Review: Out of Breath by Rebecca Donovan

Out of BreathTitle: Out of Breath (Book 3 of The Breathing Series)
Author: Rebecca Donovan
Genre: YA/Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5


Emma leaves Weslyn and everyone in it behind to attend Stanford University, just as she always intended. A shell of her former self, she is not the same girl. She is broken, and the only way that she’ll be whole again is through forgiveness. Emma must find a way to forgive herself and recognize her own worth before she can receive the love she deserves. This final installment will have readers holding their breath until the very last page.


A funny thing happened last year.  I was going through a reading surge.  I’d read two or three books a week in the search for something that gave me ‘more’.  More as in not the usual or expected.  I wanted something that challenged me and made me think.  Pieces that leave me reflecting on my own life and taking inspection on my thoughts and attitudes were on my wish list.  That’s when I found Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan.  That book left me wanting more, not just because of the cliff hanger but also because of the story line.  It’s not usual to read a book about a young woman who is being abused.  Most independent authors wouldn’t touch that storyline with a ten foot pole because it’s not what people want when they read for entertainment.  Somehow Donovan made it work.  While the abuse was a theme in the book, the main theme was how individuals who suffer through abuse survive.  What mechanisms do they use to get to the next day?  The second book, Barely Breathing, was no different.

Like many others who were waiting impatiently for the final installment of The Breathing Series to be released, I was ecstatic to receive the book.  I would finally be able to find out what happened to Emma, Evan, and the whole gang from Weslyn.  What I didn’t expect to find was hope.  In Out of Breath, Emma has become self destructive.  She’s becoming all of the people who have hurt her in the past.  She’s abusing her body and herself.  It’s so easy for her to do because this is what she has been taught.  How can she believe in love and forgiveness when the words of the ghosts of her past reverberate through her mind?

 “You’ve worn guilt like an iron mask, welded to you, because you’re convinced that you’re to blame for what happens to everyone else.  You martyr yourself for things you’re not responsible for.  And you end up hurting the people you care about because you push them away, believing you’re protecting them.”

I really don’t want to spoil any portion of the book for you since I’d like you to get the same amount of enjoyment and surprises that I received while reading it.  Just know that just about all of the characters from the series make an appearance in Out of Breath.  A few are more welcome than others.   I believe the re emergence of these characters are pivotal to the development of Emma.  Fighting her demons and fellowshipping with her angels is what is going to help her rise to be a better person.

I’ve always loved that tree, I thought to myself as I watched her run her fingers around the trunk.  Her eyes lifted to take it all in.  She had always connected with that tree too, making it the perfect location for the swing I’d made for her.

The swing that I’d hope would keep her coming back here.  Back to me.”

Rebecca Donovan has done something special with this series and more importantly within the covers of Out of Breath.  She has taken the emotions and mindset of someone who is without hope and exposed them.  She has put into words what some people can only feel.  Donovan has translated emotions that are usually only demonstrated by destructive behavior by those who have experienced trauma and dark pasts and put them into language that can be reproduced.  I think this will be the hardest part for some readers who just cannot relate to the darkness that Emma feels.  It may be hard for them to understand true despair and emptiness.  For those who have experienced it or have loved ones who have, it can be seen as a relief and cathartic to be able to say, “Exactly!  How did she know this?”

Most importantly, Donovan brings hope to those who struggle.  As shown in Emma’s story, coming to grips with you past is never easy.  Just having the strength to have a voice about what matters is a difficult task.  Forming the words to express your emotions or to admit your own wrongdoings is a powerful step towards redemption.  My favorite quote from the novel is below.  Anyone’s name can be put there instead of Emma’s as this story could have been a depiction of their life too.

“Hold on to this life, Emma.  You’re so much stronger than you think you are.”

Although some parts are easy to follow, if you’ve not read the first two books in the series (Reason to Breathe and Barely Breathing) you will not understand the actions by the characters.  I highly recommend reading each of the books in order.

Note: I was given an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in exchange for an honest review.


the Englishmancover

Review: The Englishman by Nina Lewis

the EnglishmancoverTitle: The Englishman
Author: Nina Lewis
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Book Description:

Anna has landed her dream job as an Assistant Professor of English literature at a prestigious college in the South. Instead of charging ahead with her career, however, she is confronted by hurdles, pitfalls and mysteries. Why does no one restrain the demented hoarder who secretly uses her office as his private storeroom? Who is responsible for her sudden loss in salary? What is behind the vandalism in her department? Is it a personal attack against her irreverent and somewhat unconventional teaching style?

Professor Giles Cleveland is supposed to mentor her in all this, but he’s arrogant, sardonic, condescending, disconcertingly attractive and – Anna keeps reminding herself as the temptation to start a kamikaze affair with him becomes overwhelming – absolutely out of bounds. Anna and Giles grow increasingly reckless and it is only a matter of time before they will be caught and Anna’s career will crash and burn. But when the crash comes, it’s worse than Anna imagined. And far better than she could have dreamed.

Continue reading

Rebecca Donovan Fan Chat Promo

Fan Chat with Rebecca Donovan

Join us on Monday, June 24th as we chat with Rebecca Donovan!

Rebecca Donovan Fan Chat Promo


To join in, go to our Chatzy Room and enter password: Lovers

Remember, this chat is SPOILER FREE!  We don’t want to ruin anything for those who are just starting the series.  Bring you questions and a few liters of Mountain Dew.  This is going to be a fun event!

