People see what they want to see. A burly guy with tats and a permanent scowl is probably a criminal and an asshole, right? And I can’t fault ‘em, because in my case, they’re right. My world revolves around righting the wrongs of my past. Atoning for my selfish stupidity. And it’s enough.
Until I meet Viv – a woman who sees right through me. She’s not scared or intimidated. A woman like her is way too good for a man like me. But life as I knew it won’t be enough anymore. I realize now that before I met her, I wasn’t really living. Hell, I was barely breathing.
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Brenda Rothert is the author of more than thirty Contemporary Romance novels. You can learn more about her books at her website, www.brendarothert.com, which features teasers, excerpts and trailers for her books. Follow her here:
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Barely Breathing by Brenda Rothert is a heartfelt and beautiful novel that captures the meaning and essence of an intense love between two strangers. A love that is similar to the act of breathing. And so, Brenda Rothert will breathlessly steal our hearts and breaths with her gorgeous prose and raw characters in this heartwarming and touching tale of second chances and a love that you can't live without.
Atonement. The reparation for one's sins and wrongs. For Matthew Kane, forgiving oneself is one of the hardest things to do when your past mistakes and demons can haunt you. Trying to start over is one way Kane knew he could atone for his mistakes but along in the process of moving forward, he never thought he would meet someone to see past his sins, strong personality, and tattoos that is until he meets Vivian Marceau, who will show him what it means to truly breathe.
"There was nothing but us. Our bodies molded together, fitting perfectly. My cheek was pressed to his chest, and I heard the faint beat of his heart. Even when I was exhausted, Kane made me feel utterly rejuvenated."
Kane has never thought of himself as prince-charming or the hero. He was an ex-convict who is trying to make an honest living out of his life. So when he finds himself rescuing a young woman from an attack, he never thought Vivian would be the returning the favor by breathing life and love into his empty heart. So can a man who has lived his life closed off get his second chance at life? To start all over with a clean new slate with the woman he loves? Or will his stubbornness and fear be his downfall?
Barely Breathing was one of those quick reads that will leave you yearning for more Kane and Viv. I loved that Brenda Rothert was able to showcase an intense tangible, palpable, and steamy connection with beautiful undertones of second chances, hope, love, and balance. Though this book, may have that insta-love/inst-lust aspect, it worked for this couple and their strong personalities. Kane was lost in the dark and Viv was someone who radiates light into his monotonous existence. Together, they find a happy balance and medium. Though they may be complete opposites in every sense, their undying love and devotion for one another is the same. So if you are looking for a book that emphasizes that love heals all wounds, then Barely Breathing is the book for you. Prepare to fall in love with Matthew Kane as he realizes that he was barely breathing until he met a love that was worth breathing and fighting for.
Who doesn't love a second chance story?! I know I do. This had such potential and could have been so much better. It wasn't a bad read, I loved the main characters, Kane and Vivian, they oozed sizzling chemistry and even though they were different in so many respects, they embraced those differences in each other. Neither was judgemental of the other, although Kane didn't feel he was worthy of Vivian. They complimented each other nicely.
Where I think the author lost me, was by bringing several side elements into the plot which she didn't fully address in the end. While I'm not a fan of the overly dramatic read, these issues were ones that, unfortunately, many people face and instead of glossing over them in a rush to the finish, she could have added more depth to the read by incorporating them fully into the story. I got that feeling you get when go to take that bite of something you've been craving, and someone steals it out from under your nose...salivating, but nothing to satisfy it!
There were some characters that could make for a good read in the future and I'm hoping the author is considering to continue this as a series. I would love to have some more Kane and Vivian too!
3.5 stars everything was fine and dandy until he had to think twice if he wanted to be with cori because of Brooklyn if he loved Viv like he said he did he didn't need to think twice and Cori was a being too forward touching him sexually she did it not once but twice and he let her I would've left the first time she tried. When Viv asked him he thought about him being with cori so they could be a family he hesitated i felt like Viv was his second choice
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
A sweet romance with low/no angst and two characters I really liked, although it could have done with more character depth.
I do feel this needed more fleshing out, especially the Grayson drama and also would have liked more on Cori, she just seemed to fade into the background and after the stunt she pulled I wanted so at least see her squirm. Yeah, I'm evil and need retribution.
