Who likes a little tension mixed in with their love story?
Rifle Creek series
by Kaylea Cross
A diehard romantic looking to start over in a small town.
Dr. Nina Benitez might be an astrophysicist and a scientist down to her bones, but she also believes in true love and happily ever after—and won’t settle for anything less. After a rocky end to her first semester teaching at the University of Montana, she’s looking forward to a new school year and a fresh start in the small town of Rifle Creek. When she meets her roommate’s work partner, a sexy, hard-edged detective, Nina is immediately intrigued. However, it’s soon clear they’re like oil and water. But when she’s confronted by the painful past event she wanted to forget, she faces an even greater danger. A predator is bent on silencing her forever, and Nina’s only hope of survival is the unattainable man who’s captured her heart.
A cynical cop determined to guard his heart.
Tate Baldwin has dedicated his life to serving and protecting, first in the military, and now as a detective in Rifle Creek. Badly burned by his last relationship, he isn’t looking to get involved with anyone, especially a brilliant college professor who seems to have her head in the clouds. Yet even Tate can’t deny the attraction between them that soon grows into something more. And when a secret from her past triggers a lethal threat, Tate will risk everything to stand between her and the monster who wants her dead.
When I see Cross’s name, I know I’m going to get a good romantic thriller and she didn’t fail me. Even though the romance between Tate and Nina is the main plotline, she successfully weaves in the villain into the story in a way that doesn’t take away from either. We get just enough of his POV and his impact on the main characters that when the climax comes we’re ready to see him get his comeuppance. Which comes with a nice amount of nail-biting moments.
Nina is a delightful character – a great mix of romantic and scholar. She sees the world with such wonder and fun, and is a good foil to Tate who has seen some of the darker side of life. Recently burned by a bad relationship, he’s not looking to get involved but Nina has a certain draw to her that he just can’t resist.
As much as I loved Nina (and wish I could be more like her), Tate did take a little more warming up to. I also feel like, for all his fighting getting involved, he moved pretty quickly into falling in love. I think that his attitude either needed to be a little less adamant or a little more time spent in the progression of their relationship.
Overall though, it was definitely a minor quibble that was easily overcome by the great characters, the enjoyable interactions between them, and the nicely developed suspense element. Cross also nicely sets up more stories in the series and I’m ready to see what she brings us next.
New York 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. 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.