Title: Breathing Black
Author: Piper Payne
Genre: New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance/Thriller
Released Date: December 2, 2014
Rating: 4.5 stars
A desolate childhood; a scarred, jaded, damaged girl. Larkin Grant knew she couldn’t end up like her mother … so she ran. All her belongings packed in the back of a rusted, brown Cadillac, her best friend June in the passenger seat as the co-pilot, she fled Aspen and never looked back.
A new life in a new city, Larkin was finally starting to breathe again, an unfamiliar sense of happiness seeping into her lungs. Landon Black, the boy she loved from afar, came back into her life despite leaving him and her awful memories buried hundreds of miles away. A weakened pulse brought back to life.
He said she was beautiful. She was starting to believe him. He pursued her and changed the course of everyone’s plans. Life had dealt Larkin a cruel hand, but maybe this was it. Maybe the boy that never knew she existed finally saw her and came to free her from the darkness of her past.
But we are never truly free. There are secrets that bind us and lies that unravel from the most beautiful of lips. Blackness that suffocates and makes us question everything we thought we knew. Larkin and Landon are intertwined in ways they never imagined, their future unclear as ghosts come back to haunt them.
Friendship. Revenge. Love. Drugs. Murder. Deceit.
The first in a two-book series, Breathing Black is a mix of suspense and breathless romance. It’s a provocative tale that challenges what one is willing to do to protect the ones they love. An emotional journey where trust isn’t an option and falling in love never hurt so bad.
When you have an ARC, you typically go into a book blind. Sometimes the synopsis, lays out the story for you so you know what to expect, and other times, you are completely unprepared for what you are getting into. This book is the latter.
Based on the synopsis, I assumed this book would be heavy on angst and heartache. And yes, those elements are there, but there was so much more to the story. It’s not just about two people coming back into each others lives, struggling to escape their past. There is a huge element of suspense, which was my favorite part of the story.
Larkin spends her high school years invisible. Not meaning anything to anyone. Just the way she wants it to be. But she eventually connects with Katrina (aka June) and the two form an unbreakable bond as they try overcoming the horrible traumas they have endured.
Despite hiding in the shadows during her teen years, she quietly obsesses over the high school hunk, Landon Black. A (random?) moment in a parking lot brings them back together. But this time, Landon can’t help but notice her. Are his intentions good? I’m still on the fence about that.
Since some people have issue with this theme, I will warn you that there is a love triangle. This one was a doozy because I wasn’t sure which guy was the right fit. I had issues with both guys at one time or another, but believe deep down, the feeling they expressed were real and honest. I’m actually dreading having one (or God forbid, both) having their hearts broken.
“Sometimes you only see things through blind eyes, and it wasn’t until I met you that mine were truly opened. It’s always been you. You’re this puzzle I’ve been collecting pieces to my entire life. I can’t lose you.”
The cover of this book is deeply tied to the story. Larkin’s name alone was based on a bird. In addition, both black feathers and white feathers come up throughout, with different meanings.
“When someone finds a black feather, it’s supposed to remind them they’re not fighting life’s battles alone.”
“A white feather,” I added in recovery, “means purity, hope, bravery, protection, and peace. But they’re also contradictory representing pain, cowardice, shame, and death. I think of it as life’s balance.”
This book ends with a pretty big cliffhanger. We are left wondering, what will become of Larkin’s fate? She certainly has the cards stacked against her and I’m not sure she will come out unscathed. But I would hope that the author won’t kill off the main character. So then the bigger question is, how will she overcome the past and how will that impact her future? I’m also dying to know which guy will she move forward with. At this point its a coin toss for me. I’m hoping that some new things will come to light and make it all obvious as to who she should be with. Because, quite frankly, Larkin deserves someone in her life, but it should only the best.
*An ARC was received for an honest review.
My love for literature and writing is an addiction. My mind is continually telling stories and I have a queue of books I want to write being stacked up in my brain. I don’t know how to write pretty and perfect so I write perfectly flawed and unpredictable. Just like life.
I’m married to my best friend and I’m mother to three little miracles. I love going to farmers markets, bookstores, and long drives with my family in my ruby red Bronco. I also have an unhealthy love for makeup, Oreos, Halloween, queso dip, psychic readings, sushi, massages, and Redd’s Apple Ale.