As You Breathe Again by Molli Moran
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Summary: Delaney Shaw isn't
looking for anything complicated. After her teaching career is put on
hold, she decides to spend the summer in Georgia with her best friend.
Lanie lives for the here and now, and she isn't thinking past the end of
the summer. She's never had any problem being unattached, because she
learned a long time ago that life is safer that way.
Until Reece Walker decides to change her mind.
a year after his ex-wife's death, Reece is still reeling from her
passing. He's devoted himself to raising their son and working his
family's farm to keep himself grounded. Reece feels like he's lost sight
of the man he used to be, and he's not sure how to find his way back.
Everything changes when the woman he's unsuccessfully tried to forget walks back into his life.
though she's fighting their sizzling chemistry, Lanie is losing the
war. But love isn't always like it is in the movies, and they have real
issues. Lanie is terrified Reece's small town won't accept their
interracial relationship, and she doesn't know how to let him in.
has had years to build her defenses, but Reece isn't the sort to give
up without a fight. If he can counter Lanie's fears with the future only
he can offer her, maybe they can both learn to breathe again.
This book was a sometimes-odd mixture of steamy, sweet and a touch too preachy. The first bits mostly outweighed the last, but I do wish that the author had reconsidered or taken a different approach!
First, I want to acknowledge that this book is apparently the second in a series, or at least exists in a universe with other books. That's okay, though, because I didn't feel as though I was much lacking when I was reading this.
Lanie is a young teacher down on her luck, taking some time to try and get her feet under her again after she unexpectedly loses her job. She's determined not to let anything distract her... But she finds that promise to herself a bit harder to keep when Reece Walker appears back in the picture.
Reece has issues of his own - he's a single dad, and he still misses his late ex-wife. He's been reeling for the last few months, but Lanie reappearing on the scene helps him make the decision to try and pull himself together. He just hopes that she'll be willing to take a chance on him...
I picked this book in part because it sounded sweet and I can never get enough of romance, but also because the cover made it obvious that this was dealing with an interracial couple. I'm trying to read more diverse books in 2016, and this seemed like a great place to start. Overall I appreciate the effort that the author is obviously making - she draws attention to the constant awareness that a person of colour can have, and the racism and barriers that they can face just living their day to day lives.
In some areas, though, the execution left me grimacing a bit. It's a bit too much, almost - you can almost feel the author's self awareness of what she is trying to convey, and the message is overt enough that it pulled me a bit out of the story. It's difficult because it's definitely not a bad message whatsoever, but it starts to feel a bit as though you're being hit over the head with it. Still, I appreciate what the author is getting at and I think that we need more books to take on subjects like this.
That was probably my main objection to the book, other than some clunky dialogue and a touch of the characters audibly speaking to their evolution as the book progresses. While it makes sense for characters to open up to their siblings and best friends, there were times when I was just a bit too aware that the author was trying to show how the characters were changing and developing. I would have preferred to be shown more, and told less, if that makes sense.
Beyond that, however, the story was still sweet and I enjoyed reading about Lanie and Reece and the cast of characters arrayed about them. Reece's son, Jamie, is adorable, and I admired Reece's dedication to his family and the farm. Lanie is stubborn and strong and steps up to face her fears, and that makes the story all the sweeter as the two of them connect and their relationship develops.
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