Maggie Chantel is on the run, bearing secrets and hurts. While trying to cope with the death of her sister, the betrayal of her husband, and her fear of water, she doesn't stay in one location long enough to form attachments. Maggie's only companion is her faithful, protective Labrador Retriever, Scout. Maggie isn't willing to give her trust to anyone ever again, only to be betrayed. It's just too painful. Maggie is ready to put down roots for her and Scout in the sleepy, close-knit town of Blanchefleur on the shores of Lake Michigan where she will start her new life. Will this be the place to heal her?
Brent Templeton is searching for Maggie. He WILL find her, and when he does she will pay for ruining his life! He will stop at nothing to get his hands on Maggie. Wherever she goes, there he will be. He will blackmail, steal, cheat and do whatever is necessary to achieve his goal of exacting revenge upon Maggie.
Nick Alessandro is a haunted man. His guilt over losing his wife and their unborn child eats at him daily. He also splits his time between his parent's restaurant and his vineyard, putting out the best wines he can offer. Nick doesn't have the time to fight the prickly Maggie for her friendship, even though a friend is something Nick can see she desperately needs. Nick has his own problems to deal with. Adding Maggie to the mix is not on his agenda.
However, Maggie gets to him and he wants to get to her, in more ways than one. Nick wants to know what Maggie's secrets are, what's so special about that locket that Maggie clutches, and how deep does the bond run between Maggie and Scout? And the most important question of all: can Maggie let down her guard and allow Nick to become a part of her life and trust him?
With Her Last Breath takes my breath away. Maggie carries so much hurt within her. Overlaying the hurt is a steel resolve to survive. More and more through the story I see Maggie's determination that no one will ever hurt her again, and I cheer her on! When Nick begins to intertwine his life with hers, I see the start of something beautiful in the works. Nick's troubled past makes him determined to protect Maggie whether or not she likes it. These are two stubborn people, and they are absolutely perfect for each other. The sooner they realize it, the better. Scout, of course, has a big hand in bringing Maggie and Nick together. Scout's past abuse makes Maggie extremely protective of her. Scout uses her canine ability to know whom she can trust, and Nick is at the top of her trust list, much to Maggie's dismay. Maggie fights Nick but she can't fight her strong attraction to him. He awakens within her a womanly awareness that has been long dormant.
The secondary cast of characters are a colorful lot, adding moments of comedy, touching sentimentality, and home grown love. Each of them, in one way or another, becomes a part of Maggie's life aiding in chipping away the tough exterior she has built. Celeste and Beth become her most prominent friends, along with Nick's family, the Alessandros, who are a wonderful loving bunch. It is with this group of people that Maggie knows what it is to be cared for, to love again, and ultimately to trust again.
Secrets, hurt, betrayal, a slow rebuilding of trust and true love: Cait London gives me everything I could ask for in a romantic suspense book, keeping me on my toes right to the end. With Her Last Breath is a must read!
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed