My Thoughts On: Just Remember To Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Posted March 12, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 4 Comments

Just Remember To Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles
Series: The Thompson Sisters
Published by Cincinnatus Press
Publish Date: August 30, 2012

(paperback published November 12, 2012)
290 Pages
Source: Author for review – 
Thank you!

Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.
-(from Goodreads) 

Just Remember to Breathe 
by Charles Sheehan-Miles 

My Thoughts:  Not too long ago, I featured A Song for Julia on this blog, written by this same author. I loved that book so much for reasons that I highlighted in the blog post. I loved that the book was written so well and by a male writer, and I loved that it was a New Adult title with issues that were very believable and felt so real. Just Remember To Breath was exactly the same way, and I can say with certainty that I’ve found myself a new author to love. 


When we meet Dylan Price, he has been sent home from a tour in Afghanistan after life-threatening injuries. Dylan now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has lingering affects from injuries he sustained while serving his time in Afghanistan. Dylan has decided to return to Columbia University to further his education at the encouragement of the military. He had an idea that he might run into his ex-girlfriend there, but he was hoping that he could avoid her. 

Alex Thompson shows up at school to find out that her work-study program has been reassigned. Instead of her initial assignment, she has been reassigned to another professor – and she can hardly believe that her work partner is her ex-boyfriend Dylan Price! Alex thought she had buried her thoughts and feelings about this guy, and now here he is, sitting outside the door where she’ll spend so much of her time this year! Ugh! The first time the two converse after a long time apart is incredibly uncomfortable, awkward and not pleasant – but there is nothing either of them can do about it – they are stuck working together for the semester. 

Alex and Dylan decide it best if they come up with a set of rules to stick to while working together – certainly that will be the only way they’ll both survive the semester around each other. Basically, they decide that they won’t talk about their past AT ALL. They’ll start fresh, get to know one another completely from scratch and see how it goes. The won’t talk to each other as if they were once madly in love, as if they once broke each others’ hearts. They’ll pretend they never knew each other before now. 

It doesn’t take long before the rules start to be broken – at first, it’s one little rule. And then another. Here and there, more little things from the past start to infiltrate their lives. And then the two find out that they entire basis of their time spent apart was based on one giant misunderstanding. Is it possible that they could forgive and forget one another now that they realize that they just misunderstood each other? Or is it too late? Has the damage already been done? 


Oh my goodness, I cannot sing the praises of this story enough. I fell in love with the Thompson family in A Song for Julia and my love for these characters has only intensified with Just Remember To Breathe. Charles Sheehan-Miles somehow knows how to write these incredibly personal and believable contemporary stories and infuse them with just enough real-life issues to make them compelling and filled with enough tension to keep the pages turning. 

In Just Remember To Breathe, we are introduced Alex Thompson – she is expected to follow in the footsteps of her foreign diplomat father, just the same as the rest of her sisters. Will her future be in law?Is that what her parents have chosen for her? Perhaps. Alex is a student at Columbia University and is doing well there. Things take an unexpected turn when she finds an old flame unexpectedly one day – it seems that Dylan Price is enrolled in the very same work-study program along with Alex – the funny thing is that the program is comprised of only two students, so the two will be working very closely together. After going to the office and begging to be taken out of that particular job, Alex realizes that she has no choice but to face her past with Alex. She decides that she will set some ground rules and as long as they are followed – every thing should be okay. She shouldn’t have to have her heart broken again. 

For a while, things are okay. But before too long, they both realize that they still love one another desperately, and as one event after another happens, their love only intensifies. Their love is tested, sure, but it is how the two handle each of these crazy trials that makes this story true and real and wonderful. 

Dylan Price is an incredible character. I don’t have much experience with a veteran that is post-Afghanistan, but it seems that Dylan would be a great example of a severely injured veteran trying to integrate himself back into society. He harbors incredible guilt over many things, including the death of his friend and fallen comrade, and he is having a difficult time overcoming this. He has nightmares about the times he was attacked along with his fellow soldiers. He has physical difficulties too – he nearly lost his leg in an explosion, he had a traumatic brain injury that causes him some memory and speech problems every now and then, and he has some anger management issues. He also has seizures on occasion if he isn’t medicated. It is true that Dylan didn’t come home the same person that he was when he went to Afghanistan. 

And Alex – she had no idea that when she was drunk and Skyping with Dylan – that he would assume that the people in the background of her screen were anything other than friends of her roommate. How would she know that Alex and his fellow comrades had been under heavy attack that day, and that he nearly lost his life? How would she know that he had to watch his friend die? All Alex knew is that was the last communication she had with Dylan was not great and that as a result, he cut off all communication with her for months. Now, suddenly, Dylan is back in her life and she has NO IDEA how she is supposed to feel or what she is supposed to do. 

On top of all of that, both Dylan and Alex have had to deal with big issues outside of one another – neither are really privy to what has been going on in the life of the other one. If they could stop being so stubborn and talk honestly with one another, they might be able to move beyond their issues and potentially help one another. Their individual issues are big things, too, but not impossible to overcome. 

Once these two realize that they really do love one another and that they want to give their relationship a real effort, both Alex and Dylan realize that they will have to work through some of these things that have happened to them. Can they do it? They love each other so fiercely, that much is true. And they have an incredible network of friends that are willing and able to help them along the way. Sometimes, though, sometimes the issues are so great that it almost seems impossible to make it past them…

Charles Sheehan-Miles has written another story here that I found myself completely lost in. I was so caught up in the story of Alex and Dylan that I lost track of time, I forgot to eat, I forgot that I had errands to run. I wanted things to work out for these two SO MUCH that I could barely stand it. In the end, I loved the resolution that came to all of the characters involved. I loved the glimpses at the characters from the other book. I loved the previews of the main characters in the next book. 

I recommend Just Remember To Breathe to fans of New Adult contemporary romance with issues. People who have issues with sexual assault or violence – be warned – this book may contain very slight triggers for you. I loved Just Remember To Breathe A TON and am anxiously holding my breathe for the next Thompson Sister book to be released so I can continue with this companion series. It is clear that Mr. Sheehan-Miles knows how to write this genre very well, and I am certainly a big fan. 


Just Remember To Breathe will appeal to fans of:

New Adult Contemporary Romance
with Issues
Romance: No triangle. Already established.
Stories with Military subplot
(Potential for sexual assault/violance triggers.)

Just Remember To Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles
is currently available for purchase.


to your to-read list? 
Have you read A SONG FOR JULIA yet?


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


4 responses to “My Thoughts On: Just Remember To Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles

  1. WOW. This one sounds just as good or maybe better than A Song For Julia, which I still need to read! So Alex is Julia's sister? And this takes place after her story? I like to keep these things straight. I like that this author integrates current events into his love stories. Another great review, Asheley!

    • Alex IS Julia's sister and both sisters make appearances in both books, so it really doesn't matter which order you read them in. According to Goodreads, Breath was first published in August and Julia was first published in December, but I feel like I got more backstory about the family as a whole in reading Julia first. Does that make sense?

      The next book about another of the sisters – Carrie, who is also in both of the above books – comes out in May. I'm so excited! This series is a great, great series. More people need to be reading it.

  2. I am still eagerly anticipating reading A Song for Julia, and this book has just stoked that fire. I'm honestly excited to start reading this series, as it sounds absolutely wonderful. Your reviews definitely make me eager to read this and A Song for Julia!

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