THE LAST BREATH by Kimberly BelleThe Last Breath by Kimberly Belle
Published by MIRA on June 30, 2015
Pages: 384
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Sagas
eARC provided by Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley

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From a remarkable new voice in suspenseful women's fiction comes an emotionally searing drama about a woman who risks her life to discover the devastating truth about her family… Humanitarian aid worker Gia Andrews chases disasters around the globe for a living. It's the perfect lifestyle to keep her far away from her own personal ground zero. Sixteen years ago, Gia's father was imprisoned for brutally killing her stepmother. Now he's come home to die of cancer, and she's responsible for his care—and coming to terms with his guilt.

Gia reluctantly resumes the role of daughter to the town's most infamous murderer, a part complete with protesters on the lawn and death threats that are turning tragedy into front-page news. Returning to life in small-town Tennessee involves rebuilding relationships that distance and turmoil have strained, though finding an emotional anchor in the attractive hometown bartender is certainly helping Gia cope.

As the past unravels before her, Gia will find herself torn between the stories that her family, their friends and neighbors, and even her long-departed stepmother have believed to be real all these years. But in the end, the truth—and all the lies that came before—may have deadlier consequences than she could have ever anticipated….

Gia goes home to take care of her Father at the request of her uncle, and gets more than she imagined in return. The Last Breath talks about forgiveness, honesty, and betrayal in extreme terms. This book deals with life shattering confessions and family ties that should be broken.

Gia has been traveling the globe on humanitarian missions since her father, Ray was accused of killing his wife, Ella Mae. Now Gia’s father is coming home to die. He is at the last stage of his cancer and his death is imminent. He has spent the last sixteen years in jail accused of killing his wife. Even his children are convinced of his guilt. Evidence comes to light that Ella Mae was having an affair with the neighbor, Dean. Everything after this is called into question. Dean testified at the trial against Ray, and no one ever knew of the affair. Did Ray accually kill Ella Mae, or was it someone else? Did Ray get a fair trial? Can his kids forgive him after all these years?

This story flips back and forth between Gia, in the present day, to Ella Mae at the start of the affair up until her untimely death. I read this story and really enjoyed it at first. I was drawn in by Ella Mae’s account of her last moments and how Gia was going to react to her father. There is a romance that pops up between Gia and a bartender named Jake that almost dominates the story from the mid point on. I enjoyed the sex scenes and felt they were well written, but I kinda felt like this story didn’t really go with the dying father and murdered woman. It was a good love story, but I didn’t feel like it should have played such a major role in this story. The book would have been fine without Jake and Gia’s romance and the angst that develops in their relationship.

Beyond the ill timed romance, I liked this book. I didn’t see the end happening the way it did. By the ending I felt like the surprise who-done-it was well written. The characters hold true to who they start off as. There was enough built up that I felt attached to the characters and how they ended up.

View Spoiler »I have to give this book only 3 stars. It was an okay read, but not great.

My Rating


About the Author

Kimberly Belle grew up in Eastern Tennessee, in a small town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachians. A graduate of Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, Kimberly lived for over a decade in the Netherlands and has worked in marketing and fundraising for various nonprofits. Her debut novel, THE LAST BREATH, was published by Harlequin MIRA in September 2014. She divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

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I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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