Title: Drowning to Breathe (Bleeding Stars, Book 2)
Author: A. L. Jackson
Drowning to Breathe
A Stone in the Sea
The danger in pretending is it becoming real...
Sebastian Stone, Sunder front man and guitarist with a rap sheet about ten miles long, escaped to Savannah, Georgia, to get away from the trouble he'd caused.
Not to find more of it.
The moment he saw Shea Bentley, he saw beneath all her sweet and innocence to something that went deeper.
Their relationship was built on secrets; their love built on lies.
Sebastian never imagined how deep her secrets went.
When the past and present collide, Sebastian and Shea find themselves fighting for a future neither believed they deserved. Their passion is consuming and their need unending.
Now holding the truth in his hands, Sebastian is faced with sacrificing everything he's come to love to protect Shea and his family.
Two pasts intertwined.
Two lives bound.
Will their demons drown them or will Shea and Sebastian finally learn to breathe?
Saying I've been excited to get my hands on the second book in A. L. Jackson's Bleeding Stars Series is seriously down playing just how crazy fan girl my emotions about this series are. A Stone in the Sea completely left me mouth agape and reeling, and I've been impatiently waiting for Shea and Sebastian's conclusion ever since. Drowning to Breathe is finally here and I could not have dreamed up a better conclusion to this rock star romance.
I won't reveal the nitty gritty about the plot because I don't want to spoil Drowning to Breathe or the first book, A Stone in the Sea. I will say that Jackson reeled me in from the prologue and took me on a spectacular journey until the end. This book was highly addictive. I didn't want to let it go and couldn't get enough. On the other hand, at times the emotions in the story were so raw and powerful, I had to pause and reel myself in before continuing.
If you haven't discovered this series, I cannot recommend it enough. In a literary world where rock star heroes are plentiful, Sebastian Stone stands out as one of my all time favorites. He's got the tortured soul thing down, but what surprised me most about this man was the tenderness he possessed beneath all that hardened exterior. Sure, he's a god in the bedroom and has a mouth that would make women melt. However, it's the dynamic between Sebastian and Shea's daughter Kallie that completely obliterated my heart. The interactions between our hero and tiny companion are breath taking and will fill your heart to the brim with happiness while tearing you apart when you experience all the obstacles Shea and Sebastian must overcome to achieve their happily ever after.
Words cannot describe just how phenomenal A. L. Jackson's writing is. Her Bleeding Stars Series is easily my favorite of all her novels. From their haunting pasts to the hope of salvation they find within each other, Shea and Sebastian's story is a romance you must experience. I can't wait to find out more about the supporting characters in this series as their stories unfold in future Bleeding Stars novels.
My heart slammed around in my chest and my sight narrowed on one singular goal.
It felt like a lifetime to get to her house, and there was nothing stopping me now. Unlocking her front door, I charged up the stairs. I didn’t pause at her bedroom door. I threw it open. I needed to get to her.
With her back to me, Shea was curled around a pillow on the center of her bed. She startled with the sudden intrusion and jerked up to sitting. Caramel eyes blinked at me through the dim light, confusion and hurt and sorrow.
Motionless, I stood in the doorway as the silence hovered over all our uncertainties.
On all the questions.
But Shea was right.
None of that mattered.
And this was enough.
“Shea.” My voice broke on her name.
I took a step inside and latched the door shut behind me.
Shea’s chin quivered, and she lifted it because I knew this girl wanted to be brave. I knew she was playing through a million scenarios. Mentally going through all the ways I was going to let her go. How I was going to let her down. I knew the words she expected to spill from my mouth because for too long I’d been a coward and a fool, thinking sacrifice was the only way to make this right.
Because every time I turned around, I lost someone I loved.
Not this time.
I swallowed hard. “You want to know what I see when I look at you?”
When the intensity in my voice hit her, Shea choked out a tiny sob.
I took one step closer as I began to speak. “I see someone who’s so fucking sweet and kind that every time I look at her it just about knocks me from my feet, because I’ve had so much bad in my life I don’t know how to stand in her presence. I see someone who I know I don’t deserve, so every time I turn around, I’m runnin’ scared because I’m terrified of ruining everything she is.”
Slowly, I approached her, and she watched me in the shadows. Her hands trembled in her lap as I neared.
“I see someone who deserves the greatest kind of joy.”
Another step closer, and Shea crept toward the side of the bed. She drew a single leg up to her chest. Clinging to it as if it could protect her from any more pain. Everything she felt and wanted and feared was exposed in the expression on her face.
I stopped at the edge of the bed and dropped to my knees.
A small cry escaped her mouth.
Reaching out, I gripped her face in my hands, my fingers burrowing in soft, soft hair.
“I see someone, who even though there’s not a chance in this world I could ever be good enough to have her…good enough to hold her…that’s all I want to do. I see someone I want to protect and love and fight for.”
Tears streamed down her cheeks. She edged even closer and let her legs slip over the side.
I settled myself between her knees and met the storm in her eyes.
“I see beauty and light.”
Those eyes flashed, and emotion crushed my ribs. This girl had me twisted up in every way possible.
Shea gasped when I grabbed her by the waist and pulled her to me. I shifted so I sat on the floor with my back propped against the bed.
Shea was straddling my lap.
Warmth enveloped me. Her heart was pounding, all tucked up against me, right where she belonged.
Her skin felt so soft. Mine lit on fire.
She searched my face and I kept on.
“I see the most fucking gorgeous girl I’ve ever had the pleasure to lay my eyes on.” My voice dropped as I leaned up so I could brush my mouth across her ear. “The pleasure to touch.”
A shiver rolled through her, and I gathered one of her hands between us, threading our fingers. I studied them as I struggled to form the words.
I lifted my gaze and spoke with the most honesty I’d ever allowed myself.
“When I look at you, I see a future I never thought existed, Shea.”
A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary and new adult romance.
She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.
Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children.
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