About the Author
A veteran of the stage and the spoken word, Alix Dale is a huge fan of the romance genre. Her voice can be heard steaming up books as well as frightening people on screen with voice-over for horror films.
Read an Excerpt
Being single on Valentine's Day sucked.
Macy Rodgers sipped her Dos Equis and mused that plenty of people would argue with that statement. People happy in their carefree singlehood. And that was fine. She could remember when she'd been one of them.
Her two best friends, Candace and Samantha, cackled over the noise in the too loud, too warm bar. Apparently, some joke had passed between them while Macy had been pondering bolting for the door to spend the night at her apartment in blessed solitude watching Bridesmaids for the five hundredth time.
It wasn't so much that she lamented the fact she had no one to send her flowers or give her chocolate or take her out to a candlelit dinner before tumbling her into bed. That was partly it, but no ... the worst part about being a single girl on Valentine's Day was well-meaning, relationship-entrenched friends who decided you were a pity case and took it upon themselves to distract you from the oh-so-obvious tragedy your sexless life had become.
She did enjoy seeing the girls, though. Lately, it didn't happen often enough.
"So what is this surprise you said you have for me?" she asked Candace when she could get a word in edgewise. Candace and Sam had been all aflutter about something when they dragged Macy out of work earlier, and now not a word about whatever was in store had been mentioned since.
Her friends exchanged glances and furtive grins. Great. They were about to embarrass the crap out of her somehow. Candace checked her cell phone, tapped out a text and then slipped it back into her purse. Macy didn't like the self-satisfied look on her face. "Patience, my dear."
"Is this ... a good surprise, or an I-get-to-maim-you-later surprise?"
"I honestly can't answer that," Samantha said, and Candace nodded her agreement.
Macy slapped her hands on the tabletop. "That's it, I'm out —" "No!" Each girl grabbed a shoulder to keep her seated. "It's okay, Mace," Candace soothed. "Relax."
Macy swept her gaze around, frowning. What the hell could it be? A male stripper? Surely not in here. And surely her friends knew better than to cook anything up between her and Jared.
Yeah, to put the nail in the coffin of her Valentine's night, her ex-boyfriend was here. They'd remained on good terms, and she even gave Jared's twin daughters horse riding lessons twice a week, but that didn't mean she wanted him to see her in here practically wearing a big sign over her head that flashed Still Single After All These Years! in neon letters. So far, she'd mostly managed to keep the entire bar between them. But he was divorced from the woman who'd come along after Macy sent him running, and he didn't appear to be with anyone now, so that was a bonus.
Maybe they bought me a male escort. Ha! Sure. The girls might have grown as tired of her aching dry spell as she was. As much as she wanted a relationship, there just wasn't time to seek one out — or even a little oasis in the drought. Between managing her parents' outdoor retail store and riding lessons at their ranch and seeing her friends whenever her schedule and theirs would allow, she felt stretched too thin. Wound too tight. A man thrown into the mix might very well cause her to snap.
Then there were days like these that made her look around and feel like a colossal failure for not having achieved what her best friends had: true happiness.
She tried not to dwell on it. Mostly she didn't, but tonight was different. Dammit, twenty-five wasn't old, but when she considered the fact that she'd like to have kids before thirty, she didn't have a whole lot of time.
"Brian wants to pierce my nipples," Candace announced.
Or ... maybe she was doing pretty well on her own, if that's what true happiness entailed.
"Oh my God! You're not going to let him do it, are you?"
Candace looked back and forth between Sam and Macy and shook her head. "See, I played this conversation out in my head before we got here. So far it's going exactly as I had envisioned."
"You know us so well," Macy said wryly, taking a swig of her beer to chase down the swallow she'd nearly choked on. She should've grown accustomed to Candace's little Brian-related bombshells by now, but she hadn't. In Macy's mind, he belonged with Ghost in a far-off universe she would never understand, and there they would both remain.
Ghost. Given the funk she was in, the last thing she needed was to start thinking about him.
