“I never stopped loving you,” he whispered. “Not even for a second.”
I know many of you have already read this book but I finally got around to reading it and just WOW!!! I feel like I owe this book a huge apology because I’d had it on my reading list for ages but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet and now I’m just kicking myself for not reading it sooner!!
Just Remember To Breathe was a heartwarming and emotional second-chance romance standalone. The writing was truly breathtaking!!! Beautifully detailed and kept me right in the story. I loved every word and felt fully connected to the characters. If you haven’t read this book yet, you are missing out!
Prior to starting this, I was in a little bit of a book funk – I’d started a few books but none of them were fully grabbing me but I read the first few pages of this one and just knew it was a winner! It immediately stood out. I was smiling to myself, and my heart just felt happy. You know that feeling you get when you start reading and everything just clicks into place? Yeah, I got that here. This book was a joy to read!
The story deals with some heavier themes — a returned soldier dealing with PTSD — as well as an emotional second chance romance and I really just found myself drawn right into these characters’ lives.
The story follows Dylan and Alex. They’d come from two completely different world but met on a school trip to the Middle East where they connected deeply — each one knowing in their heart how special what they had was. But their lives were just so different and they were separated when they returned home. They continued an on-again-off-again relationship for several years until one day, during a time when he was deployed in Afghanistan, Dylan apparently cut off all communication effectively shutting Alex out of his life. Even though it crushed her, after several months of no contact, her hurt eventually turned to anger and she gave up and moved on with her life — never knowing what it was that made him leave.
But when they end up not only in the same university, but actually as assignment partners, they are forced back into each other’s lives. However, given all the hurt and miscommunications of their past, neither of them is too thrilled about this prospect. But underneath it all, their feelings for each other have never gone away… and even though it’s unexpected, what this gives them is a second chance at their forever.
The story is told in alternating POV’s and mostly takes place in present day although we do get to see some of their memories of when they first met. I loved seeing them ‘before’ — so innocently, happily and adorably falling in love. However, the present day wasn’t quite so easy. Their hurt was strong and even though they tried to ignore everything at first, there was too much between them to be able to shut it away.
“I don’t know if I can do this…”
“Because… because, well, sometimes it hurts, Alex. A little. A lot. Jesus Christ.”
She looked away…
“If we’re going to get through this year, I think we have to move past that…”
“It’ll be like we’re strangers.”
“Okay.” Like that could happen.
Ahhh I can’t even tell you how much certain lines from this book just grabbed at my heart!!
“You still smell like strawberries, and it’s breaking my heart.”
I had this constant smile on my face while they were reconnecting — watching their back-and-forth banter as they tried to keep their feelings for each other under wraps (and failed miserably, much to my extreme delight).
“What are you doing?”
I shook my head, embarrassed. “Sorry,” I said.
“You were looking at me.”
Now I looked up at her eyes, then away. “Well, shoot me, then.”
I loved watching them slowly open up to each other. They always had been drawn to each other but now, they just had a world of issues to work through especially given that the time Dylan had spent in the army had understandably changed him and was a new element for them to have deal with.
“Listen, whatever you do, don’t ever give me pity. I don’t want to see that expression on your face, all right? I walked out of there alive. That makes me a fucking lottery winner, okay?”
I have to say that I fell completely in love with Dylan. This guy was dealing with a broken heart, the aftermaths of war, an injured leg and PTSD but he didn’t let that stop him from living each day. It broke my heart to see him struggling but I admired the way to which he didn’t let anything bring him down. He was a badass guy with a soft, romantic heart of gold and it. just. melted. me!!
“Listen… whatever out history is, doesn’t change the way I feel about you. The way I’ve always felt about you.”
“Dylan… do you ever think…” I couldn’t finish the question.
He kept looking at the table, and then replied, so quietly I almost couldn’t hear him. “Always,” he said.
I’m honestly just smiling from ear to ear as I write this because of how much I just loved everything about these characters and their story. I swear it was like the book was written for me. It just hit all the right check marks for everything that I absolutely love in a book.
I mean, I have to even give this book extra props because due to some things that came up in my personal life, I actually had to put it down for a whole week in the middle of reading (gah! Just the thought of that makes me shudder!) but when I picked it back up again, I just instantly reconnected and slipped right back into the story as though I’d never left. Now that is the sign of some damn good writing!!
My only tiiiiiny complaint was the the ending felt just a wee bit rushed. I found myself glancing at the percentages at the end worried that there wouldn’t be enough time for everything to happen. So, if it’s any reassurance, you can know that yes, everything that needs to happen does happen. This is a standalone and does not leave you hanging and it had one of the most beautiful reunion scenes ever — I will always remember the index cards!!! ♥
If you’re one of those readers who, like me, for whatever reason have still not read this book, do yourself a favor and bump it up your reading list. It’s a beautiful written second-chance romance that kept me connected from start to finish.
4.5 – 5 stars (closer to 5 stars though 😉 )
❤ THOMPSON SISTERS SERIES ❤
The order listed below is the order the books were released in. However chronologically, Julia comes before Breathe. But, since the books can be each read as standalones, you can start with either one. Personally, I started with Breathe because I chose to read them in the order they were released in.
** SERIES BOXED SET **
Basically, this is 3 books for the price of 2 🙂