𝓗𝓸𝓵𝓵𝓸𝔀 𝓡𝓲𝓭𝓰𝓮 #𝟐
𝓑𝔂: C.L. Matthews
𝓖𝓮𝓷𝓻𝓮: Standalone, Contemporary Romance
𝓡𝓮𝓵𝓮𝓪𝓼𝓮 𝓓𝓪𝓽𝓮: April. 14, 2020
You’d think five years would be enough time to cope and move on.
If anything, it’s given me more unrealistic ways to deal with my loss.
And even worse, a woman I don’t love.
A woman that isn’t her.
I hate her.
She hates me, too.
My life’s a mess.
My heart’s nonexistent.
My soul was lost long ago.
Worst of all, I no longer have any fucks to give.
They say you find your true love after you lose your first one.
I call bullshit.
𝓐𝓭𝓭 𝓑𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓽𝓸 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓣𝓑𝓡
✨💛𝓒𝓸𝓷𝓯𝓮𝓼𝓼𝓲𝓸𝓷𝓼 𝓞𝓯 𝓐 𝓑𝓲𝓫𝓵𝓲𝓸𝓹𝓱𝓲𝓵𝓮 𝓡𝓮𝓿𝓲𝓮𝔀💛✨
❝𝐵𝑒 𝑓𝑟𝑒𝑒, 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑙𝑙.❞
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 𝟓/𝟓 𝓞𝓿𝓮𝓻𝓪𝓵𝓵 𝓡𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓷𝓰: Breathe by C.L. Matthews is the second installment of the Hollow Ridge series. Although Breathe can be read as a STANDALONE, you will get the best emotional experience and you’ll understand the dynamic between the characters better if you read book one, Inhale, Exhale first since it is interconnected. Although Breathe isn’t a DARK read, it’s not an easy read either. But if you are looking for an emotional hijacking read, filled with heartache, pain, and love that will take your breath away then trust me you NEED to get your hands on a copy of Breathe! This review is going to be a lot shorter than my reviews usually are because this is one of those books and storylines that you need to read for yourself. NO review will EVER truly do it justice.
❝𝑊𝑒’𝑙𝑙 𝑠𝑙𝑎𝑦 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑑𝑒𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑠 𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟. 𝑂𝑢𝑟 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑠𝑒𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑙𝑑 𝑜𝑛 𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑒.❞
Matthews is an incredible writer! Just about every book I’ve read of her’s has always evoked some kind of emotion from me, and with as much as I read, that has become few and far in between. I love imperfect characters and that’s exactly what Matthews writes. Imperfectly perfect characters and their stories. She will continue being a one-click author of mine for sure and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book from the Hollow Ridge series.
Toby and Joey’s story is filled with heartache and turmoil, but it’s also filled with love, understanding, and forgiveness. Breathe is a brutal story about relationships, heartbreak, and real life. Their story shows both sides of what a real relationship can be like. Love isn’t easy and it’s not always pretty. But when two people love one another enough, no matter the hurt or the wrongs that have been done, ANYTHING is possible.
❝𝐵𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑑𝑒𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑑 𝑏𝑦 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑤𝑛 𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑖𝑛 ℎ𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑠 𝑤𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑓𝑖𝑥 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑓𝑢𝑟𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑟𝑢𝑖𝑛 𝑒𝑎𝑐ℎ 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟.
𝐻𝑒’𝑠 𝑚𝑦 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑒𝑎𝑠𝑒.
𝐼’𝑚 ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑎𝑑𝑑𝑖𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛.
𝑊𝑒’𝑟𝑒 𝑐𝑎𝑡𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑜𝑝ℎ𝑒, 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑜𝑠, 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑎𝑙𝑤𝑎𝑦𝑠 ℎ𝑖𝑚.❞
💙 (𝓗) 𝓗𝓮𝓻𝓸: Tobias Hayes is more a villain than a hero but he’s a hero all the same even though he’s the kind of guy you love to hate. I have been waiting for Toby’s story ever since he lost the girl in Inhale, Exhale. My heart broke for him and although I wanted him to get his happy ending so bad, his ending was never meant to be with Lo. Toby has issues, he’s broken and so, soo damaged but his character growth throughout the book was a pleasure to watch but honestly if I hadn’t read Inhale, Exhale and saw the pain and heartache that Toby had gone though I wouldn’t have been able to like him. Toby does some very, very mean and hurtful things to Joey. All over a misunderstanding. You will go from loving Toby to hating him, to repeating the cycle all over again because the more we learn about him and his past and the things that made him the man he is today, you can’t help but feel for him.
