Saturday, February 5, 2011

BOOK THREE - Kade: Armed & Dangerous

Kade: Armed and DangerousKade: Armed and Dangerous is the third book in Cheyenne McCray’s series about the U.S. Border patrol along the Mexico-Arizona border. While the books are romantic suspense, they gravitate more heavily to the romance and allow the suspense to be the underlying storyline throughout the entire series.
I won’t lie... I judge a book first by its hero. And Kade Owen is irresistible. Kade is an intelligence agent with the U.S. Border patrol and a single father devoted to his son. He is my kind of alpha hero – strong and confident in taking care of business and his family, charming enough to win any heart he desires but sensitive enough to seek a true companion. And when he does meet the woman he wants, nothing is going to stand in his way.
He first sees Kelsey on his way home to Arizona when he catches her eye in the airport waiting area. He secures a seat next to her on the plane, strikes up conversation and convinces her to have dinner with him when they land. Their chemistry is hot but the author does a good job in pacing the development of a relationship and it made me like Kade even more that they didn’t fall right into bed together despite the scorching first kiss. (I will think of this kiss every time I have a frozen margarita.)
When Kade learns Kelsey is the reporter from the San Francisco-based magazine that will be staying at his family’s ranch for her next assignment, he couldn’t be more pleased to have her right where he wants her - under his roof and closer to his heart. But Kelsey’s heart is guarded, holding in so much pain from a difficult past. She lost her parents and sister in an accident, married an unkind man and has just gone through a painful divorce. She took the assignment to put distance between herself and San Francisco; and she has no plans to become involved with another man.
McCray has created a perfect heroine for Kade. Kelsey fits nicely into life on the ranch, befriending Kade’s parents and developing a sweet relationship with Kade’s son. These characters are well-developed secondary characters that give the reader even more perspective on our hero. As Kelsey becomes engrossed in her interviews and story, Kade resumes his investigation and their information begins to overlap. Through it all, he continues to pursue her romantically but realizes she is too skittish to move quickly. He concentrates on developing a friendship without pushing for more. Slowly Kelsey begins to open herself up to Kade, desiring him but still weary since her divorce left her with little trust in men. It was warming to watch their relationship develop as Kelsey became more confident in herself as a woman.
While this book can be read as a stand-alone, it adds depth and more meaning if read as part of the Armed and Dangerous series. I do have to comment though that the editing in this book is the worst of the series. Originally part of the Wild series with another publisher, character names were changed when re-published and those changes didn’t flow into this book. Several characters from other books that tied this together into the series hadn’t had their names changed and it was confusing. For example, when you read “Dee”, think “Sky”.
I recommend reading the book, and the whole Armed and Dangerous series. The story is well developed with endearing characters and an easy flowing plot. Kade will take you in from the first page and hold your attention until the end. And because I also judge a book by its cover (hey, at least I’m honest!) and can overlook the editing flaws, I’d still give this book 5 chocolate-dipped strawberries. I’m sure Kade would enjoy those with champagne a la Kelsey!
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