The Deepest Night
By Kara Braden
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Longest Night, book #2
When everything you love is on the line…
The Isles of Scilly off the coast of England are remote, windswept and wild. They’re the perfect place for Ray Powell to recuperate after the toughest Afghanistan mission the military contractor has ever run. Except instead of the peace and quiet he so desperately needs, he’s faced with a beautiful American woman who instantly challenges his iron control.
It’s best to proceed with caution…
Seeking her own safe haven, Michelle Cole is intrigued and flustered by the intensely compelling and irresistible man.
As their cautious friendship slowly builds into simmering attraction, their hearts and souls are about to be broken open...if they’ll allow it.
Praise for The Deepest Night by Kara Braden:
“This smashing sequel shows that respectful communication is downright scorching... This sweet contemporary will appeal to romance fans who like their heroes powerful and smitten and their heroines capable and genuine.”—Publishers WeeklySTARRED Review
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Michelle is surveying a potential B&B property that was left to her friend by her uncle. Ray Powell is returning from a mission that left him in need of a vacation. Ray goes to stay at the former home of his grandparents that he finds has been sold and turned into a B&B. Michelle doesn't have the B&B open, but allows Ray to stay. Both quickly find that they are very attracted to one another, but Michelle's practical plans don't include falling for someone who she will only have in her life for two weeks.
This is a nice story with a classic romance feel. Both Michelle and Ray are very easy to like, and cheer on throughout the story. Ray has a career that is full of important work, but also comes with a lot of danger and some trauma. Watching him find someone he can connect and find peace with was very rewarding. It is clear that Michelle has a lot of insecurities that have kept her from fully opening up and finding a rewarding relationship. There isn't a lot of conflict in this story, but the chemistry between Ray and Michelle is sweet and sexy. If you are looking for nice easy romance with likable characters, this is a good selection.
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
Kara Braden makes her debut in modern romance with a story of love in isolation. She believes that engaging, romantic fantasy can be found everywhere in the world, even in the most unlikely places. With the support of her wonderful husband, cats, and dogs, she writes from her home office outside Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends her time hiding from the sunlight and heat.
Excerpt from The Deepest Night by Kara Braden
But as they approached the patio stairs, Michelle slowed her steps. She wanted to preserve the night, to capture the fragile closeness she felt with Ray, to hold it tight against whatever tomorrow might bring.
She was, in fact, tempted to invite him to her room – or to go with him to his room, given the narrow single bed in the manager’s apartment. She could almost hear Vicky’s voice urging her to seize the moment, to let her hair down. To live a little.
That wasn’t her way, but she could…adapt. With a little smile, she stopped two steps up the stairs and turned. With Ray still on the grass, they were nearly the same height. She smiled at him and slipped the flashlight into his jacket pocket, but then her courage faltered. She couldn’t just lean into his arms and steal a kiss.
“Thank you for tonight,” she said, inching forward to the very edge of the step, hoping he’d read her intent and meet her halfway.
He put one foot on the bottom step and draped the blanket over the stairway railing. “Thank you for trusting me to surprise you,” he said, lifting his now-free hand to her face.
The touch stole her breath, sparking heat across her cold skin. She closed her eyes and tipped her head, pressing against his fingers.
And then she felt his lips on hers, deceptively soft and undemanding, though she felt the strength coiled behind that gentle touch. Her lips parted on a sharp inhale that he stole, the heat of their breath mixing, captive between them. His hand slid back through strands that had fallen free of her ponytail, cupping her nape. Shivers raced through her body, and she lifted up on her toes to lean even closer, bracing her free hand on his chest. His jacket was like ice under her palm, but the leather was soft, pliant, barely hiding the powerful chest underneath.
He chased her gasp with his tongue, a soft swipe across her bottom lip as if he were tasting her. Vertigo hit more powerfully than it had under the infinite stars. She slid her hand up over his shoulder to hold his nape, seeking his strength, his steadiness.
Keeping his fingers entwined with hers, he dropped his other hand from her hair. His arm wrapped around her body, forearm fitted against the curve of her back. She sighed into the kiss, inviting him deeper. He didn’t refuse.
Their tongues touched for a single heartbeat. Parted. Touched again. He drew back and tipped his head the other way as he pulled her close against his chest, her toes now barely touching the edge of the stair. She held tightly, trusting his strength more than her own sense of balance, and gave in to the kiss with a sense of greedy indulgence she’d never before felt.
The raw power of him was a drug to her senses. There was no hesitation in him, no wavering in his intent. Everything she offered, he claimed.