>Lil’s Review of Breathing Room by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

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Breathing RoomJoin the New York Times bestselling author on a journey to the sun-washed hills of Tuscany. Another sexy, wonderful, contemporary love story with all the heart, wisdom, and wit that have made Susan Elizabeth Phillips the gold standard for women’s fiction.

“She’s Dr. Isabel Favor, America’s diva of self-help.
He’s Ren Gage, Hollywood’s favorite villain.
Sometimes you just know that God has a sense of humor.”

Dr. Isabel Favor, author of Four Cornerstones for a Favorable Life, has sacrificed everything to build her self-help empire. Then, in a matter of weeks, it all comes crashing down. She loses her money to an unscrupulous accountant, her fiancé to a frumpy older woman, and her reputation to headlines denouncing her as a fraud. America’s diva of self-help soon discovers she can fix everyone’s life but her own. Broke, heartsick, and soul-weary, she heads for Italy in search of a little breathing room.

BREATHING ROOM has become one of my favorite books by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Ms. Phillips is one of the main reasons I have become addicted to romance told with humor. She has a way to really pull the reader into the story with her likable characters and descriptive writing. Her writing is full of snark and irony. Just when you think you can’t choke on your Santa Rita Reserve one more time, it’s shooting out your nose. Take. My. Word. For. It.

When Phillips writes about a meal your mouth waters. When she describes a view from the farm house patio you feel the sun on your face. The layers of emotion are thick with humor and angst. It’s a feast for your funny bone and your heart. I know this may mark me as a total geek, but when I opened Nook to read this for a third time I was giddy. I love the world that was created on these “pages”. If someday I need a happy place to find my center, it will be Isabel’s farmhouse.

Phillips has an entire literary universe of characters and history to tap into when she writes. If you like series writing then you have a couple of avenues to take with SEP. Breathing Room is a stand alone book among her novels and I hope it does not remain that way. She doesn’t ignore anyone. Each character is unique and richly developed, even the three old little boy who stole every scene he was in.
I’m not a fan of adapting books into movies or T.V. shows (total shocker ;p) but if I had the talent to write a screenplay for a SEP novel, I would be ALL OVER IT. I could see this book as a mini series because anything less than seven hours would cut way to much hilarious dialogue!
This book made sense. It wasn’t outrageous unless it fit. It was funny in all the right places and it inspired me. I want to live the Tuscan life. I want to eat the food, drink the wine, and play in the vineyards. And you will too.

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