With Brave Wings (Breaking Free Book 2) by Cara Dee – Release Day and Review
Sequel to Breaking Free. Book II of II.
What happens once you’ve broken free?
Sophie Pierce has shed every part of her old life. She has said goodbye to her father, the friends she once partied with, and even the man she may have lost her heart to. Now, it’s time for her to spread her wings and become the person she wants to be, and she’s more than ready to work for it. But much like the paparazzi Sophie has come to despise, the past will sneak up on her—much sooner than she could’ve imagined. It’s only a matter of months before she learns that her final night in Vancouver was never the end at all. It was the beginning.
When Tennyson Wright lets Sophie go, he knows something has to change. He’s lost sight of who he is, and the wakeup call isn’t pretty. Deciding to take a page from Sophie’s book, he begins a journey of self-discovery, though everything comes to a screeching halt when he learns through the tabloids that the girl he can’t stop thinking about is pregnant.
Their romantic relationship may have ended, but soon their co-parenting responsibilities bring them together to play the Hollywood game by their own rules.
5 out of 5 Stars
*I was provided a copy of With Brave Wings by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*
Sophie Pierce has broken free from her old life. She’s stopped her partying ways, stopped seeking paparazzi attention, paid all her debts, and moved out of her father’s house. But growing up also meant she had to give up the man she was falling for. Now that she’s on her own and making a respectable name for herself, her life is about to change in a major way—again.
Watching Sophie become her best self has given Tennyson Wright a push to better his life. No more being a hermit. Tennyson’s getting back to the things he loves in life and reinventing himself. Just as he’s back in the swing of things, shocking news drops into his lap. He’s about to become a father.
Co-parenting under normal circumstances is a challenge. But for Sophie and Tennyson, it’s the ultimate trial. Sophie is still learning how to be independent. Tennyson is still learning who he is. They both live in the spotlight. And neither one is ready to deal with the feelings they have for the other.
With Brave Wings is the sequel to Breaking Free by Cara Dee. This is not a standalone book. You can find my five-star review of Breaking Free here if you haven’t read that yet. Both of these books were amazing and had me wishing for my very own Tennyson.
When we left Sophie and Tennyson at the end of the last book, they both had grown by leaps and bounds and realized continuing their relationship wasn’t in their best interest, no matter how much it hurt to let the other go. As we pick up on their lives a few months later, they’re both just getting to the place where they can be around the other without as much pain, when life throws them a major curveball. Sophie is pregnant, and as the father, Tennyson is back at the forefront of her life.
Both main characters still have a lot of growing to do in this story, and they accomplish it in a way that makes the eventual rekindling of their romance much healthier than it would have been otherwise. Sophie can’t focus on having a man in her life when she’s still trying to figure out how to live it on her own, not to mention throwing a baby into the mix. And Tennyson, although older and wiser, had cut himself off from the things he loves and no longer wants to live his life that way. They each embark on their own journey while maintaining and strengthening their friendship with each other.
In Sophie’s quest to be independent, she ended up going a bit overboard. She wouldn’t allow anyone to help her, even though sometimes she didn’t want to do everything on her own. She learns to balance independence with letting her friends help and ultimately realizes none of the people she looks up to are able to do everything on their own. Sophie also has some family issues to deal with. Although she’s created a wonderful little family of her own, her father has had a wakeup call and wants to be part of her life again. She’ll have to decide if her heart is big enough for forgiveness.
Tennyson stole my heart in the first book, and he takes an even bigger piece in this sequel. The way he loves his son from the moment he finds out he’s going to be a father is so touching it had me in tears. And the way he cares for Sophie, wanting to help her but knowing when to back off, is enough to turn the hardest heart into a sap. Cara Dee also follows through with Tennyson and Sophie embracing their age difference instead of using it as a reason to keep them apart, and the resulting encounters practically melted the pages of my e-reader.
