Review: Breathe Deep (St. Hawk's Medical #3) by Willa Okati

A golden-hearted mountain man. A nursing tech with a secret. Life and death are on the line—and they’re running out of time.

Shepherd knows what people think of him. He’s too big, too tall and too broad not to be scary. But though he looks like a grizzly bear, he’s all teddy on the inside. He’s dreamed of finding someone to love. Someone who can help him break through his shyness and who he can shower with all the affection in his heart.

Kit knows what people think of him. That he’s young, good-looking, and kissed by luck. He survived leukemia as a teenager, and he thought he had his entire life ahead of him. But now, the cancer might be recurring—deny it though he might—and Kit’s world has come crashing down. He needs someone like Shepherd. Someone kind and caring, who’s strong enough to lean on.

Kit’s falling fast for the big mountain man—but he hasn’t told Shepherd the truth. He’s afraid that knowing he may be sick will be more than Shepherd can handle. And now, after delaying treatment, he thinks he may be running out of time.

Secrets can be life or death—and when it comes to telling the truth, they can make all the difference.

I so loved the blurb for this story. I mean, hello? Golden hearted mountain man and nursing tech with a secret? The potential for some delicious hurt/comfort lovin’? Yes, please, sign me up.

For the most part, the story delivered. Shepherd is a big, shy man with a heart of gold. He’s kind of uncomfortable in social situations, but it mostly comes across as just plain charming. Plus, his name is Shepherd and that is super cute for his description. Kit is a nurse tech who works in the geriatrics ward at St. Hawk’s. His goal is to get his bachelor’s degree so he’s a busy guy. He’s also a cancer survivor.

The guys have a meet-cute at the beginning that doesn’t really go anywhere but then meet up again later when Kit heads into Sheperd’s specialty shop to get a treat for a patient. Kit is the perfect caregiver character that way. I could totally buy into his personality and his profession, it was an effortless read. The second meeting has the whole awkward yet charming thing going on. It comes out that Shepherd has the caregiver gene in him too and reading about these two guys who really just need to find their matches to love all over was very sweet.

So, like I said, this had everything going on, for the most part. My problem was in a couple of huge plot points that were entirely too convenient but didn’t make much sense. Some semi spoilery stuff coming, just so you know. Kit is having symptoms very similar to those the first time he was diagnosed with cancer at 15. He ignores the signs though because he’s afraid they may be true. He’s a nurse tech, he works in a hospital and he’s ignoring symptoms that have the potential to kill him. He has ALL the information he needs, more than most other people ever could and he ignores it all. It was frustrating to read and I didn’t really get why he didn’t do something. I wanted something more profound from someone with so few excuses.

Extra spoilery parts ahead . . . Shepherd, what the actual fuck? All book long he’s a giver and selfless. Then when Kit finally gets his shit together and tells him the truth Shepherd walks away????? Your dude could be dying and you bail? No, sorry, not good enough, not buying it. I know he had to wrap his brain around the news but then TELL KIT THAT. Poor Kit can only assume he’s just been dumped and that sucked. Perspective and priorities boys, that’s all I ask.

Of course it all worked out but I wasn’t ready to forgive Shepherd for his dumbassery or Kit for his so I was happy for them but still irritated. I should have felt better and happier about the whole outcome, but dammit, those points were annoying and not strong enough to warrant the frustration.

Check out more about Breathe Deep over on Goodreads.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

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