Semper Paratus. Always ready.
HIS LAST DEFENSE
Released March 21, 2017
Semper Paratus. Always ready.
Years ago, Coast Guard rescue swimmer Dylan Holt left Kodiak, Alaska, with his heart in pieces. He thought Nolee Arnauyq and her mouthwatering curves were behind him—until he's sent to rescue the crew of a capsizing boat…including Nolee. And Dylan is definitely not ready for the too-familiar way his body aches at seeing her again.
Nolee's always gone after what she wanted, and to hell with the risks. Now she's a rookie ship captain taking on the deadly waters of the Bering Sea. But out on these treacherous waters, there's no way to avoid the sizzling sexual tension between them—or the dangerous pull of emotions that could leave both their hearts lost at sea…
This is my first ever read from Karen Rock, and I will definitely be reading more from her in the future. Rock has a great way of making you "see" what's going on instead of just telling you. Her main characters were packed with personality and had some sizzling chemistry between the two of them. I'm also a big fan of second chance love stories.
Nolee is the type of person that fights really hard for what she wants. She grew up not knowing where her and her mom were going to be living next, and it's made her desperately want to put down some roots. Deep down she also hoped that her father would get in touch with her some day if she stayed put. She has worked really hard to get where she is in life, a captain of her own ship.
Nolee and Dylan dated when they were younger and it ended in heartbreak over a misunderstanding. When Dylan left he joined the Coast Guard, and hasn't stayed in one place very long. He moves around and vows never to return to his hometown, or see his parents. As fate would have it, he is temporarily being sent to his hometown for a job and has to rescue Nolee and her crew. Dylan has a bad habit of running when things are tough, and has emotional baggage when it comes to his parents, so he's torn when he starts spending time with Nolee again. The chemistry between the two of them is still there after all the years apart, but they both have to learn to face their emotional baggage and compromise a little.
This was a quick steamy read that still had a great plot. Sometimes with the Blaze titles I worry that all of the focus is going to go towards the steamy scenes, but I thought the author did a great job of balancing the chemistry and plot. Don't get me wrong tho, the steamy scenes definitely pack a punch! The only "criticism" I have is that I wish it was just a little bit longer. I wanted a little bit more about Nolee's life growing up. It's mentioned that's she poor and that's why they move around a lot but I still wanted a little more. I also would have really loved an epilogue. It ends pretty abruptly so I would have loved to see their life a couple years into the future. But is wanting more really criticism?? I think it's also sort of a compliment! lol!
* I received an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *
Award-winning author Karen Rock is both sweet and spicy—at least when it comes to her writing! The author of both YA and adult contemporary books writes red-hot novels for Harlequin Blaze and small-town romances for Harlequin Heartwarming. A strong believer in Happily-Ever-After, Karen loves creating unforgettable stories that leave her readers with a smile. When she’s not writing, Karen is an avid reader who’s typically immersed in three different books at a time, all in different genres. She also loves cooking her grandmother’s Italian recipes, baking, Christmas (no need to specify—she loves every bit of it), and having the Adirondack Park wilderness as her backyard, where she lives with her husband, daughter, dog and cat who keep her life interesting and complete. Learn more about her at her website.