Category Archives: Rebecca Donovan


Continuing Mature YA Series – angst and emotion



“We’re all cursed—every single one of us.”

Lana Peri isn’t afraid of telling anyone exactly what she thinks, even if it gets her into trouble—which it usually does. But the thing is, she can’t lie. Her unfiltered honesty doesn’t exactly make her many friends, although it does get her kicked out of class regularly. Lana knows the truth will eventually be her undoing. If only she’d known it would begin today.

It’s meant to be a night Lana and her best friends will never forget. And it is… for all the wrong reasons. Lana witnesses not just one, but two violent crimes committed by the same person. Except she can’t say a word. Not if she wants to protect her friends.

Lana’s silence will implicate her and inadvertently cover for him. But it’s not like she has a choice. He is powerful. Connected. Untouchable. And a friend of Joey Harrison—the guy Lana is uncharacteristically drawn to the moment they meet. Joey’s also the only one who is told the truth.

His lies will ruin her. Her silence will keep them safe. The truth won’t save any of them.

IF I’D KNOWN is available to purchase in the US
(UK release details to come shortly)


Complete Spoiler-free Review

‘I wonder if I’m the only one who sees it – the weakness within us. I don’t know if we’re born cursed or if it’s bestowed upon us at some pivotal moment in our lives, but it defines us and ultimately leads to our demise. So we can either accept it or live in denial. Most live in denial, holing out hope for their “Happily ever after.”’

Rebecca Donovan has always had a special place in our reading hearts, her words first stole our breaths over six years ago and she’s never failed to wow us with her stories. They’re always compelling, brilliantly written and have such depth and detail. Along the pages she passes on messages of life and wisdom through her wonderful characters. We’ve been waiting patiently for her next book as we knew we’d be guaranteed that within those pages we’d find her heart and soul intricately woven into her words. We were not wrong. Rebecca Donovan is unique in the way she writes, you’d recognise her words anywhere but you’d only find them in her stories.

‘I’ve come to accept that, regardless of how honest and silent I am, the truth is fated to destroy my life.’

Lana is a very clued up fifteen year old. Hard exterior and a no nonsense attitude that doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She is older than her years in so many ways, yet underneath all that lies a dormant vulnerable teenager. Whilst she seldom makes an appearance we saw glimpses of her. Lana is honesty personified; a sweet and caring daughter to her single Mum whose life is changed dramatically when one fateful night puts her in the company of someone whose actions will have dire repercussions. Secrets, lies and omissions will suddenly turn this honest girl’s life upside down…

“If I can tell you one thing…it’s don’t think that anyone’s ever going to give you anything in this life. If you want it, you have to fight for it, even if that means drawing blood.”

We loved If I’d Known so much we wish we had the next book in this series already. It felt like a step back in time to the books we used to read and love. Old school YA angst if you will. What a fabulous start to a series we just know will be everything we love. Dark, hard hitting, cold and sombre with an innocence that’s been provoked by life.

“Lying is the worst kind of betrayal. Don’t ever lie to protect someone from the truth. Untrue words hurt as much as a knife to the heart.”



Gripping and emotional seriess to be read in order –  Some days Emma Thomas is thrilled to be alive. Some days she struggles for a reason to breathe. Discover
breathing series 2

Reason to Breath Book ONe : Amazon US | Amazon UK
Barely Breathing Book Two: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Out of Breath Book Three  : Amazon US | Amazon UK

A beautifully moving standalone

Amazon US | Amazon UK

what if

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WHAT IF by REBECCA DONOVAN – Review and special video messages.

what if


What if you had a second chance to meet someone for the first time?

Cal Logan is shocked to see Nicole Bentley sitting across from him at a coffee shop thousands of miles from their hometown. After all, no one has seen or heard from her since they graduated over a year ago.

Except this girl isn’t Nicole.

She looks exactly like Cal’s shy childhood crush, but her name is Nyelle Preston and she has no idea who he is. This girl is impulsive and daring, her passion for life infectious. The complete opposite of Nicole. Cal finds himself utterly fascinated-and falling hard. But Nyelle is also extremely secretive. And the closer he comes to finding out what she’s hiding, the less he wants to know.

When the secrets from the past and present collide, one thing becomes clear: Nothing is what it seems.SS


♥ ♥ ♥

What If by Rebecca Donovan

Reviewed by Gitte

Gitte: ✯✯✯✯✯

What If I’d never read What If? 

