Breathing room * Susan Elizabeth Phillips review

0066211220.01.LZZZZZZZItaly is the place where any woman that has her heart broken will go to find herself. The story of self-help author Dr. Isabel Favor is the same as any other story of a woman making it to the top by her own hard work and then finding that a man steals everything away.

Dr. Isabel Favor, author of “Four Cornerstones for a Favorable Life, ” has sacrificed everything to build her self-help empire.

The Four Cornerstones work for everybody, from streetwalkers to saints, and I have thousands of testimonials to prove it.

Then, in a matter of weeks, it all comes crashing down. She loses her money to an unscrupulous accountant, her fiance to a frumpy older woman, and her reputation to headlines denouncing her as a fraud. America’s diva of self-help soon discovers she can fix everyone’s life but her own. Broke, heartsick, and soul-weary, she heads for Italy in search of a little breathing room.

With her whole world crashing down around her, Isabel heads for Tuscany to stay in a rustic farmhouse where she hopes to figure out how to put her life back together. On her first night in Italy, Isabel, still smarting from being rejected by her fiance, gives into temptation and participates in a one-night stand with a mysterious, handsome Italian, only to run out on him. Arriving at her country farmhouse, Isabel discovers that it’s exactly the haven of tranquillity she needs, although there is one drawback.

13772150._SY540_Lorenzo Gage makes his living killing people… on the silver screen, that is. He’s viciously handsome and sublimely talented. But as he begins his vacation in Italy, he’s also vaguely dissatisfied. Being a villain with a face to die for has its rewards, but he hates the feeling that everything he’s neglected in life is catching up with him. Then he spots Isabel sipping a glass of wine in a sidewalk cafe. A good guy wouldn’t think of seducing such a tidy-looking woman… but he’d never seen the fun in playing the hero.

It doesn’t take long for Isabel to realize she’s escaped one kind of chaos only to be plunged into another. Even the shelter of a simple stone farmhouse nestled in a Tuscan olive grove can’t provide her with the refuge she needs–not when the townspeople are scheming to drive her away, and her plan to restore her reputation has come up empty. And especially not when the man who deceived her refuses to leave her in peace. The romance is one that blossoms over time and we really get a sense of the two of them in the meantime. This isn’t a two-day whirlwind romance. I love that!

“Breathing Room” is a book for any woman who’s dreamed of wandering through a vineyard, of lazing under the Tuscan sky, or of reforming a deliciously wicked man. This is a story of hope and renewal, of love and redemption when it’s needed the most. Sometimes it takes a special place… a special love… a little breathing room… for life to deliver all its glorious promise.


His arms fell to his sides. “That’s it? I pour my heart out. I love you so much I’ve got freakin’ tears in my eyes. And all I get in return is ‘Why not’?”

What did you expect? Am I supposed to fall all over you just because you’ve finally come to your senses?”

Would it be too much to ask?”…He’d begun to glare at her again, his eyes growing stormier by the minute.”When do you think you might be ready? To fall all over me, that is.”


Award-winning, New York Times best-selling Phillips puts an uptight control-freak heroine together with a laid-back, bad-boy hero in a sun-drenched Tuscan setting for some splendid entertainment in her latest sexy contemporary romance, a book on a par with those of fellow genre luminaries Jayne Ann Krentz and Linda Howard. Flavored with Phillips’ clever humor and quick wit, this is a pure joy to read.

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