Monday, August 25, 2014

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally (Hundred Oaks book 5)

ALERT! Even though this book is the fifth in the series, it really is the first one you can read alone. Some of the characters from Racing Savannah make appearances, but you don’t have to read any of the previous books to enjoy this one.

"Sometimes letting go is the only way to hold on."

The Country Music Marathon is in six months and non-runner Annie Winters is training to run it, for him. During the past year, Kyle had been training to run the marathon in Nashville. It was a dream of his since he had started running track in middle school. Having no experience, Annie's health teacher, Coach Woods (Jordan Woods from book one) tells her that she has a friend who helps people train to run marathons. Annie began training under Matt Brown (from book three). All of the training, working out and eating right has kept her mind occupied from thinking of her loss. Kyle had only worked himself up to running twenty miles before he was gone.

While on a training run one morning, a guy running backwards runs by Annie and slows. He checks her out and tells her that he is hoping to run a race backwards. Then he runs off. The following week, Annie sees him again encouraging and running with other people. At the end of the run, Annie limps to her car only to see that the boy has parked his jeep beside of her. Opening her hatchback, she pulls off her shoes when the guy comments on the blister on her foot. He is helping her take care of it when Matt comes over and asks what is going on. Before Annie can say anything, Matt tells the guy that he is trying to build his business and to quit hitting on his clients. The guys start a scuffle but stop when Annie gets their attention by asking what is going on. Matt introduces her to his little brother Jeremiah and says that he helps clients out with pacing during the long weekend runs. Jeremiah checks her out again with Matt standing there. Matt tells him that if he doesn't take his job seriously that he won't give him a second chance. The boys leave finish cleaning up. Annie is left realizing that Jeremiah has left her unsettled.

Kyle has been gone six months. He and Annie met on the first day of high school in gym class. Not starting off on the right foot, by the end of the week Kyle had asked her to the back to school dance. Before too long, Kyle and Annie became serious, even though they were as different as night and day. Annie and Kyle had different dreams for their futures, she wanted to go to college and he wanted to start his life as soon as high school was over. At the beginning of their senior year while on a date at a drive-in movie, Kyle proposed. He was upset when she said that she didn't want to get married right away and broke up with her. A month later, he was gone. Annie blamed her mother for wanting her to go to college so that she wouldn't end up living in a trailer like her and that was why Kyle was gone. She would have married him right out of high school. Annie also blames herself. She wants to go to college too.

Soon, Annie finds butterflies are in her stomach whenever she is around Jeremiah and begins to seek him out. Likewise, Jere cannot stay away from her. As Annie graduates from high school, she continues to be haunted over the loss of Kyle. Each new milestone, experience or even a place around town brings a memory or regret about Kyle. Annie finds that she cannot move forward without thinking she was degrading Kyle's memory.

How did Kyle die? Will Annie be able to compete and finish the marathon? Can she repair her relationship with her mother? What happens when Annie decides to go back to really living her life and quit blaming herself for Kyle's death? Will Jeremiah be the person that Annie will find love with again?

Book six, Best Day Ever, will be published in 2015.

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