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Breath on Embers (Red Hot Holiday)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  421 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her ...more
ebook, 98 pages
Published December 3rd 2012 by Carina Press
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Opal by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Darkest Minds by Alexandra BrackenFalling Kingdoms by Morgan RhodesThe Farm by Emily McKayTimekeeper by Alexandra Monir
December 2012
52nd out of 124 books — 250 voters
A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa KleypasChristmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa KleypasA Virgin River Christmas by Robyn CarrBy Proxy by Katy RegnerySimply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis
Best Seasonal Romance {Christmas, Winter}
241st out of 628 books — 761 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,374)
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Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter
5 stars. Re-read 11/14. Review edited November 7, 2014

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Erotic as all get out. Utterly sensual. Hot. Thoughtful. Sublime.
That's soulful erotica how I love it, how I want it and masterfully written by Anne Calhoun.

Breath On Embers is mighty fine erotica and set in a very inspiring atmosphere. This is Anne at her very best. On the one hand, I devoured this long novella and on the other hand, I savored every darn word of this sensuous read; I did not want it to end. Kudos, Anne, this excellent and
Blacky *Romance Addict*
"Maybe it was the degree of separation the mirrors put between them. Probably she wasn’t even aware of it, but she watched him with such longing, such intense yearning, his heart expanded hard against his sternum."

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This was just brilliant! It had HOT sex scenes, great characters, very hot sex scenes, it was emotional, extremely hot sex scenes, it actually made me cry at one point between all those awesome sex scenes if you can believe it!!!

The writing style is GREAT! This book didn't just have
Really liked this one, Ms Calhoun is usually a solid read for me and this was no exception. Reviews are a bit on the short side these days, until I get back to work!!! Hows that for a contradiction!

…. it was black haired,, blue eyed Ronan who sparked something deep inside. Standing in a cluster of rowdy uniforms, he was serene as opaque glass, but heat and promise rose from his body like mist from the lake on a cool morning

In the cupboard by the fridge he found a bottle of Jameson, and poure
WOW! Erotica Romance at its best!

This novella is included in the anthology I'm currently reading, Red Hot Holiday. It's steeped in sensual delights, amazingly HOT, a beautiful love story is included, and the hero is utterly divine!! There is nothing I didn't like about firefighter Ronan O'Rourke; Beautiful, sexy thing that he is!

The heroine, Thea Moretti, is trapped in the darkness of grief and despair. She can't seem to move forward after the car accident that took her husband's life two year

Well surprise, surprise…Susan reads a M/F book…

I’ve made it no secret that I’ve pretty much crossed completely over to M/M books and have a hard time enjoying M/F books. Too many annoying women characters snaking the hot, perfect man. Not fair! (*stomps feet in a tantrum*)

But, I wanted to read something smutty and easy and felt “Breath on Embers” might be just the ticket.

And for 6+ chapters, I was feeling it! Ronan is a HOT NY firefighter who is lookin’ for love. Thea is a widow, still grieving,
~ Becs ~
Wow! For a short story, this one certainly packs an intensely emotional punch. It’s very much the soulful, thoughtful erotic romance we’ve come to expect from Anne Calhoun.

This is the story of Ronan and Thea. Thea is a widow, having lost her husband in a road accident two years ago. She’s a woman completely besieged by grief. She’s built herself a fortress whereby she never allows herself to actually feel or allow any emotion to penetrate her outer shell. She’s blasting her ears with acid rock c
J *I did it all for the nookie.The book nookie*

I'm kind of on an Anne Calhoun kick. I love her writing. Despite only being a novella, Breath on Embers was very emotional and sexy.

Thea moves to NY after the death of her husband Jesse. She's just existing in life, struggling to move on. Not believing that she can, that Jesse was her one true love.

Giving in to impulse and at the advice of her therapist, Thea enagages in a one-night the middle of the day....with a fire-fighter drinking on a patio with his frien
Story Rating 5 Stars
Character Rating 5 Stars
Romance Rating 5 Stars
Heat Level 4.5 HOT Stars
Overall Rating 5 Stars

I wanted to read a Christmas theme romance so I decided to read this book after I read a few of my friends reviews on it. I liked it a lot right from the start, but thought throughout most of the book that this would be a 4 star read that is until the last 25% and then WHAM!!! the story hit me hard, I had tears running down my face and I was sobbing. WOW! This story really got to me bu
I have read a review written by one of my GRF Baba for this book which was such an amazing review (View it here) that i knew i just had to read this. My review is not going to be as good as hers so if you are unsure about whether or not you want to read this make sure to read her review.

I cannot believe this was a short story, seriously the amount of emotion, sex & sensuality the author managed to squeeze in, it is amazing. The story evoked a tonne of emotions in me very quickly, i was hook
Lkay ❇✾Dirty Girl Romance❇✾
Oh Wow!
5 beautifully erotic stars!

