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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review: Stealing Breath by Joanne Brothwell

Format: epub (provided by author)
Release Date: March 8, 2012
Purchase Links: Amazon l Kindle l Barnes and Noble

Deep in the backwoods of North Dakota, twenty-one year old Sarah Ross is searching for a missing child when she is attacked by a glowing-eyed, transparent... creature. Sarah survives, destroying the monster by using mysterious abilities she didn't even know she had. Bloody and bruised, Sarah flees the scene and runs directly into Evan Valente, a handsome, charismatic stranger who helps her back to safety. 

But what is Evan doing out in the forest at five in the morning? 

Turning to a healer, Sarah is shocked to learn her eyes bear the mark of the Indigo Child-an evolved human with the ability to feel the emotions of others. But her indigo aura also makes her an easy target for those who wish to consume her powerful essence. Soon, Sarah is falling deeply in love with Evan and wants nothing more than to follow her heart and trust that he is the man he says he is. But she can't ignore the lingering feeling that Evan is hiding a terrible secret. The deeper she digs, the more danger she faces, leading her on a course that will force her to face the darkest, innermost parts of her soul.

A great way to get a reader sucked into a story is to start in the middle. 

In this case, the middle of the night, in the middle of an eerie encounter with what could possibly be a missing child or something...Other. Stealing Breath gets your blood pumping and your heart racing all in a matter of 8 pages. How can this reader possibly resist a story like that?

Easy, I didn't. Duh.

Told in first person, Stealing Breath is a fast paced paranormal story rooted in myth, grown with imagination and nurtured with a cast of strong, interesting characters. It is a mixture of mostly fantasy and paranormal with a dash of reality.

It was easy to relate to Sarah, perhaps not in the way of mysterious abilities but in finding herself singled out as different for whatever reason and feeling as if there's more to her life than what she's been lead to believe. Sarah's a likable character, she isn't a drama queen, she isn't about constantly saying "Poor me, why me?" She deals with what's thrown her way with as much courage and bravado as she can. Evan, the mysterious and handsome hero of the story is still somewhat of a mystery even by the end of the book, and that works because Stealing Breath is not the end of the story, there will be a second book, Silencing Breath that will hopefully delve more into Evan as a character. I can't wait for that one.

Sarah and Evan, what can I say? I loved how these two characters connected immediately without it feeling like an overdone, cheesy Hallmark movie. It was romantic but also important that they continue to be thrown together at every opportunity, each character was solid and strong on their own, so no weaklings here, but together they were a force to be reckoned with. I love an equal partnership in my books.

The detail that author Joanne Brothwell puts into each scene shows dedication to her entire story. She didn't let descriptions of places, people, creatures or rituals slip through the cracks as I've seen with other stories. Some authors are so wrapped up in their lead characters' romance that they forget the rest of the story has to be just as strong. Not so with Stealing Breath. The paranormal aspect is what drives Sarah and Evan together, more so than their initial attraction to each other. Each aspect of the story is important, the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and hows are never forgotten or left to dangle in the wind in favor of the romance. They're all there, pulling their weight to bring readers an intriguing, suspense filled story.

Don't hate me but I found myself more interested in what was going on with Sarah and her abilities than her budding relationship with Evan. I know I'm a romance novel reviewer and the romance is what I look for 99% of the time, but with Stealing Breath I got more wrapped up in the paranormal background and the Native American customs that the romance became secondary to me. There are some really hair raising, eerie moments in this book that definitely had me jumping at shadows at night. I'm usually not a fan of stories that keep me in that state of mind but I had to make an exception for this book. 

Make room on your shelves or e-reader for this one guys, it's a keeper!


Read my interview with Joanne Brothwell here
Enter to win one of two copies of Stealing Breath here!
Find Joanne Brothwell:


  1. Beautiful review. It seems interesting. Will have to check it out. Have a great weekend.

  2. Thank you, Adria - very thorough review!


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