I was warned about Tristan Cole. “Stay away from him,” people said. “He’s cruel.” “He’s cold.” “He’s damaged.”
It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster. But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him, because it also lived inside of me.
We were both empty. We were both looking for something else. Something more. We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays. Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.
I want to give 6 stars with one bonus star for Faye, the loyal and funny friend!
Let me set something straight: this is my third book by Brittainy C. Cherry and I love that girl! She writes emotional, sensitive and raw stories with wonderful characters. Each and every time, I’m a goner.
The Air He Breathes did not let me down. It was just marvelous.
I loved everything in that story:
– the plot (Gosh, I did not know it was a thriller until the end!);
– the characters: Tristan and Elizabeth of course but also Faye. That girl is so funny, she has no mouth filter and is a wonderful friend;
-the writing: sensitive, real, hilarious or poetic and introspective;
-the emotions carried in that story: grief, pain, loss but also joy, courage, happiness, …;
-the pace: not too quick and not too slow;
-the built of the story, how the small town people are depicted, the little details;
This story is about two people, lost in their grief and finding each other, building something together, a new chance at life and happiness. But it’s not a stroll in the park, more a bumpy road with so called friends determined to see you fail.
Tristan lost his wife and his son in a car accident. He is now drifting through life, running from his past, from his loss. He left everything and everyone behind and settled in a new town to grieve. Unkempt, with a long beard, callous and rude to everyone he is seen as the dangerous and wild one in that small town.
His only companion is Zeus, his dog. His house is bare, his garden overgrown but he does not care and he does not see anything, lost in his pain.
Elizabeth is a young widow. She also lost the love of her life but she has a young girl, Emma. She could have drowned in sorrow but she chose to fight for her daughter. Each day, she would wake up, plaster a smile on her face for the sake of her daughter, go out and try to live one more day, to heal one day at a time.
When Elizabeth meets Tristan for the first time, their encounter is brutal and Tristan is a real a**hole to Elizabeth. She should be frightened from that wild bearded man but she recognizes someone hurting.
Tristan will push her away a long time. Angry she could feel some attraction to him, angry he would betray his wife’s memory. But Elizabeth is persistent.
”Everyone told me he was callous, and I believed them. I’d seen the harsh realities that lived in Tristan. But I’d also seen another part of him that many didn’t notice. I’d seen him fall apart when he learned that Zeus would be okay. I’d seen him slowly open up about the loss of his wife and son. I’d seen a gentle, broken side of Tristan that many seemed to miss.”
Once Tristan learned Elizabeth lost her husband, he opened up slowly.
They shared their realities, talked about their misery:
”Sometimes I think the little memories are worse than the big ones. I can handle remembering his birthday or the day of his death, but remembering the little things like the way he cut the grass, or…”
Soon, they use each other to feel less lonely, pretend his/her loved one is still there.
”I miss having someone to take care of me”…”I’ll help. I’ll help you hold onto him. I’ll help you remember. I’ll take care of you.”
Of course, Tristan and Elizabeth together was a terrible idea. Both broken and lost but they created something hopeful, something healing.
I won’t tell more about the story who is far from finished, just add that it also has a villain I did not see coming and that Faye was a hilarious girl. I can’t resist writing some of her banter here below. Enjoy!
”Was it? Was it an accident?”…”Not exactly like that. The wind pushed the penis toward my mouth first”…”I know! I know! This is why people shouldn’t go out on windy days. The penises are on rampage the windy days”
Or another of my favorite :
”Did you lick his sharp jaw? Did you giddy up? Did you find his nemo? Did you Grace his Frankie? Did you Justin his Timberlake?”
Faye is totally inappropriate but so fierce, free and loyal that you can only love her.
My last word is that I hope I convinced you to read this little jewel and that you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.