Author: Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's
She was "the Swan." London's premiere courtesan. Men want to be with her. Women loathe her success and yet admire her beauty, her riches, her independence. But when the jealous wife of her lover moves to have the Swan banished from her home on the high seas, she winds up crashed against Spain's rocky coast with no shoes, no clothes-and no name. Taken in by a tortured, sensuous man known as The Artist, the Swan comes to know the woman she wants to be—her artist's siren.
When Art Professor Brenna Anderson is in danger of losing her post at Harvard, the rule-following, prim professor is at a loss of how to salvage the shreds of her life. But when a new painting in the mysterious Siren collection is discovered in a dusty old house in France, Brenna does the unthinkable—hops on a plane to uncover the identity of the beautiful, enigmatic woman who is the subject of the paintings.
There's just one hitch—the frustrating, irritating, bold and beautiful art hunter, Fitch Wilder, is also looking for the Siren. He's been a thorn in Brenna's professional side for years, but when their individual quests lead them to team up despite being enemies, a whole new sumptuous world of art and culture opens up for the two of them. And with it, they enter a realm of passion and love…
Unbeknownst to me when I started reading, Breathless is a sequel. Which is actually very funny to me now that I have discovered this little fact because the entire time I was reading Breathless I kept saying to myself; “I wish Piper had a story…” “Why doesn’t Piper have her own story, this doesn’t make any sense!” “It feels like there is entire untold story behind the story I am reading” “Why does it feel like I’m missing something?”. So, I am sorry to authors for doubting you and taking notes that said to mention, what at the time, felt like a quickly put together backstory in my review. Everything was wonderful and makes much more sense now. Although, you can TOTALLY read this as a standalone. I wasn’t lost or anything I just felt like there was more to the story- which there was… duh me…
Ok, sorry for the long opening paragraph, now to the story. I loved everything about this book. It was romantic, funny, sweet, historical, emotional, and just fantastic. I enjoyed this book so much I put off finishing it because I didn't want it to end. It was just such a fun sweet read- it was the perfect book for me.
Fitch as a person was everything. He reminded me of a mix between Indiana Jones and Flynn Carsen (two of my character crushes, which made Fitch even more irresistible to me). He was just one of those characters you can’t help but love and simultaneously smack upside the head.
And Brenna was every nerd with a passion. She was dedicated and intense in her quest to prove herself and be heard. Fitch and Brenna made the perfect oil and water couple that found a way to co-exist in the best possible way. Their connection was fierce and heated. One minute they would slinging insults at each other the next they wouldn’t be able to keep their hands off the other. It was thrilling to watch them not only develop as characters but also to share their passion for art together and grow as a couple.
I could go on and on and on about Le Artiste and The Sawn forever. Their part of the story just transported you to the Mediterranean coast. Their love and passion for each other was so intense. It was just such a rich and exquisite tale. Le Artiste was that stereotypical wounded artist but he was also so much more than that. He is everything a woman could want in a man. Someone that cherishes them and holds them dear. Their passion scorched the pages of my book! The Swan was such a complex character. You really felt for her past and how she came to be who she was. Her character arc was marvelous. I loved seeing her finally come into herself as more than just The Swan.
The setting on the coast of Spain was like something out of a rustic fairy tale. I could just imagine the salty wind and the fresh air while reading. It’s almost indescribable the feeling and imagery I felt while reading. This is going to sound silly but it felt like an old timey romance (yes, I know it was a historical romance- not the point), similar to the feeling I get while watching Roman Holiday. (note to self- stop writing reviews late at night…)
I truly can't say enough about how much I loved this book and both couple's stories. The story is intense, yet light and romantic. It's a perfect mix of all the right ingredients. The characters are powerful and authentic. It almost felt like they jumped off the pages and performed their story for me. The story sucked me in and made me want to experience what the characters were experiencing. This book was truly outstanding in all the right places.
I highly recommend it to the highest degree of recommendations possible!!!