Breathe Again [NOOK Book]


Maggie Lachlan is struggling to get over the death of her husband. After being overcome by emotion during a shift in the E.R., she's suspended indefinitely. Making things worse, she needs a place to stay after the quick sale of the house she shared with her late husband.

Fortunately, her friend Ryan Stewart offers her a room while she gets her life in order, much to the chagrin of his brother and housemate, Brodan Steele. Brodan doesn't want to like Maggie, not when he knows ...

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Breathe Again

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Maggie Lachlan is struggling to get over the death of her husband. After being overcome by emotion during a shift in the E.R., she's suspended indefinitely. Making things worse, she needs a place to stay after the quick sale of the house she shared with her late husband.

Fortunately, her friend Ryan Stewart offers her a room while she gets her life in order, much to the chagrin of his brother and housemate, Brodan Steele. Brodan doesn't want to like Maggie, not when he knows Ryan has feelings for her too. But it's hard to deny the attraction he feels for her when she's sleeping under the same roof.

Being so close to Brodan awakens something in Maggie, something she never felt during her marriage. But as long as she's haunted by the past, she can't open herself up to the future…

59,000 words

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426892097
  • Publisher: Carina Press
  • Publication date: 8/22/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Sales rank: 93,210
  • File size: 602 KB

Meet the Author

Inland Northwest bred, Bonnie has a degree in radiology technology as well as multiple experiences in the medical industry. Four children and a terrific husband ground her and they rev around the countryside on their dirt bikes. Faith, food, family, and reading and writing romances make up just a small percentage of her favorite things. She pinches herself sometimes to make sure she's not in her own romance novel.

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Read an Excerpt

"Code fifty-five. Code fifty-five. Trauma team to ER twelve. ETA ten."

One single moment defines me.

"Code fifty-five. Trauma ETA five."

I blocked out the announcement's significance.

"Mag, you're trauma tech this week. You goin' down?" My boss, awkward in his role as delegator, patted my shoulder.

"I'm already there, Jim." I dropped my book on the countertop, longing to remain on my protective stool with the trendy mystery. Where I'd be left in peace. Instead, I grabbed two fourteen-by-seventeen-inch cassettes and an armful of ten-by-twelves.

"You got it?" Trauma equaled panic to Jim. He also avoided black cats and ladders. Foolish man, he should be more worried that my luck would rub off on him.

"Yep. I'm going." Irritated, I slammed the cassettes in the lean-to bucket of the portable X-ray machine. Trauma. I'd seen trauma and while it didn't fill me with anxiety, I could appreciate that someone out there felt its urgency.

I unplugged the gray machine from the wall. The cord hissed, recoiling under the control tower. I grasped the lawnmower-style handle and the portable rolled forward with a hum. We had a love-hate relationship—I loved to hate it. Yet the portable was steady, comfortable, and I always needed comforting these days.

An EKG technician and a phlebotomist waited at the elevator. I avoided facing them. For ten months I'd done my best to smother any friendships or overtures sent my way. People opted to ignore me rather than brave the empty stare they received in response.

Affecting disinterest wasn't a stretch, but I coated it on a bit more just in case the women couldn't take a hint. I leaned against the portable. The cold metal post chilled my back through the thin blue hospital scrubs. Everyone was required to wear them, except the NICU nurses. Those spoiled women dressed in adorable pinks and yellows with cartoons splashed all over. Add the babies they cared for day in and day out, and I had nothing but envy for them.

"Did you hear what happened?" The woman glanced in my direction, glee spilling from her voice. Like she relished being the first to spread the gossip.

People like her were on my avoid-at-all-costs list. The type who relished drama, fed on it.

Ding-ding. The elevator opened. I followed them in. Both women lounged against the rear wall, forcing me to park my machine near the front. I rolled my eyes and crammed into the boom-box-sized space facing the control panel.

Their request for the first-floor button exacerbated my simmering irritation. The emergency department sprawled across the majority of the ground floor. On such a slow day, where else would we all be headed with a code calling over the PA sound system?

"So, what happened?" I couldn't tell which one asked, but didn't care. Probably drama with the boyfriends. So high school. Willing the elevator to go faster, I fingered the red film marker stuck to my name tag like a talisman.

"The dispatcher called it over. I guess it's a woman…about thirty-eight. She shot herself in the head."

A black cloud descended, separating me from any more sound. The walls closed in around me. I grasped the handle of the machine and yanked back. The large bumper shoved against my legs. I winced but barely registered the pain. I needed out. My finger slammed onto the button marked with a two.

