Learning to Breathe

Roxy Harte
Learning to Breathe
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Release Date
May 2016
Book 1 of Van Zant Siblings: Jessica
BDSM, Erotic Romance

The celebrated widowed wife of a hometown hero, Jessica leaves Boston for a fresh start in a Cape Hatteras beach house with her teen children. She never suspects to fall hard for her new boss, Joe, at the fish and beer shop where she bartends. When he accidentally triggers her need for rope, she needs a quick fix for a shibari addiction she'd believed herself long cured of.

A drunk dialing moment leads to her sister's fiancé—a man who has tied her in the past—delivering Francisco, the man he considers to be a shibari-master perfect match, and Jessica has a great long weekend in and out of his rope. But then Francisco asks her to allow him to dominate her full-time.

Jessica runs scared and ends up in bed with Joe. When she shares her secret love of bondage, Joe insists she's the victim of deviant men and he would offer her a normal, healthy love. Wounded by his misunderstanding, she runs again.

As if her sex life isn't complicated enough, a case of mistaken identity catches her in the crosshairs of an assassin. While Jessica's seeking sanctuary in Cincinnati for the holidays, her sister gifts her with a night with a shibari master who goes by the name of St. Nicholas. She quickly finds herself on the naughty list but will she also find a man willing to be the guy who makes her laugh, keeps her tied in knots, and give no demands for more?

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Oct 23, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
69 people found the following review helpful
This story has reinforced my desire not to attempt rope bondage of any kind.

Jessica Williams has been living underwater since her husband died in combat 10 years ago. Uprooting her teenage kids and moving to the Outer Banks, NC, is supposed to be her new start, learning how to not just be a widow, but a woman too. And her new boss, Josef Devries, definitely makes her want to be a woman again. Joe won't be her first since her husband, he wants to be her last, but Jessica needs sex NOW! Jessica also needs the Shibari ropes, and Alexandra's fiancé Gabe has asked Nawashi Francisco Emmanuel to do it for her. Francisco takes her to places she's not been in years, and she can't get the man out of her head. But when a threat has her and her family in Cincinnati for the holidays, Jessica meets Luc Nicholas, the sexiest Old Saint Nick she's ever seen! With her sex life having gone nuts within the span of a week, Jessica has got to try to come to terms with the emotions that have been released.

LEARNING TO BREATHE is the first book in Jessica's story in The Van Zant Siblings series, and I'll be honest, it was a little uncomfortable. Jessica's mourning was a tangible thing, so heart-wrenching yet confusing. She loved her husband and didn't let a man touch her for 10 years, yet once the story unfolds, you learn that their relationship wasn't exactly what it seems and the anxiety about sex makes a little more sense. Francisco seemed very…smarmy? A little evil? I'm not sure. Part of me liked him for helping Jessica try to heal, the other part of me feels like he set her back 10 years. Joe…he's bossy and handsy and overprotective and a little bit crazy. I'd bet on the delicious Luc though...unless he royally fucks up in Learning to Breathe Again, they seem perfect together! The sex scenes between Jessica and each of her men were crazy…from extreme bondage, pain, humiliations, choking, etc etc. I'm not into these things so some of the scenes did nothing but make me cringe instead of drool. Regardless, the book itself is a fantastic read, even if it made me squirm more than I'm used to.

Bottom Line: Fans of this series (which you all should be) will love this look into Jessica's world, but even those who are fans of harder BDSM stories will find this one appealing.
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