Another Brenda Rothert vacation…sigh. She never fails to take me away from it all. She has a gift for writing her characters in a way that I connect with. She touches my funny bone and my heartstrings. And to wrap it up with a nice bow she uncovers hidden fantasies that I never knew I had until I read them in one of her love scenes. Yup, I have stay-cations where I don't have to leave my house, I just pick up my kindle and hang my DO NOT DISTURB sign.
Kane is a big, muscled, tatted, scowly-faced bossy man that had his employees shaking in their boots. But he seemed to have the opposite effect on the women. They were lining up for a chance to spend time with him. He isn't interested though. He doesn't date. He's too busy trying to turn his life around. Determined to make up for past mistakes rather than making new ones. But that doesn't mean he's not tempted, cuz "What man doesn't want to make a good girl be bad?"
Vivian is a lawyer. She's not afraid of him. She's used to dealing with assholes. And even though she's seen that side of him on occasion, he can't change her mind. Nope, he made such an impression on her the night they met that she's already filed him in several categories, like hot guy, good guy, smart guy and unless he presents evidence to prove otherwise she's not willing to negotiate. So, she's gathering evidence, building a case, readying herself for the time when she can convince him beyond a reasonable doubt that he's worthy and deserves to be loved.
Barely Breathing is told in alternate POV so I was in the know about everything that was going on. Which was totally awesome, except for those instances where I had to keep it to myself when what I really wanted to do was blab it, text it, email it, or sky-write it. I knew that Kane had secrets that he was keeping from her. He felt that, "My darkness would damn her light if I got too close." Of course I also knew that she felt that, "You guard your goodness like a secret. But I see it." They were perfect for each other, but they are battling secrets and insecurities and guilt and pain. I wanted to drag them into a conference room and be their mediator, or maybe just lock them in there together, and then watch the video (wink-wink).
I am a huge fan of Brenda Rothert’s. I have read most of her books and loved every one of them. I could not wait to read Barely Breathing. I really enjoyed it but at times was wanting more.
Matthew Kane has a past that he would like to forget. Since getting out of prison he has made something of his life. He owns a successful night club with a friend and is trying to move on from the past and be a better person. He still has his issues, especially when it comes to dealing with other people. He is a bit rough around the edges and can be very short with people. Let’s just say if you work for him you better not make any mistakes, unless you want to be looking for another job. He is not looking for love or a relationship. Even though he is in a good place he still believes that he doesn’t deserve all good things.
Viv is a lawyer who is looking for love. She has her idea of what the perfect man is and knows that he is somewhere out there. When a blind date goes wrong it is Kane who saves her. Kane is the opposite of everything she thought she wanted in a guy. She comes to find out that maybe she had it all wrong where her perfect man is concerned. Kane is who she wants. Yes he is a bad boy with tattoos and a record but that does not matter to Viv. She sees more to him and wants him. She is the one woman who seems to be able to handle him. But she needs to make Kane see just how special he really is and how much he deserves to find love and happiness.
I really loved these characters. I think Viv was a strong woman and knew how to deal with an angry and bitter Kane. What I loved about this book is the characters and the connection that they had. I loved how Viv did not give up on Kane, even at the times when he felt he was not good enough for her. As always the writing was great. But for me personally it was missing something. I wanted more depth to Kane’s character. I wanted to know and understand this man more. Why was he the way he was today? What else happened in his past. There was also the issue of the conflict. I understood where Kane was coming from and know that it is probably something that people do experience. I just didn’t get where it came from given the history of the characters. I know I am being vague but I don’t want to give it away. Anyway I still really enjoyed this one. Kane and Viv were great together. They had chemistry which I loved. Looking forward to more from Brenda Rothert.
4.5 stars! I loved this book. I recommend it to everyone! A great love story with a fantastic sweet alpha male. The female character was pretty perfect and the book was one of those I had to read cover to cover without stopping to breathe myself.
First of all, I really like the cover. I think it's super cool, and it's what got me to look at the blurb in the first place.
This was a pretty light and short read. There is a little bit of angst but nothing that is too much or unnecessary. I found myself liking the heroine as much as the hero which hardly ever happens. The H is a reformed drug addict and felon; he's the co-owner of a hot club called "Six". The h is a family law attorney (of course she is...) who is looking for love. The H saves h from an attempted rape right outside his club; she in turn, eventually, saves him by loving him and helping him see that he needs to be in his daughters life.
There was two points during the book, beginning and end, where the H and h have a fight. I feel like both times it was resolved and patched up a little too quickly for my liking. I don't like drama, but I like realism.
