NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
A RISING STAR WITH EVERYTHING TO LOSE.
As Hollywood’s newest darling, Becca Sandoza is vigilant about guarding the image and reputation she’s so carefully created. Her career has allowed her to escape her past, but her newfound fame turns out to be a sharp double-edged sword. The nightmare she’s been trying to escape for twenty years has resurfaced. The man responsible knows all her secrets, and his silence comes at a heavy price. She’ll do whatever it takes to keep the past buried and protect the person she cares about most. But when it seems like she’s trapped with no way out, Becca finally turns to the one man she can trust—the one man capable of making her body burn and her heart ache with a yearning she’s never felt before.
THE ONLY MAN WHO CAN PROTECT HER.
Chase Davenport took everything he learned as a Marine Corps combat veteran and is now a sought-after stuntman. Hollywood is every bit as competitive and unpredictable as he expected, but the biggest surprise so far is Becca Sandoza. She’s got a reputation as an ice queen with the media, but it’s clear to him that’s only a mask she puts on to protect herself. Behind the scenes she’s down to earth, kind, and just being around her brings out all his protective instincts. So when she comes to him for help with a dangerous situation, he steps up. She might be totally out of his league, but the more time they spend together, it quickly becomes clear there’s more between them than scorching chemistry. And when the threat suddenly escalates with no warning, Chase will do anything to save her—no matter the cost.
From the beginning of this book we learn that Becca Sandoza has a major problem. She’s being blackmailed and sees no possible way out of it. Her blackmailer Rick knows secrets of her past and she’s not letting them out, ever. We also get a glimpse of the relationship she has with her mother at the beginning and the bond there is undeniable. She doesn’t have to be on set for the stunt chase but she couldn’t help herself. There’s just something about her co-star’s stunt man that attracts her and it’s not just his good looks.
Chase Davenport and his best friend Ryder are doing a really intense chase scene. It’s the cumulation of much planning and and practice. You can feel the intensity as they go through the scene with the stops and starts to get all the angles. Then with climax with Chase bursting into flames. I swear I was holding my breath.
With Becca’s co-star leaving to start a new project Chase has more scenes with her. One in particular reveals more to Chase than Becca realizes. Her past comes flying back to her as they do that final take. The emotions that flood her have her fleeing after the wrap, but she does seek Chase out later.
We meet Becca’s mother and I really loved the strength she imparts to Becca, the courage to go after what she wants. It was her mother who convinces her to go visit Chase, let him know how she feels.
This is a favorite scene after she arrives at Chase’s home and following dinner with his family.
It gave her pause and made her wonder. Was it better to have experienced that love and security and then lose it? Or was it best to never experience it at all?
She wasn’t sure which caused less damage to a child, but it underscored an important point. Chase and her had something else in common—childhood trauma and loss. “I don’t know who my dad is.”
That was it. No stunned silence, no shocked exclamation or a barrage of questions. Just calm acceptance.
The invisible knots that had been tightening in her stomach eased. She turned to face him, trying to remember all the reasons why she shouldn’t go straddle his lap and wrap herself around him right now. That hard, powerful body under her while she kissed that sexy mouth, poised, ready to take over.
A shiver sped through her. She crossed her arms over her chest and glanced out the window, trying to rein in that train of thought. “It’s gorgeous out. Can we go sit on the dock for a while?”
He led her outside into the warm, balmy evening air. The cicadas were already singing, the deep blue western horizon across the water was edged with a thin line of orange as they walked to the end of the dock and sat on the deck chairs waiting there.
The water slid past with barely a ripple disturbing the surface, reflecting the stars winking to life overhead. She’d often thought about Chase’s home over the past few months, wondering what it was like. It suited him perfectly.
She settled back with her water bottle, pulled in a deep breath and sighed, letting the peace flow over her. “This is heaven back here.”
He shot her a sideways glanced and grinned. “Okay. I mean, it’s nice, but it’s not like what you must be used to in LA.”
He’d be surprised about that. “I’m serious. It’s private, gorgeous, and you just…belong here. I don’t feel that way about LA anymore.”
