Sure to Be One of My Favorite Novels of 2015: The Last Breath (Book Review)

NOTE: I received this book free from the publisher requesting an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's rules and guidelines.

"Now I see there is nothing beautiful about death.  Death is not precious or priceless.  For the person close to the dying soul - a parent, a lover, a child - death is not a gift but a thief." - The Last Breath

I love books that leave you thinking about them even after you've closed the cover for the night.  The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle is one of those novels! 

I cannot explain all the emotions The Last Breath conjured up in me without spoiling the novel for you.  But - WOW! I had to stop and catch my own breath at the end of this one! This book starts off with a bang and wastes no time putting the thrill in thriller.  In fact, upon finishing it, I immediately declared on social media that I just read what is sure to be one of my favorite books of 2015!

The Last Breath is a realistic view of human nature and society. The novel brilliantly shows just how complicated human relationships are.  Belle did a marvelous job of delving into the minds of her characters as they all try to make peace with the past - and each other - as they search their hearts for forgiveness. 

Our protagonist, Gia, is a modern-day woman who embraces her sexuality and independence. As a humanitarian aid worker, Gia has been so busy saving the world, she's neglected to save herself from the constraints of her past.  

"...I'm too busy running to notice that no one was behind me.  The only person chasing me was myself." - Gia, The Last Breath

When Gia returns home to small-town Rogersville, Tennessee to care for her dying father who was convicted of murdering her step-mother sixteen years earlier, she will have to face more than the town's gossip mill.  Gia will have to confront her own personal demons and everything she ran away from in the first place. She will learn a thing or two about herself along the way.  She's great at handling international crises, can she handle her own?

Through her writing, Belle easily transports the reader to small-town Tennessee and into the minds of all the characters, ones that evoke an array of emotions from readers.  You will feel as if you are right in the middle of the story.   There are a few social and political statements that could easily stir controversy, but I loved it!   The Last Breath is honest and raw and makes no apologies for pointing out social hypocrisy.  Belle did a marvelous job of bringing the entire novel to life.

A real page-turner, The Last Breath will leave you with your own reasonable doubt up until the end.  My heart was racing in the final moments.  I had to literally cover the words with my hands so I wouldn't peak ahead.  The anticipation nearly killed me and my heart was in my throat.

The Last Breath can't be placed into one genre  It is a thriller, crime novel, contemporary romance, and family drama all rolled into one explosive story.  It is as suspenseful as it is sexy.  I would recommend it to readers who liked such novels as Gone Girl and Defending Jacob.  I've already recommended this book to several book clubs.  Personally, I would love to see it made into a movie!

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