I don't usually go into a novella with any sort of expectations. I mean, what can you possibly get out of a quick story? So if I'm being perfectly honest, I went into this with the mind set that I'm going to get a quickie erotic book.

Well, I am eating my words because this was so so so much more.

I have never read a book by Anne Calhoun before. After finishing this, I will be eagerly anticipating her future releases.

I am in total shock that a novella of 98 page
Mandi Schreiner
This book isn’t your standard, feel good holiday romance. Don’t misunderstand, there is a happy ever after, although I may have sniffled my way through it and it is very well done.

Thea Moretti has been grieving her husband for two years. Deeply grieving, where she has left her home state of Ohio, and moved to New York City. The city is a third character in this book. At some points Thea reflects she can get lost amongst the people, no one there knows she is grieving, so no pitying looks, or rela
A lovely, evocative title for a lovely, evocative novella. After losing her husband two years ago, Thea has deadened her feelings by moving to bustling, impersonal New York, blasting music at all times, and having hot sex with hunky Ronan. As a New York firefighter, Ronan has suffered his share of grief; his goal isn't to make Thea forget, but to show her that life is still worth living.

Erotica with a Christmas setting often aims for a "naughty" vibe, and this erotic novella certainly contains e
“I'm not trying to rescue her. She can rescue herself. I just want to give her a reason to try.”


This should be a holiday novella, christmas-themed story. I expected it to be light, sweet and overall a make-me-happy-and-warm story.
Boy, was I wrong. It's so emotional I cried during one or two scene *sniff*

Okay, I won't repeat the blurb. I just have to say that, Thea, you're one very lucky girl. Ronan is such a great great great man! He's so patient, attuned to her ne
Michele ~ la Smoocherina
I enjoyed this book. I love Anne Calhoun's writing. So polished and smartly written. I love her character development and the reason the heroine held back was very plausible. I loved the hero, Ronan. So hot. So Alpha male The only thing that disappointed me was the ending was a Happy for Now. I would have at least liked to see them make love after Thea comes to him and makes herself vulnerable. . Anne Calhoun is one of my very favorite authors, but she loves HFN and I like more closure than that ...more
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: B

Thea has been grieving for her late husband for the past two years. He was the love of her life and after his death in a car accident, she stopped living. She’s been numb and moved away from her home and family to escape. She’s now living in New York, seeing a therapist and after the first year following his death, her therapist suggests that she think about dating again. For Thea, that’s not happening, but she’s ready to lose herself with s
I can only hope that I can do justice to this wonderful, touching, heart-wrenching story of a woman who has lost the love-of-her-life, and a firefighter who had tragedy touch his life in 9/11. I couldn't put it down.

Although there is a seasonal theme, it is not simply a "Christmas" read. The season is the backdrop for two people who approach the holidays in the absence of a person who meant a great deal to them. They come together at a time when family and closeness have special significance. R
Loved this novella, about a hero’s determination to get the heroine away from her grief and make her live again. Great writing again from this author, sensual and emotional love scenes, beautiful love story.
SCENES/CONTENT: few/erotic,one menage scene
GENRE/TONE: contemporary/drama
LENGTH: 120 pages
Jane Stewart
I didn’t feel anything. I wasn’t pulled in or engaged.

I’ve really enjoyed some of this author’s other writing, but this book felt flat - like cooking without spices. I skimmed parts of the sex scenes. The problem was probably because it was about sadness, grief, and withdrawing from life. The happy ending did not uplift me. I like change in books. Here Thea changes, but I didn’t feel and see her process of change.

Thea’s husband Jesse died in a car accident two years earlier. She is s
Guilty Pleasures
KcLu's review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

4.75 Stars

Breath on Embers is a highly emotional journey, but sooooo darn worth it! A story with very realistic and heart wrenching look at the grieving process, and about finding that one person that can help you out of that dark place grief takes you.

Thea Moretti is going through life, but she isn’t truly living. Three years ago she lost her husband, and she basically stopped living too. When she moved to New York, her family back in Ohio ma
Breath on Embers absolutely rocked my world. It is an incredible book that packs a huge emotional punch and does so in a mere eight chapters. I enjoyed Anne Calhoun's Liberating Lacey, and this book pretty much solidifies Anne Calhoun as an auto-buy author from here on out.

Thea Moretti is grieving the loss of her husband. She "silences" her grief with loud rock music and supposedly meaningless sex with sexy fire fighter Ronan O'Rourke (I love that name)!

This book has some serious heat in it, bu
"I'm not trying to fix it for her. There is no fix for this. She has to endure it, and somewhere along the line she has to learn to live again. Surviving isn't the goal. Living is. This is a battle between me and her grief, and I'm going to be the last man standing." ~ Ronan

Wow. For such a short and quick read, this was PACKED with emotion. And Holy hell was this erotic. Loved the h/H dynamic and Ronan is definitely a top ten hero for me. He was determined to help Thea through her grief, knowing
Grade A

Breath on Embers is an emotional story. Calhoun's characters feel human and vulnerable. Perhaps Ronan is a little too good to be true. Perhaps Thea's grief is more excessive than usual, but as a reader I never doubted either character. There are people like Ronan, and we all respond differently to tragedy.

