Recommended Read, Review

Review: Breath to Bear by Paula Dombrowiak (2021)

Blood and Bone, Book #2

Review of Blood and Bone, Book #1

Heat Factor: It’s hot but it’s also really deep and intense.

Character Chemistry: Having been a Team Mia fan in the first book, I am shocked to find myself fully team Erin in this one.

Plot: Having researched and ghostwritten singer Jack’s memoir, Erin is stuck in a situation of her own making–she’s fallen in love with her subject, he’s famous, and she’s pretty sure he’s still in love with his late lifelong love and bandmate Mia. 

Overall: This was such a satisfying ending to the first book–Mia and Jack’s happily ever after is hard-earned, slow, and satisfying.

So when I wrote the review for the book prior to this, Blood and Bone, I believed the story was a two-fer and kind of smut adjacent. I also REALLY enjoyed it. So I was very, very curious about how book two would go!

In the first book, the real love story is between Jack and Mia, childhood friends/bandmates/lovers. I felt the draw between Jack and Erin, but not the same deep connection. Plus, Erin was a journalist writing a very famous Jack’s story, so the power dynamic seemed kind of risky. And both of them had substantial baggage!! So how the heck was the author going to reconcile all of that?

Really smoothly, as it turns out. The book opens with Erin and Jack being in a kind of relationship limbo. Jack is still processing the loss of Mia, who was an integral part of his entire life. It just doesn’t look like there’s room for a new love, but he clearly loves Erin. So it becomes obvious that Jack is going to have to really push to sort through some heavy stuff if he really wants a life with Erin.

And Erin just completely shines in this one. She spends some time avoiding the relationship with Jack until she’s strong enough to hold the line, and then she just kind of explodes in personality and strength, which I think was necessary in order for them to be together. Jack’s personality is so all encompassing and he’s so charismatic that without that strength I don’t think they’d be a good match.

I loved how the characters are just simmering the entire time they’re apart and then there are all these steamy flares of passion before they finally pull it off. Jack’s relationships with his friends is on display in this one, and instead of featuring his addiction years it’s a lot lighter and more humorous. 

It was a very strange experience liking Jack so much because I was not into sweaty musicians wearing Chuck Taylors in my younger days, but I did understand the allure through Erin’s eyes. I will say that for this to be a tried and true romance, you’d have to take both books together. I maintain the love story between Mia and Jack really overshadows the relationship between Jack and Erin in the first book. And I kinda secretly hope Jack’s friend (and Mia’s ex) Cash gets a love story next. There’s an inkling we might get a grumpy sunshine out of it and I so hope I’m right…

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Blood and Bone | Breath to Bear

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