"That is so freaking hot," Sam said, still shouting to be heard over the blaring country music. "But you get a hands-on demonstration of Brian's hotness every night, right? Lucky girl."
"He's hot because he wants to drive a needle through her nipples?" Macy asked.
"Well, I brought it up to him," Candace said. "He doesn't push anything on me, and if I told him no, he'd back off. But I'm having fun letting him try to convince me." An impish smile curled her lips, an expression Macy never would have imagined seeing on her sweet friend a year ago. Hell, a year ago, she'd have laughed riotously at the thought of even having this discussion. With Candace, of all people.
But her once straight-and-narrow best friend now sported three tattoos, a belly ring, hot pink streaks in her blonde hair and who knew what else. All thanks to her tattoo-parlor-owning boyfriend, Brian Ross. Why Brian and Candace weren't together on their first Valentine's Day as a couple was a mystery Macy hadn't quite put together and didn't really want to ask about. But if they were talking piercings, then everything must be hunky-dory in their world.
Sam gave a quasi-orgasmic little shudder. "You'll have to tell me what it's like. I might think about doing it too."
Sam was another story. This kind of talk from her didn't come as any surprise.
"He says it really heightens sensitivity."
"It can also eradicate it altogether," Macy muttered, knowing she was whistling in the wind. "It can do permanent nerve damage. Not to mention —" "That's what I've heard," Sam said to Candace, but it wasn't in response to Macy's warning.
"Yeah, it drives him crazy when I play with his rings."
"There's also rejection, infection —"
"Brian knows what he's doing, Mace."
Macy subsided, pulling her lips between her teeth to contain the retort. Of course. Brian knew everything. The sun came up in the morning because Brian said it should. Forget simple facts.
"But he might get so excited because it's you he's piercing that all the blood will drain south from his brain, and he could really mess up." It was one of the more sensible things Sam had said.
Candace laughed. "Maybe I'll spring it on him out of the blue one day when we're just hanging out at the studio. He won't have time to think about it much."
"And neither will you," Sam said. "That's the only way I'd have the nerve to do it. If I had too much time to think about it, I'd chicken out."
"You guys really are crazy. Why even do something if it scares you so much?" Candace shook her head. "It's not that it's scary, Macy. But it's ... intense. It's a rush."
"Why do people bungee jump? Or skydive?" Sam said.
"Freaking adrenaline junkies," Macy muttered. "All the piercing and tattoo stuff, you say it's all about your 'self-expression', but in the end I think it's simple addiction."
"For some people, maybe. And it's fun. We're not depraved or something because we like it. My thrill is simply different than your thrill."
"That stuff you did on a horse, Mace? See, that's crazy to me," Sam said. "You were a little kamikaze. When I would watch you barrel race, I could hardly pry my fingers apart to peek through them."
"Agreed," Candace said.
Macy shot a glare at Sam. "Bad analogy. We all know how that ended."
Both the other girls clamped their mouths shut, and Macy instantly wished she could take the words back. She covered her face with her hands. "I'm sorry. I'm just ... I don't know. I love you guys. But maybe this was a bad idea."
"No, I'm sorry," Sam said quickly, her rueful expression making Macy feel worse. "It's not you. That was a totally insensitive thing for me to say."
"But you know I'm usually not so sensitive about it," Macy said. "At least not with you guys. Like I said, I don't know what's wrong with me."
"You need to get laid." Candace declared this as if it should be obvious to everyone.
Macy rolled her eyes and laughed. "That's never been a cure-all for me, and you know it."
"Maybe because you haven't found someone yet who can do it right." Candace twirled her barely touched beer bottle between her hands. "It's too bad Ghost left, huh?"
She hadn't wanted to think about him, and she damn sure could've done without the mention. Ghost was Brian Ross's best friend and employee who had somehow managed to short-circuit Macy's brain. It was the only explanation for the way she'd behaved with him that one night all those months ago ...
Now was the time to choose her words very, very carefully with her friends.
