Inhale — Kendall Grey
Despite my love of print, I decided to venture into ebook territory only when confronted with a digital story that promised me a heroine who could speak with whales. The concept reminded me of A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle, where the main character, Vicky, can commune with dolphins. It’s a book I’ve read many times, the cover now so cracked and worn I could use a new copy. Plus, I have a fascination with whales and dolphins, and so my love affair with ebooks began when I purchased the urban fantasy romance, Inhale by Kendall Grey.
The tale starts off following Gavin Cassidy, an Australian rock star who hangs out in dreams to keep elementals from throwing off the balance. Some of the vocabulary starting off as we are introduced to Realis, the real world, and The Dreaming, the dream world, was a bit confusing. But once we’re through that it picks up nicely. Back to Gavin. We are told in various ways that he is smoking hot, complete with tattoos, a lip ring and soul. But Gavin has had some hard times, having lost the woman he loved, which ultimately cut him off from his own depth and emotion. Enter Dr. Zoe Morgan.
Zoe is an American whale biologist, who upon slipping off her boat during an excursion with her crew, finds herself in The Dreaming, where a beautiful dream man saves her from drowning. During her visit to dreamland, Zoe believes she hears the call of Lilly, a whale she feels she failed when she was unable to save her calf from whalers.
Unaware that The Dreaming is in fact real, Zoe heats things up with Gavin in their dream sequence of meetings. I’m more of a plot-driven kind of gal, so the steamy sex scenes are usually yawners for me. But I realize I am a minority and there are plenty of readers out there who just crave a good sex scene, which this book has. And while the sex comes pretty fast, the relationship build up between the two takes the entire book and then some. You’ll actually have to read the sequel Exhale if you’re vested in the relationship, which I was.
Grey also created her characters well with very distinct personalities and flaws. Scarlet, the most conniving of fire elementals, actually really grossed me out with her cursing and over the top lewdness. Although she’s an obvious necessity to the story, I could have done without her nastiness. But I suppose my reaction to her is a testament to how well she was created. Eventually, we find out that both Zoe and Gavin have bigger parts to play as fire elementals overrun The Dreaming.
This was a unique take on the other side of consciousness. Dream relationships that are real, communicating with whales, and the idea that elementals are out there living life as humans — or animals — and could upset the balance of our world at any time make for a good story. All of this and more is why I bought Exhale, which I actually think was even better. And that’s why I’ll be buying Just Breathe when it comes out later this year, slated for release sometime in late fall or early winter. Catch Kendall Grey at KendallGrey.com