Loch and Key by Shelli Stevens

Loch and Key by Shelli Stevens
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (191 Pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

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.

The McLaughlin series keeps getting better with every book. As usual, Shelli Stevens did a great job on this one. She created an edge to the suspense in Loch and Key. It made the story more interesting, though it was the wonderful romance that reeled me in. I am hooked!

I had been looking forward to Kenzie getting her own shot at love. There were so many roadblocks for her to overcome that the drama was thick. I mean, this was a girl who struggled in the aftermath of a brutal attack. She was shut down essentially. Yet, she wanted to take that chance and felt ashamed that she couldn’t take that first step. She had a lot of regrets and guilt. Most of all, Kenzie had tremendous courage. That’s how I saw her character from the beginning. So it took a special kind of man to sweep her off her feet. Brett was the man for the job. With his slow southern drawl, he seemed perfect at first. It soon became clear that Brett was gun shy. His white hat was a bit tarnished when he ticked me off by hanging my girl out to dry. Though he did take his time, he finally made it up to her. Yet, the the threat that is never far from her mind comes roaring back to hurt Kenzie. The author kept the suspense at a low level for most of the book, only to jack it up in high gear for a harrowing event. I’d say that it was drama and suspense at it’s finest.

It was the romance that got to me though. It was sweet. It was slow burning because it needed to be that way. Oh but it was incendiary once the flame was lit. The thing that I liked the most about their relationship – aside from the fantastic chemistry- was the warmth in their relationship. It was all very believable to me, which made the book a pleasure to read.

Loch and Key was a great read for me. The story was good. The suspense was good. The drama was good. The writing was excellent. I loved it. Now, what’s up next in the series? I’m guessing it’s Aleck and Delonna. I can’t wait!

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