I would never have felt my heart break into small pieces

I would never have experienced this pure flawless perfection of writing

I would never have cried for Nyelle and Cal

I would never have cried for Richelle, Nicole and Rae

I would not have experienced the inspirational beauty found in this story

I would not have experienced this strong connection of love

I would not have been part of a journey of finding out who you truly are

“Do you ever wish you could do something over again?” 

I would not have seen such incredible loyalty and friendship

I would not have experienced this exquisite tenderness and understanding

I would never have met the beautiful and tender soul that is Cal

I would never have met the hurting yet inspiring free spirit that is Nyelle

I would never have experienced this hope that was found in burdened tragedy

I would never have experienced growing up with characters who ended up with my heart

I would never have experienced such brokenness unthought-of to be mendable

I would never have experienced a ‘what if you could do it over’

I would never have experienced the intricate and emotional second chance

“Who are you looking for?” 

I would never have striven to uncover a multitude of interwoven and veiled secrets

I would have missed out on the spirituality with which Rebecca Donovan writes

I would have missed out on a story that touched my heart and soul

I would never have sat for hours thinking about my own ‘What If’s…’

What if I had done it differently? Who would I be? What would my life be like? What if…”

I do know I would have missed out on something extremely special

♥ ♥ ♥

what if

♥ ♥ ♥

Watch this beautiful video where Rebecca explores the message in her book…..’what if?’.
What choice made you the person you are today?

Rebecca asks ‘what if’


Gitte from TB talks about her ‘what if’.


 ♥ ♥ ♥

Also by Rebecca Donovan

A unique tale of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and one girl’s fragile grasp of hope and an absolute TB Recommended Series
TB Breathing Series Reviews here

breathing series 2





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Filed under 5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Rebecca Donovan, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

OUT OF BREATH (Breathing Series #3) by Rebecca Donovan – Review

Gripping and emotional sereis to be read in order


 breathing series 2


out of breath


Emma leaves Weslyn and everyone in it behind to attend Stanford University, just as she always intended. A shell of her former self, she is not the same girl. She is broken, and the only way that she’ll be whole again is through forgiveness. Emma must find a way to forgive herself and recognize her own worth before she can receive the love she deserves. This final installment will have readers holding their breath until the very last page.

out of breath collage

Reviewed by Gitte

I picked up ‘Out of Breath’ with so much nervous trepidation yet excited urge to find out just what was going to happen with Emma and Evan in this third and final instalment. After two devastatingly emotional cliff-hangers that had me nearly throwing my kindle at the wall and nearly two years down the line I was so ready yet so very scared at the same time.

My heart started pounding immediately and I already felt the lump in my throat from the first word as every emotion I felt in book #1 and 2 came crashing to the surface. I remembered exactly how and what these characters made me feel. The haunting and emotional writing of Rebecca Donovan is second to none. She makes you feel absolutely everything as her story comes alive. Every single sense you possess becomes completely and utterly involved by every word written. Her writing gives me the chills and makes me tremble from sheer emotion. All three books have made me feel such powerful emotions that range from one end of the scale to the other.

This series is and always will be very close to my heart. I fell in love with Evan and Emma a long time ago and they are still two of my most beloved characters. This Author completely blew my mind when I picked up ‘Reason to Breathe’ and I will never forget the anxiety, fear, love and compassion I felt from the first breath I shared with these characters.

I urge every reader out there who reads this review to pick up this series, if you haven’t already. It will steal a piece of your heart and leave a permanent imprint. You will want to wrap your arms protectively around your kindle wishing that this action, in itself, would give some comfort, love and shelter to these characters which come alive through this Author’s brilliant writing. This series is upsetting, actually it is vividly disturbing, but it is life. Yes, we are talking fiction in this particular case; however we know it is not merely limited to that. It happens…again… is life.

“She’s just…..broken.”

Now, it would be a grave disservice to any new reader to give anything away, to spoil this beautiful, harrowing yet inspirational story.  Your emotions should be your own when you experience the journey of Emma.

“All I had to do was give up….Give up. Breathe, Emma. Just give up, and….breathe.”

