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The Last Breath Book Review and Giveaway!

The Last Breath Book Review and Giveaway!The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle
Published by Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: Sept. 30, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, Fiction, Mystery or Thrillers, Women's
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Giveaway won
Barnes & Noble* | Amazon Kindle* | Amazon Paperback*
Goodreads
five-stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“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…”

My Thoughts:

I first heard of author Kimberly Belle and The Last Breath when we hosted Kimberly as one of our guest bloggers for Be Our Guest Fridays. The book was set in Rogersville, Tennessee, in a remote area of the mountains and close to where the author grew up. Kimberly talked about how her childhood influenced the setting for The Last Breath.

Gia is a humitarian aid worker who escaped Rogersville once already and has been on a worldwide trek ever since her father’s murder conviction. She hasn’t set foot in Rogersville in 16 years and reluctantly comes back when her father comes home to live his few remaining days in his house. Her siblings,  the townspeople and courts have already convicted her father. Her father maintains his innocence and a reporter plants doubts in Gia’s head that perhaps her father was wrongly convicted. Gia begins a race against time to find out if her father is guilty or innocent before he dies.

This was a very suspenseful book, up until the end I really did not know which way it was going to go. I was intrigued and could not put it down. Gia grows through the many stages of grief when dealing with both her father’s pending death and the guilt of not knowing the truth about the murder of her stepmother. Will Gia and her siblings come to terms with their father before his death? Can they forgive him for what he might have done or he forgive them for abandoning him the last 16 years he spent in jail?

I enjoyed that the story was told from alternating points of view. We hear from both Gia and Ella Mae, Gia’s stepmother, before the murder and the events leading up to her death. We get to see that things in Ella Mae’s relationships are not what they seem and she shows us the possible motives behind her murder. It fueled my curiousity and I kept flip-flopping between who really killed her.  

Balancing out the dark themes of death and murder, I was surprised to find a bit of steamy romance between Gia and town heartthrob Jake. While the ladies, including Gia’s sister Lexi, throw themselves at Jake, he and Gia clearly have a connection from their first meeting. With all the drama surrounding Gia’s life, she finds in Jake a support she’s never had and a love she’s never known before. Will it be enough to keep Gia rooted in Rogersville when her desire to help those less fortunate worldwide calls to her? 

A story about one family’s plight with grief and passion, love and loss, forgiveness and redemption, The Last Breath kept me intrigued until the very last word, my first 5-star book of the year!   I was so happy to win a copy of this book from a Deep South Magazine Southern Lit Twitter chat. Be sure to stop by their site for upcoming monthly Southern Lit chats with fantastic authors. Thanks Deep South Magazine for this great book!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my blog should you decide to purchase. Your support helps me be able to host giveaways for you!

Challenges Satisfied:

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2015

Other Bloggers’ Reviews:

Don’t just take my word for it, read these other fabulous bloggers’ reviews and decide for yourself. 

My Novel Opinion’s Review of The Last Breath
Silver’s Review of The Last Breath
The Well Read Redhead’s Review of The Last Breath

GIVEAWAY!

I was so excited that Kimberly wanted to giveaway a SIGNED copy of The Last Breath to one of my readers, and she will ship it INTERNATIONALLY! Lucky us! Open to individuals 18 years or older. Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did! The book has discussion questions, a reader’s guide and an author interview too and this would make a fun book club read.

About Kimberly Belle

From author’s website: “Home is where the laptop is.

I grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Back then I couldn’t find an ounce of beauty in the blue ridges and green valleys and roaring streams, couldn’t find an ounce of appeal in the winding country roads. I was slave to my wanderlust. The summer after high school, I fled to Atlanta to attend Agnes Scott College, a small liberal arts school for women and a four-year pit stop on my quest to see the world.

It was in Atlanta I met the Dutchman, who whisked me off to the Netherlands. What was meant to be a six-month stay turned into twelve freezing but fabulous years, during which I began checking off the countries on my to-see list. Two decades later, I’ve still not seen them all.

Living abroad changed me in ways I can’t count, and though I don’t have the passport to prove it, I am in my heart and soul half Dutch. I know the culture, I speak the language like a native, I love that country like my own.

Ten years ago, the Dutchman and I moved back to Atlanta with our two children, but every chance I get, I hop a plane to Amsterdam, so I can stick my toes in sandy Dutch soil.

And of course, wherever I go, the laptop also travels.”

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52 Comments

  1. I am always looking for a good read! Your info is terrific and you have worked hard to pull this together. I would appreciate to be part of your giveaway! I have enjoyed reading thru your posts.

  2. I love mystery novels. I have a difficult time restraining myself from reading the ending before the beginning but it’s well worth all the anxiety! Lol your blog is beautiful and I love the reviews especially because I typically get books online and don’t have a chance to open them before I buy them. Thanks!

  3. Tanya, you know that family secrets and relationships are my thing, so I’m sure I would like this book.
    Thanks for the giveaway-it’s the first time I see an author giving away a signed copy internationally :DDD

  4. I am 3/4 through and I am loving it. Like you, I am flip-flopping on who really committed the murder. At first, I was put off with the Gia/Jake relationship as it seemed superfluous. However, I now see the point of it as he grounds her and is a constant when everything else is so crazy in her life. We need to discuss this when I’m done!

  5. I enjoy suspense, discovering new to me authors, and this book looks quite interesting. I skim through what you wrote because I did not want to know to much about the story before reading it. I enjoyed reading what you had to say about the author. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This looks intriguing. I like when the book is told from different perspectives. My last book, Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, was the same and it gives it variety. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! I hope to win 🙂

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