❝𝐸𝑟𝑎𝑠𝑒 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑚𝑒𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑦, 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑠. 𝐸𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑡𝑜𝑢𝑐ℎ 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢, 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑠𝑜𝑙𝑣𝑒. 𝐿𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑚𝑒 𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑙 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑚𝑒.❞
❤️ (𝓱) 𝓗𝓮𝓻𝓸𝓲𝓷𝓮: Josephine ‘Joey’ Moore is an amazing character. She’s a firecracker, independent, strong, snarky, and loyal to a fault. Toby isn’t an easy man to love but even when she should have left, she still stayed. Even though when we first met Joey she was only nineteen years old, she’s been through so much that it’s left her jaded. Although Joey comes from a wealthy political family (her father is the mayor) she’s been independent her entire life and worked hard for everything she has. The girl is a survivor. There were times that I couldn’t stop the tears, you could FEEL her pain.
❝𝐿𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑒, 𝑇𝑜𝑏𝑦.”
“𝐿𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑚𝑒 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑛 𝐼 ℎ𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝑚𝑦𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓, 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑠.❞
🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 𝟓/𝟓 𝓡𝓸𝓶𝓪𝓷𝓬𝓮 & 𝓢𝓽𝓮𝓪𝓶: At times, Joey and Toby’s relationship resembled a car crash. Even though you don’t want to look because you just KNOW it’s going to be bad, but at the same time you just can NOT look away. Their relationship isn’t always a good one, at times it’s downright toxic. Neither Toby or Joey is perfect, but they are perfect together. Both still have scars from the past that they are fighting to overcome and they are broken. But maybe two broken people can piece back one another… The steamy scenes, SHEW! HATE SEX + DIRTY HATE TALK = GREAT SEX! Just in case ya didn’t already know. The passion between the two of them is crazy hot, even when they hate each other.
❝𝑊𝑎𝑡𝑐ℎ 𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢. 𝑁𝑜 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑎𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠… 𝑁𝑜 𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑏𝑒 𝑚𝑒.❞
❥𝟚❥ 𝓢𝓮𝓬𝓸𝓷𝓭𝓪𝓻𝔂 𝓒𝓱𝓪𝓻𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓮𝓻𝓼: I ADORE Francis! He is EXACTLY what a man should be and I can not wait until he gets his happily ever after. But it will surely be bittersweet… since I want him for MYSELF! And Nate, PLEASE someone tell me that he is getting his own story too! I was glad that we caught up with Loe and Jace, that scene between Jase and Toby… *SIGH* I was so, so glad to see these brothers begin to fix their relationship. I almost thought it was unfixable. Ace and Gray… OH.MY.GOD. The POV’s from them and all the breadcrumbs for their story… I am more than excited about their story!
❝𝐼’𝑚 𝑓𝑒𝑑 𝑢𝑝 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑠𝑖𝑙𝑒𝑛𝑐𝑒, 𝑆𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑚. 𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑘𝑛𝑒𝑒𝑙 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑚𝑒, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑦𝑜𝑢’𝑙𝑙 𝑓𝑢𝑐𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑏𝑒𝑔 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑒.❞ – 𝐀𝐜𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐆𝐫𝐚𝐲
🌪🌪🌪 𝓒𝓵𝓲𝓯𝓯𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓰𝓮𝓻 𝓦𝓪𝓻𝓷𝓲𝓷𝓰: No cliffhanger. After a whole lot of hurt and heartache, Toby and Joey finally get their happily ever after. So if there is no cliffhanger, what are the three tornadoes for? All those breadcrumbs that were dropped for Ace and Gray’s story, even though I only finished Breathe a few days ago, I’m SO excited to get back to Hollow Ridge already.
𝑊𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔.
𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑔𝑒𝑡𝑠 𝑖𝑚𝑝𝑜𝑠𝑠𝑖𝑏𝑙𝑒, 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑎 𝑚𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡. 𝐴𝑛𝑑 𝑑𝑜𝑛’𝑡 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑔𝑒𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑒.❞
⚠️ 𝓣𝓻𝓲𝓰𝓰𝓮𝓻 𝓦𝓪𝓻𝓷𝓲𝓷𝓰: There are difficult subjects that could be considered triggers. E.g. cheating, addiction, trauma, mental illness, and self-harm, etc. If you would like to know more about what those subjects are, feel free to DM me!
