by Dee Davis

July 2001
ISBN: 0-8041-1967-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Ivy Books
Mass Market Paperback

Dee Davis' Just Breathe starts out with a bang and doesn't stop. Chloe Nichols, our heroine in this tale, is a reporter out to get an article on how the upper class spends their time. Chloe isn't prepared for what she gets instead - an adventure of a lifetime and the love of her life! Her awkward ways land her right in the middle of a murder scene (literally sitting on the murdered victim!). As an offset to Chloe's ineptness we are given the character of Matthew Broussard. Matthew is quiet, mysterious and shows up just at the right moment to rescue Chloe. And what a rescue! To avoid being noticed and caught by the police, Matthew pulls Chloe into a kiss that shocks them both and fills the atmosphere with sexual tension, which only grows stronger from that point on. Our hero, however, has a secret in his past that may prevent him from acting on the attraction he feels for Chloe.

As a means of protecting Chloe, Matthew tells everyone that they are engaged and moves into the hotel room next to her. This sparks some interesting scenes with the two of them trying to learn enough about each other to make the "engagement" look real. It also provides just the medium needed for them to get to know each other well enough to fall in love, even though Matthew has sworn to never get that close to anyone again.

There were also some very attention-grabbing supporting characters. We're presented with Sabra, who had been in love with Matthew for many years and would do anything to have him. And, Ben, who was Matthew's trainer in his previous career and who was helping Matthew protect Chloe and resolve the murder. These two turn out to be more trouble than help and provide an interesting sideshow. There is also the character of Lisa who remains a mystery for several chapters, but has a definite impact on the murder motive and story line. The characters are well developed, and provide almost as much entertainment as the story line itself.

From the action packed beginning to the very end, there is no pause in the intensity of this novel. It is appealing the way Dee Davis puts clumsy and intelligent together, and then weaves them into a character that we can respect and take pleasure in reading about. Of course, the hero himself is certainly nothing to complain about! I haven't read anything by this author before this book, but I can certainly say that this will not be the last of her novels that I would pick up! This is a read that is definitely worth curling up with by a cozy fire.

Reviewed in November 2001 by Angela.

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