AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have been with my wife now for over 45 years. She is the most beautiful, smartest, talented person that I know. And, yet, I feel that I have not spent enough time showing her how great I think she is. Jasmine Haynes' book has made me more aware of letting my wife know what I feel. For that, I say a personal "Thank you."
So there. Now, along comes book 1 of a romance series featuring the Maverick Billionaires. Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully (aka Jasmine Haynes) have collaborated for the 1st time to bring us a series about 5 mid-30s men who have been friends since grade school. They mostly came from poor, rough childhoods and have made themselves into...well...billionaires. This 1st book is about Will Franconi, who has become rich by selling luxury goods for luxury prices. Almost by chance, Will meets Jeremy Newman, an 18-year old boy who had a very serious car accident when he was 7 and has never matured mentally past that age. And then there's Jeremy's older sister, Harper, who, in her late 20's, has already been taking care of Jeremy on her own for 6 years, since their parents were tragically killed in an accident.
You know, I've said many times that it's okay with me that we know up front the girl will get the guy, and vice versa. But even knowing that, I still appreciate a book that keeps me guessing, at least a little bit. And this book absolutely does that.
I really have a lot to say about Breathless in Love, but I don't want to lose you 1/2 or 2/3 of the way through. So I will try to be concise (yeah, right) with my analysis. Let me start by saying I just loved this book. I loved all of the relationships: Will with Jeremy, Will with Harper, Harper with Jeremy, Will with his 4 Maverick buddies, Will with his mom, Susan. Every connection felt real to me, and I truly connected with the 3 main characters. Maybe a little too much, if you catch my tear-soaked drift.
Speaking of crying, wow, did I cry a lot. There were the obvious tearfests - when Will treated Jeremy like a brother; when will did NOT treat Harper like a sister; when Harper and Jeremy were together. But here's the thing: There were a bunch of very poignant moments that were not just about the main characters. There were tons of scenes when Will showed kindness to people far below him on the food chain. There's one time in particular in a porcelain factory in London between Will and 5 factory workers that was one of the highlights of the entire book for me. Oh, yeah, I cried.
But this leads me to the most important message that I got out of this book. There's a reason I posted a quote from an earlier review. Just like I learned a valuable lesson from Past Midnight, so did I learn a valuable lesson from Breathless in Love: Just be nice to people. I try to do that, whether I'm with friends or as a customer in a retail situation. But you know what? I (and all of us) can do better. Treat everybody with the same respect that you expect from them. Money and status don't make one person better than the other. In fact, I just saw this on Facebook the other day (and had to share it) - Be the person your dog thinks you are. Does that sum it up or what? So, Bella and Jennifer, thank you for teaching me that lesson.
I'm going to stop here - for now (evidently I just couldn't be concise enough!). But I will be doing part 2 of this post in the next few days. Don't worry, it will be shorter. But I still have more to say. And you don't want to stifle my creative literary juices, do you? (Do you? It's not a rhetorical question.) Stay tuned.