By Shelli Stevens
All the military training in the world won’t help him knock down her walls.
Years ago a terrifying attack left Kenzie McLaughlin trusting only a few men in her insular life on Whidbey Island–her brothers and her father. But when a sexy Navy guy who waltzes into the family pub doesn’t hesitate to makes his interest known, no amount of mental red flags are enough to keep her from being tempted to dip a toe back into the dating pool.
Twice burned in the past, Brett Craven has sworn off serious relationships, at least while he’s still in the Navy. A gorgeous redhead with a fiery wit and wariness of men, though, has blown his well-reasoned strategy out of the water.
There’s no denying the attraction between the two, but Kenzie teeters on a tightrope anchored on one end by hope, the other by caution. Because if she lets her guard down long enough to fall for Brett, it could leave her vulnerable to the one man who’s been left free to prey upon her fear.
LOCH AND KEY is the third book in The McLaughlins series and takes place about six months from where KILTY PLEASURE finished. Here we have Kenzie and Brett, two people who are afraid of relationships for two very different reasons. Kenzie because she was sexually assaulted and doesn’t trust men easily, and Brett, because he’s had two women cheat on him while deployed, one of which was his wife.
I liked Brett and thought he was a good guy, despite the fact that he stood Kenzie up after one date and didn’t speak to her again for seven months. I understood his fear of forming an attachment to another woman given what he’d gone through in the past, and I liked that when he realised he was an idiot for letting Kenzie go, he fought to get her back. I liked Kenzie, who was fun and easygoing, and who had no problem going up against her older brothers. I liked that she trusted her instincts when it came to Brett, especially since she hadn’t really trusted any man who wasn’t family since her attack.
LOCH AND KEY is told in dual POVs, with the final chapter being told in Delonna’s POV, who will get the next book along with Aleck, the final McLaughlin sibling. While it’s part of a series and it can technically be read as a stand-alone, there are some events and characters that would make more sense if you read the previous books. What I really liked about this one is that it was fairly unpredictable compared to the predictability of the previous two books. It comes with a HEA and doesn’t end in a cliffhanger.
Loch and Key (The McLaughlins # 3)
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