TeriLyn's thoughts: The Air He Breathes comes as my first Brittainy Cherry story and wont' be my last. I found this author's words to be profoundly engaging and thoughtful. There was a certain boundary pushing quality to the writing where the author was able to make me beautifully uncomfortable yet still totally connecting me with the hero and heroine, Tristan and Elizabeth.
Told from both points of view of the two main characters the melancholy of tragedies both these people faced was ever present yet the peace they found in their coping with each other was ethereal.
Cherry handled the tragedies of these two characters with painfully delicate prose as they grew from the past toward each other at a reasonable pace. Both Tristan and Elizabeth possess flaws stemming from the fractured parts of their souls. Broken in ways they feel they'll never be fixed, Elizabeth feels the pain emanating from Tristan as he feels peace from her. Her patience and kind soul begin to heal the wild beast he feels inside himself even while both of them are resisting the changes they bring each other.
There are secondary characters in this book that give great reprieve from the sadness - Elizabeth's quirky, young daughter Emma who shines so brightly on both Tristan and Liz's life. Liz's friend Faye who's comic relief was perfectly placed. And Mr. Henson, the man for whom Tristan works.
The plot connects the past to the present in a way I didn't see coming and was thankful for however near the end I felt the relationship through these plot developments was too rushed. The twist at the end comes on the reader really quickly so quickly in fact, I feel I lost a little of my interest because I was too engulfed in the "mystery" of what was happening. I wanted much more at the end of this book - the pace in which their relationship so beautifully developed changed from slow and steady to near lightning speed at the end and I was just hoping for it remain in preserving their fragile souls. Since this book was so perfectly and delicately paced and balanced all the way through, the end felt incomplete to me.
None the less, The Air He Breathes really interested my reading soul. I felt so fully for these characters and while the end didn't wow me I'm still feeling immensely satisfied for these two broken people and the little girl who helps heal their hearts. And past the ending, this author provides a truly lovely epilogue that made me smile so big I felt a small part of their lives.
For those of you who love second chance, contemporary romances that will push you to believe in the characters beyond a simple relationship into the complexities of letting go and moving forward - The Air He Breathes is most definitely the book for you. I'm certainly looking forward to discovering more from this author.