Title: Shattered (Stolen Breaths #2)
Author: Pamela Sparkman & Deanna Gohn
Release Date: Oct 13, 2014
Find on Goodreads
Close your eyes for a moment and picture this.
A gorgeous redhead walks into a bar.
No, wait, a wedding reception.
A gorgeous redhead walks into a wedding reception. Poised, polished and flawless - on the outside.
He's tall, dark, and handsome, exactly like a fairytale prince and he won't take no for an answer as he leads her to the dance floor.
But this will be no ordinary dance and theirs is no ordinary story. What begins as rhythmic steps on a dance floor fluidly and beautifully becomes the rhythm of two hearts meant to beat as one.
Until the music stops.
In a moment everything she's put behind her comes crashing down, threatening to destroy what his love has helped repair and rebuild.
Life throws punches and it hits hard when you least expect it.
What they learn is that sometimes, in order to be truly whole, you have to first be shattered to your very core.
Before I even realized what I was doing, I’d reached out and grabbed her hand and pulled her into me; and then I was kissing her. I’m pretty sure I caught her off guard, since she let out a soft moan. My hands held her face, and I… forgot how to do this. My lips froze. Her lips and mine were touching and nothing more. The kiss was simple. It was chaste. It was precious. And for a whole minute that’s what we did, touched lips, because I forgot how to do this. My lips completely paralyzed against hers made this the most innocent and the most sensual kiss I’d ever experienced.
I slowly, very slowly, backed away. She still had her eyes closed. She was mesmerizing. She opened her eyes and looked up at me, her eyes holding mine.
“Don’t say anything,” I quickly told her. “Just…just let me look at you.”
She complied, and remained silent. She held my gaze, as I held hers, and I slowly counted in my head all the things I loved about her. She was beautiful, kind, funny, sophisticated... The list grew longer as I stared down at her, and I finished my mental list with this realization: she was Maggie, which meant she was everything.
“Tomorrow,” I said, “I’m taking you somewhere fun, so get some rest. And wear comfortable shoes.” I stepped around her and guided her to the bed, stopping her when she touched the mattress with the back of her knees. “Lie down, and I’ll tuck you in.”
She still had not said a word, only obliging my requests. She lay down and I pulled the covers up over her, then reached around and turned off the lamp. I leaned in, lingering quietly above her, wishing I could tell her what was in my heart. I placed a kiss on her forehead, a soft whisper of one that lasted for a beat longer than I intended, but not as long as I would have liked, then gently pulled back.
“Night, Maggie,” I said, walking toward the door.
“I didn’t think you would really do it,” she whispered.
“What? Kiss you?”
“I wasn’t going to, but you challenged me. I guess you could say you made me do it.”
“Is that what I am? A challenge?”
“You’re definitely a challenge, sweetheart. It’s a challenge just to keep my hands to myself whenever we’re in the same room.
Stolen Breaths 5 Bare Naked Stars *****
I don’t even know how to express how much I love this beautiful story. The ability of the author to capture my heart with real emotions coming from the characters, the pure love they both had, the suspense of finding out what they had endured and Pamela Sparkman was able to give us this fairytale feeling without the use of sex. I applaud her for that and can say I really enjoyed reading a story that was based on mutual love, respect and commitment for a change. They both were victims of a crime, both suffered the battle scars of living with the memories, yet they never ran from the risks involved in giving trust and love. They were cautious and Lily asked him to catch her if she fell. He promised to do that and recognized each time she took the leap. Their story was poetry in motion.
I feel the synopsis does an excellent job at describing the story and saving the intensity for you to find out as you go. I am madly, head over heels in love with Cooper. He is developed so well in this book I could see his smile, the sparkle in his eyes when Lily would enter a room. I could feel his strong desire to find that love of his life that would be so connected to his heart you wouldn’t know where he ended and she began. He knew what he wanted in life; he knew WHO he wanted in life. He had met her five years ago, but she didn’t meet him. It took the death of her father, a plane ride home sitting next to his grandmother to bring her back into his embrace.
