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Breath on Embers [Kindle Edition]

Anne Calhoun
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
This price was set by the publisher

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Book Description

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 mind.

Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can't move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she's got that make her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won't be easy.

Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn't just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?

38,000 words

Product Details

  • File Size: 340 KB
  • Print Length: 98 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (December 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009FX22YK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,289 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly sensual. Hot. Thoughtful. Sublime. December 3, 2012
By MsBaba4
Format:Kindle Edition
"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."

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. In fact, this is Anne at her very, very best! *fans self* On the one hand, I devoured this long novella and on the other hand, I savored every word of this exquisite read; I did not want it to end. Kudos, Anne, this excellent and carnal story just blew me away. It doesn't get any better.

"How do you move on after life-shattering loss? You live into the light. Step by step, kiss by kiss, you live into the light."

After losing her husband and once-in-a-lifetime love, Jesse, due to a traffic accident two years ago, Thea moved from Columbus, Ohio, to New York in February to work for Cooper Bensonhurst, the investment house, as a systems architect.
It's Thea's first Christmas in Manhattan. Thea hooked up with Ronan nine months ago when she'd met him on St. Patrick's Day on her way back from an appointment with her therapist. Thea had grieving, shadowed eyes and Ronan was incredibly attracted to her. Ronan, the sexilicious FDNY Lieutenant, radiates a calm demeanor. He is self-possessed and controlled, very intense. And Ronan is the man for Thea.

"You keep trying to drown this out. I'll keep doing my thing, but I'm not going to help you go under."

Thea doesn't let herself feel anything, neither pain nor grief and she is utterly numb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful Erotica December 8, 2012
By Becs G
Format:Kindle Edition
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 constantly with her ipod, throwing herself into work and, now, attempting a totally no strings, purely physical sexual hookup

Ronan, a ripped and gorgeous firefighter, is at first delighted that this beautiful woman is having casual sex with him but he begins to develop deeper feelings for Thea and wants to break down her defences, to find that light deep inside her that she attempts to keep extinguished and to bring her to life again.

While this is a deeply emotional story, a novella was never going to be long enough to tell it. While I felt we got to know and understand Ronan reasonably well, Thea still really remained something of a mystery, She's closed up and locked off and is merely functioning through life, a bit like the Walking Dead. Something inside her has died and it's going to require all of Ronan's skills and determination to reignite the flame in the embers of her soul.

Ronan is a great character and not a stranger to loss either but he has learnt to overcome it and something about Thea's pain and distance calls to him and he knows he wants a deeper connection with her than just the physical and pulls out all the stops to win her over with his deeply sensual arsenal.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh... March 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
3.5 stars. A nice holiday read. Fairly erotic scenes. Chemistry wasn't huge for me but it's a well written novella. I was surprised I didn't "feel it" like some of my other Goodreads friends.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I didn't feel anything. I wasn't pulled in or engaged. January 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
BREATH ON EMBERS by Anne Calhoun.

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 still grieving for him. She picks up Ronan as a sex buddy. She only wants sex, no conversations, no connections, no looking in the eyes with feeling. She wears her ipod earphones almost all the time playing music so her mind won't go to her grief. Ronan would like more and is being patient about it.

Narrative mode: 3rd person. Kindle count story length: 1,863 (234 KB). Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong-erotic. Number of sex scenes: about 7 includes rear door activity and menage a trois (2 men 1 woman). Setting: current day Manhattan, NY. Copyright: 2012. Genre: erotic contemporary romance.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far Beyond a Normal Romance Novel September 14, 2013
By Connie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anne Calhoun is a master of erotic writing. There is no fake dialogue with sex thrown in as an after-thought or tiresome stories about young virgins or women of the "too stupid to live" variety.

Thea Moretti is in a world of self-inflicted psychological pain two years after the death of her husband. An incredibly smart, loving woman, she is unable to reenter life. "Half the time people say I`ve gotten this great second chance to find love all over again, like Jesse was a starter house with a cracked foundation and a badly designed kitchen."

