The man of Zoe Morgan’s dreams isn’t only real, he’s interested. In her. But her boss wants her too, and is leveraging his unsolicited advances with the threat of blocking the huge promotion she’s after. When he places a spy on her research team, the intense stranger discovers more than he should, and Zoe fears hiding a relationship with Gavin Cassidy from her boss is the least of her worries. The whale she must protect has been marked for death, and Zoe’s old enemy Scarlet is eager to deliver the killing blow. To both of them.
Australia’s Sentinels must find and lock the door into the Dreaming before Fyre Elementals launch another attack on innocent dreamers. But corruption and distrust abound, and Gavin believes someone on the Sentinel council is in league with the Fyres. As he reluctantly embraces his new role as council leader, Gavin must not only keep Zoe safe from Scarlet’s vengeful clutches, but organize a Sentinel defense strong enough to prevent a full-blown Elemental war—with a traitor fighting by his side.
This book…. I knew it was going to be a hard one. I knew that the characters were going to be fighting a life and death battle. I just had no idea how bad it would be. I really could have used some recovery time before I wrote this review, but I guess the ‘pulling the bandaid off fast’ technique is going to have to come into play here. *sigh*
All of the passion, beauty, danger, wit and romance is back in Exhale in full force. In fact, this book begins exactly where Inhale left off. The stakes are higher in Exhale though and the danger is intensifying. Zoe spends a fair amount of time in denial and Gavin spends just as much time trying to convince her of who and what she is. Even though he isn’t quite sure himself at times. The only thing that he knows is that he needs to protect her and he loves her. Zoe is not easily convinced. The scientist in her fights the obvious and her mind tries to fight her heart. Did I mention that this was a tough one to read? Yeah, well it gets even tougher.
I guess if Kendall Grey wasn’t so darn good at making us care about her characters it wouldn’t have been so bad. But she does, and we do – so when they hurt, we hurt and Exhale involves a lot of pain. Okay, so it wasn’t all so awful. Zoe’s friends were amazing (I love Adrienne) and there were a few new characters that were interesting. Randy wasn’t around much this time (and yes, I consider that a positive) and Zoe and Gavin had a few crazy, wonderful moments. All of that was good.
Then there was Scarlet. I’ve read a lot of PNR books and there are a lot of really evil characters in those books. I honestly don’t think that I’ve loathed any of them as much as I loathe Scarlet. Even the other ‘bad’ guys hate her. She is beyond evil and she needs to go. Sooner rather than later. As it is, I’m not sure even that will ‘fix’ the cluster muck that she orchestrated in Exhale. Yes, she was that bad.
Woven within all this chaos there were some pretty amazing revelations, some beautiful moments and a couple of insights into characters that readers were left on the fence about in Inhale. There’s still more mystery left though and more than a few whales, humans and Elementals to save. Lots of lives hang in the balance and…. and… I honestly still can’t believe that things played out the way they did during the last few chapters of this book. I suggest that, unlike me, you have Just Breathe handy when you finish Exhale. Yes, Exhale is that amazing and that heart breaking. #AuthorsAreEvil – but you gotta love ’em – and this is one author that I have a true love/hate relationship with right now. 😉