I would call this a "surface only" book, meaning it doesn't go too deep. Whether that's with the characters or the plot line, it's just surface only. There is nothing wrong with that, unless you are looking for something "more".
Barely Breathing by Brenda Rothert took my breath away. It has been a long time since a character such as Kane has captured my heart and imagination in such a short time.
Rothert absolutely excels at writing characters and storylines that you get completely lost in, and Barely Breathing is Rothert at her best. Kane and Viv/Vivian are not perfect, but the honesty of who these characters are just jumps off the page.
I love that Rothert mixed in so many emotions and let Kane be vulnerable in his own belief in himself and what he was worthy of.
I could not put this book down & absolutely love Kane !!!
Kane is the owner of a club who sees something happening outside of his club and quickly steps in to help. This is where he meets Viv and soon after you can see the chemistry between the two of them. Kane thinks he isn't good enough for Viv because they come from two different worlds. Viv doesn't see that, she sees the man he really is. I loved this story from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. It is definitely one of my favorite books.
The story is good, but the whole time I had a feeling there is something missing. I can't really explain. I love this kind of books, and I loved this one, but I think some things aren't well described. Both characters have good storyline, but maybe they don't have enough depth. Either way, it's a nice one.
Despite like 1 or 2 small things that bothered me in this story, overall I could not stop reading. I fell in lust with the main male character, (beard/tats/a record, what's not to love?) laughed a bunch and teared up a little! Great read, I recommend.
I thoroughly enjoyed Barely Breathing. Viv and Kane have stellar chemistry! It was sweet without being too mushy and many steamy moments. Kane, he was a character that you just root for, and the way Viv reacts/handles him and makes him see he's worth was beautiful! Loved watching them bloom!
Brenda sure had away with her words. This story of Kane and Vivian was everything!!! This book consumed me from the beginning to end. I read this in one sitting and have no regrets. Thank you, for such an incredible story.
After reading Anton I remembered how much I enjoy this authors work and went back and checked out a few of her books I’d read already when I noticed this one. I’d given it 5 stars at the time but I didn’t remember that much about it so figured it was a good one for a reread. I’m glad I did and even though I was foggy in my memories, after reading it again, it still deserves the 5 stars I originally gave it. I really, really like this one still.
I read about 98% ebooks these days and this has opened a whole new world of self-published/ebook authors for me and Brenda Rothert is one of the best I have found. I’ve read a number of her books now and she continues to impress me with her writing ability and her wide range of storylines. Barely Breathing is another very fine example of how good she is. I pre-ordered this book when I read the synopsis and started reading it the day after it popped up on my Kindle. Again she has wowed me.
If I only had one word to describe this book, it would be raw. Kane is one tough and gritty hero. He’s a tattooed, shaved bald, owner/bouncer of a very successful nightclub and he’s about as earthy as they come. He isn’t nice to anyone. He’s crude. He has a huge ship on his shoulder, is a former drug addict who spent time in prison because of it and on the outside nothing about him says hero. But oh my, on the inside is he ever hero material. We begin to catch a glimpse of the true ‘underneath the tough guy exterior’ Kane when he rescues Viv from an attack and possible rape in an alley near his club. Right away she sees his rather rough heroic qualities beneath his rough outer shell and she’s smitten with him from that moment on.
Kane is equally gob smacked with Viv but has such a poor opinion of himself and such a high one of Viv, he doesn’t see how it’s possible that someone like her, a beautiful, classy, successful lawyer, could have any kind of real feelings other than possible gratitude for someone like him. So as much as Viv tries to get him, he relents a bit because of his feelings for her, then withdraws, afraid once she sees what he’s really like, she will regret their relationship. This is all very frustrating for Viv as they get quite…..close….. on occasion before Kane runs away, but I just found it very endearing. I LOVED both Kane and Viv. Kane wasn’t nearly the bad guy he imagined himself as being and he is just so ‘gone’ for Viv. I love a hero who is so over the moon for the heroine. And I loved Viv. She knows who she wants and she goes after him. She’s not put off at all by his rough exterior and sees quite clearly how tender he is underneath. Kane also has a secret that I don’t want to do a spoiler on, but how he handles it just shows what kind of guy he is and makes the readers heart melt just a little bit more.
This is written the same way as all of Ms. Rothert’s books are, alternating first person point of views. There was a day I didn’t read first person POV books but written this way, from both Kane and Viv’s POV, it really does make it personal and we get to see what great people they both are. So don’t let that intimidate or keep you from reading the really excellent book. Just writing this review makes me want to go back and revisit them again. I read it fairly quickly as I enjoyed it so much. Only this time I will take things more slowly and savour it more.
