Publisher: Kimberly Kincaid Romance

Crossing Promises by Kimberly Kincaid

Crossing Promises by Kimberly KincaidCrossing Promises by Kimberly Kincaid
Series: Cross Creek #3
Published by Kimberly Kincaid Romance on March 5th 2018
Pages: 273
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For Owen Cross, the only thing that matters more than family is farming. As the oldest Cross brother, the land is his legacy, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make Cross Creek a success—including hiring local widow Cate McAllister to manage the bookkeeping tasks that are growing in his office like weeds. Cate’s as pragmatic as she is pretty, and she rattles his hard-fought composure at every turn.

Cate had known a lot of things about her husband before he died three years ago in a car accident, but how much debt he’d gotten them into wasn’t one of them. She needs her job at Cross Creek, even if her boss is both gruff and gorgeous. But Owen’s a family man, through and through, and the last thing Cate is interested in is anything—or anyone—with strings attached.

As Owen and Cate join forces to right the farm, they discover there’s more to the other than the surfaces shows, and that passion can be found in unexpected places. Can Cate heal from the loss of one family to gain the love of her life? Or will the past prove too much for the promise of the future?

I’ve always been interested in Kimberly Kincaid’s ‘Cross Creek’ series, for its 3 brothers so wildly different that it was almost a guarantee you’d get very different stories out of them. ‘Crossing Promises’ is Owen Cross’s story— the pain-in-the-arse grump, the responsible brother, the long-suffering (and not too silent) chump and it wasn’t hard to develop a soft spot for the own who bore things on his shoulders and carried on for everyone else because he needed to.

Unfortunately, this particular book disappointed me more than the rest in the series, more so because I was looking forward to Owen’s story. But my dislike stemmed from my inability to get on with this pairing, with a ‘heroine’ I found more annoying than sympathetic and one who looked as though she needed to be treated with kid-gloves lest her sensibilities be offended.

As work partners, Cate and Owen were fabulous. Their synchronised way of running Cross Creek was a marvel to behold and for most part, it was enjoyable to see Owen happy and settled. I empathised with Cate from the start, seeing her struggle with the memories and as well as with how she found it hard to get back on her feet.

But ultimately, Cate wasn’t a protagonist I could get on board with at all. While I understood how she wanted to move on with her life as her own person, I never quite got past the idea that she remained fragile as glass, turning to frenzied baking as a way to deal with her unsettled state of mind. That she also kept something fairly monumental from Owen until the end put her straight in the ‘stupid’ category for me and I thought that the fault could be roundly laid at Cate’s door for that. To use children (or the lack of them) a method to ‘rein’ someone in or as a way of shaping a particular lifestyle however, is an idea I absolutely despised and while I hated how it’d been done to Cate, I hated it even more when she’d unconsciously held it over Owen later without even realising it.

The definition of the family/family legacy (and the issue of children) was made out to be a problematic one here and that eventually, did become an issue here for me as well. What I didn’t like was Cate’s lack of compromise at the end with the conflict that came up—both Owen and Cate were entitled to their own wishes—but I was fairly unhappy with the rushed ending that had Owen bending backwards for Cate who essentially, used the bitter lessons from her past against Owen.

For Cate not giving Owen’s view on family any consideration at all killed it for me and while picking sides isn’t exactly that I want to do in a romance, and the ending of ‘Crossing Promises’ somehow did that for me. In fact, I thought the story ended in a way (with Owen’s grovelling that really felt like forced repentance after a talk with Marley) that never suggested Cate had merely thought about what she’d wanted, then selfishly held those up to Owen as a checklist to see if he would be with her in spite of it.

I definitely wished I could have given this a better rating because I’ve always liked Kincaid’s writing. But because I could barely tolerate Cate as someone for Owen, ‘Crossing Promises’ simply went south too unexpectedly for me.


In Too Deep by Kimberly Kincaid

In Too Deep by Kimberly KincaidIn Too Deep by Kimberly Kincaid
Series: Station Seventeen #3
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing, Kimberly Kincaid Romance on October 17th 2017
Pages: 345
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As Station Seventeen’s rookie, Luke Slater knows his fire and EMS training will be both rigorous and risky, but he never imagined having to partner up with the one woman he wants to keep at arm’s length most of all. Quinn Copeland is as wide-open as Luke is reserved. He has no interest in letting the sweet and sexy paramedic rock his hard-earned control. But the need for composure becomes the need to survive when they find themselves in the crosshairs of a brutal gang leader on their first shift together.

Paramedic Quinn Copeland’s station mates aren’t just her friends. They’re her family. She’d do anything to keep them safe—including reluctantly trusting her impossible-to-read, impossibly gorgeous new partner with the one thing she holds close. As the passion between Luke and Quinn goes from a slow burn to a sizzle, their steps grow more and more dangerous, both in the fire house and out. Can they outwit a cold-blooded killer and face the fears that could cost them everything? Or are they in too deep?

