Review: Can’t Hardly Breathe by Gena Showalter

From New York Times Bestselling author Gena Showalter, comes the next standalone romance in the Original Heartbreakers Series—CAN’T HARDLY BREATHE!

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CAN’T HARDLY BREATHE Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with an irresistible Original Heartbreakers story about a woman who’s never felt desired and the man who wants her more than air to breathe…

Bullied in high school, Dorothea Mathis’s past is full of memories she’d rather forget. But there’s one she can’t seem to shake—her longstanding crush on former Army Ranger Daniel Porter.  Now that the sexy bad boy has started using her inn as his personal playground, she should kick him out…but his every heated glance makes her want to join him instead.

Daniel returned to Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma to care for his ailing father and burn off a little steam with no strings attached. Though he craves the curvy Dorothea night and day, he’s as marred by his past as she is by hers. The more he desires her, the more he fears losing her.

But every sizzling encounter leaves him desperate for more, and soon Daniel must make a choice: take a chance on love or walk away forever.

Review:

Dorothea Mathis has always had a crush on Daniel Porter.  He’s always been out of reach.  That is until he begins staying at her inn.  She decides to take the leap and offer him one night with her.  The reaction she gets she doesn’t expect.  Daniel didn’t expect Dorothea to come to his door in only a raincoat.  His reaction is purely out of shock.  But, he regrets it immediately.  When he realizes he can’t get her out of his mind he makes it his mission to have her.  Though now she won’t be so easy.  Can these two people, who are entrenched in their dark places, come together to find the light?

I LOVE this series!!!  Gena Showalter is one of my favorite authors.  But, of all her series’ this is one of my top three.  I have been waiting for Thea and Daniel’s book since the end of West and Jessie Kay’s book.  All the books in this series have a serious emotional component to them.  But, this one really takes you deep.  She truly explores how two people coping with two different forms of PTSD come together to heal.  The passion and steaminess between them will ignite you from the inside out.  I was truly addicted to this book until the very end.  Though both characters have their ways that will definitely bug you, you will fall in love with both and the story that comes along.  I will be counting days until we get to see Ryanne and Jude’s story.  If you haven’t read any of Gena Showalter’s books you need to pick this one up immediately.  You will fall in love with this town  and these people

Preorder CAN’T HARDLY BREATHE here!

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Excerpt :

Dorothea Mathis studied the last room on her cleanup schedule and groaned. The bed had been wrecked, the comforter and pillows tossed haphazardly on the floor. A pair of panties hung from a bedpost. The TV remote had been busted, the pieces scattered across the night­stand. Wet towels created a path to the bathroom door, and the trash can…

Oh, gag me! The trash can contained used condoms.

The place needed to be decontaminated by people wearing hazmat suits.

Am I up to date on my vaccinations?

With a sigh, Dorothea anchored earbuds in place, keyed up her iPod and donned a pair of latex gloves. One—germs. Gross! Two—she was protective of the green nail polish she’d applied only that morning.

She selected color based on mood. Green = irritated.

Somehow she’d known today would suck balls.

Her mom must have checked in Mr. and Ms. Pigsty last night after Dorothea had gone to bed. Since she had a 4:00 a.m. wake-up call, she tended to hit the sack by 9:00 p.m. Granny hours, her sister, Holly, liked to tell her.

Dorothea picked up the dirty towels, removed the panties from the post, emptied the trash, changed the sheets on the bed, straightened the pillows and covers, and tossed the remote remains, planning to bill the Pig­stys for a new one.

Time was limited this morning. She’d promised to drive her mother into the city in— Crap! Less than an hour. She rushed through dusting and began vacuum­ing. As the machine swallowed dirt and debris, she tried not to envy her mother. Carol would soon be enjoying her fourth “singles retreat” of the year. Her fourth, but certainly not her last. She stayed at the Michaelson, a five-star hotel owned by the richest guy in Strawberry Valley, Dane Michaelson. Dane was married to a local girl Dorothea had gone to school with, and he allowed Carol to stay free of charge. No doubt about it, she took full advantage, attending speed-dating sessions, mixers and a plethora of themed parties.

Her busy love life was just one of the many reasons she’d given the Strawberry Inn to Dorothea.

The wheels on her cart suddenly squeaked, the sound louder than her music. Yanking out the earbuds, she spun.

Surprise expelled the air from her lungs, leaving her gasping. This so wasn’t happening right now.

It couldn’t be happening.

Nightmares didn’t really come to life. Nor did pornos. Not that she watched those…very often. But dang it, this had to be one or the other.

The sexiest man on the planet had just stridden into the room. He was shirtless, sweat glistening on his eight pack—and his name was Daniel Porter.

The Daniel. The childhood crush she’d never forgot­ten. The first boy to break her already fragile heart.

She gulped. What was he doing here?

Wait. Like she really needed to ponder this one. Wel­come back, Mr. Pigsty.

Her hands trembled as she yanked the vacuum cord from the electrical socket, the room descending into si­lence as the engine died.

I think you’re perfect just the way you are.

She smoothed her trembling hands down her “uni­form,” a pair of blue scrubs that could take a licking and keep on ticking. “Uh, hi. Hello.” Oh, wow. Could she be any lamer? Definitely in a nightmare, not a porno. “Welcome back.”

