One Breath
by Gene Needham
Gene Needham Publishing

"Life is too short to be away from your loved ones."

Readers meet Maria Giovanna Papei. She is an Italian woman and works for her family's business. One day, she meets and falls in love with an American man named Phillip Walker in Rome. He also feels the same way about her. But they cannot be together because Maria's father, Carmine, has established an arrangement with the Capriano family that Maria is supposed to marry Carlos Capriano. They made this deal to keep the peace among them over vineyards. She explains the situation to Phillip. However, this does not prevent him from proposing to Maria. She accepts, and they secretly get married. Maria does not reveal her marriage to her family. Throughout this journey, these love birds will try to find ways to solve the situation between the Papei family and the Capriano family.

Needham establishes a sharp contrast between Carmine's relationship with Maria's mother and Maria's relationship with Carlos. Carmine married the woman he loved, whereas Maria is supposed to marry someone she barely knows. Indeed, the author points out Carmine's hypocrisy because he was able to marry someone he loved. In later scenes, Maria raises this point with her grandfather. His marriage to her grandmother was based on love. In addition, the author dives into the protagonists' emotions, such as when Maria and Phillip must go separate ways while being secretly married. Needham describes how this separation affects them deeply. However, they make sure to nurture this long-distance relationship. Readers will appreciate this book because it conveys the heartwarming message that love is patience.

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