While I have read only two Anne Calhoun books before this one, I have always enjoyed her stories. In particular, I adored Liberating Lacey. When given a chance to review Breath on Embers, I leap in with both feet!
Thea Moretti is just surviving in New York City. The death of her husband hit her hard and she just can’t feel anything except when she is with Ronan, a man she uses for sex. She comes alive in his arms for a brief time, before becoming cold and numb again. There is no future with her.
Ronan O’Rourke is a firefighter who has dealt with loss and grieving in his own life. He understands where Thea is, but isn’t going to sit around being her booty call when he wants more. So he starts a campaign to bring her back to life without pushing her to do so. He’s there when she needs him to relieve the dark that she feels has invaded her soul.
The deep grieving we see in Thea is heartbreaking. When her husband dies in a car crash around Christmas time, she allows grief to take over her life. Picking up her life in Ohio and moving to New York, she sees a therapist her family required she see. But the darkness is always lurking behind her eyes.
The day Thea and Ronan hook up, her therapist suggests it is time to move into the dating arena. But Thea being who she is, snags Ronan for sex and nothing more. The attraction she feels for him keeps her coming back. Ronan shares stories of his uncle with her and losing him in 9/11. He understands where her head is at, but he also knows she needs to start living life.
The love scenes are beyond hot. In fact I am not sure my Kindle will recover from the melt down it took. The book opens up right away with passion when Thea only wants to be used. Public sex, ménage, and gentle connection sex all brings this book to a new level of hotness.
Beyond the sex though is a healing story of growth after a devastating loss for both the hero and heroine. The pain of remembrance, traditions that are too painful to continue, even pain of anniversaries that come and go. The book takes place over three weeks even though Ronan and Thea have been together almost a year. Each date is full of key emotional growth in both characters.
The picture painted by Anne Calhoun through words left me breathless. I felt I was right there with Thea as she walked through New York or even Ronan trying to find the path into Thea’s heart. The world created left me in wonder of the Christmas season through the eyes of these two lovers.
I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a book with hope after a loss so deep within someone’s heart. It helps that there is some incredible sexual tension that roll off the pages. But a connection between a man and woman ultimately is what the story is about.
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