I enjoyed this. There were a few editing issues but they didn't take away from the story. Example: Sometimes the wrong word was used and the sentence didn't make sense. None come to mind now but I did notice them when I read the book. Also, kinda a spoiler
We have Kane and Viv. Kane helps Viv out of what could be a horrible situation and after that she can't get him out of her mind. She makes excuses to see him and they eventually start to date. Kane is emotionally stunted (in my opinion). He's never dated or had a relationship, just hookups. He doesn't feel he's good enough for Viv cause he sees her as 'good' and doesn't think of himself that way.
I enjoyed this story but I did feel there was unnecessary drama and several plot lines that never got fleshed out. Example:
Overall I did like this book and would like to read more by this author. This was my first book by this author but I hope not the last.
Mathew Kane met Vivian Marceau on a night when a date went terribly wrong, she needed saving and saving her he did. What he never imagined was that she was going to be the one to save him from his past, the demons he'd been carrying around for a good portion of his life, and help him see the goodness that was hiding underneath his tough exterior.
Kane is a very different character from those Brenda have written before, he's rough, he's raw, he has no patience for nonsense, but there's also a vulnerability to the man, something pure that no one has yet discovered, until Viv materialized in his life. Viv is an intelligent woman with a successful career, not the kind of woman that Kane thought was interested in him or deserving of a man with a past as dark as his. But Viv, showed him what it was to love, to accept his sins, and most importantly to forgive himself in order to live the life he was always meant to have.
The sizzling chemistry between these two characters can be seen from the moment they met in that dark alley. Through it all they seduced not only their minds but their bodies, their sexual encounters fueled by unrestrained passion.
I love a good heroine, who's strong and not waiting to be saved by the male character, Viv is definitely that and then some. And although I'm a fan of alpha males in books, I like for them to have soul, to be compassionate, and to treat their women with respect no matter the circumstance, all qualities that Kane displays without losing his dangerous edge.
Brenda Rothert wrote a story that will have you enthralled to every page from the very first one. This is a story full of heart, commitment, that show us that no matter what mistakes we made along the way there is always room for improvement, for forgiveness, for salvation.
I knew I was going to like Barely Breathing when, in the opening scene and meet cute, our heroine calls out her date who suffers under the delusion that a woman who dares to wear a skirt is a cock tease and obliged to have sex with him. A romance novel that bashes misogyny over the head? Yay!
From the title, cover and description you would be forgiven for assuming Barely Breathing was an angst driven ride. I think that's a mistake. There is emotion in it, but it's not the kind of stupid plot events to get the tears flowing for no reason kind of crap I hate. It's not an author who throws around terminal illnesses or near death experiences for cheap feels. It's real emotion, like we saw in Bound. Kane trying to build a relationship with a daughter who was born while he was in prison. His hope and love for her gave me ginormous feels.
The story develops well and ends beautifully. I don't want to spoil the surprise by giving too much away, but, suffice to say, it avoided all of my pet hates and ended in the most perfect, wonderful way.
Then, to top that off, the author asks for reviews at the end - but not just the usual "if you liked my book, let other readers know". No - she asks for honest reviews, whether you liked it or not. That is what I like to see! I think it's safe to say I'm well on my way to becoming a fan.
Whoa Hot Stud incoming! Kane saves our heroine in at the end of a terrible blind date. But, who wouldn't fall into a big pile of hormones at the sight of Kane. Ms Rothert gives the reader an experienced journey from jittery first date to learning how to lean on one another. My favorite quote by far is:
"You're damn close, woman. You wanna be wined and dined or not?"
Kane is everything in the perfect alpha hero you want. Never looking for a HEA as he believes his past restricts him from grasping that ring. Vi is the perfect strong heroine to show Kane he is worth it. I love that Ms. Rothert gives you the chance to see all sides of Kane, the stubborn male to the deep touched man. The scene in Cara's office - awe - I wanted to give hugs out. I really enjoyed both characters. I felt a little shorted by not getting much of Vi's back story. By far this is Kane's story.
If you love romance with big, sexy tatted men who have the ability to become tenderhearted, this novel is definitely for you. I recommend for one of those curl up and read days. 4.5 stars out of 5.
Sometimes, you pick up a book by an author who is undoubtedly one of your favourites and they give you the gift of a book that hooks itself into your heart and reminds you why they are one of your top authors.
