"Just breathe. Ten tiny breaths... Seize them. Feel them. Love them."
What the hell does a tiny breath do? Why not a deep breath? Why not three or five or twenty? I'd scream and she'd simply smile her little smile. I didn't understand then.
I do now.
This book was everything I was afraid it would be. I put off reading it for a long time because I knew it was going to make me feel. Ten Tiny Breaths wrecked me. It was a giant contradiction - sad and happy, ugly and beautiful, a love story and a tragedy - and I loved every bit of it.
Kacey Cleary is damaged. She is one of only two survivors in a drunk driving accident that claimed the lives of her family, her best friend, and her boyfriend. The lives of all the people she loved, except for Livie who wasn't with them - the much-older-than-her-age, wise-beyond-her-years baby sister who is the responsible one more often than not. Kacey is left wondering why she was spared, why she was the lucky one, if it would have just been better for her to have not survived, and of course, hating the one other survivor. The boy from the other car. The boy who took everything from her.
Kacey and Livie move in with their aunt and uncle after the accident. As if losing their inheritance at a blackjack table isn't bad enough, Uncle Raymond sneaks into Livie's bed one night and Kacey knows that if she wants to protect the one person she has left, they have to leave. They take what money they can find, hop a bus to Miami and do their best to start over.
All they can afford is 1C - a tiny but furnished apartment in a questionable complex. There's a noisy neighbor with big breasts and a 5-year-old daughter in 1B and as Kacey soon discovers, sex-on-a-stick in 1D. But her noisy neighbor, Storm and her precocious little girl, Mia quickly become good friends (don't judge a girl by her boobs). Sexy pants in 1D is known as Trent and he, like a thief in the night, steals the impenetrable, guarded, closed-off Kacey's heart. Kacey refuses to talk about her family, her past, or the reason for her scars but when Kacey discovers that Trent has secrets of his own, everything changes."Give me your heart Kacey. I'll take everything that comes with it."
This is a story about survival, love, recovery, healing, strength, and perseverance. About loving life, not because of what has happened to you, but despite it. About ten tiny breaths and how they mean everything.“I have dozens of steel pins and rods through my body, holding me together. Physically. Nothing but ten tiny breaths holds the rest of me together.”
The one thing that left me a tad disappointed was the dramatic build-up to the first time Kacey and Trent sleep together (there's tons of sexy tension) and then the anticlimactic way that it finally happened. I know the author was probably trying to get around being considered an erotic novel, but there's ways to be descriptive and tell the story without it being raunchy. It left me feeling like I'd been gipped a little. But then the story kept on trucking and I forgot all about it because of how great it was. This was my first K.A. Tucker novel and I was not disappointed.