Breathe You In
My latest release Breathe You In has just hit the digital shelves at Amazon. This is a story that has been rattling around my head for years. Before the writing bug bit me I worked as a nurse. I spent some time in Oxford, England as a junior member of staff in the cardiac operating theatre. A story came to me back then about a girl who fell in love with the guy who had her husband's transplanted heart, and now, fifteen years later Breathe You In has been born.
It was a really interesting book to write with so many overflowing emotions, not just grief (the book starts two years after the transplant operation and Katie is just trying to move on with her life) but also hope, secretiveness, trepidation, the concerns that come with being intimate with someone again after such a major operation and after loss. That perhaps makes the book sound desperately sad, but it isn’t, it’s about the hero and heroine coming to life again, enjoying each other and then fighting for and then grabbing what they want. I’ve added an excerpt below which shows them having fun…
I decided to set my story in Northampton, England because Ruben, the hero, is speed-demon and his career based at Silverstone Racetrack working on Formula One cars. This lust for life and quest for adrenaline is a key part of his character. Plus I, too, love motor racing and have visited Silverstone on several occasions – it’s hot, fast and loud! Northampton is also host to an international hot-air balloon festival, which is what Katie and Ruben are watching in the excerpt. Ruben’s flat just happens to overlook the park so they have front row seats, though the balloons turn out not to be nearly as interesting as having a bit of sexy fun together!
The first reviews for this erotic romance are very positive...
“This book is so wonderful I can't even begin to express my feelings about it. Packed full of emotion. The writing is wonderful, the setting so vivid, and the relationship between this couple as it grows is so very real, so...just so brilliant."
"I will NEVER forget this story. It's one of those that will haunt my mind for years to come. There comes a time when you pick up a book and sink into it right away. Breathe You In tugged so hard, kept me reading and rooting, and I must thank Ms Harlem for penning a story that will always be with me.”
"I can't put this book down. I think this is going to my favorite Harlem book to date.”
“I really can't say much without giving away the plot, but let's just say this is a very unique plot which will really tug at your heartstrings and make you think. Packed full of emotion, romance and eroticism, you'll remember Breathe You In long after you've finished reading.”
You can pick your copy up at Amazon US or Amazon UK or whichever Amazon around the world you prefer, and if you do, drop me a line and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you.
Breathe You In
Soul-aching desire was just the beginning!
If the road to Heaven starts in Hell then I was ready to start climbing my way out and Ruben Strong was the man to accompany me. With his devastating good looks, seductively sexy charm and lust for adrenaline he was sure to make it a sensual and erotic experience as well as one to re-awake the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind woman I’d once been.
I’d given Ruben something, though, without him realizing, and that gift had come from the man I’d loved before. But I couldn’t tell Ruben. I had to keep that a tight secret even as our naked bodies wound together, sought out pleasure and hit the dizzy heights of ecstasy as one. Because Ruben had my husband’s heart, literally, and that heart was still in love with me, so it seemed, and now I was in love with Ruben.
Emotions tangled with bliss, and fears were locked away as I surrendered to the touch of Ruben’s hands, the taste of his skin and the sounds of his pleasure. I couldn’t deny that Ruben had brought me back to life the same way I had him and there was no way I was giving up that feeling, not for anyone.
“Oh my goodness, I swear that one is a Marshmallow Man.” I pointed out of the window and laughed. I’d never seen anything like it.
“Where?” Ruben looked, saw the hot-air balloon I was flapping my hand at and chuckled. “It looks like the one from Ghostbusters.”Thanks so much for reading, and for letting me stop by. Have a great day.
The sky from Ruben’s flat—he had an amazing view of the park, which meant the festival too—was a multicolored sea of inflated balloons. But few were traditional shapes, the majority were novelty, and I marveled at how some could fly they were so big.
“This is crazy.” I sat back on his sofa that we’d spun to face the window. It was like having our own private box. Down below people milled about; kids eating candyfloss, toddlers in buggies pointing excitedly, couples strolling hand in hand. A carousel and a Big Wheel had been set up. Music and laughter and the whoosh of flames lifting the balloons from the ground breezed through the open window.
“More wine?” Ruben asked.
“No, I’m fine.” I set my glass on the table.
We’d enjoyed our own indoor picnic. Not because Ruben wasn’t well or that we didn’t fancy mooching around the festival, but because we could enjoy it from the comfort of his home and that was a unique experience.
“Last year they had a McLaren balloon, shaped like a Formula One car. It was huge, probably the biggest, and I think it went the fastest too.”
“Why does that not surprise me?”
He reached for my hand, kissed my knuckles. “I would have organized for us to go up in one if you’d wanted to.”
“No, I don’t think I could cope with that. I like my feet firmly on the floor.”
“Of course.” He put his arm around me.
I snuggled in close, loving his body against mine. He’d only spent forty-eight hours in hospital, and then was back at work the next week. His strength had returned quickly, and we’d been spending as much time as possible together. Enjoying our new romance and the closeness that went with it. We’d both had enough of battling on alone.
“Next weekend,” I said, tracing my finger over his belly, rucking his t-shirt as I went. “My friend Felicity is getting married.”
“The girl whose hen night you went to?”
“Yes, that’s right. Well, I told her about you and…” I paused. “I don’t know if you’re up for it, but she wants you to come to the wedding. With me, as my guest.”
