Lethal Protector – Rifle Creek Book 3 by Kaylea Cross

Lethal Protector
Rifle Creek Book 3
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Kaylea Cross


She unknowingly threatens his control.

Single mom Tala Baldwin is no stranger to sacrifice. After losing her leg while serving her country, she’s now training to become a competitive biathlete. With her daughter off to college, she’s able to shoot for her dream of making the national masters team. Even her Christmas break in Rifle Creek doesn’t slow her down. She’s asked her trusted friend Braxton to help her train—all while trying to pretend she doesn’t ache for him. Braxton was there for her during the darkest day of her life and he’s been there for her since…but only as a friend. In fact, he seems more determined than ever to hold her at arm’s length—until a deadly blizzard traps them in the mountains with a wanted killer hot on their trail. Now Tala once again finds her life in his hands as they face the lethal threats together.

Now he’s at his breaking point.

Sgt. Braxton Hillard is a master sniper, renowned for his ability to operate without emotion. Except with Tala. She’s all he’s ever wanted—but can’t have. For four long years he’s kept his distance. She’s way too good for him and she would realize that if he ever made a move. But the attraction between them is too powerful to deny, and once she makes it clear she wants him, he can’t keep his distance any longer. As they fight to survive in the mountains, all bets are off. Braxton is ready to sacrifice everything to protect the woman he loves—even his own life.

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From the reunion at the airport it was obvious that both Braxton and Tala have feelings for each other. We get to see flashbacks of when they first met, a meet-up overseas, the incident that injured Tala and pieces of her recovery.

From the previous books we know Tala’s daughter is going to school in Missoula and spends a lot of time with Tate and Nina. Tate and Mason are opening Rifle Creek Tactical and Brax, for now, is a silent partner helping with the financing. Mason’s ‘better half’ Avery is also Tate’s partner in the police force. At least until RCT is up and running.

It’s the present that’s pulling at them both, Tala wants to take their friendship further but not if he’s going to re-up. She doesn’t want to be second to his career. She also wants his help with her shooting, she’s training for Biathlon and she needs to place well in order to make the National Masters team and then hopefully qualify for the Paralympics. He’s the best to help her since he’s a Canadian JTF2 sniper.

Brax’s feelings for Tala go much further than friendship as well but he is reluctant to take things further. His track record with relationships isn’t good and mostly because of his frequent and often prolonged absences. Tala wants to be put first and until he’s ready to retire from active duty, he can’t give her that.

We have some interesting developments involving the death of a gang leader and the person suspected of the crime and a couple of avalanches.

It’s clear that being close is torture for Tala and Brax, circumstances will change that but not without cost. I loved the scenes with him training her for the shooting portions of the Biathlon. Even more so when they simulate both parts of it.

Friendship, laughter, survival, tears and a simmering relationship that bursts into flames.

I’m sorry to see this series end as I love these characters, but I know I’ll love the new one that’s coming soon!

5 Contented Purrs for Kaylea!

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Kaylea Cross

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.

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