Another Chance (Austin Heroes: Book 3) by Kathy Clark

Another Chance: An Austin Heroes Novel by [Clark, Kathy]

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 1st, 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: Austin Heroes

After Love – Book 1

Almost Forever – Book 2 (review here)

Another Chance – Book 3

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Homeland Security agent Luke Archer returns home to Texas on a dangerous mission—a hands-on fight against a terrorist organization that has infiltrated the United States—yet it’s a chance encounter with his high-school sweetheart that really gets his blood pumping. Luke considers himself a lone wolf who doesn’t need a woman in his life. But as memories of their sweet, innocent affair stir him body and soul, Luke starts to wonder whether he should give love another chance.

A high-powered attorney, Bella Shaw has never forgotton how Luke left her behind in Austin to chase his dreams. But when she’s being totally honest with herself, Bella can’t deny that Luke is the one man she ever truly wanted. Though he tells her that the terrorists are using her land, she’s more worried about defending her heart from the advances of the sinfully sexy lawman. Still, Bella is willing to trust him again—if Agent Archer proves he’s worthy.

My review:

I was taken aback by this book. I thought that this would be a clichéd 3rd book in a series. You know the one that is used to wrap up all the other storylines, which this one did, and kind of sucks because there is no plot, other than the hero and the heroine declaring Instalove after the first couple of chapters and then the rest of the book is them banging everywhere they can with misunderstandings all around until the end. This book isn’t like that.

See, Luke and Bella were friends since 3rd grade and boyfriend/girlfriend all four years of high school. They were each other’s firsts (first kiss and first time having sex) and were madly in love. They planned on becoming marine biologists and sailing around the world together after high school. From Bella and Luke’s flashbacks, it was a sweet (but hot and heavy) first love that ended when each of them got Dear John letters from the other person. They never got over each other.

So fast forward 14 years. Luke works for Homeland Security and is tracking terrorists that are coming over the border from Mexico. He happens to run into Bella after he was involved in a sting that failed to capture five terrorists and had one commit suicide by a grenade. She lived in the condo’s that happened to be on the same street as the building that was damaged when the grenade went off.

What happens next is what sets the book apart from other romances. Luke and Bella never fell out of love with each other. So no InstaLove or even InstaLust. It was just two people who had a history and who were madly in love with each other discovering each other again. There was no drama in that department. Once Bella and Luke hooked up, there was no one else, and no one tried to break them up. It was very refreshing to read. I love how Bella classified their relationship towards the end of the book.

Silly, silly man. All I’ve ever wanted was for you to love me. I don’t care if you’re a cop or a fireman or a janitor. I loved you when you beat up that little boy on the playground. I loved you before your voice changed. I loved you before you scored you first touchdown. I loved you when you just wanted to live on a boat and count starfish. I loved you when you risked your life to save me from that terrorist. You’re the strongest, bravest, most wonderful man in the whole world, and I promise I’ll love you forever, so might as well propose

I had tears in my eyes reading that and his reply was just as good (not going to put it in here because, well you should read the book to find that out)

The sex was hot, and there was the mandatory “I am on BC, so it’s OK not to use a condom” (I am going to start a safe sex for fictional characters fund…lmao) talk. I liked that the feelings that they had for each other showed while they were having sex, even before the “L” word was mentioned.

Now the two other storylines that were featured in the book were pretty good, but I thought the one where the terrorists just happened to be operating out of Bella’s barn was a little far-fetched. Not saying that it could happen but still.

The storyline with Grammy was excellent. She has to be my favorite secondary character ever, and I loved that she was given her happily ever after.

The ending was great, but everything was wrapped up all at once. I would have rathered read an epilogue 5-6 years in the future to find out what happened, then it happening all at once.

I would give Another Chance an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Another Chance. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Almost Forever (Austin Hero’s: Book 2) by Kathy Clark

Almost Forever: An Austin Heroes Novel by [Clark, Kathy]

Publisher: Loveswept

Date of Publication: July 26, 2016

Genre: Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary

Series: Austin Hero’s

After Love—Book 1

Almost Forever—Book 2

Another Chance—Book 3 (review here)

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Indigo | Kobo | Apple Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

A cold case leads to blazing-hot temptation in this novel of romantic suspense from bestselling author Kathy Clark. For readers of Nora Roberts and Karen Robards, Almost Forever pairs a rugged lawman with a woman who may just be a murderer.

Justin Archer is a Texas Ranger through and through, a loyal man devoted to the dangerous job he loves. But when the grisly discovery of a skeleton in a local vineyard turns an old missing-persons case into a vicious homicide, Justin finds that the toughest challenge of his professional career will be keeping his hands off his chief suspect: the dead man’s beautiful, young trophy wife. Did Lori Roberts kill for vast material gain? The only thing Justin knows for sure is that their chemistry is instantaneous—and overpowering.

Lori worked hard to build a new life for herself and her daughter. She turned her husband’s struggling vineyard into a thriving enterprise, and now she stands to lose it all over something that happened eight years ago. Justin could lock her up and throw away the key, but Lori desperately wants to trust him. More than that, she wants to let him into her wounded heart. Because Lori’s been running from the past for a long time . . . and she’s ready to start living for the future.

I almost didn’t finish this book. Why? Because I couldn’t get over the characters. This book had a ton of promise. The storyline was great!!! A man thought to have been a missing person ends up being found dead in the vineyard he owned 8 years later. The widow is under suspicion, but the Ranger assigned to her case knows there is more to meet the eye. The author could have gone in so many directions with this awesome plot. Instead, she tried to turn it into a love story and did succeed for the most part.

I loved Justin and Lori’s characters but didn’t love them together. There was too much baggage on Lori’s end. She tried to deny her attraction to Justin but couldn’t. And ended up having sex in her dead husband’s study while her daughter was in the next room. Nope. Nope. Nope. Too much Ewwww factor in that. They got more believable once Lori’s life was endangered, and Justin was forced into a vacation.

I did guess who Mark’s killer was by the middle of the book. But it didn’t remove the emotional scene when the killer was revealed. I guessed who was after Lori shortly after her incidents started happening. So the mystery wasn’t there for me.

I almost didn’t finish the book and was going to put it away when the scenes with Grammy started. Grammy was pure gold, and the scenes with her and her grandsons were 100% awesome. The skunk scene with Harley, Mackenzie, and the twins was awesome and turned me back into the book.

The ending was a little too pat for me. Everything was wrapped up with a bow and delivered to the reader.

Also, this is the 2nd book in a series, and we all know how much I love those. But this was a standalone book with references to Nick and Jamie from the first book.

I would recommend Almost Forever to anyone over 21. There is sex, violence, and language.

If you enjoyed reading Almost Forever, you will enjoy reading these books: