Maggie Chantel is running from memories too painful -- and frightening -- to acknowledge. And the small, peaceful town of Blanchefleur on the shores of Lake Michigan is where her running stops. Maggie just wants to be left alone to forget, but her new neighbor Nick Alessandro is paying her far too much attention. A survivor of soul-shattering tragedy, Nick is fascinated by this beautiful, secretive woman -- an interest that is slowly turning from attraction to love.
But someone waiting in the shadows is determined that Maggie will love no one ever again. The nightmare she was escaping has found her hiding place, and people in the sleepy Michigan community are starting to die. Maggie knows what her hunter is capable of, and now she must leave behind the man who was bringing her back to life, for his own safety. Nick is determined never to lose the only person who can make his world whole again. And he knows he has to find the killer -- before the killer gets to Maggie.
|File size:||583 KB|
About the Author
Cait London is a national award-winning, bestselling author who fully enjoys the perks of her career, like traveling and meeting readers.
Cait's contemporary, fast-moving style blends romance with suspense and humor, and brings characters to life by using their pasts and heritages. Her books are filled with elements of her own experiences as a scenic and wildlife artist, a photographer, a mountain hiker, a gardener, a seamstress, a professional woman, and a homemaker. She also enjoys computers and reading, aromatherapy and herbs.
Of German-Russian heritage, Cait grew up in rural Washington State. She is now a resident of Missouri and the mother of three daughters, all taller than she.
The best events in her life have always been in threes, her good luck number. Cait London says, "I enjoy creating romantic collisions between dangerous, brooding heroes and contemporary, strong, active women who know how to manage their lives. I believe that each of my books is a gift to a reader, a part of me on those pages, and I'm thrilled when readers say, "That was a good book.'"
Read an Excerpt
One Year Later
He ran from the past, from his guilt and his dead dreams. Yet they tangled in the late April air and caught him. Locked in his own private hell, Nick Alessandro ignored the brush bordering the jogging path and the highway running beside it. He didn't see the happy patches of daffodils, bright yellow in the afternoon sun, or the signs meant to attract tourists. On the five-mile run from his home and vineyard to Lake Michigan's small town of Blanchefleur, his lungs ached for air as he pushed himself to the limit, the gravel crunching beneath his running shoes.
Nick fought the nightmare of twelve years ago, the vision of his young bride sprawled on the pavement after a motorcycle accident. Alyssa, his lifetime sweetheart, his wife, his dreams. Alyssa was dead, and he could have prevented her death.
Guilt spiked, almost choking him.
The motorcycle was a toy he'd had to have.
Alyssa was a sweet necessity to his life, his heart, his soul.
The baby she had just told him about was gone, and so were his dreams.
How many times had he damned himself for that motorcycle? For not insisting that she wear a helmet?
The scar along his side and down his thigh reminded him every minute of how he had painfully crawled to her. He hadn't felt the burn of his own torn flesh; terror had moved him across the pavement.
As her husband, he'd been the one to sign the legal papers to take Alyssa off life support. Nothing, not even the land he'd sold to pay for her medical expenses, could bring her back.
"Nice muscle formation." As a personal trainer, Maggie appreciated the smooth flow of the muscles in the jogger's butt, and from the back, the rest of him wasn't bad either. His sweaty tank top clung, and with each stride, power surged beneath the skin from his powerful back, tapering to his waist -- no love handles there, just man in smooth motion -- a symphony of cords, muscle, and bone. He ran easily, sweat glistening on his dark skin, running shoes eating up the gravel path leading to Lake Michigan's small tourist town.
She gauged the man to be about mid-thirties, and he was one sweet piece of male animal, moving easily despite his size. Those defined muscles said he weighed more than he looked, but Maggie's expert trainer's eye estimated him to be about two-twenty.
Seated beside her in the passenger seat, Scout watched the man, and the quiver of muscle beneath the Labrador's thick black coat said she wanted the same freedom of late April's crisp air and sun.
Maggie slowed her pickup truck just a bit to better appreciate the man's bare shoulders and back, the tight butt in the worn loose shorts, and the defined muscles in his thighs and legs. She noted clinically that the brand-name shoes were expensive and worn and should be replaced.
Her appraisal was that of a dispassionate, assessing professional, not a woman. Maggie's fingers tightened on her steering wheel. In trying to survive, she'd lost something -- the ability to feel like a woman.
It had been almost two years since her divorce, even longer since she'd made love. Her interest in the man wasn't sexual, she told herself. She was just a physical fitness professional appreciating a fine-looking male body. That was as far as it went -- it would be a long time before she trusted anyone up close and personal.
When trusted friends, fearing for their own fortunes and welfare, turned from her, hadn't listened or helped, the scars ran deep. Maggie's husband's defection had been the worst -- he wouldn't endanger his business by standing with her against the powerful man who had caused her sister's ruin and death.
Maggie had recognized something of herself in how this man fought his body's limits, pushing himself, focusing within where the shadows weren't warmed by sunlight's kiss.
