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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 25 June 2013
I have to confess I really didn't pay enough attention to the blurb for this book. I think I just saw the cover and skimmed the description, which was why what happened a little way into the story took me so much by surprise. The cover gave me the impression of a bright and light chick-lit type novel - it's not. Actually, what it is an amazingly entertaining and gripping read.
Set in the ancient coastal town of Port Rell, this novel has everything. It's kind of like The Famous Five for adults, with smugglers, historical diary entries, old shipwrecks, murder, mystery and romance. Sadly not much ginger beer, but even so...
Seriously, this book is well worth reading. I quickly became hooked, wanting to know just what the heck was going on in Port Rell and who was behind it all.
The heroine of the novel is Lainey, a young girl whose entire life has been dominated by the wreck of the Mary Eliza, a ship which may or may not lie in the waters off Port Rell. Her father was obsessed with the wreck's whereabouts and it cost him his life. Lainey wants to prove that he was right and is desperate to find proof that the Mary Eliza exists, but she's not the only one.
Before long, Lainey finds herself a suspect in a murder case and is caught in a baffling mystery, not knowing who she can trust and losing everything as events twist and turn around her.
So what did I love about this novel? Well, Lainey herself is a great heroine. She's very independent, very strong minded and far from helpless. However, she does make mistakes and she's certainly not perfect. I also loved the setting. Port Rell is a character in itself, beautifully described and inhabited by some fascinating characters. I liked the diary entries from the late seventeenth century which provided a lovely subplot. Lainey's friends were nicely drawn, too, and I really liked the mysterious Greg.
I loved the fact that the first shock came quite early in the book. Without giving anything away, it really did leave me breathless as I just wasn't expecting it. After that, I was never sure who was behind the sinister happenings and was as baffled as Lainey, wondering if Greg was someone I could really trust and not being certain about anyone!
I would definitely recommend this novel. It's a real adventure story for grown ups with a touch of romance to warm the heart and some intriguing and entertaining characters. The only thing I would possibly change would be the cover. Lovely for a different sort of story, it really doesn't do this gem of a novel justice.
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on 10 February 2014
The story is about Lainey Jennings who lives on a boat and runs a diving centre, a family business she took over when her father died in a tragic diving accident. She appears to be a colourful character in Port Rell, having run out on her fiance at the altar and was dating a cop , Carl who is mysteriously murdered.

While the murder mystery unfolds - she has two romantic interests - the mysterious Greg and the famous Zac. Lainey has serious commitment issues and prefers a no strings attachment until she meets her man! who also helps resolve the mysterious secret surrounding the murder and other mysterious goings on in the locality.

I loved this book, it kept me gripped from start to end and has a fabulous ending.
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Lainey lives in Port Rell, a village that's famous because of smugglers and shipwrecks. Most of the inhabitants of the village gladly see the tourists coming as it's their main source of income. Lainey is a diving instructor, she's trying to keep her father's business going. He died while diving, in a shipwreck. He wanted to find the Mary Eliza, that was his biggest wish and his lifework. He left Lainey his papers and she's trying to find the ship as well. When she finds a coin, she knows she's close, but then someone else claims to have found it. Will is her biggest competitor, his diving business is thriving while Lainey's is struggling. He's always one step ahead of her and she doesn't like him very much.

Lainey's best friend Selma and her family are seeing her as one of their own. She's always welcome at the Smuggler's Inn which is her second home. Lainey is living on a barge and she loves being on the water. When her boyfriend is being found dead she's having quite a fright. They had actually just broken up, but she misses him very much. When she meets someone new after a while she isn't ready yet. And who is he anyway? Greg says he is a policeman, but the police have never heard of him and what is he doing at the house of Lainey's enemy? And then there's Zac, the archaeologist who's making a documentary about the Mary Eliza, the ship they're trying to uncover. Lainy offers her services, but that isn't without complications...

Breathless is a great story about a girl who's lost so much. Lainey is tough, but to keep going she has to build a wall around her. She does what she can to make a living, to get by and to survive. I liked that about her. There are so many secrets in Port Rell and I couldn't wait to find out what they were. Something clearly isn't right and I wanted to know the details. I couldn't stop reading and really liked the story. The background of the shipwrecks, the sea, the smugglers and the tale of what happened in Port Rell in 1695 made this such an interesting book. I enjoyed reading about Lainey's love life and couldn't wait to find out more about the mysterious Greg. Breathless is a fantastic read and I highly recommend it.
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on 8 May 2014
The one thing that I felt was good about the book was the concurrent double story thread of a modern day mystery/romance and a historical narrative in the background. The heroine was irritating in that she seems incapable of the most basic of commonsense actions, like opening letters from the bank. This is the mechanism for some of the drama in the book, but I felt there could have been more subtle ways for achieving the same end.
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on 7 January 2013
This was my first Louise Marley book, having chosen it based on other people's reviews. I was hooked right from the start and couldn't put it down. The characters are believable, and I particularly enjoyed the journal excerpts. I will definitely be reading more of Louise' s books in the future!
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on 27 February 2014
It has been a while since I bought this book so didn't know whether to expect a romance or a thriller. This was somewhere in the middle and was a book I really enjoyed. The story had lots of twists and turns and good charactors.
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on 18 August 2013
Really enjoyed this romance and crime novel which is an interesting combination. Literally could not put it down. Good characterisation and interesting historical flashbacks. Will certainly want to read more by this author.
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on 28 April 2013
I loved this book. It was well written, set in a great location, lots of details about diving and enough mystery and suspense to keep it from being just chick lit. I think it could make a great film! The cover picture does not match the content in my opinion.
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on 5 April 2013
This was a far better read than I expected from some of the reviews. It kept me engaged until the end, even if I did get a bit frustrated with the character from time to time (all part of someone else's 'life'). Generally well written and a good price on kindle.
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on 12 April 2013
A great story, I do hate reviews that give everything away, This book has a decent plot, where I didn't guess what was going to happen, I was hooked, and couldn't put it down, a great read, well worthy of consideration.
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