Emma will make you feel. You will cry for and with her. You will want to grab her out of the story and comfort and guide her. Make her see what she cannot. You will love her, yet you will also want to talk some sense into her. Believe me; she frustrated me with her actions many times in Out of Breath. However, how do you question someone’s rationale under adverse circumstances and in the aftermath of violence? How do you counteract so much hurt, sorrow and suffering?  Being hated for your own existence? Secrets can truly break you as can the guilt and despair of them. Emma had to unravel layers of pain and hurt. She had to overcome the consequential numbness and self-destructive path from the ultimate betrayal and brutality. Emma had to learn how to breathe, live….Emma had to grow up and leave the past behind in order to survive the future.

“You’re supposed to hate me…..Please just hate me.”

As for Evan, be still my beating heart. I felt for him, suffered with him got angry and hurt on his behalf. He was wronged too and his strength, his passion his decency and patience. I truly love him, so very much. Evan’s had too grow up to and learn to survive. His path forever intertwined with Emma’s. They shared a breath, a life. How do you ever forget the emotions tied up in something like that?

“Emma wasn’t the same girl. And I wasn’t the same either.”

Emma broke me in ‘Out of Breath’. I can’t even begin to adequately put into words how I felt, still feel after finally finishing the journey of Emma, Evan and all of the other characters we met along the way who played a part in this journey.

Sitting here collecting my thoughts to try and do Emma and Evan some kind of justice, well, words almost fail me and I’m crying all over again from the pure emotion that bled off the pages. The Breathing series is one, which I cannot recommend highly enough.

“Let it all out Emma. Find your way back to us….”

“I’m so afraid I’m not worth the breath you gave me….”

Gitte: 5 Stars!

ARC Supplied by Publisher in exchange for an honest review


For Evan and Emma – Crash Land by Twin Atlantic

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 Check out and purchase The Breathing Series here:

Reason To Breathe (The Breathing Series, #1)

Barely Breathing (The Breathing Series, #2)

Out Of Breath (The Breathing Series, #3)

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1 Person will Win an Ebook Copy of Out Of Breath by Rebecca Donovan
1 Person will win a signed copies of the entire Breathing Series!!!!

Enter here and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed under 5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Rebecca Donovan, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

REASON TO BREATHE (The Breathing Series #1) – by REBECCA DONOVAN

Griping and emotional sereis to be read in order


 breathing series 2


reason to breathe


“No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?”

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection—pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises, not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide. 

One girl’s story of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and her precarious grasp of hope: Reason to Breathe is the first installment of the acclaimed Breathing Series.


Reviewed by Gitte

…And Breathe…I was warned not to read this book until the 2nd one came out because of THE cliffhanger..I didn’t listen! Emma, Emma, Emma I want to pick you out of the book and put you in my pocket and keep you safe!!!

This book is AMAZING and written so well that the emotions are REAL!! Truly emotional, it made me cry big fat tears, it made me shiver, it gave me goosebumps and it made me shout in frustration!!!! I had to read the end 3 times to make sure I hadn’t missed anything and the epilogue…SERIOUSLY??!!

I was so happy towards the end just to have it….well don’t want to spoil anything!! I cannot recommend this book enough and I am literally counting down the days to the next one..I think as of today it’s 79 days away??? Oh and Evan you fab-u-lush boy hurry over there NOW please!!!!! (still sobbing!!!)

Oh and Rebecca Donovan…you too are AMAZING!!!!


❈ ❈ ❈
Reviewed by Jenny

I started reading this book and literally could not put it down – I HAD to know how it ended, so I was up until 4am devouring every moment. It was a long book and I’ve read a couple of the deleted scenes and really wouldn’t have minded if it was even longer.

We had a chance to really get to know the characters – minor and major characters – they all worked so well together.

“I love that picture, he admitted softly. I think it’s because I love the girl in that picture.” 

There was a plot about 3/4 in the book that frustrated me (not sure if anyone else felt this, probably just me)- I don’t want to give anything away – but I understand now why the plot and character were in there and now I realise it added to the character of Emma.

I really did feel as if I knew these characters and cared about them.

My heart was pounding at some bits and I really rallied for Emma – sometimes I would get frustrated with her but I understood why she put up with what she did – she was selfless and her relationship with Evan was just wonderful. The interaction between these two was just beautiful.

“In the balance of love and loss, it was love that made me struggle to… Breathe.” 

The ending!!!!!! Say no more!

I am eagerly awaiting the sequel and know it will be another allnighter when it is available.

Rebecca if you’re reading this……hurry and finish that book!!! I can’t stand the wait.

