cover image JUST BREATHE


Dee Davis, . . Ivy, $6.99 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-8041-1967-2

A naive travel writer, a handsome ex-CIA agent and a group of frisky little old ladies are the key characters in Davis's rambling new contemporary romantic thriller (following After Twilight). In an attempt to gather material for a travel article she intends to write, Chloe Nichols has joined a group of seniors for a prestigious European tour. Her plans are disrupted, however, when a murder at a train station in Vienna sends her tumbling into the arms of Matthew Broussard. Matt has traveled to Vienna to meet with a sleazy reporter claiming to have information about Matt's former girlfriend, who was killed 15 years before when she supposedly uncovered dangerous KGB secrets. Now that the reporter is dead, Matt believes that Chloe, who witnessed the reporter's death, will be next on the hit man's list. To keep her out of harm's way, he suggests that she pose as his fiancée, which sets the pair up for a romance that seems forced but will satisfy readers hungering for lusty love scenes tinged with humor. The feisty senior ladies deliver all the surprises and enliven the pace of this slumbering narrative with their sharp one-liners. Davis appears to be aiming for a Mission Impossible–meets–Ally McBeal read, and the end result is a confusing mix that misses the mark. (July 3)