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Lots of romance in this lesbian action book

Review of ‘Breathe’ by Cari Hunter

I was so excited to get my hands on this one, and it did not disappoint.

Jemima Pardon is just Jem. She is a hardworking paramedic with a history of severe asthma, and well, self-proclaimed bad luck. She can’t keep a girlfriend and all her simple emergencies turn into chaotic ones, making her work partners want to transfer elsewhere. Enter Rosie Jones, a self-assured police officer with a sometimes stubborn approach to crises. They meet at an emergency when they help a guy that is literally hanging off a bridge. There is mutual interest but soon they get tangled in a homicide investigation that threatens their lives and their budding attraction.

You know, I was rooting for these two mains to end together (well that was an obvious statement!). Towards the end of the story, I started to wonder why I felt like they belonged together. What was the exact moment when I became a believer? The answer is there wasn’t one. Ms. Hunter’s writing is just so smooth. She’s such a great storyteller that the relationship just happens. Nothing seems forced, and that is just fantastic.

There are plenty of secondary characters in this one. All well developed and with great interactions with the mains. Amazing now hat I think about it, how many she included in this story. Cops, paramedics and hospital staff. Even the crazy woman that took Jem on a date! Seven that I can think of the top of my head. This gives me hope, maybe a little at least, could this be the beginning of a series?

The weather was another big character in this book, as was the setting. It seemed to rain constantly in this story! It served the mood of the story very well. Ms. Hunter’s descriptions are spot on and left me feeling cold and soaked as if I had been in the rain with the characters. The scene involving the main crime was fantastic. The river, the water rising, the patient’s condition and what Jem went through…felt like I was there throughout that difficult situation. My only regret is not knowing my way through England. The author’s ability to concisely narrate locations will be thrilling to people familiar with the addresses and towns mentioned. Maybe I’ll buy a map for the next one.

The crime itself was embedded throughout the entire book but I felt this one was more character and less crime-driven than her other books (such as ‘No Good Reason’), where the crime is the main story. Officially, ‘Breathe’ (brilliant title by the way) is in the action/adventure and romance category versus crime/mystery. For the hardcore mystery readers, this may be a little disappointing. However, that is not me so I thoroughly enjoyed it!

My only negative comment would be the reason for the mains’ conflict. I do not want to give anything away but I felt the reason being on the silly side. But since Jem is such a Gem, I forgave her.

My two cents on the cover, I loved it. The design by Jeanine Henning is great. Colors and font are spot-on. The waves in the center of the cover remind me more of an EKG than a capnograph but cryptic enough to have caught my attention.

Overall another great story by Cari Hunter. 4.5 stars

ARC generously provided to me by BSB via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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