Night Hawkby Lindsay McKenna (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: The Wyoming Series #10
Published by HQN Books on December 29, 2015
Genres: Adult, Animals, Contemporary, Contemporary, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Military, Terrorism, War, Western
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon • Goodreads
I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Once upon a ranch in Wyoming…
After losing his comrade, Sergeant Gil Hanford thought a visit to the man's widow would be the decent way to honor his late friend. But Gil found more than comfort in Kai Tiernan—he had always secretly desired beautiful Kai, but a sudden, mutual passion helped assuage their grief… until duty reared its head, removing him from her arms, seemingly forever.
Four years later, Kai is starting over at the Triple H Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Born a rancher, she is looking for a new beginning—but her new boss is unforgivably familiar. Kai has tried to move past the memory of what happened between her and Gil, even though she's never forgiven him for leaving her. But even as they begin their journey toward something new and oh-so-uncertain, a shadow emerges, determined to claim Kai for itself.
Night Hawk is the tenth installment in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming series featuring former military members in a western setting. Although this is the first book that I’ve read in this series and by this author, I didn’t have a problem jumping right in since the books are written as stand alones–featuring a new set of main characters with a few recurring secondary characters that span the books. Neither genre is my go-to read, but I do enjoy contemporary romance and I really enjoyed Night Hawk and the smattering of ranch and military life throughout the book since it didn’t overwhelm the story about forgiveness, love, and redemption.
Kai lost her special forces military husband in combat overseas, where she remained on active duty as a helicopter pilot. His best friend and fellow special forces soldier Gil continued to visit Kai for the next year to check up on her until his own brother was also killed in combat. Unable to contain his grief, he turned to the only person that he knew he wanted to see–Kai. Things changed between Gil and Kai when he shows up on base showing such emotion and vulnerability–something that her late husband never displayed–and they shared five amazing days together. But Gil disappears, leaving Kai abandoned and broken hearted, never hearing from Gil again.
Four years later, Kai is back home in Wyoming looking for work as a mechanic on a ranch–any ranch at this point after being turned away by so many old school ranchers–when she finally comes across one that only hires former military members. She’s finally gainfully employed outside of the military, helping get a struggling ranch back on its feet, feeling like she’s a part of a family again, when she meets the foreman of the ranch–Gil. Can Kai let the past hurts and abandonment fall to the wayside so she can work with Gil? Or will their mutual attraction be too much to ignore, even if they’re afraid to finally admit that what went on in the past needs to be brought up in the present and dealt with–so they can put it to bed or act on it again.
The Triple H ranch consist of Talon Holt and his wife, Talon’s mother, Talon’s former combat dog, Cass, and Gil–until Kai comes along and evens things up. All of the men are former service members. There’s a nice side story about Talon’s mother wanting a puppy to help with her recovery from her second bout with breast cancer, as well as a way to ease the combat dog into the lazy life of a regular old domestic animal. All of the characters were well drawn and realistic.
I give Night Hawk a four out of five. I really enjoyed the country, small town, mountainous setting for this book, and when you add in such believable, likable characters. Lindsay McKenna writes such strong women and protective, caring men. I was able to ease right into this book and these characters since the writing was tight, well paced, and deftly plotted. Kai and Gil’s interweaving past and present was a pleasure to read, and the journey that they took to get together was entertaining. There is a bit of an open ending with the bad guy, but he seems to run between books as a bit of a bad seed from what I’ve read.
About Lindsay McKenna
A U.S. Navy veteran, she was a meteorologist while serving her country. She pioneered the military romance in 1993 with Captive of Fate, Silhouette Special edition. Her heart and focus is on honoring and showing our military men and women. Creator of the Wyoming Series and Shadow Warriors series for HQN, she writes emotionally and romantically intense suspense stories. Visit her online at www.LindsayMcKenna.com.
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