"It wouldn't have mattered. I was ... intrigued by him. But I'm just being realistic here. He and I have absolutely nothing in common. I mean, it's not that I need to have my perfect match or anything, but we have to mesh in at least some areas." She took a breath. "Besides, it's a moot point. Who knows when he'll be back?"
"But what if he did come back?" Sam asked, twirling her dark blonde hair around her finger and grinning. "I mean ... what if he walked in the door right now?"
Macy shrugged. "I've made up my mind."
"You're saying you didn't mesh in any areas? You admitted you had a lot of fun when you hung out with him. That's a start. A good start."
"He's not my type. A more not-my-type guy never existed."
"Oh, throw the types out the window," Sam said. "He's hilarious —"
"That's what's so great about him, though. Plus he's sexy as hell. I love bald guys. I love their shiny heads. Just makes me want to rub 'em. And rub some more. And rub and rub and rub ..."
Candace and Macy dissolved into laughter as Sam carried on with her imaginary rubbing. "What would he need me for?" Macy asked Candace. She jabbed a thumb in Sam's direction. "Send this one over to him. For all his head-rubbing needs."
"No, no," Sam said, sobering. "I've got Michael. Not that he'd ever shave his head. But I think when Ghost gets back, you need to give the guy a break."
She'd given him one. But her friends did not know that, and did not need to know that, because they would be insufferable. Oh yes, she'd given him a hell of a break. And then she'd run scared because of how good it had been. And then, just like that, he was gone, off to Oklahoma to deal with a family crisis. Months had gone by. She knew he still kept in close touch with Brian, but Macy hadn't heard a word.
So it was crazy to think anything could come of it now. She'd messed up too bad, too soon — but that was okay, because like she'd told her friends, their pairing didn't make sense. At all.
Even if the thought of giving him another "break" sent a shiver all the way to her toes and had warmth curling in decidedly more interesting places on her body. The beer she'd imbibed wasn't helping, but she should have known better than to think it would take the edge off. It only made it sharper. That didn't stop her from taking another swig.
"His dick is probably pierced," Sam said thoughtfully.
Macy barely forced the swallow of beer down her throat before erupting in a groan. How in the hell was she going to play this? "Oh God."
"You don't know what you're missing," Candace said with a singsong tone, leaning over to pinch Macy's arm.
"Wait a minute. Does he ... is it ... I mean, do you know?" Sam asked Candace. "Did you guys have some ménage action going on over there?"
"No! It's not like I've seen it, jeez. I'm only speaking from experience with Brian. But it's a pretty good guess."
Candace had guessed right. He had some kind of piercing going on down there. Macy hadn't seen it herself — it had been too dark in the car for that — but she'd felt it. God, had she ever felt it. "You guys have got to let up on me. I'm ... going to be traumatized."
"Macy, just give the guy a shot."
"There's just one problem with that. He's. Not. Here."
Sam's brown eyes flickered over Macy's right shoulder, in the direction of the entrance. Her face brightened in a big grin. "Are you so sure about that?"
Candace followed Sam's gaze and squealed in delight, jumping from her seat and darting off behind Macy's seat.
All of a sudden, she was terrified to turn around and see what was coming her way.
Oh. Surprise, surprise.
She leaned toward Sam, knowing murder was in her eyes. "You did not."
Sam's eyes twinkled. "Oh, honey, we did. We're tired of you moping around. I don't know what happened with you and him, but clean the slate. Here's your chance." Her words ran so close together at the end, Macy knew he was almost at their table. What was she going to do now? Her heart halfway up her throat, she was forced to glance up when it seemed a shadow fell across her.
Yes, she was absolutely going to maim her friends later.
Ghost. Where the hell had he gotten a name like that? He wasn't particularly pale. Well, maybe a little. But not what she'd call ghastly or anything. There was nothing ... wraith like about him at all; he was a very solidly built six-two or so, judging by how tall he stood next to her five-six.
Tattooed. Pierced. Shaved head, though right now he wore a black baseball cap pulled low over his eyes with the hood of his black sweatshirt over it.