He pulled the earbuds from his ears and gifted her with a small smile that failed to hide the lines of strain around his mouth. “Sorry about the mess. I planned to clean up before I checked out.” His gaze darted through­out the room, and he cringed. “I also plan to pay for the remote.”

What kind of sexual acrobatics had placed the poor remote in harm’s path, anyway?

Oh, my stars. A warm flush poured over Dorothea, threatening to overheat her. She almost fanned her cheeks for relief, barely stopped herself.

Look away! She tried, she really did, but Daniel was just so freaking beautiful. He was even taller now, and stronger, with a rough, tough face. His cheekbones were sharp, and his nose boasted a small notch in the center. Been broken a time or two? Dark stubble dusted his an­gular jaw, though the shadows couldn’t disguise the fine tracery of scars on his left cheek.

He was a modern-day warrior—literally. After high school, he’d joined the army, defending the country he loved.

This wasn’t the first time Dorothea had seen him since his return to town a few months ago, but her body reacted as if she’d never seen any man, heating and tin­gling in all the naughtiest places.

Act naturally. He’s just a customer.

A customer who’d wrecked a room during his most recent stay, but whatever. He was waiting for her to re­spond to his offer.

Let’s do this. “Yes, thank you. Payment would be ap­preciated.” She wound the vacuum cord around her arm, her motions clipped. “As for the room, I just need to tidy the bathroom, and I’ll be done.”

With his back to her, he stuffed his toiletries into an overnight bag. “I’ll get out of your way, then.”

During his senior year of high school, he hadn’t just slept with Madison Clark; he’d slept with a string of beautiful, popular girls, as if banging-and-bailing had finally been dubbed a national sport.

Good thing Dorothea hadn’t pursued him. He would have taken all her firsts and discarded her like garbage.

Instead, Jazz Connors had taken all her firsts and dis­carded her like garbage.

Anger boiled her blood until bitterness swept in, leav­ing a glaze of frost. Fire and ice. This wasn’t the first time they’d battled it out, and this wouldn’t be the last. The biggest downside? They ensured the wounds inside her hollowed-out chest never really had a chance to heal.

After graduation, she’d moved to the big bad city, enrolled in the University of Oklahoma’s meteorology program, met Jazz and gotten hitched, just as she’d al­ways dreamed…only to return home several years later with a divorce and no degree.

A washed-up has-been by the age of twenty-four.

 

 

 

About Gena Showalter:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours!  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

 

 

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Fresh Face Friday: An Unexpected Gift by Katherine Grey

Happy Black Friday!  I hope those of you out to get the good buys are out hunting them down and those of you like me hiding away from all the crowds with a good book .  The good book I am featuring today is An Unexpected Gift by Katherine Grey.  This is a wonderful romance with some action thrown in the mix.   It also has a wonderful heroine that is revolutionary in her time.  For my full review be sure to check it out after the book blurb.  Happy shopping everyone and have a great weekend!

16269840Book Blurb:

Known only as Lazarus to the band of cutthroats and thieves he leads, William Prescott will do anything to find his missing sister, even blackmail a fragile young woman into helping him. But he never plans to fall in love with this mysterious woman with a troubled past.

Haunted by the memories of war, Olivia St. Germaine wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But when her brother, a doctor, suddenly leaves town without a word, she is forced to use her medical knowledge to help an injured man who puts her life in danger. Can she keep herself safe as she tends Lazarus, or is her heart more vulnerable than she realizes?

Review:

Olivia St. Germaine is a proper lady with the additional knowledge of medicine.  When two strangers show up at her home demanding for her brother she is both shocked and angry.  After convincing the strangers her brother is not present she successfully gets them to leave, but as one of the gentlemen is leaving she notices he is injured and insists on helping him.  With this one-act Olivia ends up connecting herself with the dangerous Lazarus.  Will Prescott, aka Lazarus, is desperately looking for his sister.  Nothing will stand in his way.  That is until Olivia steps into his life.  For a reason he doesn’t understand Olivia gets a foothold on his heart and no matter what he tries she is there.  Love between these two opposites was never planned or even acceptable but can these two vulnerable hearts open up and let each other in?

I really enjoyed this historical.  Olivia and Will are very memorable characters.  They are both strong and morally centered characters.  The love story between them was very well-developed and seemed natural.  I also think that the topic of PTSD was very well illustrated.  Also how the reactions of the Ton during the time in which this novel takes place is spot on.  Overall, I think the depiction of the society and environment that Will and Olivia live was fantastic.  That alone would be enough to read this book but you also fall in love right along with Olivia and Will.  If you’re looking for a good historical romance this is a must read.

Author Bio:

At the age of four, Katherine pestered her mother to teach her to read. From that point on, she spent the most of her childhood lost in the pages of one book after another. Soon she began writing stories of her own, populated with characters doing all of the things she was too shy to even contemplate doing herself.

A chance meeting with another writer led Katherine to seriously pursue a writing career. Her debut novel, Impetuous, was released by The Wild Rose Press in August 2011.

Katherine lives in upstate NY with her family though she threatens to move south at the beginning of each Winter season.

Visit her at http://katherinegrey.blogspot.com

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