Losing My Breath

Romance - Comedy
220 Pages
Reviewed on 10/31/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

J. Rose Black weaves stories about obsession, redemption, and the transcendental power of love. From her early days writing fanfiction for a passionate following of international readers, to crafting novels with her own characters, Rose has always been drawn to broody protectors and plucky, no-nonsense women ready to fight for what they believe in.

When Rose isn’t deeply immersed in her latest manuscript, she’s working in cyber security and thwarting the next generation of internet bad guys. Out of the office, she’s #Shipping with friends over her favorite, swoon-worthy couples, heading to the gym to battle the great evil that is Unmovable Baby Weight, or complaining about her husband’s addiction to 3D printing. Also: nagging her children to eat something other than cheese.

To learn more about Rose’s stories and the characters and worlds visited in this book, check out her website.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gaius Konstantine for Readers' Favorite

“And when you're completely alone, will that mean you've won? Or lost?” Losing My Breath by J Rose Black is not just a typical love story; it is also the tale of a man who stands on the edge of the abyss. Callan Brand, an ex-marine residing in a Chicago apartment building, is efficient and organized, but he is a man who observes life rather than living it. He is a good person who believes himself to be a monster and exists in a self-created void, pushing away anyone who gets too close to him. However, his life unexpectedly changes when he gets a new neighbor named Meridian Daly, a beautiful woman inside and out. Initially, Callan protects her, but ultimately, she may be the one to save him and remind the troubled young man that life is worth living.

Losing My Breath by J Rose Black is like a heartwarming contemporary fairy tale for adults. It features a combat-boot-wearing Prince Charming and a feisty modern-day princess. The plot and themes revolve around a man who is afraid to love and unable to escape his past and a woman who reminds him that what he lost is not as great as what he can lose in the future. Character development is outstanding, and a believable cast makes the story highly immersive and engaging. The pace is perfect and realistic, evoking nostalgia about past loves and days long gone. Losing My Breath combines love, romance, comedy, and redemption, making it an exemplary read for fans of the genre.

Rosie Malezer

In Losing My Breath by J Rose Black, former Marine Callan Brand was the eyes and ears of his building. He knew what to keep watch for and who to interrogate. When Meridian Daly moves into the building right across the hall from him, Callan tries hard not to engage with the new tenant who had walked through the rain with no umbrella. Soaking wet, Meridian introduces herself to Callan but he rudely retreats into his own apartment. At the building's gym, he gives advice on everything she is doing wrong in her workouts, much to her chagrin. But when a stalker colleague follows Meridian home and tries to rape her, Callan leaps into action and leaves the assailant beaten and bloodied in the hall. Meridian and Callan become inseparable from that moment, but Meridian wants a future with Callan whereas he only sees a bleak emptiness in his own. It soon becomes apparent to Meridian that the man she has fallen for suffers from PTSD. He'd been a sniper, had seen his own friend die, and lost his family while he was in combat. Meridian tells him she loves him but he cannot bring himself to say the words, convinced they will get her killed. Upon finding out Meridian is pregnant, he panics and flees to the cemetery.

It is very rare to read a love story that does not have a rinse-and-repeat cycle, but Losing My Breath is far from the normal romantic tale. Putting a washed-up war vet into the same circle as a picture-perfect beauty queen and shoving them into any sort of a future seems far-fetched. With one used to assuming the role of helper and the other having been used up by all the wrong men in her life, the humor quickly comes alive and keeps the reader engrossed in what will come next. This is definitely a love-and-hate marathon between the two until the war vet actually sees the daily struggle for the woman with the so-called perfect life. The moment his PTSD is seen for what it is, however, instead of her running for the hills, she is by his side every step of the way through the good and the bad. The reality within the pages of J Rose Black's perfectly penned novel shows that there is a light at the end of the darkest of days if you are willing to put in the effort to overcome them. I wholeheartedly recommend Losing My Breath to all readers who like their finer romance novels to coincide with both drama and mystery.

Delene Vrey

Losing My Breath by J Rose Black is a contemporary romance with some humor. Former Marine Raider Callan Brand can tell by just looking at Meridian Daly that she is going to be trouble, even more so when he realizes she is his new neighbor. To Callan, it seems that she has no sense of taking care of herself, especially in the semi-dangerous neighborhood where their apartments are located. When their first interaction ends with "Buy yourself an umbrella," it sets the tone for their future interactions. Callan is a reclusive veteran who looks out for those in need in his vicinity, and unfortunately, Meridian seems to attract more than her share of trouble. But Meridian has a positive attitude and slowly finds a way into Callan's life. Slowly, Callan realizes he wants her in his life and tries to give her what she needs. When an unforeseen complication develops, Callan has to face his past and the trauma that came back with him after deployment.

J Rose Black uses a humorous romance to address some weighty topics in a lighthearted and insightful manner. The central theme is that of mental health and integration issues faced by war veterans. These issues are prevalent among soldiers who return to civilian life, especially so if they have lost friends in action or had assignments that caused trauma. The conversations that Callan has with himself are useful in revealing what thought processes he has to go through to cope with life in general, as well as dealing with his untreated PTSD. In contrast to his struggles, Meridian goes through life with a naïve and positive attitude, which belies the issues she faces like losing her father at a young age, and finding out that she is adopted. Although the narrative deals with some challenging issues, it is presented in an easy-to-read manner with an uncomplicated plot. It offers good insight into the world as it is today, where women have to be vigilant of predators and be strong and independent. Losing My Breath is an apt title that connects with the emotions that Callan experiences, such as losing his breath and zoning out of the here and now. The author has succeeded in writing a compassionate and truthful book.