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Friday, 15 April 2016

Book Spotlight: #99c Learning to Breathe by J. Lea López

Bree has a budding law career, a loving fiancé, a new house, and a future that promises everything she thought she could ever want. But when her fiancé dies months before the wedding, all of that dies with him. She turns to friends, family, her parents’ faith, and a god she doesn’t believe in as she tries to hold herself together long enough to mourn the loss of her relationship and figure out how to start over from scratch. To complicate matters further, what starts as mutual support slowly blossoms into an undeniable attraction to the one man she's sure she can’t be with: her dead fiancé’s brother.


“That law stuff is a waste of good talent.” Mickey grabbed my hand and whisked me across the floor in a series of samba rolls. I was laughing and near breathless by the time we stopped.
“I’ll be sure to tell my parents they wasted their money on my education.”
Mickey shrugged. “Whatever makes you happy.”
“I need to learn how to do that,” Luke said.
“That’s samba. You’ve already learned salsa and bachata.” I held my side and gulped down a breath. “Mickey’ll make you start paying for studio time if I teach you that, too.”
“How much?”
I raised my eyebrows. I’d created a dance monster. Mickey waved good night and left me and Luke to our private lesson. There wasn’t anything new I wanted to teach him, so we went over the things he’d already learned. His footwork could’ve been cleaner, but I’d let him take me out on the dance floor any time.
After a little while we ended up just dancing. Having fun. There was no longer any room for the Holy Ghost. Luke was a sure leader even when his technique was less than perfect. His fingers splayed over the small of my back and urged me this way and that. Beneath my own fingers, his shoulder muscles flexed with each new movement. And he never looked at his feet. Not once.
The rhythm pulsed through my veins and through Luke’s body like a conduit for movement. We became extensions of one another, manifestations of the music. He held me close. We were hips and legs and shoulders, taut and relaxed at the right times, swaying, turning, pressing against one another in a sensual rhythm.
The music stopped, the end of the track. Luke and I stopped short. He held me tighter to keep balance. Those hazel eyes bore deep into me, and before I could catch my breath, he leaned down and kissed me.
Not just a peck. Not a hesitant press of the lips. A firm, confident kiss, his tongue slipping easily past my defenses—if I even had any of those left—while his body molded itself to mine. He let go of my hand and held me around the waist with both arms. His chest pressed against mine as he drew a breath and went right back in for another kiss.
This is beyond wrong. So wrong. But the phantom beats of a drum lingered in my ears, and the remnants of a fiery dance still haunted my limbs, and everything still felt as right and good as it had when we were dancing. He tilted his head slightly away, ending the kiss that should never have happened. Neither of us let go for several long seconds. Finally, I blinked and averted my eyes.
“Sorry,” I said, prying myself out of his arms. He seemed reluctant to let go. “I don’t know what—just the music and everything—” I snatched my bag off the floor and turned the stereo off, unable to find the right words. Why was I even apologizing? He kissed me. “We’re done.”
“Bree, wait.”
No way in hell was I waiting. My heels clacked on the linoleum floor in the hallway and then on the asphalt in the parking lot as I made my way to my car.

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