Saturday, October 4, 2014

#REVIEW - The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle

From a remarkable new voice in suspenseful women's fiction comes an emotionally searing drama about a woman who risks her life to discover the devastating truth about her family…

Humanitarian aid worker Gia Andrews chases disasters around the globe for a living. It's the perfect lifestyle to keep her far away from her own personal ground zero. Sixteen years ago, Gia's father was imprisoned for brutally killing her stepmother. Now he's come home to die of cancer, and she's responsible for his care—and coming to terms with his guilt.

Gia reluctantly resumes the role of daughter to the town's most infamous murderer, a part complete with protesters on the lawn and death threats that are turning tragedy into front-page news. Returning to life in small-town Tennessee involves rebuilding relationships that distance and turmoil have strained, though finding an emotional anchor in the attractive hometown bartender is certainly helping Gia cope.

As the past unravels before her, Gia will find herself torn between the stories that her family, their friends and neighbors, and even her long-departed stepmother have believed to be real all these years. But in the end, the truth—and all the lies that came before—may have deadlier consequences than she could have ever anticipated.

I LOVED this book! I didn't want this book this book to end, so I read this one as slow as I could because I enjoyed it so much! The writing is excellent, which is what originally pulled me right into this story. I felt like I personally knew Gia right from the start because I was able to understand her situation easily thanks to the author for writing her character so well. For myself, this seems it would be a very difficult subject to write, but this author hit it out of the park! She is one of those writers who demands you read this from start to finish without putting the book down! I even reread one of the most important scenes in the book - again! 
This is suspense/women's fiction/murder mystery all rolled into one, and how can it be a murder mystery when a jury found her father guilty all those years ago? Things pop up that puts doubt into your mind. 
This book is about a woman, Gia, in her early 30's, who works running all around the world helping other people. Anywhere she can go that is far, far away from her own home in the Appalachians in Tennessee, she goes! She needs to learn how to not allow her past influence her future, but this is a pretty hard thing to do while in her hometown, which is why she runs around the world. Gia She feeds the hungry, cleans up after disasters, goes into war-torn cities and more, but the only place she can't face is the city where she is from. Now Gia has no choice because the prison where her father, Ray, is serving time for killing her step-for mother Ella Mae, is sending him home to die from cancer, and with hospice. He doesn't have long to live as he is only skin and bones left for the most part, and she can't forgive him even though he is dying, and unlike her brother and sister, but there is one thing she can do, and that is face him through his death. Her uncle will be there to help her, maybe, and perhaps she'll have to grab her siblings and drag them kicking and screaming with her to help her despite how they feel.
Fannie is the Hospice Worker. She deserves extra special mention in this review. Not only in this review, but even the author recognizes her and ALL the hospice care workers out there. Fannie is pretty special, though! She was the sweetest little thing! She knew when the family needed to be together, when they did not, cared wonderfully for her patient knowing his needs, baked wonderful goodies, and was just a gem! A shoulder to lean on, too!
They have a nasty 24/7 drunken neighbor named Dean, who lives next door to them. He's a mean 'ole thing.
While Gia's trying to come to terms with her father's death, forgiveness or not, she goes to the local bar, Roadkill, to forget, and meets Jake. Oh, Jake! Wow! Oh, swoooooon worthy! He made her knees weak and her skin tingle. HOT! Things get VERY heated between the two of them. I loved their scenes when they were together! Too bad every girl doesn't have a Jake, although maybe some of you do! (This should probably tell you this is not a book for the under 17 crowd.) So Jake takes Gia's mind off of everything that is happening at home for the most part. There is one thing she can't do and that is to say no to Jake.
Gia always had a question about her Uncle Cal, and why didn't the appeal he filed result in a new trial for his father? That was on her and her siblings minds very strongly. Was his work really shoddy? Cal. Brother to Gia's father. An attorney who thought he knew his stuff, was highly doubted at times because he never had a very good answer as to the 'why' of things in this case. Why didn't his brother get a new trial? Why didn't he call this witness, or that one, there are so many holes in this story, until their final blow-up. Then a shocking turn of events rocks this story to the core, and Jake's included in this mess, too. (Not Jake!!!) Ella Mae. Ella Mae was Ray's wife. She wasn't the perfect wife, not one who kept her wedding vows either, although she is central to the story because she is the one who was murdered. 
This book is full of secrets, doubt, sibling rivalry, Gia and Jake, and one inept lawyer, or so the kids think. When things unfold, you'll be rereading a second time what I did, too! Don't miss this book! Make sure you set enough time aside so you can enjoy it like it should be, from start to finish! I HIGHLY recommend reading this book if this sounds the least bit interesting to you!
In the back of the book there is a Reader's Guide which I read, and the questions were really good to get you thinking even more, so this book would be a really good book for Book Clubs. The author also has detailed descriptions of her next 2 books she is writing! I can't wait for them to come out!
I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, Harlequin, and NetGalley, in exchange to read and write a review about it. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to do so, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it and giving my own honest opinion no matter whether it is positive or negative. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the law set here:, The Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, 16 CFR 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Federal Acquisition Regulation.

ebook: $ 8.49
print:  $11.21

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely review! Thank you so much, and thank you for sharing The Last Breath with your readers. I'm thrilled you enjoyed the story. :)


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