Kimberly Kincaid’s Station Seventeen isn’t just a bunch of firefighting men who go out to battle the blazes, although the mention of bunker gear, sexy times involving dirty firemen and fire-heroics is probably enough for many readers. But Kincaid serves up a hefty dose of good ol’ romantic suspense where characters from law enforcement and emergency responders mingle and rally around each other to get the plot going. Not only is this right up my smelly, cat-littered alley, but I love it when a story surprises me…the good way.

‘In Too Deep’ just had one of those great combinations that did it for me: a solid, believable suspense plot, likeable protagonists who don’t cross TSTL lines and sufficient twists and turns that just ramp up the tension. It was thoroughly addictive as a result and I hadn’t expected to like Luke Slater and Quinn Copeland as much as I did along with the interaction of the secondary characters that helped pad out the narrative and shape both Luke’s and Quinn’s contrasting characters. Kincaid’s handling of these interactions was top-notch and it was balanced quite nicely with the unfolding drama that got more intense and riveting as the pages went on.

While I appreciated Kincaid not making light at all about the younger man (rookie) and the slightly older woman (an experienced paramedic), what impressed me most was the way Kincaid tried to level the characters by giving Luke the bigger, calmer voice of reason and Quinn, a character who in turn, didn’t use her age or professional experience to belittle him. I liked their similar backgrounds, their latent attraction and chemistry, which was why the short rift and the easy resolution between them at the end felt forced and written for the sake of creating conflict, when there was already plenty enough to go around.

Overall though, ‘In Too Deep’ exceeded my expectations once it was established that the plot wasn’t going to revolve around a decision that could have made Quinn look like a TSTL heroine. The book was absorbing enough that I didn’t want to put it down, which made me impatient by the end for what Kincaid already has up her sleeve for the next book in this series.


Skin Deep by Kimberly Kincaid

Skin Deep by Kimberly KincaidSkin Deep by Kimberly Kincaid
Series: Station Seventeen #1
Published by Kimberly Kincaid Romance on September 20th 2016
Pages: 355
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Where there’s smoke…

For firefighter Kellan Walker, checking his emotions at the door doesn’t just keep him on the level. It keeps him alive. A gut-wrenching find at the scene of a blaze threatens to blow his ironclad composure, but when the detective assigned to the case is the same woman who put his sister’s life at risk three months ago, all bets for Kellan being calm, cool, or collected are definitely off.

There’s bound to be fire…

Keeping people safe is Isabella Moreno’s number one priority, no matter how tough the case. Working without solid leads and with the gorgeous, broody firefighter who believes she’s responsible for endangering his sister on a previous case isn’t ideal. But someone is hurting women in the here-and-now. Isabella will do whatever it takes to find justice.

As Kellan and Isabella reluctantly team up to catch a criminal, they realize they have more in common than they’d ever imagined. With every move, the stakes grow higher and the passion sizzles hotter, but can they race against the clock and the odds to catch a killer? Or will they lose their hearts—and their lives?

Kimberly Kincaid surprised me with this one. I’ve come to expect many firefighting books to be about arson-related cases or about bush-firefighting, but ‘Skin Deep’ deals more about sex-trafficking crimes and sexual slavery than it is about firefighting itself. It works very well as a standalone, even if it’s a full-fledged continuation of Liliana Hart’s Kindle Worlds Mackenzie series, which Kincaid was a part of.

’Skin Deep’ is quite a ride from start to end, with a deliciously filthy villain (channelling all sorts of odd shades of serial killers, Lady Macbeth and the local mafia) and characters who could well be plucked out from primetime TV. The criminal case that emerges is engrossing enough and I found myself liking the pacing as well as the solid cast of characters that come and go from the story.

The leads were credible, even if I did find myself gravitating towards Kellan Walker more than I did Isabella Moreno. Closed-off and distant, Isabella assumes the role of most male protagonists in the romance genre, staying off commitment and relationships because they tend to hurt more if they care – along with the rather stupid belief that forming close relationships would somehow lead the other person to die.Despite this clichéd behaviour trait, she did seem competent initially, if reckless and foolish for launching a private investigation without telling everyone else about the danger she’d placed herself in. I liked how she was called out for her lonewolf, untrusting behaviour early though, first by her colleague and then by Kellan, who muscled his way into Isabella’s private investigations and past her defences. Kellan on the other hand, seemed like a godsend: loyal, discerning, not afraid to show her as much tough love as her colleagues do, then led by example by putting his faith in her so she could do the same for others.

Even if I’m not entirely convinced by the rightness of this pairing (after all, sex did seem be a way to skip the serious talking business too much here), the slight twist at the end upped my enjoyment of the book, leaving me only hanging a little by the abrupt ending and a very battered HEA.