Too Much Coffee with My Creamer, A Review

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About Breathless (from Amazon):

What happens when an ordinary girl meets the man of everyone’s dreams? Keeping secrets is never easy, especially since Ryan Spalding is on the cover of every magazine and this year’s “Hottest Hunk under 30.” Good thing busy lawyer Carly Sparks is so out of the loop when it comes to celebrity affairs, or she’d realize she was in one! Leading man Ryan Spalding tempts Carly Sparks in ways she’s only ever seen in the movies. She’s drifted away from a promise she made to God as a teenager, but Carly must rely on her faith when her relationship with Ryan is put to the test. Will it be enough to keep them together, or will theirs be just another failed Hollywood romance?

About Becki Brannen (from Amazon):

Becki Brannen is a thirty-something writer born and raised in the heart of Georgia. Her debut novel, Breathless, is the result of NaNoWriMo 2011, having been written in just twenty-nine days. Becki primarily writes “chick lit with a Christian twist,” marrying one of her favorite genres with her Christian faith. Her life verses are Jeremiah 29:11 and Isaiah 41:10. Becki and her husband have twin daughters and a poodle, Sophie.

You can connect with her on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

My Review:

I give Breathless by Becki Brannen 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Based on its synopsis, Breathless was everything I expected it to be: celebrity Ryan falls for Carly, a busy lawyer who has no idea who he is. Even without knowing who he is, she falls for him, too. Given Ryan’s secret, they experience more than their share of relational ups and downs.

I’ve discussed my complicated relationship with romance on this blog before, so it may go without saying that I love my romance like I love my coffee – loaded with a lot of other stuff (not unlike Carly). I felt like the romance was all there was to this story, and to a normal romance fan, that wouldn’t have been an issue. I wanted to connect with the main characters beyond the romance, to get a sense of them outside of how they related to each other. For that reason, I have mixed feelings about the flashbacks interspersed throughout: on one hand, I found them slightly disruptive to the flow of the story, and on the other, they helped me gain insight to Carly’s character. I guess I wanted more.

I am also a fan of the slow fall: you know, attraction, subtle flirtation, connection, wooing,… Breathless moves at a fast pace – too fast for me, and I wonder if it wasn’t realistically too fast even for the characters, given their relationship histories. The pacing makes it an easy read, though, so it’s not without its benefits.

That said, Breathless raises an important issue: sex, and how it should be treated anything but casually. Brannen takes a character who jumps from woman to woman and a character who made a purity pledge to showcase this message, which is commendable in a society where virginity and a commitment to purity can make you feel like a mutant. (See also: Jane the Virgin.)

Also, and far less important, this book taught me that I have been misquoting Shakespeare for years. (There are these epic romantic quotes at the beginning of every chapter, which I thought were a fun addition.) But that … is another story for another day.

So, even though this book was a bit too much coffee for my creamer (if you know what I mean), I have no doubt that other fans of the genre will find it enjoyable.

I received a free eARC from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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