11 November 2014

Breathless Release Day!

 For once in Charlie’s life, she has something she'd never allowed herself to have before.
All because of Sam’s love.
He fought for her. No matter the cost.
He loved her even when she couldn't allow herself to feel loved.
Now, when things feel like they might go smoothly for once in her life...
The unexpected happens. Her fate. Her constant date with Death.
A reality that completely blindsides her when life once again rears it’s ugly head.
Shattering any sense of a future she ever felt she could grasp, even if only for a second.
Will she give in and surrender to her fate?
Will she retreat, pushing away everyone she loves to hold onto her secrets?
Or will she fight? Fight for Sam, fight for their love, the way he's always fought for her?
Vanessa Marie brought me to my knees once again with Sam, Charlie, Jules, Joe and Callie.  This is not your normal romantic story.  This is about Sam and Charlie who came together under scrutiny in the first book Heartless but now has to figure out a way to keep things together when life and health are trying to tear them apart.  Charlie isn’t going to help the situation till she learns she isn’t a burden by sharing her pain, she is giving Sam a gift of allowing him to go through the pain with her and find his way to help the woman he loves.
Charlie was raised by her father Joe and her mother’s best friend Callie.  With her best friend Jules, the gay big brother (Callie’s son) pushing her and being the voice of reason for her, she navigates her way in the world of heart disease.  Her mother having the same genetic heart issue died during childbirth with Charlie.  The future isn’t too bright; she knows she could need a heart transplant if she is going to have a chance at growing old and building a life with Sam.  Charlie is used to doing things on her own though.  It isn’t from the lack of people wanting to support and help her, it is because she can’t stand the pain and pity she sees in their face when she gets sick or needs another surgery.  The guilt she carries regarding how her illness affects their lives are sometimes too much to deal with.  In this book she will have more undeserved guilt placed on her. 
What started out as a pleasant dinner with Sam, turns into an urgent desire to find her grandparents and learn about her mom.  Each time she asks for names or locations she is shut down.  Once you get to know Charlie, you understand saying no to her is equal to waving a red cape in front of an angry bull.  She WILL take your no and slam it up against the wall and find a yes to her question.  When she finally gets her answers, life steps in and gives her a deadly shock.  Putting the quest to find the grandparents aside for a while, she is now thrown into the vortex of her own mortality once again. 
She will learn about her mom in ways she never thought possible and she is going to have to learn to open up to those she loves and let them in on her burden she is carrying.  Decisions she will have to make will leave her confused and feeling selfish, but then the choices she makes leave her in a mess she never seems to be able to get out of. “Charlie logic” seems great on paper but that sweet stubborn girl never seems to learn that “Charlie logic” is what also keeps her in quicksand and sinking fast. 
Vanessa Marie became one of my favorite authors when I read Heartless.  The way she tells a story and brings it to life was remarkable and a magical time for me.  I fell so in love with her characters, I cried with them and laughed at Charlie’s sarcastic comments that never seemed to be timed appropriately. Her relationship with her dad made me miss my own dad many times. Sam is the man of my dreams, with his patience towards Charlie and his caring nature.  He is going to be tested so much in this book but he stands tall and proves to be the gentle giant I knew he was.   Jules, oh my how I want a Jules in my life with his ability to lighten the darkest of moments with comments that just fly out of his mouth with no warning.  Vanessa shows us about life, the good and bad, the sickness and health, the evil and pure, but most of all she shows us about courage and the desire to survive those dark tunnels we have to go through to get to the brighter place.  We find love, acceptance, courage and parental devotion in this story, along with some suspense and drama. 
I wish I could say more about this book but it would spoil the experience for you.  Just believe me when I say you need to read Heartless first and then Breathless, absorb the meanings and experience the journey.  I don’t think you will soon forget this group of beautiful characters.
She wasn't really sure what to expect when she pulled up in front of the estate that her GPS had taken her to. Over the last month, she'd played the scenario out in her head at least a million times but in the end, they were always happy she'd sought them out. Charlie paused at the end of the half circle driveway.  Her heart double thumped in her chest as sweat beads formed on her forehead. Nervous couldn't begin to describe how she felt. Even so, she let out a deep breath, pulled into the driveway, and parked her truck at the furthest end.
The more she tried to steady her hands, the more they shook. She grabbed onto the steering wheel and closed her eyes.
Calm the hell down. Just breathe. They're only people. It's not like I'm meeting Richard Castle.
She giggled a loud thinking of the fictional writer in one of her favorite shows. Taking a series of deep breaths, she wished she would have told Sam what she was doing instead of running off to deal with this alone. However, she’d been dealing with things for so long by herself, she didn't know if she'd ever get used to doing things as a team.  Letting him in on everything she was dealing with internally was even harder.
It’s now or never. Time to put up or shut up.
She willed herself out of her truck and up the driveway to the front door. The speech she'd prepared on the four hour drive north had disappeared from her mind. Shit, shit, shit. What am I going to say?  Before her mind gave her the chance to back out, her body had already climbed the concrete stairs to the massive oak front door and knocked. She stood back and shoved her hands in her front pockets. Her shoulders were raised almost to her earlobes and her stance was rigid.
The front door opened and an old man stood before her. "Can I help you?"
She just stood there, stock still…unable to move. He was right there in front of her. Her grandfather…the man that had set up a trust to make sure she was taken care of for life.
He was the same man who had abandoned her and her dad when they needed them the most.
Thoughts swirled in her head. She couldn't get her words to connect into sentences. "Hi," she blurted out.
The old man's face turned white, like he'd seen a ghost. "Angie?" He rubbed his face furiously and his eyes welled with tears.
Charlie sucked in a stifled breath, not realizing she had tears streaming down her face at the mention of her mother's name.
Always the cause of shenanigans, Vanessa is a heavily tattooed, sarcastic motorcycle enthusiast who started her career as a Jeep tech at the age of sixteen. The happily married mother of three little monsters—oops, children—lives in Kentucky by way of Las Vegas, Nevada. Once her life took a different direction—sidelined by Heart Disease at 26 and becoming a pacemaker recipient—she decided to write as a creative outlet, and Heartless was born. She realizes life can be dark clouds and acid rain at times, but her outlook on life puts a positive and sarcastic spin on it all.

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