May 7, 2013


Inhale, Exhale, by Sarah M. Ross
Published May 7, 2013
Publisher:  self-published
Format: e-ARC - received from publisher via Inkslinger PR
Genre:  new adult contemporary romance
To Buy:  Amazon  * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords

Rating:  5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Jillian had a plan: celebrate the end of her first year of college with an amazing summer full of beaches, barbeques, and bonfires. When her mom insists she needs a summer job, and her boyfriend spends more time with his band than with her, Jillian’s plans go down the drain.

Grant had a plan: finish his Masters, get a great job at Google, and get the hell out of Georgia. He might be giving up some of the fun of his youth, but he knows his all work and no play method would be worth it when his dreams came true.

But things never go according to plan.

When temptation brings them together and tragedy tears them apart, Jillian and Grant will be forced to choose: fight for their dreams, or fight for each other.

I've read a lot of new adult books in the past six months, and very few were able to acquire the coveted 5-star rating. The stars have to align perfectly for that to happen - the perfect blend of great characters, a compelling story, good writing and editing, and of course, a happily ever after. Note the rating above ^ for Inhale, Exhale.

I'm not sure exactly which of those 5-star characteristics was the one that "did it" for me. The characters are all great. Jillian is an optimistic 19-year-old who just finished her first year of college. She has bold goals and a bright future ahead of her. Her mom got her an easy peasy summer job, so all she has to do is have fun. Her douchey boyfriend of four years is the only dark spot in her life.

Grant has equally lofty career aspirations, none of which include sticking around Po-dunk, Georgia working as an IT guy. He's exactly the opposite of the guy you usually see in new adult books. Instead of the hot and sexy bad boy, Grant is the hot and sexy nerd. He's compassionate and ballsy and has a fierce protective streak. He is completely and utterly sigh-worthy.

One of my most hated plot devices is cheating. So, it's curious that, although there's some of that present in Inhale, Exhale, it doesn't bother me. Perhaps it's because Jillian's long-time boyfriend doesn't seem genuine, or perhaps you find yourself rooting for Grant from the very beginning because he's a genuinely nice guy. Or, maybe it was because it didn't seem like the cheating was used as an unnecessary drama-creator. I don't really know what it is, but the story of Jillian, Grant, and getting to the bottom of what they really want superseded the cheating.

Ross' writing is superb and the editing is really tight. There's some really good action and suspense toward the end that kept me from turning off my Kindle, even in the wee hours of the morning. The sex and sexual tension between Jillian and Grant is so enticing and hot, hot, hot. If you love the new adult genre, Inhale, Exhale should be added immediately to your TBR list.

About the Author

Sarah Ross started her obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. She would read any fiction book she could get her hands on. Sarah knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding her from TV or music, her mom would take away her books as punishment (The Horror!). Her love of all things paranormal was inspired by her good friend Laurie, who convinced Sarah that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, she gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history.

Sarah grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as she does for several years. She will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but couldn’t take the cold and moved her frozen tush to Florida where she now lives with her family and two cats. You will find Sarah now with her trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!


Lola said...

Sounds good! I am adding this to my to-read list!

Krista said...

You definitely should, Lola! It's wonderful!