The very antithesis to everything she wanted, or thought she wanted.
He was looking right at her, shit-eating grin in place, one dark eyebrow arched. That stare was like a vacuum. Or a black hole. Nothing could escape it.
"Hi!" she managed to squeak — she even managed a smile. When his own grin widened, she pushed herself up from her seat to give him a hug. Unfortunately, her legs were Jell-O, and his tight squeeze kept her from getting up close and personal with the floor even more than those shaking appendages did.
He felt good. Warm, despite the chill of the night air still clinging to his hoodie. Familiar, even if she'd only been in those arms once.
And then he had to speak, the rumble of his voice raising the hair at her nape. "Hey, killjoy."
Everyone laughed, delighted at the return of the nickname he'd pinned on her not long after they'd met. She only then realized Brian had joined them too, and was snuggling into the booth next to his girlfriend.
"I have a question," Ghost announced as Macy reclaimed her seat and he slid in beside her, practically cramming her against the wall. His denim-clad thigh was rock hard against her bare one. Sam claimed what was left of the seat on his other side, so she was well and truly trapped. A shiver worked through her. "What in the actual fuck are we doing in a honky-tonk?" He motioned around at the plethora of cowboys and cowgirls dancing to the twang of country music.
"It's Macy's night," Candace said as Brian nuzzled her neck. "She got to pick."
"Ah, that figures. Just don't get Brian and me into a brawl with any rednecks. I'm not too stoked to spend the night in jail when I just hit town." Ghost winked at her. God, those eyes. If she hadn't been so close to him she'd have sworn he lined them. But no, his bottom lashes were just that thick. If he had hair on his head, she figured it would be the same chocolate brown as his goatee — and maybe he did have hair on his head now for all she knew. She couldn't tell. But he was one of those guys who definitely rocked the look — his features were strong enough. He stretched out both arms, one behind Macy and one behind Sam, and tilted his chin up at Brian. "I've got double your fun, dude."
Brian, who was mid-smooch with Candace, broke away and laughed. "Good for you. I've got all the fun I can handle right here." Candace blushed and beamed.
Macy nearly jumped out of her skin when Ghost leaned over and put his lips mere inches from her ear. "Am I crashing your party, babe?"
Her face flamed. Did he know about her Valentine's pity party? "Crashing my party?" she echoed lamely. "No, not at all — I mean, it's not a party. Nor is it mine."
He chuckled. "All right." Her friends were sending her knowing little smirks.
Yes, maim them.
Excerpted from "Leave Me Breathless"
Copyright © 2012 Cherrie Lynn.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I didn't like the cover. Almost didn't buy it thinking it was an erotica_no -plot novella. but it wasnt like that at all. It was over 700 pages, which i love! And the plot was great and so were the steamy sex scenes. Just great!
## This book was stunning! This was my first book by this author and I loved it. I didn't realize it was part of a series, so I guess it also stands alone. The hero Seth was incredible. Did he come with some heavy baggage? Oh hell yeah. But he's worth it for sure. He was 'holy cow' hot as was the sex. I'm glad I stumbled onto this book. I truly enjoyed it.
