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Delta Force Defender

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Melissa contributed this review to Really Into This

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Happy Reading, friends!

Special thanks to Berkley for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review. 

Caradine was born into a mafia family. She thought she finally had her exit but she just can't escape them.

There is definitely some nice action scenes to keep you on your toes. While reading, I'm questioning does the hero really love her or does he fall in love who he thinks Caradine is? She has to kind of play a character to hide herself from her mafia family. This really adds a lot to the story.

This one is fun. High energy, a quick read & I read it as a standalone.
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Megan Crane is nearly done with her Alaska Force series, and this fourth installment, DELTA FORCE DEFENDER, is a doozy. Honestly, Crane had me with “Alaska,” but with “criminal family” added in? There’s no way I was going to miss this romantic suspense. Set in the rugged little town of Grizzly Harbor, Alaska, this book, in this setting, is what we need in this moment. Carradine Scott escaped her criminal family by the skin of her teeth when she ran to the other end of the world, settling in the sleepy little edge of nowhere. But trouble has a way of catching up, no matter how far you run. Fortunately, Isaac Gentry, leader of a special operations organization that helps people at the end of their ropes, is on hand to help. But as much as he would like to solve Carradine’s problems, she fights to save herself. There’s great tension, satisfying character development, and an exciting pace. 

*Originally published at Frolic: https://frolic.media/july-2020-must-read-romantic-suspense/
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DELTA FORCE DEFENDER is the fourth book in the ALASKA FORCE series, and I’m glad it’s not the last since SPECIAL OPS SEDUCTION is due to be released in January. This is Isaac and Caradine’s story, and it held my interest from the first page to the last.  The story is packed with action, adventure, and romance. The series revolves around the Alaska Force, their significant others, and the people of Grizzly Harbor.

The prologue takes place ten years earlier in Boston and gives us background on Caradine and her family. My skin actually crawled with some of the descriptions of their shady activities, even if Caradine thought it normal and could laugh about it!

We crisscross the country from Alaska to Maine, to Hawaii and Boston before returning several times to Alaska, where Alaska Force is based. Isaac learns some truths about himself as well as about Caradine.  I liked the way that the members of Delta Force and the others interact but also have each others’ backs whether part of the team or not.

The story focuses on relationships and their boundaries. Caradine is sometimes a one-woman show, grating against Isaac’s comfort level. But she tries to stay true to herself no matter what the danger. I liked the closure she was given along with her sister that was a long time coming.  

The author does a wonderful job describing the different locations, the scenes detailed and graphic in their telling. There is closure on many fronts and a few happily ever afters in this book.  

Ms. Crane, who also writes as Caitlin Crews, is one of my top go-to authors of stories with an edge or a little more than a contemporary romance. I look forward to reading more of her books.

I rated the book 4.5 stars but rounded to 5 stars here and on other sites.
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My Review:  We finally get to dive into the relationship between Isaac and Caradine that has been hinted at throughout the previous four books in the series. Unfortunately I really struggled with this book. The push and pull between the characters and the griping between the two of them just felt off and forced to me. I was excited to read more about Caradine, I loved her tough, take no BS personality, but in this book her mood/personality swings kept pulling me out of the story (not to mention the not so smart stunts she kept pulling). I did like the more suspenseful focus throughout the story; a little more action and a lot more who's behind it all. I will still continue the series, because like I said before, I really enjoy the whole group of Alaska Force characters.

My Rating: For all the build up to this couple throughout the series, I really struggled to get into this one and to follow their characters.  I understand the reasoning behind their different behaviors but at the same time it really threw me out of the story.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.
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Review: DELTA FORCE DEFENDER by Megan Crane https://wp.me/p3d0RZ-bwj
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Reviewed by: Reading in Pajamas/ Donna
Rated: 4 Stars

I enjoyed this installment in the Alaska Force series, though it did not blow me away. Isaac was the hero I wanted to get lost in, yet in some ways the story fell short. I scored it a 4 because yes, it took me on a fun ride, but I just didn’t believe Isaac’s feelings for Caradine. She was far too caustic, secretive, and pushed him away too much to believe his growing love. The reason for her hiding did not make sense. I don’t want to give away the mystery, so will not voice the parts that made me say “what?” on more than one occasion. Now that I said that, I did have fun with the Alaska Force team. Their group camaraderie is easy and believable, and the Alaskan community is a place that I would love to live. Combine those things with a thrilling suspenseful drama, and you have an enjoyable book.