Lily is such a beautiful woman, both inside and out. Once again the author did such a great job at developing the characters that when I began reading Lily’s POV if felt like the room lit up with her beauty. Coming home to bury her father after a car accident, she is realizing she is now alone in life. Her mother died when she was very young, she had no siblings. After her mother’s death, her father’s whole world was Lily. Now she is going to walk into her old childhood home alone for the first time. Ms. Sophie will hear none of that, she is going to become family to Lily but she is also going to bring a lot more to Lily’s life. She is connecting Cooper and Lily together for a match made in heaven.
Trust me, I want to say so much about this book, I am dying to talk about all the little details of this story but I won’t risk spoiling the thrill for the readers. Let me just stress that the author did a brilliant job at inviting us in to the story, to feel the love between these two and to feel the pain. I was just as emotionally exhausted as Lily and Cooper was as the truth began to be discovered and the trauma was dealt with. I will even say that it felt like they were healing me as I read it. Their friends were fabulous and really added a lot to the story. It made me almost jealous that I wasn’t part of that community of friends. This book had a coming home feel, after being lost and alone for so long, the comforts of home just embrace you like this.
Shattered 5 Bare Naked Stars *****
Pamela Sparkman and Deanna Gohn have given us another beautiful story of love, strength and the power to keep living. We met Joe and Maggie in the first book Stolen Breaths. Joe was Cooper’s best friend and Maggie was Lily’s best friend and roommate. Maggie met Joe when she came for the wedding and the ties were formed between these two quickly.
Maggie knew what rejection was, her mom just left the family with no explanation when Maggie was young. Her dad began to drink and gave up on life and his kids. Her brother left as soon as he could so Maggie grew up feeling invisible and unloved. The men she dated never treated her with respect; they didn’t come around unless they needed something from her. It wasn’t until Joe showed her of her value that she began to think she deserved better, that maybe she even wanted better for herself. Joe was able to break her walls, without shattering her soul with his quick wit, stupid jokes and his undying respect and care for Maggie.
Joe knew what being loved was like. He didn’t have to deal with the rejection Maggie had felt, but he still feared being rejected by the one woman who made him feel alive. With the long distance between them he had to rely on getting to know her through phone conversations and his gut instinct. With the help of Ms. Sophie once again, he was able to get her in his home for Christmas, where the comedy began and the love started to grow out of control. No longer too afraid to tell her how he feels he opens the door and to his surprise she walks through it towards his love.
I loved the humor in this book. Joe and Maggie would go at each other with sarcasm and jokes making me break out in laughter at those two. Once again the characters are so well developed I didn’t even care about his good looks or her rich red hair. What I saw was a man who loved life; he loved the simple things, he wasn’t afraid to be a bit out there from having musicals on his iPod to a hanging penis Christmas ornament for his tree. He knows his Disney stories due to his nieces and he takes the time to make a little boy in the park feel like the most important person in the world. He won my heart because he was a good man not because of how he looked.
Maggie had me as a fan the moment she showed me her willingness to give love a chance, to know that the walls she created must be torn down. I absolutely love that none of the characters run or play victim in this series. The level of maturity in this series is a missing quality in books these days. She was compassionate and saw the real Joe behind the jokes and confidence he displayed. She was the lucky one to win his heart and she knew what a gift that was. She cared about others, she cared about love and most of all she learned to care about herself and forgive the past.
I can’t get enough of these stories from the Stolen Breaths series; both have been so beautifully written with characters that any reader can relate to. There are pure, wholesome messages and plots where you walk away feeling better about life and the world. What I love most about these two books is they give the reader a sense of home, comfort, acceptance and hope. Those qualities are hard to find in books these days but these two authors have managed to find a way give the readers this precious gift.
Pamela Sparkman -
I grew up in Alabama and have always been an avid reader. I had a stack of those Little Golden Books and I can remember reading Three Little Kittens over and over and over again. It was my favorite.
Fast forward and the older I got the more in love with books I became. So, I'm admitting that I am a huge nerd. The only reading I don't like are those math word problems. And I'm okay with that because no one has ever asked me in real life... "If I give you two bananas and take away six apples, how long will it take the southbound train to collide with the northbound train if Johnny left his house at midnight?" It just doesn't happen.
So, yeah, books are my thing.
Oh and music. All kinds. Love.It.
Deanna Gohn -