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Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
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There was a time in my life, not that long ago, that I first discovered SEP's books. I read every single one I could get my hands on, one right after the other. Each one held its own in my mind for the unforgettable characters, moving and believable romances, chemistry that leapt off the page making you forget you were sitting in some chair reading a book. She stole me away with each one, introducing me to interesting people, taking me to Texas, Chicago, North Carolina and here in Breathing Room to delicious Tuscany.

Okay, we get it. When women are burnt they go to Italy. Tuscany to be exact. Something about the wine, food, and men who scream sex is the perfect antidote to cure the female blues. SEP takes that formula and makes it her own in the form of self-help guru Isabel Favor whose entire life just crashed and burned, and yet she's holding fast to her principles of perfection. And Lorenzo Gage, better known as Ren to those that know him, and to everyone else as the go-to actor for playing sadistic psychopaths. He's the sexy John Malkovich. In real life? He's burnt out, excaping to the family home in Italy, only to run into Isabel, who is just tidy enough to make a mess out of everything.

Nice set-up, no? It could have been a hokey, simple little love story. And in a way, it is. But there's just something about SEP's delivery that makes a story more, one that sticks out in your mind long after you've finished it and read a dozen more with the same presence. It's the way she tackles these two and the way in which they experience this larger than life, but purely simple place. The people she fills her world in, who come to matter as much as the main characters.

As far as I'm concerned if it has SEP's name on it, it's a winner. And this one is no exception.
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