The secondary characters were also well-incorporated into the story. I found myself loving the bits and pieces we saw of Brooklyn, Asher, and Noah, and I was thankful for the inclusion of their lives in this story.
At the end of the day, this is a celebrity romance, which is one of my favorite things to read. The balance of normal life and fame was perfect, putting With Brave Wings right up near the top of my list of favorite books. All of my reviews of Cara Dee’s work can be found under the Author Spotlight tab.
Noah hummed, pausing at some action movie that had recently started. “Throwing up, gaining weight, moody…”
“I haven’t been moody.” Sophie got defensive.
He chuckled. “Uh-huh. That’s what my sister said before she found out she was pregnant.”
That was funny. “How did I not know you have a sister?”
It was Noah’s turn to shrug a little, which made him drop a spring roll on the floor. “Where’s Cujo? Shit.” He licked some sauce from his T-shirt. “Shit, shit, sorry about that.”
“Pick it up,” Sophie laughed. “Max isn’t eating that crap. Now, about your sister?”
“Oh, right.” He picked up the roll and shoved it into his mouth. “She lives in Berlin, so we don’t see each other often. We text and Skype and stuff. She’s got two cute kids, but I hate when they visit our parents in Pittsburgh. Makes my folks wonder when I’m gonna settle down.”
“Poor you,” Sophie mocked. “So you don’t want kids of your own?”
“Fuck no, I’d ruin them.” Noah went back to flipping channels. “Unless they pop out as hockey fans. Then we’re good.”
She snorted a giggle and ate some more.
“Seriously, though.” He pointed his fork at her. “You sure you’re not pregnant?”
“Oh my God, yes.” Sophie rolled her eyes. “I think I’d know if I was growing a person. Besides, I haven’t had sex since July—whatever date the wrap party was.”
It was mid-November now.
“The twenty-fifth,” he murmured, pensive. “So…that would make Tennyson the dad.”
She ignored the pregnancy crap and stared intently at her food. She’d never said anything out loud to Noah about her and Tennyson, though most people had their suspicions.
“I’m not pregnant, Noah.”
“You’re pregnant, Ms. Pierce.”
Sophie sat in her doctor’s office and stared, waiting for the punch line.
The doctor went on with a nod. “That’s what’s been causing your body to change so quickly. You are pregnant.”
Sophie waited some more, and then she let out a nervous laugh. “Be serious, please. What’s wrong with me?”
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with you,” he told her patiently. “You are simply pregnant. Now, since I know you have a demanding schedule, I took the liberty and made you an appointment with a colleague for an ultrasound—right after we’re done here.”
She pursed her lips. Her brain was completely blank aside from the word “pregnant” going on a loop.
There was no way.
She was only twenty-one. She hadn’t had sex in…almost four months. Four fucking months.
“I imagine this is coming as a surprise for you.” The doctor went through a stack of papers that sat on his desk. “I have the records here from your doctor in Vancouver, and you’ve said your period’s been irregular?” With every word the doctor spoke, more color drained from Sophie’s face. “Due to your previous condition with undernourishment, that can obviously affect your ability to get pregnant, but it’s far from impossible—”
“I’m on the pill!” she blurted out.
All of a sudden, her breaths came out fast and shallow.
Holy shit, this couldn’t be happening.
She and Tennyson had been protected, goddammit. They’d used condoms until they’d spoken about safety. They’d both been clean, and she was on the pill.
“Did you ever miss taking one?” the doctor asked gently. “Remember, birth control is never one hundred percent.”
“Oh my God,” Sophie whimpered.
Coming out of the bathroom after his shower, Tennyson fastened his watch and tapped it pointedly for Asher to get off the damn phone. Tennyson would’ve been more patient if it weren’t for the fact that this was his vacation and he was hungry as fuck.
