Half suspense and half romance, this book pairs a steady lawman with an impulsive bar owner who’s been breaking a few rules. Though this is a little less romance-centric and a little more understated than the novels I typically read, I’ve got to admit that I’ve enjoyed the series quite a bit. Crownover’s writing is solid, her characters are flawed but still likable, and the relationships have plenty of depth even though so much time is spent on the action. This one took a little longer to win me over because I haven’t been the biggest fan of our heroine, but it hooked me in along the way.
The story follows Kody in the aftermath of her father’s death. She’s got a strong personality and a complicated relationship with the lawman sent to investigate. Hill has been a part of her life for years, the golden boy she crushed on, then the brother of her fiancé, then her support as that relationship fell apart, and finally the scapegoat for her guilt after her fiancé took his own life. To Hill, Kody has only ever really been one thing – the woman he wants to call his. He knows that’s something he shouldn’t want, but that doesn’t change reality, and now that they’re in town together, it’s impossible to ignore.
Having read the other books in the series (not required to enjoy this), I’d already been introduced to both of these characters and wasn’t sure what to expect from Kody. While she never completely won me over, Hill more than made up for that – he is such a rock solid, genuine, and loving guy. His feelings for Kody don’t waiver and that was really refreshing to read. Yes, there were times when the book moved too slowly for me, but I did love the connection. It’s a slow burn that gets downright steamy towards the end. I’m definitely intrigued by the direction Crownover is taking things in the next book, because there’s a story that needs to told there. I’d recommend this for those who like their romance to have that laidback, western feel and don’t mind a heavy serving of drama/suspense. I received an ARC via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review of this romance.
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a tough Texas Ranger and his first love–a woman in danger who insists she doesn’t need his protection.
Hill Gamble is a model lawman: cool and collected, with a confident swagger to boot. Too bad all that Texas charm hasn’t gotten him anywhere in his personal life, especially since the only girl he ever loved has always been off-limits. But then Hill is assigned to investigate her father’s mysterious death, and he’s forced back to the town–and the woman–he left behind.
When Hill left Loveless, he broke Kody Lawton’s already battered heart. And now that he’s working on her father’s case, avoiding him is impossible. She can handle Hill and her unwanted feelings–until he puts his life on the line to protect her. Suddenly, Kody realizes that Hill could be taken away from her…for good.