When Dorothea "Dottie/Thea" Matthis was a sophomore in high
school, she had two dreams; that of becoming a meteorologist
and going out with her crush, Daniel Porter. Daniel Porter
is two years older than Dorothea and told her that she is
perfect the way she is. However, when Daniel Porter breaks
her heart, Dorothea's life is never the same again.
Years later after her failed marriage to Jazz, a local
meteorologist, Dorothea becomes manager of an inn, forced to
put her dreams on the backburner and at the same she is
forced to run into her former crush who has a hefty use of
the inn for his one-night trysts. Tired of feeling ignored,
she decides on a daring plan to attempt to shake up her life.
Please don't let the cover fool the reader into thinking
that this is another run-of-the-mill romance novel that
hides the rough edges and seems to be way more fantasy than
reality because it isn't; there is exposure of flaws,
ugliness within the issues of PTSD and being a curvy girl
within today's society, and very little of the ugliness of
these topics is hidden from the author's masterful pen.
In addition to not hiding the rough edges, Gena Showalter
creates a very memorable heroine and while Dorothea is more
secure now than previously, she is not portrayed as
extremely secure who has forgotten her roots, for she still
has her demons. Most of the times in romance novels PTSD is
portrayed as suffering from nightmares and other
aspects-such as adjusting back to real life-or even memories
get very little mention. In CAN'T HARDLY BREATHE, Gena
Showalter doesn't ignore those aspects but brings them to
light and even shows that love can be part of the healing in
addition to talking about it and having service dogs.
I loved how healing can HARDLY BREATHE felt as well as the
relationships between various characters and how nothing
seemed instantaneous but instead the characters really had
to work for their successes. For me, Gena Showalter really
makes the romance work within its pages and shows how
healing it can be for Dorothea as well as Daniel. While
it's my first time venturing into Gena Showalter's writing,
I do hope that in the future I can read more of her books.
Highly recommended for readers seeking a more serious read
and not the just standard run-of-the-mill romance novel.
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 long-standing 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
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 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.