Compelled to BREATHE YOU IN–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m reviewing a newly re-released contemporary romance from Lily Harlem. BREATHE YOU IN is the grief-recovery story of Katie, a young widow, and Ruben, a man who received a heart-lung transplant. The catch? Ruben’s donor was Katie’s husband.

imageAbout the book:
Soul-aching desire was only the first layer of emotion around a secret I had to keep for all of time.

If the road to Heaven starts in Hell then I was ready to start climbing my way out and Ruben Strong was the man to accompany me. With his devastating good looks, seductively sexy charm and lust for adrenaline he was sure to make it a sensual and erotic experience as well as one to re-awake the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind woman I’d once been.

I’d given Ruben something, though, without him realizing, and that gift had come from the man I’d loved before. But I couldn’t tell Ruben. I had to keep that a tight secret even on the nights our naked bodies wound together, sought out pleasure and hit the dizzy heights of ecstasy. Because Ruben had my husband’s heart, literally, and that heart was still in love with me, so it seemed, and now I was in love with Ruben.

Emotions tangled with bliss and fears were locked away as I surrendered to the touch of Ruben’s hands, the taste of his skin and the sounds of his pleasure. I couldn’t deny that Ruben had brought me back to life the same way I had him and there was no way I was giving up that feeling, not for anyone.

My Review:
This is story about second chances in life and love.

Katie has been living a half-life of depression since her husband Matt died. More than a year since the funeral, Katie still has nightmares and struggles to survive in their home surrounded by constant reminders of their deep love and her great loss. Recently, she has become obsessed over the health of the person who received Matt’s heart and lungs as a transplant. Desperate to know if the recipient is healthy and happy–thinking this will give her peace and allow her to move through her grief–she hires a private detective to find the identity of the man with Matt’s organs.

Learning his name (Ruben) and place of work (less than 40 minutes drive) Katie impetuously plans to take a peek–just to confirm that she made the right decision about organ donation. That actually SEEING this Ruben will show her how Matt didn’t die for nothing, but saved someone in the process.

A chance meeting turns into conversation. Ruben is charming and friendly, saving Katie from two awkward moments. This cathartic encounter with Ruben tips off Katie’s new life. In the course of their conversation Katie states that she’s moving to Ruben’s town, and thinks “why not?” She has the financial wherewithal to do so, and starting over somewhere fresh may allow her to stretch her wings again.

She moves and changes jobs. In her new space, Katie isn’t always seen as ‘the widow’ and she can breathe again, releasing some of her deep grief. That Ruben helps her do this, is especially poignant. Ruben befriends Katie, and they get on very well–moving into a romantic relationship. Katie is scared Ruben will learn that she knows he received Matt’s organs, but she feels so free with Ruben. He is so kind and thoughtful, and, around Ruben, she wants to experience life for the first time since Matt died.

This story had the prospect of being gloomy or icky–but instead it was touching and lovely. Taking careful steps into connection, Katie and Ruben find a real love together.

Interested? You can find BREATHE YOU IN on Goodreads, Amazon, Totally Bound, Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:
Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including Ellora’s Cave, HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Xcite and Sweetmeats Press. Her HOT ICE series regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse, draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Glass Knot, The Silk Tie, Breathe You In (USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read of 2013) and Scored have been blessed with many 5* reviews since their release.

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes under the name Harlem Dae – check out the Sexy as Hell Box Set Trilogy available exclusively on Amazon – The Novice, The Player and The Vixen – and That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel ‘every woman should read’.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

You can catch Lily on her website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Author Page, Pinterest. She’s also got a newsletter, Goodreads and Google +.

Check out her blogs on Raw Talent, BritBabes, and Hockey Romance!

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!