Asher nodded and held up a finger. “Okay, that’s great,” he told whomever he was on the phone with. “No, I was only surprised because she’s worked so hard. But it’s good that she’s not canceling.” There was a pause, and Tennyson wondered if they were discussing Sophie. “Rescheduling is fine, and have the interviewer fly out if she wants to stay in LA for whatever reason.”
By the time he wrapped up the call, Tennyson had dressed in a pair of jeans and a hoodie, and he sat down on the edge of his bed to find his eye drops in his toiletry bag.
“What’s up?” he asked.
Asher’s brow furrowed and he scrolled down on his phone. “Sophie. I need to call her tomorrow. Remember I thought she was canceling a bunch of appointments?” Tennyson frowned and nodded, and Ash went on. “She’s not—but she’s rescheduling, and I don’t know why.”
Tennyson didn’t know what to say, other than he was worried. Ever since she’d put her diva antics and princess behavior behind her, she’d been nothing but accommodating. She always pushed herself to be her absolute best.
“You ready to go eat?” Ash asked.
“Yeah.” Tennyson ducked into the bathroom real quick to insert some drops into his eyes, and then he grabbed his wallet before they left.
On the way to the restaurant, he made a mental note to call Sophie when he got back to the hotel. If something was wrong, he wanted to be there for her.
The desert town was lit up for Christmas, but it didn’t really feel like the holiday had arrived.
“Hold on.” Asher grabbed Tennyson’s shoulder as they were passing a bodega. “What the fuck is this?” He walked over to a newsstand and snatched up a magazine.
Upon seeing it was a tabloid, Tennyson rolled his eyes. “Since when do you read gossip?”
Asher turned and slapped the magazine to Tennyson’s chest. “Since I learned your ex is pregnant.”
Tennyson held up the magazine and saw the headline.
“The Party Princess is Pregnant!”
Having lived and breathed the industry for years, Tennyson was ready to brush it off as bullshit, but then he saw the grainy photos. Three of them on the cover, one with a circle around Sophie’s belly. Then a centerfold that was all about her. Several photos of Sophie, Max, Brooklyn, and Maliah on the beach.
Sophie was wearing what looked like cotton shorts and a bulky sweatshirt, but at some point, she had unzipped it. And it was clear as day. Her snug top underneath the hoodie hugged a small, yet very distinct baby bump.
Photo after photo. Sophie and Maliah were tossing a tennis ball for Max to chase, and the wind blew the shirt aside. So many angles of proof. She was pregnant.
Book I of II.
The Hollywood scene has always fit Tennyson Wright like a too-tight sweater. A highly respected director, he has managed to avoid the games and power plays of Tinseltown. Until now. To gain more publicity for the film he’s shooting, the studio has decided a PR relationship is in order, and soon Tennyson finds himself pushed into the spotlight with one of the actresses on set. Rich, spoiled, much younger, party princess Sophie Pierce.
Sophie, famous for being infamous, got her part in the film due to her daddy, the studio chairman. But there’s more to her than wild nights and drunken tabloid photos, and she’s aching to prove it. Under Tennyson’s protective wing, she begins to navigate the uncharted territory of responsible adulthood and takes the first steps toward a legitimate, lasting fame based on her talent, not her reputation.
But in order for Sophie to truly soar on her own, she’s going to have to shed every part of her life.
Freedom has a price.
There aren’t many things better than picking up my Kindle and getting completely sucked into a whole new world—where words morph into images and characters’ moods suddenly reflect my own. Aside from good plot and writing, for me, it boils down to relatable characters.
As a writer, I’m not finished until the men and women in my books come to life, until I can see them as real people, until I can connect with them. Which means I write what I want to read: everyday heroes and heroines who have the same struggles we all do. They evolve, have flaws, make mistakes and amends, learn, and find the endings they fight for.
Those are the characters who take the readers on a journey away from work, laundry, grocery shopping, and to-do lists.
When I’m not writing, researching, or brainstorming, I’m either planning my next trip (never-ending bucket list!), reading, watching hockey, or spending time with family and friends.