*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.  

~*~*~*~

Kindle https://amzn.to/3iAycjd
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Fans of this series have been waiting for Isaac and Caradine to get their HEA from the beginning and Crane does not disappoint.  A must read for fans of high-octane suspense and strong women.
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Delta Force Defender by Megan Crane is book four in her Alaska Force series. Though part of a series, it reads as a standalone. 

Caradine Scott is bad-mouthed, bad-tempered and beautiful. As the owner of the Water’s Edge Café in remote Grizzly Harbor, she’s part of the tight-knit community, but she holds herself apart. Caradine ran to Grizzly Harbor when her life literally exploded. Now she’s on the run from Grizzly Harbor because her life has exploded again. 

Isaac Gentry is the ruggedly handsome founder and commander of Alaska Force, a group of elite ex–special forces operatives now working to help individuals who have exhausted all other options. 

Author, Megan Crane brings together a hero and heroine that seriously butt heads at every opportunity, because neither wants to give up their supposedly reasonable but weak position. Isaac wants to rescue Caradine from her situation, but she refuses to be rescued. They’ll both have to make major changes personally, if their attraction is ever going to lead to something more substantial. 

Delta Force Defender is a good read, though it lagged slightly in the middle. The characters are strong and vibrant. The plot is feasible with great twists. I give it 4 out of 5 stars, deducted one star because of the lag, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense. 

My thanks to Berkeley Publishing Group and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
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This is one of my favorite books of 2020! Every time I read a series like this, I'm always looking forward to reading about the big boss and what drives him; and Isaac Gentry is everything you love about someone in his position: smart, capable, well-liked and respected by his team but also very much human and he meets his match in Caradine Scott, the gruff cafe proprietor. 

Caradine has cultivated a reputation for being unfriendly but when her past comes calling, she realizes that she does have friends in Isaac and his team and despite her denials, was very in deep with him.

From the wild beauty of Alaska to the world of organized crime in Boston, two very strong-willed and independent people have to figure out how to lean on each other, accept help from others and let down their guard to accept love and affection, and it is quite an interesting ride, but one you won't want to miss. 

I've been in an unusually long book slump and re-reading my favorites has not helped much, until this book. It was like a super-charged shot of caffeine that woke me up and had me rushing to read up the rest of the series. Plus, the story is set in one of my favorite places: the rugged beauty of Alaska. The author's descriptions of the locale make you feel like you are there and honestly got me thinking about taking a trip there to experience it for myself.
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I think this might be my favorite of the Alaska Force romantic suspense stories! I've enjoyed all the previous entries as well, and it's been fun to see Caradine and Isaac dance around each other in earlier books and their on again/off again relationship (that was hinted at but not confirmed). Now Caradine is on the run and we finally get to learn about her backstory and how she ended up in Grizzly Harbor. Isaac isn't ready to let her out of his sight though and follows her on a trail that crosses the continental United States (and beyond) before they get their eventual happy ending back in Alaska. It's an exciting read, lots of action, great plot, some sexy scenes, heartfelt emotions, themes of loyalty and trust and found family all coming into play. Highly recommended, and you don't need to read the other stories to enjoy this one (though they are all exciting reads too!).
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Alaska is calling me…

This romantic suspense series is set in beautiful Alaska and couldn’t wait to dive into Caradine and Isaac’s story! If you’ve read this series then you know all about the gruff and almost curmudgeonly. While never vicious, she had the perfect level of abruptness and sarcasm, zinging her barbs with great skill. Isaac was always there to catch those slings and never seemed to mind all that much. Diving into what was going on behind those stoic faces was everything I’d hoped for…

“She had no idea what to do with the opposite of an attack. She had no idea what do with family.”

