Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown

I'm a big fan of Sandra Brown after just discovering (and becoming addicted to!) her books this last year, so I'm thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour for Breath of Scandal hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! For a complete tour schedule click HERE.  As part of my tour stop I have my review as well as the awesome giveaway provided: 5 Winners will each win a paperback copy of Breath of Scandal & a signature Henri Bendel candle.

Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown
Publisher: Grand Central
Publication date: February 26th 2013
My rating:  4.5 stars 


On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman’s worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers. Robbed of her youthful ideals and at the center of scandal and tragedy, Jade ran as far and as fast as she could. But she never forgot the sleepy “company town” where every man, woman, and child was dependent on one wealthy family. And she never forgot their spoiled son, who with his two friends changed her life forever. Someday, somehow, she’d return . . . exacting a just revenge, freeing herself from her enemies’ grasp, and, perhaps, fulfilling a lost promise of love.

My Thoughts:
Breath of Scandal was a sweeping tale of broken dreams, shattered hearts, and revenge! But it was also, a story of letting go, moving on and falling in love again. Very addictive stuff!

At the start, Jade Sperry’s story was heartbreaking! At age eighteen she had a bright future ahead: about to graduate high school and looking forward to attending college on a full scholarship with the love of her life by her side. Jade was on the cusp of living out all her dreams when something awful happens that changes her entire future.  The town offers no support, we have a case of “the good old boys club” covering and turning a blind eye, and even her mother and best friend are not in her corner.  Instead, Jade must pick up the pieces and move on, for now… Jade spends years preparing for revenge, yet at the same time she doesn’t allow bitterness to poison her life.

Concurrently, we have our hero, Dillon’s story unfolding, and his is a tragic tale as well. He had a rough beginning losing his parents at a young age, going into foster care, but eventually finding happiness. Dillon also had the very brightest future ahead until tragedy struck leaving him shattered.  Plagued by guilt, Dillon goes through the motions, barely living, but things change when Jade Sperry walks into his life. 

As I said, Jade’s story was heartbreaking. I was outraged for her!  I wanted to smack several people, including her crap-excuse for a mother, while simultaneously grabbing Jade up to give her a big hug! The first 25% of the story was shocking, painful and unbelievable, but somehow Jade rose above it all and settled in for long term plans.  Revenge is best served cold, as they say, and Jade made some delicious preparations!  

I admired Jade’s strength of spirit, and while she was focused on revenge it didn’t stop her from being a caring, good person.  Her mother may have been severely lacking in compassion or love, but Jade gains others that fill that void in her life, and love her like she deserved in the first place. I find I have issues with “revenge” stories because it’s hard to connect with someone whose main focus is so very negative.  This was not the case with Jade who had such a big heart in spite of everything she went through.

Dillon’s and Jade paths don’t cross until about the 50% mark but the timing was perfect. If they met earlier in life I’m not sure things could’ve worked out.  He ends up being a rock Jade can count on, even though at first she’s determined to handle problems created by the past on her own.  Having gone through so much as well, Jade provides comfort and understanding to help Dillon cope with his feelings of guilt and loss, as well.

Breath of Scandal took me on an emotional roller coaster, but I enjoyed the ride. I have to say if you pick this up, be patient.  Like I said the first 25% was painful, but the payoff was well worth it!  I wanted to high five Jade at more than a few points, and I’m thrilled with the way it all worked out. 

I’m relatively new to Sandra Brown’s stories, but every one that I’ve picked up so far has been riveting!  I stayed up until three a.m. to finish Breath of Scandal, because I could not put it down!  A total recommend.

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), CHILL FACTOR (2005), WHITE HOT (2004), & HELLO, DARKNESS (2003).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.

A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.”

In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.

Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Connect with Sandra Brown:

5 winners will each win a trade paperback of Breath of Scandal + a signature Henri Bendel candle (see photo below).  Giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only.  Simply fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



erin said...

looks and sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Your love for Sandra Brown books is really making me want to pick up her books, Rachel. This sounds pretty emotional. My heart is already breaking for the main characters and I don't even know their full stories yet! I love the sound of Jade and Dillon together. I'll have to check this book out for sure.
Lovely review, Rachel!

Jenny said...

Okay, normally revenge stories are not for me Rachel, I get irritated when those who have been wronged decide to wrong others–however deserving–BUT, when what's been done to them is truly awful I can't help but let my vindictive side come out and root for them. I have little doubt I'll be fully in Jade's corner in this one!

Giselle said...

Great review, Rachel! I love how addictive this sound and romantic suspense novels are def my go-to books and fav genre! Jade sounds like a very well written character and her story sounds very emotionally driven, too. The romance sounds well blended into the story, too, even if the guy only arrives half way through. I think that's refreshing, actually! :)

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

I feel like I'd want to take Jade to the side and give her a big hug then help her give those arses what they deserve! Books like this get my blood a-boiling (on behalf of the victimized characters, that is).

Brandie said...

I normally really enjoy Brown's books, and had requested this one on Netgalley, unsure if it really appealed to me. I think now I'm going to have to give it a try! I'm so glad you liked it, and wonderful review, Rachel!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I have yet to read a book by Brown. I keep saying I will. I am currently reading my first Nora Roberts book, so that's a step in the right direction.

brandileigh2003 said...

Letting go and moving on and the other highlighted themes do make it sound like something I would like

Anita Yancey said...

This book sounds so good. I love that she plans to come back some day to see that they pay for what they did. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Rachel said...

Thank you, Brandie. It's not a twisty mystery, but the story was captivating, and suspenseful at times, even so. Hope you enjoy it! :)

Rachel said...

Same here, Mary! I get so worked up in defense of my fictional characters and I'm ready to whip their made-up asses! :)

Rachel said...

Jade was a terrific character, Giselle! I was ready to do battle with all who tormented her even though she's just a fictional gal. :) I think Jade and Dillon met at a perfect time in their lives and I'm not sure they would've been able to connect had they met earlier. I'm loving Sandra Brown, so that you for including me on the tour! :)

Rachel said...

I don't gravitate toward revenge stories either, Jenny. The negativity you have to constantly focus on upsets me, but IMO that wasn't the case in Breath of Scandal. :)

Rachel said...

Yes, Nick! I know you love mysteries like I do, so I'd give Mean Streak a try first. :)

Anonymous said...

My co-blogger is also a huge fan of this author while I still haven't tried one of her books. I love revenge stories, so this sounds awesome. I'll check it out.
Great review, Rachel! :)

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

Oh, I haven't read Sandra Brown in ages! I really like her stories. Rooting for the heroine to give that dude what he deserves.

Ksenia said...

I love this new cover. It’s so much better than the previous.

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