I was wary of ready this story because I've rarely found real depth in stories that border on erotica. When sex plays such a huge part in a story, it often leaves little room for th
OMG I loved Breath on Embers...I wish I could give it 50 stars. Liberating Lacey still remains one of my favourite ever hot and steamy reads and will now be paired with Breath on Embers. I'm fairly new to the erotica genre, don't get me wrong I love myself a sexy read but I also want a decent storyline to go along with it and I want to feel a connection with the characters and if a book is only about the sex then it just doesn't cut it for me. Anne Calhoun delivers everything I need when I want ...more
This was my first from Calhoun, and it was read as part of the Red Hot Holiday anthology that I had purchased for Leah Braemel's story I Need You For Christmas. (which btw is great)

Thea is still grieving her husband's sudden death two years ago. She feels emotionally numb and unable to actually live. Ronan was supposed to be a fling to take her mind away from her pain, but he has other ideas and desires something more meaningful than unattached physical pleasure. The chemistry between these two
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ & MANTIES Champion
This, THIS is what I like so much about reading! Ms Calhoun does it so well. She doesn't need 87 chapters to tell a story of 2 fully developed people. No contrived scenarios to propel the story. Clear, concise, succinct writing; sometimes brevity really is the best option. She has an uncanny knack for catapulting the reader into the world in which she creates. She understands it's the little things that make up the whole, comprise a person & tell you about them. I don't need it spoon fed to ...more
this review was originally published at

As I said, I’m not a big holiday tale fan. If you asked me to pick holiday stories I loved, it would be a short list: Courtney Milan’sThis Wicked Gift, Ruthie Knox’sRoom at the Inn, and Susan Wojciechowski’sincredible children’s book The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey immediately come to mind. I’d now add Breath on Embers to that list. I plan to put it on my “Best of 2012″ list as well. It’s just that good.

Many novels explore the grief
This is the kind of hot, emotional, soul-touching story you would expect from Anne Calhoun. After reading Liberating Lacey by Anne Calhoun, I was so impressed with how this author balances hot eroticism with a compelling, emotional storyline. She continues that tradition with this book.

This is the story of Ronan (awesome name, just conjures up vision of hot, alpha male) and Thea having a steamy love affair except that for Ronan, it has become more than that. He wants more. She doesn't.

Breath on Embers is really about Thea. T
Anesha †Curious & Obsessive Bookworm†
Read this book.

I'm sleepy as hell but refused to give myself rest - hot as hell, DRUNK off of this book like no liquor has made me feel.

This book is amazing

I felt as if the author plucked me out of my world and placed me in Thea's own. It was that powerful. Everything she went through, avoiding her chance at living, rather than existing felt like my heart was twisting in pain and on some level I honestly know how she felt. Maybe because of my own personal experience, that this book hit so close

"There is no fix for this. She has to endure it, and somewhere along the line she has to learn to live again. Surviving isn't the goal. Living is. This is a battle between me and her grief, and I'm going to be the last man standing."

GAAAAAAA! No one tells a sensual, sizzling, angsty good story like Anne Calhoun. Her voice is divine and never disappoints. Such a beautiful story of finding the light in living again after the darkness of grief. My favorite Christmas story of 2012. So good.

"A woma
Kaylea Cross
Goodreads, you really need to give us the option of half stars!!!

4.5 stars. I love Anne Calhoun's writing, plain and simple. Her use of description and imagery is nothing short of magical. This was a very dark story compared to her others, but it suited the heroine. And really, emotional pain is usually hardest during the holidays, so it totally fit the story.

Can't wait for her next release! I wish we could clone her so she put out books 10xs as fast.
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Anne Calhoun Fans...: Breath on Embers Group Read 25 36 Jan 15, 2013 02:22AM  
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After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, I found myself living in the suburbs of a small Midwestern city. The glamour of various cube farm jobs had worn off, so I gave up making a decent living to take Joseph Campbell’s advice and follow my bliss: writing romance.
More about Anne Calhoun...

Other Books in the Series

Red Hot Holiday (4 books)
  • Wish List
  • I Need You For Christmas
  • Red Hot Holiday
Liberating Lacey Uncommon Passion (Uncommon, #2) Under His Hand  (12 Shades of Surrender Series) Fighting Fair Uncommon Pleasure (Uncommon, #1)

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I'm not trying to rescue her. She can rescue herself. I just want to give her a reason to try. 4 likes
You don't have to be better, or healed, or over your husband. You just have to be here. That's all I'm asking for. I'm not asking for forever. I'm just asking you to be here, now, with me. 2 likes
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