There was no shortage of explosions, whether physical ones or within eye-opening conversations. Caradine had spent years trying to be aloof, not realizing she had been pulled into the Alaska Force family against her will. She may have gone kicking and screaming, and the fight wasn’t quite over. What she did come to realize was when her past found her, she was not alone…

There was an intensity to the story that shone in each page as the plot raced from one action-filled, often gut-wrenching, scene to another. It was easy to feel all the conflicting emotions between the main characters as they fought and argued from beginning to end. An ensemble cast reminded me why I enjoyed this series so much as humour, camaraderie and straight up testosterone meant I was hanging on every word…
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After Caradine Scott survives an explosion that should have killed her, she nearly escapes her criminal family by leaving everything behind (including the old her). She now runs the Water's Edge Cafe in the middle of nowhere in hopes that no one will find her again. 

Taking on a new identity for Caradine is easy, she's been doing it as long as she remembers. She knows not to let anyone in, that is until Isaac Gentry walks into her life - the only man she's wanted to be honest with. Isaac is another Grizzly Harbour local, who's back after a career in the military, and oversees the Alaska Force special ops. 

When Caradine's past catches up to her, Isaac will stop at nothing to take down who or what is trying to take her down. 

I was so here for the connection between Caradine and Isaac, I loved the way they constantly argued and seemed to hate each other at times (it gave me slight enemies-to-lovers, trope vibes). I enjoy enjoyed the level of steam in this book, it wasn't overdone but wasn't a fade to black either.

That being said, I wasn't a huge fan of their characters - I understood that it was done plot-wise, however, I struggled to find a connection to them. Caradine's anger and coldness were hard to side with at times, I understand that she was just trying to protect herself, although they both had their flaws (I wasn't fond of Isaac's mentality of 'needing' to save her) I still enjoyed the story.
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3.5 Stars

Caradine is hiding out in a small town Alaska but her past quickly finds her. She does what has come natural to her and that is run. However, the man who she has shared her body with in Alaska is not going to let her go so quickly.

First mistake is that I didn’t read the other books in the series. This starts off where all of the characters know each other and have some sort of history. The main characters are in a relationship though the heroine denies it. Immediately after discovering her café exploded, the hero, Isaac, is trailing after her, relieved she is still alive. He is obviously pissed that she just ran off without telling him all of the trouble she is in. It takes a moment to get in a groove in the story since I didn’t read the other books.

Outside of my own hiccup, the story flows well. There is action and movement from the first page until the end. I enjoyed the banter between Isaac and Caradine. Though let’s take a moment to discuss Caradine. I could have loved this so much more if she didn’t hold back. Granted, she is running for her life, she can’t disclose any information about her real identity but there comes a point where she needs to open up more.

She fights Isaac every step of the way. She is not affectionate unless it is during sex which sometimes she uses to distract him so he can’t help her fight off the bad guys in her life. After a while the snarky and sarcastic remakes made her seem juvenile and not like the cold woman she wanted to portray.

There is suspense and the mystery surrounding who wants to harm Caradine is finally revealed. I think that could have been more fleshed out. It kind of moved quickly after Caradine finally told Isaac the truth and it all seems easy to get the bad guy.

Of course, this book is loaded with hot alpha males who are all a part of this special ops team. I am eager to go back and read the other books in the series.

~ Samantha
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Let me start out by stating that I am a fan of Megan Crane's novels, and Delta Force Defender is
the fourth title in her Alaska Force series, but only the second title in the series I've had a chance to read, and while I absolutely loved the setting, the men and women of Alaska Force, especially the hero of this novel, Isaac Gentry, I had a really difficult time warming up to Caradine Scott, the heroine of this novel, which is why I can only, in good conscience, give this novel 4.5 stars, rather than the 5-star rating I would have given it had I ever come to actually like Caradine.

As usual, Ms. Crane captured my attention and interest from the very first page of the prologue, with 2 sisters, Julia and Lindsey, who are the much abused daughters of their sociopathic, criminal father, as they manage to be outside their home when an explosion blows the place to smithereens. This is their chance to finally free themselves of their violent family, but the question remains--did the blast kill everyone else? Not waiting around to find out, Julia and Lindsey run for their freedom.