“This is home,” he said simply. “I miss it when I’m gone for long stretches. Well, mostly I miss my family. But I love my job and the traveling I get to do because of it. What do you mean you don’t feel that way anymore? I thought you loved LA.”
It felt comfortable to be alone with him like this. No pressure, no ulterior motives. He wasn’t trying to get her into bed, or angling for a favor or introduction to someone. He simply allowed her to be.
He would never know how great a gift that was for her.
“I used to. But since I became ‘famous,’” she said, using air quotes, “it’s different. And someone tried to break into my place the other night.”
His expression darkened. “Were you home?”
“Yes. The alarm scared the intruder off, and one of my neighbors ran over to check on me. The police couldn’t ID the suspect, and the whole incident made me feel…violated in a way.”
“I’m glad you’re okay. Is that why you came out to see your mom?”
He nodded. “Are you getting a security upgrade?”
“Yes.” Not that she could afford it right now. Her agent was currently trying to find her a few smaller projects to work on before her next shoot, to generate some cash. “Anyway, can we talk about something else?”
He watched her for a moment, then relented and eased back in his chair. “Sure.”
They talked until the moon rose and the sky turned a deep, midnight blue, a cascade of stars winking down at them. So many compared to what the light and smog-polluted skies in LA allowed her to see.
They shared stories about the film industry. How she got started in TV. He laughed out loud when she told him a funny story about an audition gone wrong when she was first starting out, the sound so perfect that warmth pooled low in her belly.
He seemed so real. Was he just an illusion? Could he really be as genuine as he seemed?
It was hard for her to trust people. To let them in. She’d learned to protect herself that way a long time ago, and Hollywood had reinforced that lesson. She didn’t want to find out Chase had fooled her too.
She loved every second of this precious, stolen time with him and dreaded the thought of it coming to an end. But when she failed to smother a yawn convincingly, convincingly, he sat up. “Come on, time to turn in before you fall asleep on me.”
She got up just as he reached her chair. Instead of pulling her close or leaning in for a kiss, he walked past her into the house.
She followed, surprised by the surge of disappointment, and berated herself. He’d made it clear he wasn’t going to make a move and after what she’d done, she couldn’t blame him. And it wasn’t fair to go down that road with him again anyway.
She’d seen the way he was with his family, with Ryder. He was loyal, caring, and everything she knew about him said he was into commitment. She couldn’t give him anything resembling a normal relationship. Better to leave it alone, no matter how much she wished it could be different.
Upstairs he got her clean towels and showed her to the guest room. It warmed her insides how he took care of her. He hid it well, but the look in his eyes told her he still wanted her.
Not that he said or did anything about it. Even though they were alone. Even though she’d walked out on him that night, and even though he could have made things awkward between them because of it. In fact, he was doing everything possible to make it the opposite of awkward.
Another wave of longing hit her, so strong it made her chest hurt. She was sick of not being able to have a normal life. Of the world seeing her as some kind of sex object. Of people assuming she was a stuck-up bitch just because she valued and guarded her privacy.
She wanted a man to accept her for who she was. She wanted to be loved for who she truly was, and couldn’t bear to be hurt or betrayed and have her heart broken by someone she trusted. Especially not Chase. She couldn’t handle that.
The urge to go to him intensified. But no. She wouldn’t risk hurting or confusing him any more than she already had.
So she laid in the double bed and curled up on her side, fighting the sting of tears. Chase was the only man she’d ever trusted. And she couldn’t afford to lose the only real friend she had.
Cross, Kaylea. Adrift (Kill Devil Hills Book 3). Kindle Locations (1565-1618) Kaylea Cross Inc. . Kindle Edition.
Becca has much fear to overcome and Chase is relentless in pursuing the truth. Things get more than just a little hairy as Becca’s blackmailer, Rick gets more desperate.
I love this family, the Outerbanks and Kill Devil Hills. The sizzle between Becca and Chase is palpable but the trust has to come first.
I couldn’t put this book down, it’s the perfect wrap up to the trilogy.
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.