My usual spiel of how much I love Christina Lee and her writing will never wear itself out, so – I love. Her. Writing.
I’m dreading the end of this series, because seriously, I’m addicted to it. Ever since Bennett, i just can’t really imagine not enjoying more and more of this world, she so cleverly named Between Breaths.
While this isn’t officially a Between Breaths novel, it kind of is. Dakota is Kai’s sister – the plot is just set a few years into their adulthood, so…. yeah.
A gripping standalone adult contemporary romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love…
Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional —not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over.
Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he’d lost forever.
Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she’s also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.
She closed her eyes on a sharp breath, looking soft and vulnerable.
Because I couldn’t help myself, my fingers left her chair and glided up her arms to her neck. Her breaths released from her lips in short pants and I considered touching my mouth to hers.
Would she let me? Would she want me to?
“Yes,” she whispered, the heat of her breaths warming the tiny sliver of air still lingering between us. “But that’s in the past. We had our chance and I . . . I got over you. So let’s leave it there.”
My stomach completely flipped over. “You got over me?”
I studied her lips edge to edge, and they trembled in response. She was so not over me.
I didn’t know what the hell was driving me. I just knew I didn’t like hearing those words. Not one damn bit.
“You got over me?” I growled as my fingers gripped the nape of her neck.
My lips brushed the line of her jaw and she shivered.
“Shane, don’t. Please,” she mumbled, her hands at my chest. “You’ll just leave again and I can’t . . . I can’t . . .”
She sounded so helpless and sad. For the first time she was allowing me to see exactly what she might have been feeling, might’ve gone through five years ago. She sounded wrecked—as wrecked as I had been.
My lips trailed to her ear. “Angel.”
Ever since Kai’s story, a couple of books ago, I just kept waiting for Dakota (Kai’ssister) and Shane’s (his best friend) story to come out. Their flirting and all the info cluing us to their affair did their job and got me curious and very much impatient.
And I can’t say I’m disappointed. Dakota sure has grown to be a fabulous, strong woman, and Shane turned out to be one hot piece of manly man.
The setting for this book is the aftermath of Kai and Dakota’s dad’s passing. Everyone is trying to get their bearing on how to move on and manage the family business while still pursuing their dream, and adding to it is Shane, who’s back from years of being away for his job as a US Marshall.
Shane’s returning sparks back old feelings and unresolved friendship turning something more.
The plot develops and grows beautifully with Shane and Dakota’s (again) budding romance. Their insecurities about things that bothered them in the past and led to them parting, and their fears of everything going on around them currently (and that’s plenty!!), is what’s making this a romantic, thrilling (while not being a thriller) page-turner.
Lee’s characters are always fabulous. This time, though, she’s adding some criminal action type mystery to the mix of second chance romance and it’s absolutely perfect.
Get your swoon on, hammock swingers, Shane is in da house!!
* My eternal thanks to Christina Lee, Penguin InterMix and Netgalley for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.
She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.