As Chapter One opens, Isaac Gentry, leader of the Alaska Force, is awakened by a phone call, informing him that the Water's Edge Cafe, in Grizzly Harbor, Alaska, his home town, which is owned and operated by Caradine Scott, is on fire after someone tossed a Molotov cocktail through the front window. Isaac, who has secretly been sleeping with the snide, sarcastic, prickly, and super-secretive Caradine, can't get there fast enough, because he knows that Caradine lives upstairs, above the cafe.

Their relationship, if you can call it that, is strange. Neither character will admit to having feelings for the other, and while it's clear that Isaac seems to want more than just sex out of their relationship, it's clear that Caradine doesn't. When it becomes apparent that Caradine got away from her burning building in time, it seems that she's now on the run, with Isaac and his band of ex-military, ex-Special Ops men and women, are hot on her trail, with Isaac wondering why, in the past 5 years, she hasn't ever opened up to him or anyone else in town, and wondering what she's running from, what she's hiding and why.

Prepare yourself for one heck of an exciting, non-stop, novel of tense romantic suspense, something Ms. Crane does so well. You're going to encounter many mysteries along the way as prickly and snide Caradine, unwillingly accepts Isaac's help as she tries to discover who tracked her down to Grizzly Harbor, how the mysterious "they" found her, and why they blew up her cafe. It becomes clear to Isaac and his men that Caradine Scott is an alias, and the mystery of what she's hiding and why she's running isn't revealed immediately, and certainly not by her.

It was hard not to fall in love with Isaac Gentry, since he's everything you want in a sexy, handsome hero. But sadly, I couldn't for the life of me, figure out what he found so appealing in a woman like Caradine--cold (outside of bed), remote and secretive. While we get more of her story as the novel progresses, I kept hoping to see her soften up and open up to Isaac, who is doing the best he can to protect and defend her, all while she repeatedly lies to him, puts herself in ever more dangerous situations, repeatedly evades him, and ignores his attempts to help her. To say that I was angry with Caradine for almost the entire length of this novel is putting it mildly. I thought that Isaac deserved someone better, even as his own demons and fears were eventually revealed.

There's plenty of danger, plenty of suspense, plenty of violence, plenty of sex, and plenty of secrets to be revealed in this exciting novel. Although this is the fourth novel in the series, it reads just fine as a standalone, and despite my personal issues with the heroine, it is nevertheless one exciting and addictive read.

I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel. The opinions expressed are my own.
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I’ve really enjoyed this series! This book is Caradine and Isaac’s book and if you haven’t been following the series, Caradine is the owner of one of the few restaurants in Grizzly Harbor, Alaska. She cooks what she wants, opens when she wants, and she bans people from her restaurant whenever they get on her nerves. She’s in her thirties and grumpy and prickly and she’s been quite a character.

Isaac’s been in love with her since he met her. He knows she’s pushing people away on purpose to avoid any emotional entanglements, and he’s okay with that. He figures she’ll come around eventually. After all, they really seem to work well in the bedroom, so he figures one day she’ll quit kicking him out right after and tell him why she pushes everyone away. Meanwhile, his job running Alaska Force keeps him busy enough, and he’s patient enough, he plans to wait her out.

Caradine has no plans to tell Isaac anything. Ever. She’s come close to telling him and that scares her. She can’t have any friends or emotional attachments because one day she might have to bail and run, leaving everything behind. Leaving friends behind hurts, Also, they tend to look for you when you’re missing, and she may have to go missing one day.

The day comes that Caradine’s past catches up with her, and what she doesn’t realize is all those messy emotional attachments? She has them. And they have her. They aren’t letting her ghost them, and she has no idea what she’s got.

