Friday, August 14, 2015

review || DEEP NIGHT { blog tour } by Kathy Clark

Loveswept | August 18, 2015 | Romantic Suspense
Denver Heroes, book 3


Sure to thrill readers of Nora Roberts and Karen Robards, the breathtaking Denver Heroes series from New York Times bestselling author Kathy Clark continues as two adrenaline junkies find themselves fighting unexpected passion—and unspeakable terror.

Ex-soldier Chris Wilson lost too many friends to war. Back home in Denver, he’s trying to make a difference as a paramedic, treating victims of crisis situations. Not even active combat could prepare Chris for the rush he gets when violence and tragedy collide, but the job isn’t the only thing making his heart race. His partner is his closest confidant from childhood, and the girl he remembers is now a strong, sensual woman . . . who needs him more than ever.

Sara Richards is more comfortable risking her life than asking for help. The petite blonde medic put a wall around her heart long ago, vowing to never let anyone hurt her again. Only now her long-buried secrets threaten to destroy everything she’s built. And though she should be able to trust Chris, his smoldering blue-gray eyes ignite desires that feel more dangerous than whatever’s lurking in the shadows. For once, Sara can’t go it alone. But Chris might just be stubborn enough to stand by her side as she faces down her worst nightmare.

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{ about kathy clark } .

Kathy Clark is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels have sold more than three million copies in eleven languages. Her plot lines have always championed women’s empowerment, placing strong female characters in real-life situations. Her stories will make you laugh and cry, and her characters will live in your heart forever. She lives with her husband and co-author, Bob Wernly.

{ excerpt } .

“Is that all the stuff you have?” Sara asked incredulously as she surveyed the pickup truck that had just parked at the curb.

Chris climbed out of the passenger’s side and nodded. “I’ve learned to travel light.”

Rusty, Chris’s older brother, got out of the driver’s side, walked around and opened the tailgate. “It would have been just three boxes, but Mom added some things.”

Sara peeked in one of the boxes. “Mac and cheese, chili, cereal . . .”

“There’re two boxes of food and another box full of soap, shampoo and towels,” Chris told her.

“Ahh . . . so, Mama Bird was okay with her baby leaving the nest?” Sara asked.

“Ha!” Rusty snorted. “Are you kidding? She had his stuff packed and sitting by the front door.”

“I heard a far different story this morning,” Sara teased.

“She’s probably already turned his room into a craft cave or whatever the hell they call it,” Rusty laughed. “When I moved out several years ago, I had barely loaded the last box in my SUV when they made my room a home gym.”

Chris smiled ruefully. “I thought she’d be upset, but apparently, she and Dad are enjoying life without us around. When I left for boot camp, it was the only home I’d ever known. But when I came home, it felt weird to sleep in my old bedroom.”

“Get over it, baby brother. It’s the circle of life . . . you know, matumba matada.”

“It’s hakuna matata, and that doesn’t relate at all,” Chris corrected.

Rusty just waved it off. “You know what I mean. Grab a box and let’s get this shit upstairs. Julie wants me to meet her at the bakery so we can pick out a wedding cake, and I’ve got to drop my buddy’s truck off at the station on the way.” Rusty stacked one box on top of another and easily lifted them.

Chris did the same. Sara, not to be outdone, tried to take the last two boxes, but couldn’t budge them. “Jeez, what’s in here, bricks?”

“Books,” Chris replied. “Here, take these. They’re lighter.” He handed the two boxes he was holding to her and picked up the two boxes of books without so much as a grunt.

Even though her boxes weren’t as heavy, Sara still had to struggle with them. But she was determined to carry her share of the load. The two guys knew her well enough not to suggest that she take them one at a time.

The building had enough age and character to be registered as a historical landmark. Originally built as the Bergstrom Hotel in 1891, it had been converted to apartments and remodeled in the late 1990s. The investors had kept the original name as well as the classic redbrick exterior with its tall, arched windows, but inside, the apartments and lofts boasted twelve-foot-high ceilings, exposed brick walls and great views of the city and the Rocky Mountains.

There was a small courtyard in the center and, thankfully, an elevator that made the trip to Sara’s third-floor apartment easier than three flights of stairs. Two more trips and they had the new double bed frame, mattress set, Chris’s old chest of drawers and all the boxes stacked in the small bedroom.

“Go taste your cake. I can take it from here,” Chris said.

Rusty looked around the room. “There’s no window.”

“That’s a good thing.” Chris shrugged it off. “It’ll make it easier to sleep during the day.”

“Not if there’s a fire.” Rusty’s point of view was always through a firefighter’s eyes. “It’s against code.”

