Leave Me Breathless by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Title: Leave Me Breathless
Series: Follow up to the standalone, The Protector
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 5, 2019
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man series comes a sexy and emotional follow up to her wildly popular standalone romance The Protector.
Ryan Willis has spent years in the protection business, a job that requires constant vigilance and quick thinking. His only chance to truly relax is at his secluded cabin in a small town where there are never any surprises. So when Ryan returns after an assignment and encounters a beautiful stranger, he isn’t only surprised, he’s also instantly intrigued.
Hannah Bright is a breath of fresh air, and Ryan is soon completely consumed, unable to stop from falling for her. As the two grow closer, his instinct tells him something is amiss. Yet nothing could prepare him for what he discovers when he starts digging into her past.
Hannah spends her days painting, running her arts and crafts store…and hiding too many secrets. It’s why she won’t let the ruggedly handsome bodyguard get too close. But their chemistry is undeniable, and Hannah quickly finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance with Ryan. He is peace personified, a balm to her battered soul. Yet the gorgeous, captivating man who has swept Hannah off her feet doesn’t even know who she really is. And the moment he finds out, both their lives are at risk.
by Jodi Ellen Malpas © 2019
His pace doesn’t falter, and he enters the store, leaving the door open behind him. He grabs me with a gentle but possessive force, one hand on my nape, the other on my hip. And he looks me straight in the eye, breathes deeply.
Then he drops his mouth to mine and gives me the tenderest of kisses. No tongue. No moans. No movement anywhere, except for his lips gently traveling across mine. My useless hands remain by my sides. I forget my name, who I am. The world as I know it ceases to exist, and it is so welcomed. So . . . unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s the smallest of gestures, yet it’s also colossal. Does Ryan know that? Does he realize what he’s doing? He’s making no attempt to deepen the kiss; his hands aren’t moving or exploring. He’s just dotting my lips with his, over and over, lazily and softly. It’s dizzying. And despite his apparent lack of desire to push it to the next level, there is passion pouring from him, the air surrounding us electric.
My mind blanks and I remain still in his hold, my eyes closed, my senses hijacked, as I savor the light pressure moving across my mouth. I can only ever remember my heart racing with fear and apprehension, yet since I’ve met Ryan it’s pounded with life and anticipation. Every near kiss we’ve had. Every moment of silence when we’re looking into each other’s eyes and the sexual tension between us ramps up another level.
Every time we’re in physical contact.
Every reason to avoid him is suddenly negated by my hunger for him. And then he breaks our kiss, breathing shallowly, as he keeps me in his hold. I stare at him, lost for words, and he drops one final, lingering peck on the corner of my mouth before he moves back. I quickly feel so very lost. His fingertip draws a delicate line down the bridge of my nose, slowing when he passes over the small bump. Then he turns on an inhale and leaves, pulling the door closed behind him. And I stare forward at nothing for a long time. I’ve been kissed into a trance. I move across my store to sit in the wicker chair in the corner, the pads of my fingers resting on my lips as I stare at the door. I hear his truck start. I hear it pull away. And then . . . silence.
He just kissed me, and then he just left. Seriously, what the fucking hell?
He said nothing.
But everything I needed to hear.
And now I’m left alone with just my screaming thoughts. Stay away from him. Run to him. I know what I want to do, but should I? Can I? I stand up and start to pace my shop, wringing my hands. I stop, feeling my lips, and then my nose. I look at the door. I hear his words.
I don’t ever want to scare you.
I’m not scared of him, not like that. I’m scared because he leaves me completely breathless
5 iScream Cones
“I’m uncomfortable with how comfortable this woman makes me feel. She’s like a precious box of adorableness.”
As I’m sure is the case with most of us, the buzz about this author started with her This Man series, we were curious to meet Jesse Ward, right? She definitely has a gift for writing beautifully broken characters. What I found interesting about Leave Me Breathless is that it’s the female that is broken.
Hannah is most definitely adorable. She’s a creative free spirit that loves to escape into her artwork. She surrounds herself with color. Her painting, her wardrobe, and her heart. Despite the fact that her past is absent of color, full of darkness, she still has the ability to shine her light on others. I couldn’t help smiling while reading about her, she’s just that awesome of a character. Which makes it that much harder to imagine what she might be running from.
She hides it well, but Ryan has worked in security long enough to read between the lines. He knows she’s got secrets that are keeping her from letting him in fully. He can see that she feels the same attraction that he does. The desire between them is intense, but she’s fighting the idea of a relationship between them. What is she afraid of?
Of course, the less she shares, the more he wants to know about her. “—as if her wildness isn’t enough of a draw to me, the secrets I sense she’s keeping are only amplifying my curiosity.” IKR? Mine too! I was hanging on the edge waiting to learn the details as the story unfolded.
I found myself thrown back and forth between heartbreak and hilarity. Sighing one minute and laughing the next. I don’t want to spoil anything for those that haven’t read it yet, so I’ll just say that the females stole the show in this one. I’m totally in the girl crush zone here, unable to stop smiling at their antics.
Don’t get me wrong, Ryan is perfection. And he’s oh so smart as well. He knows when to advance and when to withdraw. She’s like a skittish colt and he doesn’t want to risk spooking her. So, I’ll just call him a ‘Hannah Whisperer’, though he’s just as effective when silent. “He said nothing. But everything I needed to hear.”
This story has just enough sweet, sassy, sexy and suspenseful to leave you sighing in satisfaction. Did you catch that? Five S’s and five stars. Fingers crossed that this one will end up as a movie on Passion Flix too! 🤞
Jodi Ellen Malpas was born and raised in the Midlands town of Northampton, England, where she lives with her husband, boys, and a beagle. She is a self-professed daydreamer, a Converse and mojito addict, and she has a terrible weak spot for alpha males. Writing powerful love stories and creating addictive characters has become her passion—a passion she now shares with her devoted readers.
Her novels have hit bestseller lists for the New York Times, USA Today, Sunday Times, and various other international publications and can be read in more than twenty-four languages around the world.