Isaac tracks her down and tells her flat out that he’s going to help her and that’s that. But he also listens to her, he doesn’t just throw her over his shoulder and kidnap her…okay, well he actually did do that, but after that part, he listened to her. The only reason he didn’t listen earlier is that she wasn’t talking. But he went along with her plan, and once her plan was set in motion, he took her back to Alaska which is really where the romance picked up. Once everything is out in the open, Caradine is surprised to see just how much her found family cares about her. She really thought she didn’t have any friends because she was prickly and cranky.

Caradine is stubborn, but she’s not stupid. She was very willing to listen to Alaska Force, she understood that she could become a liability if she strayed from the plan. I liked that a lot. I also liked that once her secret was out in the open, while she wasn’t as mean as she had been when she was deliberately pushing people away, she was still prickly and grumpy. I liked that she didn’t suddenly become all sunshine and roses, because we all fell in love with cranky Caradine. That was part of her charm. I also really liked Isaac’s mostly endless patience with her. There was a part towards the end that I didn’t see coming, but Caradine handled it well, and I liked how she pushed Isaac past his own comfort zone to see what he truly wanted. He’s so used to fixing everyone’s problems to escape his own, and she didn’t let him get a pass on his own issues and feelings.

I feel like with this series you get both the feel of a small town romance and an intense romantic suspense, the author blends the two well. With the found family trope, you really get a happy ending. Not just a happily ever after between two characters, but one with the whole of Alaska Force. I can’t wait for more in this series.

***Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley
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Thank you Berkley and NetGalley for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Delta Force Defender 
By: Megan Crane

REVIEW ☆☆☆☆
Fourth in the Alaskan Force series, but the first I've read, Megan Crane's Delta Force Defender brings the action. From page one I was intrigued by the underlying mystery, but the story took a surprising turn after a shocking event. We pick up in Grizzly Harbor, Alaska some years later, and again, the action is non stop. Caradine is a woman living under a false identity, haunted by a tragic past, in this off the map town. Now, she is fleeing for her life. Issac, a potential love interest, gets a call and assembles his team. Believing Caradine to be dead, Issac is secretly devastated. Fortunately, he soon realizes Caradine is alive, but she is not the woman she appeared to be at all. Who is she, really? I love the fast pace and what's waiting around the corner feeling of the story. There is a sense of urgency that drives the narrative and the characters. Caradine and Issac are a passionate couple. She is fiercely independent but drawn almost helplessly to Issac. He is an alpha male and longs to protect and possess Caradine. Now, she is on the run from her troubled past, and by his pursuit of Caradine, Issac is in danger as well. If they want to survive, Caradine must come clean about everything. Numerous twists and turns and wanting to know the answers kept me on the edge of my seat. I was rooting for Caradine and Issac all the way because I was truly invested in their outcomes. You'll be hooked, trust me! Don't miss this thrilling and propulsive mystery from Megan Crane!
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This is the first book I've read from this author and obviously started in the middle of the series. But I had no problem following along with these characters and storyline. It can easily be read as a standalone. I will say that I loved this story and will now go back and read the others. 

Delta Force Defender was full of suspense, action and sweet and humorous moments. The spark between Caradine and Issac is hot and steamy and full of chemistry.
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4 1/2 STARS!

Secrets exposed! With book four in her Alaska Force series Megan Crane brought my favorite couple yet in DELTA FORCE DEFENDER. The tension is high from the very first page and setting off on adventure for answers really sets the stage for an action packed journey for Caradine and Isaac.

Caradine hates everybody ... or so she wanted us to believe. She's been living a gruff, in your face lifestyle in Grizzly Harbor, Alaska for five fun filled years now and it's all of a sudden crumbling down around her.

Isaac plays the friendly boy next door persona to the town he grew up in, but behind the scenes is a takes no prisoner mercenary if the situation calls for it. He only has one weakness ... and she's hightailing it out of town letting him believe she's dead!