Ronan O`Rourke is the handsome fireman who, having dealt with loss himself, sees something in Thea that makes her worth fighting for. The two characters meet on St. Patrick`s Day, when Ronan`s friend unsuccessfully hits on Thea. "There`s only one explanation for lines that bad. You`re his wingman," she said with a nod at Ronan, "trying to make HIM look good." Ronan rightfully replies that he doesn`t need a wingman and so it begins. Without having the usual kidnappings or near-death experiences, Ms. Calhoun moves the characters forward in a natural way.

The use of language is simply beautiful. Thea denies that she feels anything. Ronan disagrees because he sees the amount of energy she puts into NOT feeling. "You don`t pour thirty thousand gallons of water into a stone cold building. You pour it into an inferno."

Imagine an author who can use shortbread as a metaphor for love and starting again. "The heat from the oven triggered a chemical reaction between butter, flour and sugar. Heat and time worked on dormant ingredients to make something new. Different. Delicious." Thea can have a new chemistry with Ronan that doesn`t take away from how she felt about Jesse.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but surprisingly deep
This book is fairly short but the author still managed to cram a full story with deep characters and a lot of hurt and pain into it. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Willread
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet second chance at love
This was an enjoyable short story from an author who writes beautifully. Ronan was the guy women dream of and a firefighter too! Read more
Published 23 months ago by Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot... and terribly real
I really enjoyed this erotic story, not only because it is scorchingly sexy (it is) but also because the way that Ms. Read more
Published on April 19, 2013 by Simone Beaudelaire
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath On Embers is an amazing book!
I just loved Breath of Embers.

First of all it's set in my fav city in the world- NYC. The city was a big part of the story and it was fun reading about places I know... Read more
Published on January 21, 2013 by redmoran1
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
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. Read more
Published on January 19, 2013 by Carolyn Gwaltney
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very good
I love all of Calhoun's books but this was not up to her usual style. It took a while to get into the characters, but it had a good ending.
Published on January 19, 2013 by Rebecca
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick light read
I enjoyed reading this short story. It seemed to carry on with too much detail in areas where It became boring to me. The storyline was sweet bit yet again not much depth.
Published on December 30, 2012 by Amy
4.0 out of 5 stars Breath on Embers
Since the death of her husband Thea has been locked in her grief and she uses every means possible to block her feelings and remain numb to the world around her. Read more
Published on December 30, 2012 by Sarah (Feeling Fictional)
4.0 out of 5 stars Hot, Emotional, Soul-touching
This is the kind of hot, emotional, soul-touching story you would expect from Anne Calhoun. After reading Liberating Lacey, I was so impressed with how this author balances hot... Read more
Published on December 21, 2012 by Wkonsunshine
5.0 out of 5 stars She can't write a bad story
As always, Anne Calhoun writes an emotional, beautiful story. I would buy everything she writes. Her characters are fully drawn and you become emotionally vested. Love her work!
Published on December 20, 2012 by L. Noworyta
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More About the Author

What people are saying about Anne Calhoun...

"Anne Calhoun is one of the best writers of contemporary erotic fiction, and her books are among my favorites, particularly Liberating Lacey (Ellora's Cave) and What She Needs (Harlequin)." -- Sarah Wendell, Kirkus Reviews

After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, Anne Calhoun traded business casual for yoga pants and started writing the stories that got her through a decade of tedious meetings. Her first release, Liberating Lacey, won the 2010 EPIC Award for best Contemporary Erotic Romance. Sarah Wendell of Kirkus Reviews and NBC Washington listed Liberating Lacey as a great choice to follow 50 Shades of Gray for readers new to erotica and erotic romance.

Anne has been a poker-faced HR specialist, a cube-locked IT geek, and a run-off-her-heels administrative assistant. She holds a B.A. in English and History and an M.A. in American Studies. Visit for information on upcoming releases, and follow her on Twitter as @annecalhoun. Anne lives in the Midwest with her husband, son, and a rescue dog named Kate, where she is at work on her next novel.

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