NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
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.
Aiden really loves his job here with Beckett, unfortunately his work visa is expiring and it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to get it renewed. This is especially disturbing since he wants to stay and he wants a chance to be more than a friend to Tiana.
Tiana is very protective of Ella more so than ever since the truth of her ex Brian has come to light. In this book she has another problem, Ella’s father, Evan, the musician who left them high and dry now wants his parental rights. By paying back child support he will also be able to meet Ella. We get to meet Lizzie, Tiana’s aunt who is quite the character. She gives us plenty of insight into their lives. Tiana also has a meeting with Evan prior to the visitation which will supervised by a court advocate. The meeting went well but it would still be Ella’s decision.
This is a favorite scene after that meeting.
On the drive home she geared up for the conversation she had to have with her daughter that night. There’d been no word yet from Brian’s lawyer about whether he was going to take the plea bargain or not. And if Ella didn’t object, she would meet with her father on Saturday morning with a court liaison present.
If she wanted no part of it—and if she was honest, part of Tiana still didn’t want the meeting to happen—then Tiana would cancel and let the lawyers work it out, while Ella talked to a judge.
A rainbow stretched across the cloud-strewn sky above the rolling ocean as she came into Crimson Point. More people were out enjoying the break in the weather, walking along the damp sand with their children or dogs. A few kites fluttered in the sky over the beach and birds zipped down to the water.
Beckett and Sierra’s heritage Victorian home looked like something out of a magazine as she pulled up, the sunlight glinting off the windows in the multicolor-painted turret and the carefully tended garden bursting to life in vivid shades of green and chartreuse.
Her mood dimmed a little when she saw Aidan’s SUV parked behind Beckett’s truck in the driveway, a fresh anxiety creeping in. While she didn’t dread seeing him exactly, the thought of apologizing to his face for the suspicious and borderline hostile way she’d treated him almost made her break out in hives.
She drove home, parked in her driveway and walked back up the lane. The side door was unlocked but she tapped on the wooden frame of the screen door on the side porch before entering. Voices carried from the kitchen so she slipped off her shoes and headed through the cozy living room toward it.
She found Beckett and Sierra in the kitchen mixing up what had to be kitten formula.
They looked up when she neared the kitchen doorway. “Hey,” Sierra said in a hushed tone, a tired smile on her face. “Ella’s in the laundry room with Lizzie and Aidan. Poor mama cat was hit by a car last night. She left seven kittens behind, so it’s all hands on deck right now.”
Aww. “I have it on good authority that Ella’s in her element. I’ll see if I can lend a hand.”
“Sure. There are extra syringes and formula back there. They’ll show you what to do.”
Ella’s whispered chatter reached her when she neared the laundry room door. She popped her head inside to find Lizzie feeding her own kitten, and Ella…
Her heart tripped over itself when she took in the sight before her. Aidan held a tiny black and white kitten to his broad chest, cradling it there in his big hand while Ella carefully fed it with a syringe, a studious frown on her face. The half-smile on Aidan’s as he oversaw the operation was so full of easy affection it made her insides flutter.
No. No fluttering.
But could anyone blame her? Seeing such a big, powerful man cradling the helpless little thing against his broad chest made her smile. If more men knew how much women melted at the sight of a guy taking care of an animal, the shelters would never be short of male volunteers.
“Hi, you’re just in time,” Lizzie said.
Ella and Aidan looked over, a big smile breaking over her daughter’s face. “We’re feeding feeding kittens!”
“I see that.” She met Aidan’s gaze, suffering another flutter at the pure male interest and appreciation in his expression. Seeing a good-looking man holding a kitten was adorable. Seeing Aidan cuddling one to his well-muscled chest to assist her daughter was something far more visceral.
She pushed aside the tingle of alarm that thought brought and smiled at them. “They’re so tiny.”
“They’re hungry wee things, but haven’t quite got the hang of the syringes yet,” he said, the lilting cadence of that sexy Scottish burr rolling over her like an invisible caress. Best accent ever.
“Can I help?” she asked, willing her heart to resume its normal rhythm. He exerted a magnetic force on her even while she wanted to pull away.
“Sure, there are two more over there with Walter,” Ella told her, nodding toward the corner before going back to feeding her kitten.
Tiana looked over and barely held in a laugh. Walter was lying flat on the rug in the corner, looking like someone had let the air out of him. His ears and tongue were spread out along the rug, one tiny black kitten burrowed into the side of his neck and an orange one trying to crawl up his head. He stayed perfectly still, only his eyes moving to look up at her.
Save me, his expression said, yet he didn’t move a muscle.
“Awww.” She grinned and pulled out her phone to take a picture before kneeling down to pet him. “You are such a good boy, Walter,” she whispered, stroking his back gently. She got a slight tail thump for her efforts.
“He’s so good with the kittens,” Ella said behind her. “It’s like he knows they need him.
He just lies there and lets them crawl all over him. Bravo Zulu, Walter.”
“It means well done. It’s a Navy term,” she explained with a casual shrug.
Tiana looked at Aidan, who was fighting a smile. “Your influence, I’m guessing?”
His eyes sparkled. “Aye. Your wee lass catches on quick.”
Okay, it was pretty damn cute. “Walter appears to be the perfect foster dad. They must miss their mama terribly.” Why was life so damn mean sometimes?
“I know, it’s so sad. But they’ll be okay, because we’ll look after them.”
Tiana shared a smile with Lizzie over the “we” comment and snuck some pictures of Ella while she worked. She may even have included Aidan in one or two of the shots as well. So she could send them to Lizzie after.
Riiiight. Like you’re going to delete them after?
She cleared her throat, unwilling to examine her motives. “Which one should I feed first?”
“Either of them.”
“Okay.” She bent and scooped up the orange one trying to summit Walter’s head. “Are you hungry, little man? Let’s fix that.” She got her own syringe and filled it with formula, then sat on the bench next to Lizzie and began feeding him, drop by drop. Most of it dribbled down his chin but some of it went down, and his tiny little mewls tore at her insides.
“Aren’t they adorable, Mama?” Ella said.
Oh yeah, she knew exactly where this was going.
Cross, Kaylea. Rocky Ground (Crimson Point Series Book 4) . Kaylea Cross Inc. Kindle Locations (859-909). Kindle Edition.
You know of course things never go totally smooth, right? Aiden has a meeting with his lawyer and Tiana has one with hers since they are both in the same place they travel to Portland together. Ella is dropped off to a friend’s home for a long anticipated birthday party/sleep over.
Neither meeting was what they expected and to top things off an earthquake hits while they’re in the elevator leaving. Did I mention all hell breaks loose?
Plenty of interesting events as Aiden and Tiana make their way home. Tense moments, added suspense and a whole lot of romance and tears.
I think this was my favorite of this series, well at least until I read the latest.
5 Contented Purrs for Kaylea!
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards and has been nominated for both the Daphne du Maurier and 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.