I highly recommend this book and the entire series to anyone who loves a close knit group of military guys who band together when they leave the service to help those who need it as they slowly find their happily ever afters. The series is growing stronger and more fulfilling with each new book.
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This is the 4th book in the series. Can be read as a stand alone. the main character has been the cook in all the books with a mafia background her and her sister have been in hiding after their home was bombed killing her family. She went to Alaska and her sister to Hawaii. Her past has come back to haunt her and her boyfriend who is Delta Force finds out who she really is and helps her to find out what is going on and who is trying to kill her.  A really great story with plenty of action, twists and turns with a good romance. Kept me reading until I finished it to find out what happened.
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The beginning of this book captured my attention and pulled me into an interesting story.  I haven't read the previous books in this campaign series and that wasn't a problem.  I learned about Alaska Force and the small town of Grizzly Harbor along the way.  I was mostly interested in the mystery that was Caradine Scott and that kept me turning the pages.

There are a lot of alpha males in this book, Isaac being chief among them.  It's clear Isaac and Caradine have or have had a relationship though it seems neither of them will admit it, even to the other.  Isaac is a calm man that just gets calmer when things get bad but Caradine has him rattled.  He spent 20 long minutes believing she's dead and he's not going to let her forget it.  But then she ran.  

Alaska Force men (and one women) are all ex-military that don't quite fit in other places.  They fix problems with no solutions.  Caradine has one of those problems but she isn't willing to let them fix it.  It's all about who stays safe and what's chasing her.  Then there's the little matter or who she actually is.  

While I really liked Isaac, I wasn't a fan of Caradine.  She poked at Isaac just to get a reaction and while some of that is fun she got on my nerves.  Some of it was her trying to be in character because she is on the run.  I get that but sometimes it's too much.  Really, I was fine with her until near the end of the book when she poked him some more.  It was where I drew my line.  I'd had it with her.  I think I stopped caring about whether she got the guy.

On the other had, I did want Isaac to get the girl.  Isaac is a man with lose in his life.  He has fought for everything and doesn't really know how to stop fighting. He needs to figure out if he wants to have a life with another person.  It's a lesson he learns the hard way and at the hand of a lot of that poking from Caradine.  That may have been my real problem.  She poked him where it hurts a little too hard.  I know it came from love but I just didn't appreciate it.

The story was pretty good.  There was some unknowns that needed to be flushed out.  I enjoyed that part of the story.  Who was doing what and why.  A little suspense, though really mystery.  There was some action when things went south a few times.   All of that was enjoyable.  There was this touch of chic-lit in there about figuring what's important and what you actually want.  That's the part that I didn't really enjoy.  I felt like that part was too contrived.  It came after the climax and felt like a delaying tactic.  I guess it was so the characters could grow and develop.  But it felt out of place to me.  I wish that the issues that Isaac was struggling with were more integrated into the story itself and not left to the end.

Don't get me wrong, it was an enjoyable read.  I may go back and read more from this series.
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-- Read this review, and others, on my blog at www.hookedbythatbook.com -- 

Caradine Scott is the prickly and unapproachable owner of the Water’s Edge Café in Grizzly Harbor, Alaska. Isaac Gentry is the leader of Alaska Force’s special ops team, and Caradine’s secret lover. There is no denying the sparks between them, but Caradine refuses to let Isaac become closer to her. Then one day Caradine’s past comes knocking in the form of a bomb at her café, and Isaac chases her on her escape across the country. He catches her, of course, and has the time of his life trying to convince her to trust him to take care of her and her problems.

The book starts off with a lot of suspense and mystery, and the fast pace continues from there. Caradine’s story is intriguing and I was definitely invested in finding out who is after her and how it all will end. She had a very hard time trusting Isaac and his motivations. And even when she started to let him in more, she didn’t lose her sharp edges or her sharp tongue. She also struggled to let the people of Grizzly Harbor in so that they can love and support her the way they want to. But in the end she grudgingly opened herself to Isaac and her friends. Isaac had some issues of his own, and even though he appeared to be more open than Caradine, he also kept a big part of himself closed off, and Caradine called him on it. 

With plenty of action and intrigue, this book drew me in right from the start and kept my attention all the way to the end. I was really rooting for Caradine and Isaac, and really hoping that she can find a way to live a life free of fear. I can definitely recommend this if you are interested in romantic suspense.

Thank you to Berkley for providing me with an ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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