I like this idea of two stories in one book with interacting characters. The stories themselves aren’t related, just the main characters switching over from H/h to secondary characters as they go about their lives. The trick is making both work.
Over the Edge
I love a very tortured hero, and Ty Hendricks is a man tortured. His last tour of duty did not go well, and Ty has decided it’s best to just cut himself off from all emotion and anyone and everyone he cares about or may come to care about. He does this most of the time by working on oil rigs, a mostly solitary job where he doesn’t have to interact with others much. There Lauren Kincaid spots him and is immediately drawn to him. She’s one of those heroines who goes after what she wants, says what’s on her mind, and enjoys the hell out of it all. Lauren is exactly what Ty needs, but, as with the majority of those tortured heroes, he knows she’s exactly what he doesn’t need.
And does he ever try to keep her at a distance. The sex between them is phenomenal, and though Ty feels, at moments, something more, he shuts that part of himself off. When he realizes Lauren is also feeling that “something else,” he tries to drive her away but nothing seems to work, even the menage with Sean, another Marine who also works with Ty in buddy John’s business when Ty is off the rig. Lauren knows there is more to the man than what he shows to the world and she’s not about to let him fall deeper and deeper within himself past the point of no return. But Ty is finally successful and Lauren walks away.
I have to say as much as I like Ty, I’m happy to watch him live with his decision and find it very lacking. Now knowing what life will be like without Lauren in it takes a bit to sink in, with a lot of pushing from friends, but eventually he knows he can’t do it. Thankfully, he’s also a very smart man.
Grade : B+
After a tragic incident during Ty Hendricks’ last tour of duty he cut off all connection with anyone he cares about—until a night with Lauren Kincaid draws him reluctantly back into the world. Lauren sees a wounded man in danger of losing everything to his inner demons, but the sensual, no-holds-barred fight for Ty’s soul could cost Lauren her heart.
Read an excerpt.
All on the Line
We meet Sean in Ty’s story, especially in that menage I mentioned before. So I have to say I’m a bit surprised to see him show up here, waiting for Abby, the girl he dumped through email while he’s in Afghanistan. Abby took Sean at his word, moved on and grew up. So her surprise comes when she discovers him waiting for her as she leaves her lover’s apartment in the early morning hours. Realizing his mistake in letting her go, Sean is now determined to win Abby back. Too bad he can’t seem to do anything right to make that happen.
Abby has so much going on behind the scenes she’s barely making it. She has no time for anything, even sleep. Sex is a quick roll every so often. Despite all of this, Abby still wants to do things on her own, with no help. Especially from Sean. He fixes her car, mows the lawn and other things men do for women, but she’s not happy one bit when she finds out what he’s done. Changing his focus to just being with her instead of doing for her, Sean begins to work his way back under Abby’s skin.
Abby tries so hard to keep Sean at arm’s length, showing him how far she’s come since that Dear John letter. She even agrees to a menage with Ben, something she’s not done before. That’s one element that doesn’t work as well for me in this story as it does in the previous. For Ty and Lauren, it’s an integral part of what happens between them, but Abby showing Sean she’s all grown up? Maybe. And while I enjoyed Sean’s romantic side in trying to win Abby back, I don’t think in the end he groveles enough. But all in all, I had a good time with these two.
Grade : B-
Abby Simmons fell hard for Lieutenant Sean Winthrop, but he sacrificed their relationship when he deployed to Afghanistan. Now he’s home, full of regrets and intent on winning back the woman he never forgot. Abby gives Sean her body but holds her heart aloof, until one night of pleasure forces her to choose her U.S. Marine…or life without him, forever.
Read an excerpt.
Ms. Calhoun does a good job of making both stories work, one just has more going for it than the other. We learn enough about all of the characters to get to know them and want them to work things out between them. Ty is my favorite of them all; he has the longest journey and more to come to grips with. This is my first book by Ms. Calhoun. I look forward to reading her again.
Overall Grade: B