In full disclosure, I know Densie Webb. We are both published by Red Adept Publishing and I had the pleasure of working on her first Red Adept novel, When Robins Appear, which was a family drama. You will not see this review on Amazon for that reason. With that being said, I chose to read this book because of its title, Breathing in Reverse, more than anything else. What a seriously great title. I hadn’t even read the synopsis when I downloaded it and added it to my list.
Breathing in Reverse is a rollercoaster love story. Rachel is an average woman living her low-key life when a chance encounter with mega celebrity, Mick Sullivan, shifts her foundations to the core. They meet in front of an espresso machine display and on a whim, Rachel asks for a selfie. The selfie isn’t for herself, it is for her friend Jenna, because Rachel is not impressed with celebrity status. Mick obliges, even taking it a step further, by creating a little video. When Rachel shares the video with Jenna and Jenna shares it with the world, the wheels begin to come off.
Rachel is confronted by the terrifying reality that the video drew the attention of a deranged woman who has been stalking Mick and Rachel becomes the target of the stalker’s obsession. Mick and Rachel form the slow bonds of friendship which blossom into deeper feelings as they are buffeted by the storm of external forces and internal insecurities. Fear is a dominating motivator through the novel, Rachel is fearful of the stalker, fearful of her parents’ reactions, fearful of not fulfilling her dreams. Mick has his own fears, he is fearful that his dark secret will be revealed and he will lose everything, he is fearful that Rachel will not love him enough to work through their issues. Mick has an interesting combination of self-doubt and confidence. He has a troubled past, and present issues, that Rachel helps him to work through.
Several characters behaved in ways that I chalked up to living the celebrity life and having lost touch with reality. The dual villains in the novel are equally reprehensible. The stalker and the friend who is no friend were self-serving, horrible people. Every time Mick and Rachel seem to be finding a groove, another threat arises and interferes. The onslaught of treachery challenges their commitment and they have to find the strength to weather the storm.
It is Rachel’s growth arc that we travel, as she learns to stand as an adult. When she stood up to protect herself and those that she loves at the end of the book I cheered. The novel fits well within the new romance, domestic thriller, and suspense genres and made for an entertaining read. The narrator was by Aven Shore.