Making it Past the ROCKY GROUND–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary veteran romance from Kaylea Cross. ROCKY GROUND is the latest Crimson Point novel and features a Scottish military vet falling hard for a single mom who’s had it rough. I really liked FRACTURED HONOR so I was interested to read on in this series.

About the book:
She’s been hurt too many times…
Single mom Tiana Fitzgerald has sworn off all romantic relationships to protect herself and her daughter. Her track record is disastrous and she’s done getting hurt. But a certain sexy Scotsman in Crimson Point has other ideas, and somehow manages to sneak past her defenses at every turn. As the hits keep coming and her life implodes, she begins to see he’s unlike any man she’s ever known. Now he’s become the greatest threat to her heart, because there’s no possible future for them. Not when he’s leaving the country in a few weeks. And when her worst fears are realized, she must risk everything by placing her trust in in his hands.

He’s determined to capture her heart.
Scotsman Aidan MacIntyre never saw the fiery, beautiful Tiana coming. The prickly redhead has gotten under his skin as badly as he wants to get under hers. But she’s determined to keep walls between them. Luckily the former Royal Marine doesn’t know how to give up. Someone from her past wants to hurt her, but Aidan will stand between her and any threat. He’ll stop at nothing to protect her and the little girl who have completely stolen his heart—and fight for them to have a future together.

How about a little taste?

The molten hunger in his eyes sent a torrent of heat rushing through her body even as her old fears bubbled to the surface again. “Aidan…” she murmured, dropping her gaze to his chest.

She’d done it. Given her unspoken consent. Now her heart was trying to pound its way out of her chest.

His hand came up to stroke her hair away from her face. She leaned into his touch, craving more. Craving this wonderful, incredible man that for some reason wanted her in spite of all her imperfections.

Her heart beat an erratic rhythm against her ribs. She’d never experienced anything like this before. Not with this level of intensity. This was…something she’d only read about before. Was it because of everything they’d gone through together? Because she’d relied on him for survival?

His fingers stroked against her scalp in a drugging caress that had her eyelids drooping. “What are you so afraid of?”

She looked up at him again. God, he was beautiful. And strong. And brave.

He was also going to rip her heart out when he left.

It wasn’t easy to voice her insecurities aloud, but she felt comfortable with him. Close to him in a way she’d never felt with another man. “Of making another mistake. Of getting my heart broken again,” she whispered.

He cupped the side of her face to run his thumb over her cheekbone. “I’ll not hurt you, lass.”

Her insides squeezed at the tenderness in his voice, the yearning in his eyes. No, he wouldn’t hurt her intentionally. “But you’re leaving soon. In another few weeks.” That was going to leave a scar, no matter how gently the cut was made.

“Aye,” he agreed, his gaze locked with hers. “But I’m here now.”

His words reverberated in the deepest recesses of her heart. He was right here in front of her, and he wanted her.

Any other arguments she had stored up vanished in the space of a single heartbeat. Before she could think herself out of it, she gave free rein to the need pulsing inside her, took his face in her hands and pulled him down to her waiting lips.

My Review:
Tiana is a fierce single mother whose life seems to be unraveling. Her last boyfriend tried to molest her 8 year old daughter, Ella, and now she’s trying to ensure her little girl doesnt’t have to take a witness stand to protect herself from a predator. And, Evan, her first love and Ella’s daddy has reappeared and now wants to build a relationship with young Ella. So, really it’s not time to be falling for a Scotsman who seems to be more than just nice.

Aidan “Mac” McIntyre is a veteran working for an acquaintance from his military days. He wants to get his green card and sty in the US, but his appeals have been denied and he’s going to return to the UK for some time while it all gets sorted. This is why Aidan shouldn’t be falling for his boss’s tenant, but he can’t help admiring how strong Tiana is, and how well she minds her sweet young girl all alone. Learning how Tiana was betrayed in her past relationship sets Mac on edge. Which is good, because he’s gong to need all his battle-honed skills to ensure Tiana and Ell are safe, not only from Ella’s abuser.

This story went in ways I had never anticipated, which was good. As much as I read, it’s often hard to surprise me. Tiana and Ella get separated a a critical moment–through no fault of their own, but that makes them uniquely vulnerable for attack, and there is an enemy laying in wait. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but I will say my anticipation of a marriage of convenience did not bear fruit. Instead, there are more than one flight for their lives, and hostiles in every corner. I liked the three-prong attack Tiana needed to weather and felt she did it with grace. There are some sexy scenes, but I felt they were a bit long and mildly repetitive, so I skimmed those–not saying other readers won’t be enthralled. It was a little mundane, for me, though it made sense in the narrative.

It’s a solid romantic suspense, and I enjoyed it bunches.

Interested? You can find ROCKY GROUND on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo.

About the Author:
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and has been nominated multiple times for the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.

Catch up with Kaylea on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram.

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