Why 4.5 stars and not 5? Drew!

You really need to read this book!


Filed under 5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Rebecca Donovan, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

Barely Breathing (The Breathing Series #2) – by Rebecca Donovan

Griping and emotional sereis to be read in order


 breathing series 2




Emma’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe. Now everyone in Weslyn knows Emma’s secret, but Carol can’t hurt Emma anymore. Some are still haunted by the horror of that night, and some must face the repercussions of their choices. Fans of Rebecca Donovan’s debut novel will discover there’s still much to learn about Emma’s life


Reviewed by Gitte

WANT TO SCREAM AND THROW LAWSON (my kindle lol) AT THE WALL WHILST I COLLAPSE IN A CRYING MESS ON THE FLOOR….I am such a drama queen but I am SERIOUS!!!! I don’t even know what to say…I am angry, frustrated, happy but sad…Why do I do this to myself??!! Actually I totally blame Rebecca Donovan…her amazing writing skills draw me in and puts me through the ringer EVERY TIME!!! For that I thank her believe it or not..she is AMAZING!!!

5 stars???? I don’t think so…more like 5 stars to the power of infinity!!

I’ve been breathing quite nicely since 80 days ago when I finished Reason to Breathe…counting the days for Barely Breathing…hoping Evan went back for that crucial moment and saved Emma. And the gorgeous R. Donovan gave it to us a day early..I psyched myself up, I was happy, I was anxious..I could go on! Then I forgot to breathe again and as Evan was telling Emma to breathe, he was reminding me too!

I don’t want to spoil ANYTHING because so many of you still have this on your tbr list!! Buy I feel like I’ve been to hell and back:

“Where have you been during those five years? In hell I breathed” – Emma.

Emma has survived “the night from hell”, her aunt is in prison and her uncle and two little cousins have gone. Emma is staying with Sara and her parents who have been given guardianship til she is 18. Emma then decides to go live with her mum Rachel, it’s her mum, she wants to get to know her. And so the journey begins of “let’s make Emma’s life hell again because it’s not as if she hasn’t had a hard enough life already”…bloody hell (sorry!) but give this girl a break!!!

Emma has nightmares..she doesn’t remember “the night of hell” but wakes up screaming…Rachel walks in: “What’s wrong with you? You’d think someone was killing you or something”…”But someone is killing me I whispered, every time I shut my eyes”…AAARGH Rachel I officially hate you and Emma I would have wrapped you up and snuggled you safe!!

Emma goes through so much again and starts to question the what if’s..”What if I didn’t exist…” would everyone be happy and safe – I was SOBBING!!! And Evan..the hero..”We could contemplate the meaning of your life all you want, but you’re my meaning, the reason behind just about everything I do- and I would never want to change that” – I love Evan even though he pissed me off once big time when it looked like Emma was standing up for herself..Emma got mad…I got proud…Evan got scared..Evan pissed me off!!! But then Evan..he got good again and I was reminded why I love this guy so much. He is always there, he is protective, he LOVES Emma, whatever Emma feels – he feels…

“Hold on to this life Emma he whispered, you are so much stronger than you think you are” – Evan.

And without giving anything away…HE GOT THERE ” I begged for you to breathe with every breath I gave you” – OMG I was in a puddle on the floor..actually I am still in a mess!!! Enough said!!!!

And Jonathan, yes I did start fancying you, even though you are one screwed up guy..but I would like to try fix you too (oh and go for a ride on the back of your bike!) LOL…

Jonathan and Emma – two people connected by the fact that they were both let down and hated by the people that were meant to love them the most..Jonathan helps Emma because he knows and this confuses everything including Emma…the destruction their relationship caused…”You asked why I stayed when I had every reason to leave – I stayed for you. I was drawn to you almost instantly without really understanding what was happening. I will always be here for you Emma”…But I can’t like him too much because he ended up being the catalyst for how Barely Breathing ended…

Emma sweet sweet Emma..I can’t agree with you even though I kind of understand why….

Evan you gorgeous boy…my heart is breaking for you….

Here are 3 songs that played in my head when reading:

1. Pearl Jam – Just Breathe

2. Theory of a Deadman – In the Middle

3. Coldplay – Fix You


You can purchase Barely Breathing here

Barely Breathing (The Breathing Series #2)


Filed under Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Rebecca Donovan, Reviews by Gitte