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Review and Excerpt Tour: Can’t Hardly Breathe (The Original Heartbreakers #4) by Gena Showalter

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From New York Times Bestselling author Gena Showalter, comes the next standalone romance in the Original Heartbreakers Series—CAN’T HARDLY BREATHE!

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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with an irresistible Original Heartbreakers story about a woman who’s never felt desired and the man who wants her more than air to breathe…

Bullied in high school, Dorothea Mathis’s past is full of memories she’d rather forget. But there’s one she can’t seem to shake—her longstanding crush on former Army Ranger Daniel Porter. Now that the sexy bad boy has started using her inn as his personal playground, she should kick him out…but his every heated glance makes her want to join him instead.

Daniel returned to Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma to care for his ailing father and burn off a little steam with no strings attached. Though he craves the curvy Dorothea night and day, he’s as marred by his past as she is by hers. The more he desires her, the more he fears losing her.

But every sizzling encounter leaves him desperate for more, and soon Daniel must make a choice: take a chance on love or walk away forever.


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My Review

“In a moment of startling clarity, he’d understood just how deeply his rejection had hurt her. He wasn’t adorable to her. He was going to have to work for her. Game on.”

“Nicknames mattered. Just ask Dorothea. Nicknames built you up or tore you down.”

“Love empowered. Love healed. It was everything else that hurt.”

“She was my salvation.”

Told from dual points of view, Can’t Hardly Breathe follows the story of Dorothea and Daniel. Dorothea’s life has never been easy. All she’s ever wanted in life was to be a meteorologist. She tried her best to keep her head down and make it through school, but high school was anything but easy. Subjected to bullying for many years, Dorothea has lots of doubts and self esteem issues. Through it all, there was only one shining light in her eyes, Daniel. He made her feel special in a world full of doubts, but in the end, he too proved to disappoint her…Flash-forward a few years into the future; Dorothea finds herself back home running her family’s Inn after her marriage failed. She’s desperately trying to improve her life and become a better version of herself. But, all it takes is one run-in with Daniel to see that her school girl crush never went away and this sexy bad boy could only spell trouble for Ms. Dorothea…..Daniel has his own personal demons that he’s trying to run from. He’s only returned home to care for his sick father. Daniel is the epitome of a bad boy, just wanting to have his fun with no strings attached. However one encounter with Dorothea will have the power to knock him on his ass and make him suddenly want more. Will Daniel be able to overcome his past and see that Dorothea is a woman worth fighting for? Will Dorothea put her heart on the line despite the risk that it will get broken? There is only one way to find out…

Overall, I thought this book was a good read. I found this story to be really well written and was intrigued by the characters. Their story was interesting and made me want to know more. I appreciated the way the author dealt with the tough issues such as bullying, self-esteem and PTSD. I was intrigued by Dorothea and Daniel’s history and thought the two them had some intense sexual chemistry.

As much as I enjoyed this story, I did have some issues with it. At times, I was a little put off by Dorothea’s self esteem issues. Please don’t get me wrong. I totally understand where she is coming from and why she feels the way that she does, but at a certain point, I was like enough is enough. I felt like she had come a long way since high school and was trying to reinvent herself, but she never showed the strength that I wanted her to have. I wanted to see her stand up for herself, be happy with the amazing woman that she is and not let her family walk all over her or continue to treat her badly. Like I said, I get where she is coming from and know that change won’t come easy, but she just left me wanting more. My other issue was with Daniel and Dorothea as a couple. Now, I think these two would be great as friends, but I didn’t really buy their romantic connection. I didn’t really feel the pull. I know I said previously that I thought they had great sexual chemistry and I stand by that, but as far as anything else, I just didn’t feel it. I don’t know if it’s because both characters were so hung up on their pasts and their own issues, or if they just jumped in too fast. It just didn’t work for me and I found myself struggling with them as a couple.

I think this story had a ton of good potential, but it just wasn’t the book for me. And though it wasn’t a hit for me, I’m still glad I checked this story out.  I think this story has a great overall message and deals with some real, hard hitting issues.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

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Gena Showalter’s CAN’T HARDLY BREATHE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

August 21st

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

Obsessed by books – Review

once upon a romance blog – Review

Scandalous Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt

August 22nd

Alpha Book Club – Review

Beware Of The Reader – Review & Excerpt

Evermore Books – Review & Excerpt

Melena`s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

The Romance Rebels – Review & Excerpt

August 23rd

Booknerd1107 – Review

East Coast Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt

Reads & Reviews – Review

Sweet Red Reads – Review & Excerpt

Under The Covers Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt

August 24th

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm – Review & Excerpt

Rainy Days and Pajamas – Excerpt

Read. Eat. Love. – Review & Excerpt

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Shannonbookishlife – Review & Excerpt

August 25th

A geordielass honest blog on reviews – Review

Never without a book in hand – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Reads All the Books – Review & Excerpt

August 26th

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Kayns Book – Review

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

The Lovely Books – Review & Excerpt

With Love for Books – Review & Excerpt

August 27th

From the TBR Pile – Review & Excerpt

Kdrbck – Review & Excerpt

Living in Our Own Story – Review

Nessa’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

August 28th

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

My Nook, Books & More – Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog – Review

The Book Reading Gals – Review & Excerpt

August 30th

As The Book Ends – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Dirty and Flirty – Review & Excerpt

Red Cheeks Reads – Review & Excerpt

Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt

August 31st

Embrace the Romance – Review & Excerpt

Milky Way of Books – Review & Excerpt

Once Upon a Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews – Review

Two Girls with Books – Review

September 1st

BJ’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Books and Things Blog – Review & Excerpt

Foxylutely Books – Review & Excerpt

Somewhere Lost in Books – Review & Excerpt

September 2nd

A Fortress of Books – Excerpt

Nicole’s Book Musings – Excerpt

The bookworms obsession – Review

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

September 3rd

a crazy vermonters book reviews – Review

Bad boys and bedtime stories book blog – Review & Excerpt

Bloggin’ With M. Brennan – Review

Francoise’s Reading Corner – Review & Excerpt

Susan’s Books I Like – Excerpt

September 4th

All Things Dark & Dirty – Review & Excerpt

Lover of Big Books Cannot Lie – Review & Excerpt

Rantings of a Reading Addict – Review & Excerpt

September 5th

Escape Inside the Pages – Review & Excerpt

Reading Escape Reviews – Review

Taylor Fenner’s Bookish World – Review & Excerpt

The Sassy Bookster – Excerpt

September 6th

Romancing the Readers – Review

Travels N Reads – Review & Excerpt

Sassy Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt

September 7th

JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC – Review & Excerpt

Lina’s Reviews: A Book Blog – Review

Sofia Loves Books – Review

Wrapped Up In Reading – Review & Excerpt

September 8th

Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Dirty Girl Romance – Review

Stuck In Books – Excerpt

Shannon’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

September 9th

ContemporaryCween – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt

Ms. Me28 – Review & Excerpt

Relentless Romance – Review & Excerpt

About Gena Showalter:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at or

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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