Look. You all know how much I love my steamy reads, yes? Every week I get especially giddy when I know it's time to pick out my next Sexy Saturday book. So when I finally decided that Leave Me Breathless could wait no longer, I just knew that I was in for a particularly steamy treat. *deep breath* THIS EFFING BOOK! Y'all I love Leave Me Breathless so freaking much that I kind of want to punch something. I want to take this book, put it in my pocket and carry it around with me for-e-ver. (preferably with a vibrating option, lol. Just kidding!) But seriously, I had ridiculously high expectations. Rock Me, book two in the Ross Siblings series is one of my very favorite books. And I honestly did not think Leave Me Breathless could come even close to competing with Brian Ross, tattoo artist extraordinaire, in all his apa glory. (Seriously, people, google that.) But it did. It really, really did. We meet Seth "Ghost" Warren and Macy Rodgers in Rock Me. Ghost is Brian's best friend and best employee, and Macy is Candace's best friend. They are an unlikely pair, to say the least. But unlikely pairs are always the most fun to see come together. To see to people fall for one another, despite their best efforts. To see each realize that their preconceived notions may be wrong. To see them fight to be together, despite the odds. Seth and Macy may seem all wrong for each other. Macy wants the American Dream: marriage with a clean-cut guy, kids, the white picket fence. Seth offers her him in all his non-conformist ways, but he also offers her full acceptance, and the courage to be free. Seth, with his painful past and painful love life, doesn't see himself ever settling down, ever being what Macy could want and accept. Macy offers him security, a safe place to land. Her full heart. Leave Me Breathless is hot hot hot. True to form with the men in this series, Ghost has skills. Tattoos. And a piercing. Multiple piercings. I just...I just can't even explain what this does to me. Are you guys picking up what I'm putting down? Ghost is One Hot Mother F'er. I need more ice, y'all. Leave Me Breathless, this entire series, is at the top of my favorites list. I don't say that lightly. If they get any better, any hotter... Cherrie Lynn just may kill me.
I loved Macey's & Seth's story, and it was nice to see how Brian & Candace are doing. I would have loved it, if we could have had a little sneak peek at what their futures were like even with an epuloge at the end about these two couples and Kelsey & Evan would have been wonderful, but regardless this series was absolutly wonderful!!!!!
Omg just finished reading this and it was awesome! Cant wait to read more
I loved these books, Seth is a hottie but doesn't top Brian.
I love this story. Cherrie Lynn is awesome and I can't wait for more of her stories. I honestly think they get better as she goes. Gotta love a tatted up bad boy with a sweet side!
This is a wonderful romance book. Two people could not be more different. So many ups and downs and twists and turns. This book left me steaming hot wanting more! Once you pick this book up you will not want to put it down. This is by far the best book by Cherrie Lynn. This is also one of the best romance books I have read. It starts off super hot and never stops!!!!
This was a great book! Very very steamy!! I suggest you read all 3. over 600 pages
Love this series. Hope there is more to come!!
Loved, loved, loved this book! Could not put it down!!
I liked this whole series. Fun, fast reading. Very satisfying.
Fantastic Story! Enjoyed this and Rock Me immensely! And quite a long story too. Great plot, great characters, and of course steamy! Was glad to hear Macy's story.
Great story that draws you in. You get to know the characters and fall in love. Good length of book not too short. I read 2 of her other books after this they did not disappoint!
If you are looking for a rip roaring take your breath away sex this is most definitely the read for you. Unfortunately for me after the first part of the book where it really caught my attention and drew me in the story kinda went flat. I mean it wasn't bad but it just got repetitive. It was hot and passionate something would happen and both of them would throw their walls up. Tons of inner dialogue and self reflection and introspection took me out of the story. To be honest it's probably all me and just my thing because I am truly in the minority. It wasn't bad writing and the editing was on point I just think this wasn't my type of read. This is my first read with this author and I do own other books in the series so I will definitely try her again. I look forward to the next read and as for this one I will probably read it again later and see if I want to change this review.
One of my all time favorites!! I’ve re-read it several times. Highly recommend.
"Leave Me Breathless" is good, but not great. It's an enjoyable story with a nice romance; however, it has some grammatical issues from time to time. Seth is great, I think better than Brian in the first book but sometimes I was left wanting. Wanting more tension or drama from brought on by Raina, Brooke/Scott or even the band. Everything was too easy. And the one time Seth went in bare....no OMG moment from Macy? Again, a GOOD entertaining read and I would say buy it if your thinking about it.
Loved this. Read this through the library and now will buy more from this author. GREAT story telling.
I must admit I didn't expect liking this book so much. It has one of the best heroes I've read in this genre and also one of the best heroines. I loved Seth. He was mature,understanding and despite the fact that he and Macy were so different they both managed to make everything work. I loved how they were from different worlds. This is one of the few books I've re read several times. It's fun. And the sex scenes are super sexy.