Originally posted at Romance Around the CornerSource: A review copy was provided by the publicist.Anne Calhoun is one of my favorite Erotic Romance writers, and as usual she delivers a great story with interesting characters. Breath on Embers is a novella that you can get as part of Carina Press’ Red Hot Holiday anthology, or separately.Thea’s husband died two years ago and grief has been her relentless companion. She became a loner and pretty much isolated herself from everything except music and a firefighter named Ronan. For the past nine months they have been lovers but nothing else. But of course you can’t share your body for so long and not develop feelings, which is exactly what Ronan did. And that’s when things get interesting.This is a very introspective, quiet and melancholic story. Thea is sad and doesn't want to feel anything. She uses her iPod as a way to detach herself from her surroundings, and her only human contact is with a guy she uses for sex. She doesn't want to let go of her husband and only allows herself some physical relief but not an emotional one.Ronan was a typical, commitment-phobe hero, made atypical by an emotionally distant heroine. Once he realizes he’s in love, he must decide whether he should settle for the only thing she’s willing to give him, or if he wants to push her and risk losing her. The answer is obvious: he can’t continue living the same motionless life, so he takes a risk that eventually pays off.Because this is a short story, I don’t want to give away more details than necessary, but I really enjoyed it. The ending is happy and hopeful, but the overall tone is far from it. So if you don’t like sweet holiday romances, go ahead and read this one. At this point I think Ms. Calhoun can do no wrong, and this is yet another wonderful story where the sex is perfectly woven into the character development. It’s very erotic and slightly kinky, so no one will doubt the erotic nature of the story, but it’s also quite romantic. That’s all you should know, I liked it, and I think you will too.