Acts of Kindness

Acts of Kindness Gift List

Hello all!  If you donated to or tweeted about the Acts of Kindness Fundraiser for Oklahoma, you were able to enter to receive an awesome author/poet gift.  Below is the list of those who received one!  Please start checking your inbox for our confirmation message to you, but remember this takes time.

Thank YOU from the bottom of our hearts for helping us make a difference!


Cover Reveal: Taboo by P.J. Bayliss

PJ Bayliss Taboo

Taboo is a compilation of 365 (English) Haiku’s poems; many of which break traditional rules for producing Haiku poetry. This rule-breaking author has provided numerous examples in his book that will entertain, amuse, and delight the reader to varying degrees. The book is divided into four ‘seasons’ of Love, Passion, Pain, and Sensuality. The last Season in particular, Sensuality, will captivate readers and let them journey into an unravelling scene of erotic lovemaking.

Taboo appears to be the first eBook on Kindle to offer 365 Haiku’s for readers to enjoy.

Exclusive to worldwide from June 1st.

Author’s Bio.
PJ Bayliss live’s in New Zealand within an idyllic countryside setting on the outskirts of one the country’s largest cities. He is a humble and very private individual who has finally recognized his hidden artistic within writing to produce sensual poems & sexually orientated short stories.

He combines his naturally gifted artistic talent with years of corporate experience with top international fortune 500 companies to produce, and share, his eloquent works of fiction for all to enjoy.

Connect with PJ on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads using the links below.


Acts of Kindness ~ Help for Oklahoma Fundraiser

Fellow book lovers,

Please join the Lovers as we raise funds for the communities affected by the tornado in Oklahoma.  All of your donations go directly to the American Red Cross to help those in need.  The American Red Cross will provide the basic human necessities (food, shelter, and water) as well as emotional support to those affected that are desperately needed during this troubled time.

 We hope to raise $2,500 by June 7th.  Will you help us get there?  Click the follow icon to take you directly to our fundraising website!

Acts of Kindness

We are fortunate and honored to have authors and poets contribute books, swag, and their words to reward you for your efforts.  See the list below for what you could win by donating to the cause.

This list is growing with additional authors, poets, and prizes that will be added so keep checking for the most up to date information!

If you’d like to be entered in our giveaway, please complete the Rafflecopter AND email proof of donation to so that your name can be entered in the drawing.

Enter our Rafflecopter Giveaway for a Chance to

With much thanks and gratitude,

~ Lovers Karen, Elizabeth, Michelle, Rosette, Tiffany, and Amanda

We Want YOU To Be A Guest Reviewer!

Fellow book lovers…

Have you read the latest thriller and need to find a place to scream about how much you loved it?  Did the mystery novel you just finished leave you feeling like a super sleuth?  Dreaming of alien life forms after the sci-fi spectacular that wouldn’t let you sleep?  Has the latest contemporary fiction novel left you pondering life? If so, we’re looking for YOU!

The Literati Literature Lovers are looking for guest reviewers for the following genres:

* Mystery
* Thriller
* Paranormal
* Science Fiction
* Contemporary Fiction
* Historical Fiction

Do you fit the bill?  Contact us by clicking the picture below!

LLL Heart

Mother’s Day Book List: Gift Ideas for the Special Lady in Your Life

You officially have less than 24 hours to get your mother or another significant lady in your life a gift to show your appreciation.  We Lovers have come up with a short list of books that may be a perfect addition to your Mother’s Day gift list.  We hope you have a beautiful day!

Child of Mine Title: Child of Mine

 Author: Judy Mollen Walters

 Genre: Contemporary Fiction

 Synopsis: What lengths would you go to in order to become a mother? Midwife Katie Cohen-Langer delivers babies for a living, but despite years of intensive infertility treatments and growing desperation, she can’t have her own child.

As families grow under Katie’s careful watch, her husband wants to move on to adoption. But Katie, who was adopted as a newborn, can’t bear the thought of never having a biological connection to anyone.

So she sets off on a journey to the other side of the country, along with her emotionally unstable sister, to find her biological relatives.

What she discovers about her roots –and about the parents who adopted her — rocks her world in a way she never could have expected. And even as she deals with what she finds, she still needs to figure out a way to become a mother.

Always Something There to Remind Me Title: Always Something There to Remind Me

 Author: Beth Harbison

 Genre: Romance/Contemporary Fiction

 Synopsis: Can you ever really know if love is true? And if it is, should you stop at anything to get it? 

Two decades ago, Erin Edwards was sure she’d already found the love of her life: Nate Lawson. Her first love. The one with whom she shared everything–dreams of the future, of children, plans for forever. The one she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Until one terrible night when Erin made a mistake Nate could not forgive and left her to mourn the relationship she could never forget or get over.

Today, Erin is contentedly involved with a phenomenal guy, maneuvering a successful and exciting career, and raising a great daughter all on her own. So why would the name “Nate Lawson” be the first thing to enter her mind when her boyfriend asks her to marry him?

In the wake of the proposal, Erin finds herself coming unraveled over the past, and the love she never forgot. The more she tries to ignore it and move on, the more it haunts her.

Always Something There to Remind Me is a story that will resonate with any woman who has ever thought of that one first love and wondered, “Where is he?” and “What if…?” Filled with Beth Harbison’s trademark nostalgia humor and heart, it will transport you, and inspire you to believe in the power of first love. Continue reading