Usually recalcitrant, the aged lift responded to my distress and its doors opened. Fighting tunnel vision, I clung to the handle of the portable-all but dragging it behind me.

Hold it together. Hold it together.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Agonizing Read

    Every person handles grief differently. But Maggie, she didn't make time to do so properly. Soon after her husband's tragic death, she jumped back into work, keeping a non-stop hectic schedule. It finally catches up with her, as she just isn't the same. Before she's pushed into taking time off, Maggie meets Ryan, a patient at the hospital she works for.

    Maggie lives her life in a daze, it seems. Never accepting or getting closure for the ghosts of her past. Something about Ryan changes her. Then there is Ryan's brother Brodan. The man drives her nuts, and she seems to do the same to Brodan. Why do they clash so much?

    I was unsure for awhile who the hero is supposed to be. Is something going to happen between Maggie and Ryan? Or is it Maggie and Brodan? Both seem to harbor feelings for Maggie, but neither brother wants to act on it, either.

    Ryan is gentle and kind. He doesn't press Maggie for answers that she doesn't want to give. Not usually, anyway. Brodan is the absolute opposite. He's pushy, blurts out what he thinks and feels, and had no problem poking and prodding into Maggie's personal life and past, even when she hesitates to go into more detail. Both men have a certain impact on Maggie though, and she starts to come alive again.

    Breathe Again is an emotional contemporary romance. Some parts of the book drag with very little action, but the character development is dynamic. There's quite a bit of conflict, and though Brodan irritated me in the beginning, I warmed up to him after awhile. Overall this novel is enjoyable, but it's far from a "light" read. It has a sucker punch emotional whammy, and I would advise to have tissues handy. Yes, there is a HEA, but there are some major tearjerker moments along the way.

    If you enjoy contemporaries that are heavy on the roller coaster of feelings, or a story about a new chance at love, then pick up a copy of this heartfelt novel.
    Originally posted at the Long and Short of It Romance Reviews. 3.5 book rating

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  • Posted August 31, 2011

    Don't judge this book by its cover...

    This is one of those books that proves the fact that you can't judge a book by its cover. At first glance, this book is a stereotypical romance novel, but it is much, much more. Ms. Paulson's knowledge of the medical field and her skill at crafting an emotionally grabbing storyline made for a book not to be lumped in with all of the others. This is a stand out novel with more depth than advertised. My only complaint is that there was no epilogue, so now I am left to wonder what will become of Maggie and Brodan.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Very Touching Read

    I read this book from cover to cover without putting it down. It was such a great book. I really related to the main character having also been through a recent loss and feeling her pain as she tried to move forward in life. Ryan and Brodan help her in different ways to get over her past and look forward to the future. I would and have recommended this book to everyone I know! It is one that will not be forgotten.

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good but heartbreaking...

    My Review:
    Oh my goodness, this is such a heart-breaking story. After the suicide of her husband, Maggie is broken. She simply makes it through each day, not really living, just existing. She's a radiology tech at the hospital and a chance meeting with 2 brothers, Brodan & Ryan, changes her life.

    This is not a book that can be considered light reading. There is a ton of sadness and emotional trauma throughout the entire book from page 1 to the very last page. Maggie is dealing with the death of her husband 10 months before. She meets Ryan when he is in the hospital and is drawn to his exuberant and happy-go-lucky approach to life. She is drawn to his brother, Brodan, for very different reasons. Through these 2 brothers, Maggie is learning what it means to live again.

    I am not a sad book kind of gal (which is reflected by my rating,) but this is one of those books that makes you think and lingers with you. I have a feeling that this one is going to stick in my psyche for quite a while.

    All three of these people are hiding from life in one way or another...and they all have valid reasons for that. It's incredibly sad, and truthfully, a little hard to read, but at the same time, it's incredibly moving.

    I adored Ryan's character. His exuberance for life is contagious and his friendship with Maggie is such a positive influence on her life. He is so incredibly intelligent and truly just a really good guy. I don't want to ruin the story for anyone else, but his character just makes my heart ache.

    Brodan is a more difficult character. His love for his brother is all-encompassing and self-sacrificing. He has given up everything to be there for Ryan, but Maggie presents a really strong temptation for him.

    Maggie's grief is profound and pervasive throughout the entire story. She undergoes a transformation through the book as she finds what it means to live again through her special friendships with Ryan & Broden. I was somewhat disappointed with how she reacted at the end of the book...maybe just a little too realistic for me.

    It's profound. It's heart-breaking. It makes you think about what it means to live. This is a book that will stick with you for a while as you consider the characters and the haunting life-lessons that they learn...

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