If you enjoy angsty, emotional roller-coaster ride romances, then you are not going to want to miss Breathe.
❝𝑂𝑢𝑟 𝑏𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑐𝑖𝑟𝑐𝑢𝑚𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑠, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡𝑜𝑔𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟, 𝑤𝑒’𝑟𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟.❞
𝓖𝓻𝓪𝓫 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓬𝓸𝓹𝔂 𝓸𝓯 𝓑𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓽𝓱𝓮!
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I bottle the resentment and hatred as one would a black widow and praying mantis in a jar, wondering which would strike first and who would conquer all.
One time, Wes caught one of each in two separate jars. It annoyed me that he captured two beautiful creatures just to hold them hostage and watch them waste away.
He set the glasses side by side, mirrors, almost doorways, to see how calculated each species was.
The intrigue in his eyes terrified me, let me know something inside him may be darker than I bargained for, yet I did nothing but watch.
His fingers caressed the one housing the bright green mantis. He leaned in close, his eyes narrowing on the stillness, I’m sure.
When the insect didn’t move, only keeping a stock-still position, I wondered if maybe fear kept it frozen in place, but like Wes knew something I didn’t, he smiled.
The way his lips tilted at the edges conspiratorially made my insides squeeze uncomfortably. As a predator or person with a lack of empathy would, he gave me chills, but for some reason, it didn’t force my eyes away.
Like the impact when music hits really loud, the bass bumping throughout your body, I could only prepare for the cacophony of bulldozing emotions.
After deciding whatever he needed, he stared at the widow. Its red stomach patch faced away from us as it protected itself by hiding in the lid, but Wes saw. Tapping the lid several times, we watched as the spider plopped to the bottom.
He bit the inside of his cheek wordlessly, causing an insane curiosity to bite at my mind.
It made zero sense.
This was barbaric, but I didn’t do a single thing to stop this from escalating.
He unscrewed the lids, lifting both cylinders at the same time. Nothing could prepare me for what I witnessed next.
Anxiety gnawed at my stomach, creating an untamable distress to bubble through my chest. It burned and ached, acting as an early warning system as the two foes faced off.
They both stood motionless, almost calculating, watching, observing the opponent.
It never occurred to me which would win, but staring at the black widow, knowing its bite was as deadly as it was vicious, my mind had made itself up.
It struck first. The widow went straight for the jugular, and that was its first mistake—taking the easy shot, the uncalculated risk of striking first.
The mantis, as if knowing all along, gripped the spider with its pincers, holding it like it was sushi, his arms the chopsticks of death.
It squeezed and squeezed, making sure to eat its legs while it writhed in its hold. Nausea built inside me, suffocating my every breath, but the mantis didn’t stop to recognize how uncomfortable I was.
How could it know?
This was a dog-eat-dog world. In this case, a mantis-eat-widow one, he did what he had to do to survive. He won, eating his winnings like a gloating king after battle.
And I learned something valuable that day: always watch your six, don’t trust words, and never take the first shot. I’d never lay victim to a man ever again.
𝓐𝓵𝓼𝓸 𝓐𝓿𝓪𝓲𝓵𝓪𝓫𝓵𝓮 𝓲𝓷 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓗𝓸𝓵𝓵𝓸𝔀 𝓡𝓲𝓭𝓰𝓮 𝓼𝓮𝓻𝓲𝓮𝓼
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𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐊𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞 𝐔𝐧𝐥𝐢𝐦𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐝
𝓐𝓫𝓸𝓾𝓽 𝓣𝓱𝓮 𝓐𝓾𝓽𝓱𝓸𝓻
C.L. Matthews lives in lala-landia with her husband and invisible friends.
She’s a special kind of weird and enjoys every moment of it.
She wants to riot the lack thereof authentic Mexican food in her state, but she’s an introvert at heart. She enjoys tacos, Red Bull, and warm water because she’s crazy.
She’s an oddball and realizes it’s been mentioned before, just go with it.
Her joys in life consist of writing unconventional romances, making book covers, causing havoc to her reader’s hearts, and genre-hopping when she needs a change of scenery.
She’s a special kind of weird and enjoys every moment of it.