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Monday, September 12, 2011

Breathe Again by Bonnie R. Paulson

Breathe Again by Bonnie R. Paulson
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (169 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Sunflower

Maggie Lachlan is struggling to get over the death of her husband. After being overcome by emotion during a shift in the E.R., she's suspended indefinitely. Making things worse, she needs a place to stay after the quick sale of the house she shared with her late husband.

Fortunately, her friend Ryan Stewart offers her a room while she gets her life in order, much to the chagrin of his brother and housemate, Brodan Steele. Brodan doesn't want to like Maggie, not when he knows Ryan has feelings for her too. But it's hard to deny the attraction he feels for her when she's sleeping under the same roof.

Being so close to Brodan awakens something in Maggie, something she never felt during her marriage. But as long as she's haunted by the past, she can't open herself up to the future...

Every person handles grief differently. But Maggie, she didn't make time to do so properly. Soon after her husband's tragic death, she jumped back into work, keeping a non-stop hectic schedule. It finally catches up with her, as she just isn't the same. Before she's pushed into taking time off, Maggie meets Ryan, a patient at the hospital she works for.

Maggie lives her life in a daze, it seems. Never accepting or getting closure for the ghosts of her past. Something about Ryan changes her. Then there is Ryan's brother Brodan. The man drives her nuts, and she seems to do the same to Brodan. Why do they clash so much?

I was unsure for awhile who the hero is supposed to be. Is something going to happen between Maggie and Ryan? Or is it Maggie and Brodan? Both seem to harbor feelings for Maggie, but neither brother wants to act on it, either.

Ryan is gentle and kind. He doesn't press Maggie for answers that she doesn't want to give. Not usually, anyway. Brodan is the absolute opposite. He's pushy, blurts out what he thinks and feels, and had no problem poking and prodding into Maggie's personal life and past, even when she hesitates to go into more detail. Both men have a certain impact on Maggie though, and she starts to come alive again.

Breathe Again is an emotional contemporary romance. Some parts of the book drag with very little action, but the character development is dynamic. There's quite a bit of conflict, and though Brodan irritated me in the beginning, I warmed up to him after awhile. Overall this novel is enjoyable, but it's far from a “light” read. It has a sucker punch emotional whammy, and I would advise to have tissues handy. Yes, there is a HEA, but there are some major tearjerker moments along the way.

If you enjoy contemporaries that are heavy on the roller coaster of feelings, or a story about a new chance at love, then pick up a copy of this heartfelt novel.

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