Battling supernatural hunters and power-hungry witches, Aisling Green must learn to access her power, and fight for what she loves.
New witch Aisling Green is trying to find out what she is and the world she’s entered with no luck. When a dark witch tries to kill her, she’s rescued by Connor, a light witch, and he agrees to help her.
They discover she’s not just a witch. She’s the most powerful creature in existence. An Earthen witch. While they try to develop her unique power, Aisling realizes that she’s fallen for Connor. But her heart isn’t the only thing in danger. Word begins to spread about what she is, and people want her dead. Her power is the key to her salvation. But can she learn to access it before it’s too late?
Reading Just Breathe was akin to taking a breath of fresh air. It’s just so…refreshingly different. Sarah has taken many common tropes found within urban fantasy and paranormal romance and has turned them on their heads, thereby creating the perfect start to what promises to be an action-packed, exhilarating series.
The first aspect of this novel that I want to draw attention to is Connor, a light witch who tasks himself with the job of guiding Aisling as she enters an, until recently, unknown world where “everything is real”. He is, without a shadow of a doubt, the sweetest, kindest and warmest male lead I have ever encountered within this genre. There’s none of this macho bravado, or hard-headed arrogance that’s become so prevalent in male characters. I actually bookmarked a particular scene that perfectly showcases the sheer selflessness of his character. It’s a scene where he and Aisling are playing catch with Shadow, Connor’s werewolf companion. Aisling asks him if werewolves like to play catch and Connor simply answers “Shadow does. That’s all that matters.” There’s no embarrassment in his admission. He simply wants to see his friend happy and will do anything, no matter how seemingly trivial, to do that, regardless of what others in their world might think. It’s rare to come across such a good-natured, pure character. I’m definitely team Connor!
Now, let’s talk about Aisling and her power. She’s…well, powerful. And. This. Is. FANTASTIC! All too often it’s about the mighty, all-powerful males protecting ‘their’ women but it’s the complete opposite with Just Breathe. Sure, Connor is powerful in his own right (the fact that he enables Aisling to tap into her immense power demonstrates this), but Aisling’s power far surpasses his own and Connor is absolutely 100% okay with that. He suffers no dented pride in being protected by Aisling. In fact, he feels pride in seeing her harness her power in such an effective way and I think this pride and trust lay the foundations of a strong and healthy relationship.
Just Breathe is a book filled with many paranormal creatures, but its main focus is witches. Thanks to series such as Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark, I harbor a soft spot for witches and was intrigued to see what Sarah’s take on them would be…and I wasn’t disappointed! From the aura colors surrounding each paranormal creature to the legend of the original twelve Earthen witches and their demise, it’s apparent that Sarah has thought long and hard about the world she has created and the characters populating it. There’s no detail too minor for Sarah. Auras are explored in depth, often in the most amusing of ways (just gonna say “red aura” and leave it at that) and each and every character has been fleshed out with their own individual personalities and idiosyncrasies. Ultimately, all of these elements combined make for an intriguing and exciting world for a reader to become immersed within.
Just Breathe is the first book in the Earthen Witch series, a series in which each book has consistently received 4 or 5 star reviews on Goodreads.
For more information on Sarah’s fiction and poetry, check out her website here!
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Song: Two Steps from Hell’s Strength of a Thousand Men (pretty apt when Aisling can talk with the voices of a thousand dead witches)