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Books to Breathe

Currently reading

Strip Search
Shayla Black, Aletha George
Fighting Redemption
Kate McCarthy
Ten Days of Perfect
Andrea Randall
Tough Luck
C.M. Stunich
Conklin's Blueprints
Brooke Page
Reckless Abandon (November Blue, #2)
Andrea Randall
Fury
Michelle Pace, Tammy Coons
Remy (Real, Raw & Ripped, #3)
Katy Evans
Remembering Joy
Jenni Moen
With Every Heartbeat (Cities of Love) - Melody Grace ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

There are some things in life we know to be true, beyond logic or reason, science or faith. Irresistible truths, they’re called, the things we seem to instinctively grasp, as if the knowledge were imprinted deep in our DNA, written on the very fiber of our souls.

Right from the beginning, from the first glance at the cover, you are instantly swept away on a romantic adventure. You may not know what is in store for you, or what lies ahead, but the truth remains glaringly obvious it will be life-affirming and unforgettable. Set beneath the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, come visit a place that time all but forgot. To a land where the culture and history is as rich as the gelato that will melt on your tongue. A place where, try as you may, you cannot help BUT fall in love. Sometimes you find the love of another, but once in a while, if you are lucky, you learn to love yourself.

We don’t dance to be happy. We dance because we must.

With Every Heartbeat is the romantically delicious coming of age story about Annalise and Raphael. All Annalise has every known is ballet, her entire life being consumed by the drive to be the best, to be perfect no matter what she does. Despite her best efforts, she continues to stay hidden in the shadows of her over-bearing literal prima donna ballerina mother. And Mother with expectations so high, Annalise can never hope to live up to them. Feeling as though this is her last chance to make it big, she jets off to Italy for a summer residency in a ballet company in Rome. It is here that we are introduced to Raphael.

Raphael. The face of a saint, the body of a sinner. And Oh, how I long to see him again.

Oh Raphael……. Just the sound of his name rolling off my tongue induces pleasured shivers, thoughts of a subdued yet honest romance. Raphael too knows of over-bearing parents and living and the unrelenting quest of living up to expectations. Not wanting to play that game, he left home 5 years ago to embark on his own destiny and dreams. Though we are led to believe that our couple meets by coincidence, when two souls are fated to be together, can anything TRULY be by chance? At what point do you stop questioning how things came to be and just realize that they are as they are because surely there could be no other way. Surely a world does not exist in which we don’t encounter and live out our days with our other half, be they next door or halfway across the world.

I have to close my eyes, to feel the soft touch slowly ripple through my entire body. I don’t understand the spell he’s cast over me, how one minute I feel perfectly normal, and the next, it’s like I’ve leapt off a tall building, in total free-fall towards the ground-and loving every second of it.

Have you ever been sure of what you were meant to do in life? Continuing to live day by day, existing solely under the weight of what is expected of you, yet not really having any real direction. Believing with all your being that this one thing, your passion, if you don’t do it, you will cease to exist. This is how Annalise and Raphael feel about dancing. They breathe the movement, yearn for the slightest of touch, and revel in the fluidity of limbs. To have such belief in knowing exactly what makes your life true and worthy, to know what you were put on this earth to do and feeling it all the way to your core, that’s what this book is about. Finding your passion. Even when we may think we know what our avenue in life will be, destiny throws us a curveball and we are left deliriously happy, despite the outcome. Whether you believe it at the time, it was meant to happen, and that can’t be all that horrible, right?

The intensity in his eyes makes my heart stop. There’s a naked hunger there, consuming, and I feel it ripple through me, an answering ache rising in my very core.

Though the beginning started a tad slow for me, once I was pulled in, I connected so deeply with the characters. I think everyone will be able to understand the points they are at in their life, as we all go through similar situations. If nothing else, Annalise and Raphael will show you that it is okay to go after your dreams, to always be true to yourself, and once in a while, the love of a lifetime is just around the corner.