More Than Breathing

Title: More Than Breathing
Author: Treva Harte
Amazon: Buy Link More than Breathing
Genre: Historical BDSM Romance
Length: Novella
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: This was a pleasant historical romance which I liked but thought that it needed to be longer


Hector meets Rudy when Rudy’s about to be hanged by the people in his town. Hector rescues him, expecting to leave Rudy and continue on his way alone. But when the big man refuses to leave his savior, they discover they can help each other. After surviving the Civil War, they’re both badly damaged; both crave danger with their sex and grow to depend on the other to satisfy their darkest needs.

Is the excitement they gain from their dangerous sexual games worth courting death? Maybe loving each other more than breathing is actually worth living for.


This story had such a great potential for me: a  historical, set right after US Civil War and potentially great sexual chemistry done by a writer who I know can write very well. And what was there, was done well, it is just I felt like I was missing more in-depth exploration of the settings and characters.

The story starts out very atmospherically and I believed in the time and place it takes place in. I really liked both characters and I bought their instant emotional and physical connection up to a degree as I figured when one saves another’s life it is possible to connect on a deeper level faster. I even bought Hector being so reckless and revealing that he likes men to Rudy. I thought his desperation to have sex for the reason that would be a spoiler was portrayed convincingly. I thought the sex was scorchingly hot and the chemistry was definitely there, however, while I could feel and understand why the characters could feel a connection and trust towards each other – saving other’s life can definitely help establishing a trust towards each other as well – “I love you” after a day or two together? It was way too fast for me.

Herein lays my problem: I think this story definitely needed to be much longer than it was. I really enjoyed both Hector and Rudy, but I wanted to know more about them, especially Rudy. I also thought that, again, due to length, there was no conflict in it besides external threats, which were pretty dire. I wanted more conflict, both external and internal, more tension between Hector and Rudy, no matter what the source of the tension would be.

Related to this, I said that I liked the settings and whatever little was happening felt believable to time and space, and we even saw a bit of how the characters’ past shaped them for such short novella, but unfortunately I also felt that the settings were overall sketched rather thin and I usually want more than that. Do not get me wrong, there is a historical flavor going on, there are two very sympathetic characters and an attempt to give them some back story, but for me it just was not enough. I really do think that the story being too short was the main thing that did not work for me here, because many things felt rushed to me. Even with this issue, however, it was a pleasant and quite hot read.

Lastly, I also really disliked the cover; in my opinion, the naked bodies destroyed the historical feel the lower part of the cover tries to create.

Recommended overall.


  • Sirius

    You mentioned your concern about this book due to its length. As you know, more than 50% of M/M books are novella length or shorter e.g. Torquere Sips, Dreamspinner Nap Size Books, Amber Allure’s Amber Kiss etc. This is because the publishers require that a certain percentage of their books conform to their word counts and I think some of them are done well, although I agree that the endings of some of these books do feel rushed.

    You said you wanted more external and internal conflict between the protagonists but because of the length that was not possible. I’m just wondering if this was due to the format or the fact you felt that the author didn’t quite deliver. I’m trying to decide whether to put More Than Breathing on my Kindle but I’m not sure if it was mainly the length that didn’t work for you.

    • Oh absolutely, and I totally think that some of them deliver really well. I just think novella is a different animal from novel, and of course I am only speaking as a reader, but I think this one would have been better suited as novel.

      Hmm, I think it is because to me author did not quite deliver *due to format*. Does that make sense? It is definitely not because I simply wanted a longer book, it is because while I felt characters were interesting, they could have been more interesting and in depth in longer format?

      I felt like staff was missing, I guess. I think you should try it, I think you may enjoy it.

  • And that’s the beauty of reviews. Not usually a fan of historicals, this one actually sounds interesting!

  • I’m struggling with novellas again so as that is your main crit I’ll leave this one alone for now. I haven’t read anything by this writer so I’ll check out the back list. Thanks Sirius.

    • Yeah, I like novellas, but when I feel that I need some additional knowledge of characters and other things, I usually think it would be better of as novel. She is very good IMO, check out her backlist maybe a good idea.


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