This book is superbly written with a hero and heroine who are beautifully crafted and developed within the story. Kane Matthews has a very shady past but he is trying to maintain the right path now and he is making a success of his career/life.He has secrets and he has guilt. He also has abig heart and a gruff exterior. Talking of exteriors....this is one HOT man. I loved how he was slightly clueless about women at times. Sure, he was all about the hot stuff but he just didn't quite get the hang of how to read the clues that women give and their nuances. Kane really is a hero...literally and figuratively. Sometimes, a fabulous hero will put the heroine in the shade- not so in this book. Viv is strong, kind, gorgeous and she stands up to our hero when the need arises. There was no unnecessary angst in this book. It was there but it was well warranted. Viv never gave up on Kane. I loved how loyal these two were to each other. Excellent story to just lose yourself in. And the epilogue was beautiful. Recommend Over 18's due to swearing/hot stuff. Be aware...other heroes may pale in comparison. Kindle swooning likely!
Let me start out saying I chose to read this book over an internet crazy week with another epic release from a best-selling author and I chose Rothert over this other book because it's been a hard week and she is a solid writer, who develops captivating characters and is always careful with my heart (which I desperately needed this week.) All of that being said, Rothert did it again. Another great read with characters who were uniquely described. Reading a lot of NA books, suffice it to say, some details are OVERDONE! You know what I'm talking about. I loved Rothert's Kane. I loved her descriptions of him not wearing warmth on his sleeve but kept it buried deep inside. I love that we got to get a peek into his warmth but it wasn't all gooey and a total character 180. I love that he doubted who good he was for Viv but kept with his alpha ways. This insight was awesome. Vivian was well done too. As a reader I could see more and more of Kane influencing her as the book progressed with language choices especially. I LOVED the watch moment...LOVED IT!!! I did think there were a bit too many subplots building that didn't really get explored, whether there will be a book two or not and some are left to be developed elsewhere is unknown. Other than that, solid read.
Barely Breathing. Kane and Viv. They meet under not so ideal circumstances, him saving her from what could have been a horrifying experience. Not the type Viv usually is attracted to there is just something about him. Maybe it's his rough exterior that draws her to him and brings out her forwardness asking him to go out with her. Kane not the dating kinda guy but intrigued by this beautiful women relents and agrees to go an date with her. The attraction between them is undeniable but there is something holding Kane back. Something from his past. Will He open up to Viv and be able to look past what is bothering him? How will Viv react when she finds out the truth? A wonderful story of hope, commitment, trust and love. You will love Viv's determined personality and Kane's loving inside hidden beneath his rough exterior. I loved this story. Thank you Brenda. You never disappoint❤️
Vivian is a family law attorney and sick of the countless blind dates in a quest to meet someone worthwhile. One night, her latest blind date turns sour and she attempts to go home, but the guy attacks her and Kane come to her rescue.
Kane is a bald, tattooed, scowling hulk of a man. He has a rough past but is now clean and owns a successful, booming nightclub. He’s never been in a relationship and is completely blindsided by Viv’s interest in him - a woman who is beautiful, smart and way too good for him.
I loved this book! I loved Viv’s strength and the way she accepts him. Kane is tough and has a crass tongue but Viv’s belief in him humbles him and brings out his softer side. He was just existing before. She breathes new life into him and opens his eyes to new possibilities. And, I loved the sweet epilogue at the end! Fab story!
What I can say about this book is, I truly love the story of Kane and Viv there journey to find happiness. In this book you’ll get the drama that comes along, with a truly good story line as well some let’s just say hot steamy scenes. I loved how Viv never judged Kane past and accepted him for who he was. I could feel how Kane felt about his past, but felt he wasn’t good enough Viv. They did have their ups and downs, but Viv never gave up on him even though Kane had his doubt about the relationship. I loved that he finally got to have a relationship with daughter in the end. Overall this book is worth the one-click and you’ll love seeing how Kane and Viv story as, I did. I read every single book by Brenda they keep getting better and better every time. I can’t wait to see what she next for us…
I enjoyed reading about Kane and Viv! I knew I would fall in love with his character when he came to Viv's rescue. This story contained the elements to make it a perfect read for me: life obstacles and struggles and overcoming them leading to self-healing, love and not giving up on it, and relationships among different characters. There were parts of the story that brought tears to my eyes because it was so touching. The epilogue was one of the most favorite that I have ever read because it was a different style to be reading through the eyes of a young girl. It couldn't have ended more perfectly ❤️