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The danger in pretending is it becoming real…

Sebastian Stone, Sunder front man and guitarist with a rap sheet about ten miles long, escaped to Savannah, Georgia, to get away from the trouble he’d caused.

Not find more of it.

The moment he saw Shea Bentley, he saw beneath all her sweet and innocence to something that went deeper.

Darker.

Their relationship was built on secrets; their love built on lies.

Sebastian never imagined how deep her secrets went.

When the past and present collide, Sebastian and Shea find themselves fighting for a future neither believed they deserved. Their passion is consuming and their need unending.

Now, holding the truth in his hands, Sebastian is faced with sacrificing everything he’s come to love to protect Shea and his family.

Two pasts intertwined.

Two lives bound.

Will their demons drown them or will Shea and Sebastian finally learn to breathe?


BOOK REVIEW: Drowning to Breathe

A.L. Jackson

BOOK SERIES: 

RATING:

“I never knew there was happiness like this. And then there was you.”

The stunning love story between a troubled rock star and a single mum trying to escape her painful past that began in A Stone in the Sea gets its grand finale at last in this wondrous work from an author who never stops stealing our breaths away with angsty, emotion-driven romances that are as all-consuming as they are superbly written. We watched them meet, fight their attraction, and eventually succumb to the devastating pull between them, never knowing that their lives were destined to be intertwined from the very beginning. As Sebastian and Shea prepare to face their greatest fears, Ms Jackson takes us on a riveting journey of passion, love, selflessness, and friendship, where every dazzling word serves to bewitch us, and its every emotion becomes our own.

“… we can run as hard and as fast as we want, and until we put our pasts to rest, they will always catch up to us.”

Sebastian Stone might have found the love of his life in a quiet bar in Savannah, Georgia, her selfless heart quieting his demons and abating the raging inferno that has consumed his soul for so long, but Shea Bentley’s past has come back to haunt them, promising to rob them of all they’ve fought to build between them and all they cherish the most in life. But even as their greatest weaknesses are used against them, Sebastian and Shea’s connection never wavers, becoming closer and closer each day, and giving each other the strength and courage to fight back. And nothing, not even time or distance, can diminish their love for one another or their constant craving for each other.

“I loved Shea Bentley and she loved me. It’s where it started and where it ended. Nothing before or after or in between mattered.”

Once a perennially angry young man whose devotion and loyalty to his brother and band mates used to define him, their safety his only purpose in life, Sebastian never thought he would ever find or deserve a love like Shea’s, a love that would fill all that was missing in his life rather than steal away from it, and in that love he finds the acceptance he never dared to hope for. Her compassion, kindness and willingness to love him even at the risk of breaking her own heart heals him, redefines him, and eventually shows him the person he wants to be. And in her arms he finds the family he always dreamed of.

“When I look at you, I see a future I never thought existed, Shea.”

Now facing a powerful enemy who is capable and willing to destroy them both, while forced to be apart as his band goes on tour, Sebastian and Shea’s love remains vibrant and strong, never tested and never dimmed, both of them trusting one another implicitly. But when past and present suddenly collide and painful secrets are revealed, the young lovers must find a way of holding onto each other even as storms starts closing in.

“I’d do anything, give it all, make any sacrifices to keep them safe. To keep them happy. To keep them together. No matter the cost.”

There is something so beautiful in the way Ms Jackson brings these characters to life, in the way their passion pulsates off the pages, almost visceral in its intensity, their every emotion given a quasi-lyrical dimension as her masterful prose weaves the story before our eyes. The dramatic, rhythmic pace of the sentences remains one of the key characteristics of this story, mimicking our own heartbeats at times with the thump-thump thump-thump of their tempo and amplifying our emotions with the sheer poetic quality of those verses. I felt hypnotised by this story, by its characters, by their powerful connection, and only wished for some of that intensity to be carried over to other aspects of the storyline as well, especially moments of aching angst. My heart only kept expanding as the story progressed, and I wouldn’t have minded it shattering a few times too, trusting this author to make the pain as exquisitely addictive as its more enjoyable counterpart.

“I was doing my best to rein it in. But those urges were there. The need to fight and defend. Fists and fury and unrelenting rage. To stand up for my family. To make it right.”

Another unforgettable romance by a much loved author, another must-read story to tug at our heartstrings—I loved its every word, and would recommend it unreservedly.

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“Do you see me, Shea?”
Never had I seen anyone so clearly. “I will never look away.”

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Bleeding Stars - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone stories with interconnected characters, except the first two books in the series which are one story)

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