“And that makes you nervous.”
I looked up at him, stilled my finger. “A little.”
“Because they’ve only ever seen you with Matt?”
How did he just get that? I didn’t know, but I was grateful that he did and I didn’t need to spell it out for him. “Yes.”
“Well, you could always make up some excuse for me, say I’m off bungee jumping that weekend or something.”
“No, I want you there. I don’t want to spend the weekend without you, and besides, Matt’s gone, it’s us now, Katie and Ruben.”
“Yes.” He stroked my cheek. “It’s us now.”
“I want everyone to know it.”
“Me too.” He smiled.
“So you’ll come?”
“Absolutely. And I’ll be on my best behavior.”
I rolled my eyes. “Right, because the girls are always so well behaved.”
“What I mean is, I won’t do any of this.”
Suddenly I was on my back and he was over me. I giggled and wrapped my arms around his neck, my legs around his thighs. “I should think not, Mr. Strong, and certainly not in church.”
“Mmm, but maybe later, at the reception.” He pressed a kiss to my lips. He tasted of wine and the salty crisps we’d been eating. “In our hotel room, maybe then I’ll have my wicked way with you and do all the things I’ve been dreaming of doing.”
“I’ve unleashed a monster,” I said with a smile and then groaned when the hardness of his cock, through our jeans, pressed against my mound.
“You really want to see my monster?”
“I think I’d better. See if it can ever be tamed.”
He kissed me again, slanting his head and probing deep. He swept his hand up the inside of my t-shirt, squeezed my breast and then tweaked my nipple through my thin bra.
I became lost in him. Every sense was focused on Ruben; a hungry need settled between my legs.
“I want you now,” he whispered hotly. “Here.”
We’d made love several times since he’d left hospital, but in bed, at mine, quiet, slow, intense, the same as the first time. I wasn’t complaining, it was wonderful, but this was new, this was middle-of-the-day sex, and damn, I wanted some.
“Yes,” I said, “fuck me.”
He raised his head, stared down at me. A devilish smile curled his lips. “Say that again.”
“What?” I pushed his flopping hair back from his forehead.
“What you just asked me to do.”
Ah, he liked dirty talk. I could do that. “Fuck me, Ruben, fuck me now, make me come, make me scream your name.”
“Oh, Jesus.” His mouth went slack. “Get naked.” He reached for his top, yanked it off, his face now a picture of urgency.
I did the same with my t-shirt, wriggling on the sofa and then tossing the material aside.
He dipped his head to my chest, tugging at my bra.
“Oi! Get a room!” shouted a deep, bellowing but distanced voice through the window.
We both froze.
“Shit,” Ruben said, screening my body with his. “What the…?”
I looked outside. Not thirty feet from the flat was a huge basket with two men in it. A massive flame burned bright behind them, sending an orange glow over their bodies. They wore flat caps but didn’t look particularly old—one had a black moustache, the other was holding a rope.
“I have got a bloody room,” Ruben shouted. “Bugger off!”
The men laughed, the flame burned brighter, and they started to lift upward.
“Have fun,” the one with the moustache called with a wave.
“We will,” I shouted, managing to wave back as they went from view.
Ruben looked down at me. “I’m really sorry about that, I had no idea they’d come so close.”
I swatted his shoulder and grinned. “It was funny, they couldn’t believe their eyes. They thought they were going to see some action.”
“Pervs.” Ruben grinned. “Now, where were we?”
“You were just about to fuck me.”
“Damn, you have such a filthy mouth.”
“And don’t you know it.”
“Not as much as I’d like to.” He unclipped my bra, sat up and squeezed my breasts together, his thumbs toying with my nipples.
I arched into him, adoring the sensation of him touching me and gazing so adoringly at me. “So how about I tell you to get your cock out,” I said, reaching for his waistband. “Get it out and show me what you can do with it.”
“So sweet yet so dirty.” He grinned. “But hang on.” He stood, went to the window and drew the curtains. “Just in case we have any more voyeurs. I don’t want them seeing what I’m about to do with my cock.”
“I like the sound of that.” I licked my lips.
“Do you now?”
He looked tall and hot standing over me and slowly undoing the buttons on his jeans. Long arms and legs, strong fingers, the perfect spread of body hair and an air of absolute determination about him.
“You’d best take your trousers off, or they might get ripped,” he said, nodding at my jeans.
“Yes, sir. Whatever you say, sir.”
He rolled his eyes, groaned. “Now you’re just messing with my head, woman.”
I giggled, sat and shoved off my jeans. “I can mess with any bit of you that needs dirtying up.”
“Will this do for starters?” He fisted his cock, moved toward me and slotted one hand in my hair.
Sat on the sofa, I was the perfect height to take him into my mouth.
“As long as I still get the main course,” I said.
“You can count on that.”
I eyed the slit at the end of his dick—dark and deep. My mouth watered for the flavor of him. He held me tight, and I opened up to take what he offered.
“Ah, yeah, that’s so hot to watch.” He groaned as he sank in.
My heart was tripping. This was a new side to Ruben, more dominant, more assertive. I liked it, a lot. I could be his to do whatever he desired with; it would suit me very much. I just wanted to make him happy, and I knew full well he’d make me happy.
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