles long, escaped to Savannah, Georgia, to get away from the trouble he’d caused.

Not find more of it.

The moment he saw Shea Bentley, he saw beneath all her sweet and innocence to something that went deeper.

Darker.

Their relationship was built on secrets; their love built on lies.

Sebastian never imagined how deep her secrets went.

When the past and present collide, Sebastian and Shea find themselves fighting for a future neither believed they deserved. Their passion is consuming and their need unending.

Now, holding the truth in his hands, Sebastian is faced with sacrificing everything he’s come to love to protect Shea and his family.

Two pasts intertwined.

Two lives bound.

Will their demons drown them or will Shea and Sebastian finally learn to breathe?

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Rebecca Review-001**You can read my review for A Stone in the Sea HERE. While my review will not contains spoilers for Drowning to Breathe, it may contain spoilers for a A Stone in the Sea. Please proceed with caution if you have not read the first book in this series.**

After the torturous ending for A Stone in the Sea, I’ve been dying to see what would happen to Shea and Baz’s relationship. Thankfully, this book begins just as the previous one ended. From the Prologue, I was once again thrown into an emotional roller coaster ride. I could feel Shea’s pains; it was so powerful. Baz must deal with Shea’s half truths about her past and Shea has everything to lose.  It’s A.L. Jackson, so rest assured there is plenty of angst.

Without him, I no longer knew how to breathe.

As with the first book, I loved seeing both Shea and Baz’s point of view. I especially enjoyed Shea’s flashbacks. There was so much we didn’t know about her past in the prior book.  We finally learn all the events that shaped her life and the reasons she takes such lengths to protect her daughter. Sweet Kallie continues to steal the show. Her interactions with both Shea and Baz serve as much needed lightness. All the guys of the band are front and center as well. It made me even more eager to see who will have a book in the future. Austin pulled at my heart strings, and I hope he gets a chance at redemption soon.

“My whole life I’ve lived in guilt. It’s the only thing I’ve felt for so long, I hardly recognize anything else.”

My only complaint with this book is some of the events became overwhelming. It seemed like the latter chapters had countless revelations or life altering interactions. I would have preferred less events and more focus on those aspects. However, it certainly didn’t stop me from enjoying the book nor recommending it to any NA romance fan. I can’t wait to see what characters appear for the future installments of Bleeding Stars.
four star
ExcerptMy brow pinched, because this fucking hurt. Hurt that Shea had been resisting confiding in me because of who I was. A fucking loose cannon. Someone prone to violence. And there it was, right beneath the surface, fire flaming and licking and begging for release.

My voice was tight. “Made you a promise I’d protect you, Shea. Live for you. And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. You and Kallie? You’re my life. My everything. And I will do anything…give up anything…to make sure you two are together. I won’t let him win.”

She brushed the back of her hand over the wetness on her cheeks. “He will do anything to break us apart…to separate us. He knows we’re weaker alone. All his words about taking us down at the same time?”

Her head shook with bitterness and hate, something so foreign on my girl’s face, but I saw it there—the atrocities he’d committed—the things she still kept inside.

The scars she wore on her heart while I wore mine on my skin.

“It’s a tactic. A ploy. He thinks he can fill us with threats. Convince our subconscious into believing together we’re easy targets. But, no.” Her eyes drew together as she refuted the idea, as she spilled her own belief. “He’s a coward. A coward. Someone who allows others to carry out his crimes and then lords it over them as if he is the one exerting control.”

That brave chin quivered. “I gave him my submission for so long, and I refuse to ever be that girl again. I was her, Sebastian. I was weak.”

Strength filled the profession. “But I’m not weak anymore. And I’m even stronger with you by my side.”

Raw.

Bold.

Courageous.

“Promise me you won’t let him provoke you, Sebastian. He knows exactly how to ruin people. He finds their weaknesses. He knows Kallie is mine. And he knows the two of us are yours.”

I swallowed hard. “I promise, baby.”

I promise.
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Meet The Author-001aljacksonphotoA.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary and new adult romance.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.

Connect with A.L. Jackson online:www.aljacksonauthor.com

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