Breathless, by Laura Lee Guhrke

>> Monday, January 20, 2003

In spite of the bad weather, I actually read a bit less than I did last weekend. The first one I read (I actually started it Thursday night and finished it in Floresta Friday night) was Breathless, by Laura Lee Guhrke.

Lily Morgan may be Shivaree, Georgia's most talked-about lady. Everyone in town knows about the bitter breakup of her marriage five years before, when Daniel Walker, her husband's tough, uncompromising lawyer, tore her reputation to shreds and left her with nothing but a wish to get even. But now something about Daniel makes her blood boil and her pulse quicken . . . not with righteous fury, but with passion.

Daniel has returned to Shivaree to once again match wits with Lily Morgan. The thought of a rematch with Lily delights him, for he has never forgotten her hot temper--or her lovely looks. But when a shocking murder shakes the town, Daniel joins Lily to find a killer, and their unexpected partnership sparks something between them they never expected--desire. Now Daniel, the strong-willed lawyer for whom winning is everything, realizes he must win the one reward he can't live without: Lily's forgiveness--and her love.

An excellent book: great setting, main characters I loved and who actually grow during the book, nicely drawn secondary characters, interesting conflict... I'd grade it A-.

In spite of this, I had some problems with the beginning, but not because there was anything wrong with the book. This is purely a personal issue: I detest reading about heroines facing male chauvinism. I should be able to handle it, but I'm not. It makes me very, very angry, and I feel really frustrated. The weird thing is, I've never had to face this in my life, for all that I live in a Latin American country. Not at home, not at work, never. Or maybe that's exactly why I can't handle reading about this: I've never had to accept it, never had to think "well, that's just the way the world works".

Ok, anyway, I dragged myself through the first part of the book, where Lily is discriminated against because she's divorced and everyone thinks she's had an affair, and where the hero at one points gives a speech warning the other men that if they give in in this case, next thing the women are going to be demanding to vote! The outtrage! Anyway, I realized the book was good while I read it, but couldn't enjoy it.

Suddenly, this part ends and it's as if another book starts. Normally, it bothers me when something like this happens, but I liked it here. I liked the "new" book much, much better. A courtroom drama, and Lily and Daniel's relationship becomes lovely. Lots of sexual tension (the good kind!) and lots of character growth. Plus, I liked that there were no big revelations. Lily and Daniel change their minds about each other slowly, and it felt right.

Finally, I enjoyed reading a book in this setting. Everyone online seems to want books set in different places and time periods, and so do I.

Check out the beautiful cover and the author's "behind the scenes" notes about this book. I love to read this kind of thing. And now I want to know who the original villain was! I must say the author was successful in planting new clues, since I did guess who the murderer was.

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