More heavily built than a sleek competitive runner, the man was evidently prowling over the darkness in him, seeking and frustrated, and fighting the realities he'd found.
Maggie's fingers tightened on her steering wheel. Once her engagement ring and wedding band would have caught the light, and now they were gone. But she'd also lost more than jewelry. She'd lost confidence in trusting the right people and in making the right choices. She'd lost a deep, intimate softness and a lifetime of dreaming about a husband, home, and family. After moving from town to town, trying to reclaim herself, she was bone-tired.
"I'm going to make it work right here, Scout. I'm going to build a clientele, then a business. I'm going to take my parents' things out of storage and make a real home with a real kitchen, my own bathroom, and a nice big backyard for you. I've been running from reality for a year, taking part-time jobs, but it's really time to settle in for whatever peace I can find. But I'm never forgetting Glenda. She'll be with me always."
Maggie had chosen the battlefield on which to fight her past -- and her fear of water, putting all behind her, attempting to manufacture some happiness in her life.
Maggie intended to meet her fear of water -- and conquer it -- in the small Lake Michigan tourist community. She would attempt an everyday familiarity, a gradual sampling, to still her overwhelming fear of water -- in short, she would face the beast in a very private battle.
After waging another furious, futile battle to avenge Glenda, Maggie had learned to hide her emotions, to share little.
But running beside her small truck, the man's emotions slid stark and savage across his face ...With Her Last Breath. Copyright © by Cait London. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is not only thrilling and suspenseful, but it also takes the reader on a trip to where you could be if you were in that particular position. This has the point of view of several people, but mainly the two main characters, NICK and MAGGIE.
This is the second time I have tried a Cait London book. I was sorely disappointed the first time but thought I would try another just in case I picked up one of her lesser books the first time. Unfortunately I had not. Like the first time this example was scatterbrained and ran into tangents of random events and storylines without nearly sufficient enough exposition. The primary characters werent likable and relationships went from shallow to life changing without any explanation. I have no problem with suspension of disbelief but London requires you to throw it out the door completely to stay with this story, and the dialog was absurd to the point of laughable. This is the last time I will waste my money on one of London's books, and I recommend the same to any reader who requires even a semblance of story telling ability in their authors.
I couldn't decide if I should buy this book. I picked it up read the back flap - it sounded good but wasn't sure so I put it back. I went back to the book store and decided to get it and boy was I glad I did. It was exciting, fast-paced and suspenseful. Maggied was great - loved her independence and strength. I loved the Alessandro family. The only criticism is the ending with Brent. I was expecting more of a fight - it just seem so easy. I definitely recommend this book.
Maggie has been running from her past, but in the small tourist town of Blanchefleur she decides to try and make a home. She used to her solitude, but Nick Alessandro won¿t be put off. For the first time, Maggie is settling in, making friends and getting closer to Nick. Whether she¿s aware or ready her past is catching up to her. Great characters and some really hot scenes, you¿ll want to read this book in one sitting. The tension London creates is palpable.
The man ruined and then killed her sister Glenda before trying to rape her. Her spouse Ryan refused to believe Maggie choosing to go with his business associate Brent Templeton as being totally in the right and demanded she apologize. When she refused he divorced her. Stunned and needing a change Maggie steals the hunting dog Scout from the SOB whom assaulted her and flees from the San Francisco area into the night still seeking revenge against Brent. One year later in Blanchefleur, Michigan, Maggie and Scout meet widower Nick Alessandro and his extended family. She feels safe within the Alessandro brood and she and Nick fall in love. However, Brent knows she has made progress in her effort to bring him down and he is coming to finish the job even if it mans killing an Alessandro if any get in his way. Though the bad guys are cartoon types with the prime villain offering no positive qualities and his ¿helpers¿ seemingly more like incest mistakes, WITH HER LAST BREATH is an exhilarating second chance romantic suspense. The story line moves quickly forward from the moment that Maggie and Scout become buddies. The lead couple is an enchanting pair struggling to overcome the past, and along with his family, make this fine tale something that readers will value. Harriet Klausner
Maggie Chantel had been running from her pain-filled past for a year when she finally decided to stop. She chose a small Lake Michigan tourist community called Blanchefleur to settle. It was the perfect spot to overcome her fear of water, begin a new career, and start her life anew. All she needed for love and company was Scout, her Labrador Retriever. .......... But the small town was filled with a large, Italian family named the Alessandros. Almost everyone was related and they looked out for each other. Noticing Maggie vulnerability, though she would hit anyone who dared call her vulnerable or weak, they took her under their wings. No matter how wary Maggie felt or how much she resisted, Maggie came to care for the huge family and several of the locals. ............ Nick Alessandro was a survivor of tragedy and felt indifferent toward women until Maggie entered his life. He could not help but be drawn to her though. He had no idea what she was hiding in her past, but wanted to help her through it. But Maggie's past was catching up to her. Someone had been hunting her for a year and people in her small town were beginning to die. ........... ***** Romance and suspense blend together to give you this exciting story guaranteed to make your pulse race, one way or another. It grabs you on page one and never lets go. I recommend this title highly!