He took her breath away.
It has been written a million times. I've written it myself. Of course he's not literal taking the air out of her lungs. That would lead to gasping and a really ugly ordeal. He's making her feel like she can't breath, either physically, or my favorite, without even touching her.
The idea of a man being so unbelievable that he could bring a woman to the point that she feels as if she's lost her breath can be stunning and often overdone. The whole business even has it's own word. She was breathless. Everyone knows what that means and if you're reading a great novel, we are not discussing her state after a rigorous run around the neighborhood.
I think this is a beautiful image. I'm super sappy and partial to, he entered the room and took her breath away. Powerful stuff, but usually surface.
The image opens up, blooms, when we learn why. Why is she bringing her hand to her chest? That piece has to be there, or the image is usually just about how physically incredible he is. Bodies, broad shoulders, great hands, all wonderful stuff, but none of that creates the swirl that feels like there's no air. There has to be build, approach, and history.
Breath is stolen with a gesture, a look, words, a sacrifice, a hand to the lower back or a whisper from a man that's taken the time to learn and discover a woman's mind. Hearts race and faces flush over a physically beautiful man and all the clever things he can do with that body, but the power to render a woman breathless should be reserved for something more, pieces deep and rooted in the man behind the eyes.
"Breathe," he whispered into her neck.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Breathtaking Sunset.