“I’m sure this old place has some sort of exemption. Besides, I’m just steps away from the front door and right across the living room from the big windows. I’ll be fine.”

“I just don’t want to have to rescue you.” Chris gave his brother a punch in the shoulder.

“Hey, I’ve got Sara. She can drag my body out to the ledge.”

Rusty’s eyebrows arched skeptically. “Good luck with that.”

“I can drag you across the floor,” Sara challenged. “Lie down and let me show you.”

Rusty laughed and backed toward the front door with his hands raised as if to defend himself. “I take it back. When we were kids, you always beat me at leg wrestling. You had an unfair advantage of being short.”

“Excuses, excuses,” she teased.

“Hey, tell Julie hi for us,” Chris said. “How’s she feeling?”

“She’s doing great. She had her first sonogram, and we could see the baby’s tiny heart beating. He even gave me a little thumbs-up.”

“So it’s a boy?” Sara asked.

Rusty shook his head. “We don’t know yet. But realistically, there aren’t many females in my family, and the sperm determines the sex.”

“God help us all. Another Wilson boy!” Sara pretended to be horrified at the possibility.

“Julie and I really don’t care. It’s a miracle she got pregnant, so we’re pretty happy about it.”

Chris rolled his eyes. “I still can’t believe you’re going to be a father. I would have bet you’d be the last one of all of us.”

“Yeah, well, no one’s more surprised than me,” Rusty admitted. His expression softened. “But when it’s right, it’s right.”

“Well, go take care of your manly duties.” Chris lifted one of the boxes of food onto the counter.

“Yeah, I get to decide between red velvet, chocolate or vanilla,” Rusty answered. “I really don’t care. It’s free cake. Hey, you’re still coming to the wedding, aren’t you? We scheduled it on a Sunday because we’re all off that day.”

“It’s pretty tricky with all of our shifts,” Chris agreed. That was an understatement. The middle brother, Sam, was a cop who worked the night shift on patrol. Rusty’s firefighter schedule caused him to be on twenty-four hours straight, then off for forty-eight, and Chris and Sam worked four ten-hour night shifts and three days off. “Of course we’ll be there. I still can’t believe you’re the first one of us to take the plunge.”

Rusty smiled. “Me neither.” He opened the door.

“Hey, man, thanks for your help.”

“You can pay me back with some babysitting when the time comes.” He gave them a jaunty wave and left.

“I’ll help you put your bed together,” Sara offered. “Then I’m going to crash.”

{ review } .

While, yes, I gave the previous two titles in this series 5-star ratings, this one would have to be a 6-star -- because I loved, loved, loved Sara and Chris. Oh, don't get me wrong, I found it comical how Sam and Kate met, and adored Rusty (still do) and he and Julie were just perfect together, but there was something about the vulnerability, the emotion, the friendship between Sara and Chris that drove this story home for me.

This story was so much more than your typical friends-to-lovers story. There were so many parts where the emotional pull just drags you under. Kathy Clark does an amazing job with not just one almost taboo subject, but with at least two. I was at the gym, deep breathing, tears leaking, while Mission Impossible (not sure which one, not a Tom Cruise fan) was on the big screen and Ellie Goulding was singing "Love Me Like You Do".

To say Sara had demons in her past that she never properly grieved over would be an understatement. Her entire adult life was molded around a single life-changing event and it was something that nearly tore her friendship, and growing relationship, with Chris apart. But Chris... good guy Chris... never pushed. He became frustrated once or twice, but he never pushed her; he was always gentle with her and allowed her to open up on her own. Her demons shocked him -- he had been her neighbor and closest friend before he hit high school -- but he never held things against her, was always there to remind her of the light.

On the grieving front, I have to say that Chris was the better of the two. He does hold on to anguish for a while, but he lets it go within hours, rather than years.

I absolutely loved the little reminders about Chris and Sara's childhood -- her riding on his handle bars, him chasing her and rubbing her face in his armpit (even though, as Chris thinks, thank goodness they were so much older and more mature -- these two and their gruesome stories while riding in an ambulance... mature? Sure, Chris )

While Chris was definitely the more levelheaded of the pair, he too showed his vulnerability a time or two, and most of his soft spots dealt with Sara.

While he couldn't be a Denver hero, I'm hopeful that we'll get to watch Nick Archer find a woman to "put up" with him. I enjoyed the glimpses we got of him and found him to be a truly likable guy -- even if he scowled and took offense to being told he looked older than his thirty-six roughened years.

for more reviews & tour goodies,

{ other reviews in series } .

AFTER MIDNIGHT 5★ { review }
CRIES IN THE NIGHT 5 { review }

{ giveaway } .

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting DEEP NIGHT! SO happy you enjoyed!