BOOK REVIEW of Cross My Heart by K.D. Friedrich

I just finished reading another military survivor-themed romance book when I immersed myself in Cross My Heart. I did not expect it to be that...complicated between the two main characters. Let me tell you more about a bit.

Title: Cross My Heart
Author: K.D. Friedrich
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: May 17, 2015
Source: Copy Given by Author and  Organizer

Pete Cross is struggling with the emotional and physical scars of war, the last thing he needs is to find himself attracted to the one woman he shouldn’t want … his best friend’s sister. K.D. Friedrich is pleased to present Book 1 of her new series, The Heart Falls Heroes. Cross My Heart takes you on a poignant journey of loyalty, love, and above all, the healing power of second chances.

Struggling with the emotional and physical scars of war, Marine Pete Cross returns to his hometown, Heart Falls, New York, bitter and broken. The last person he wants to see is the stubborn tomboy from his past, Cara Sands. The guy code of ethics demands he keep his hands to himself where his best friend’s sister is concerned, but Cara never got that memo. Apparently, neither did Pete’s libido, because his desire for her is stronger than ever. Cara has no clue where the man she loves went, but she’ll do whatever it takes to bring him back. Pete tries to push Cara away with bitterness and anger, but she yanks him right back with understanding and patience. Her persistence drags them closer to an outcome that might destroy them both or show him, once and for all, the power of second chances.

Pete Cross used to be a sweet, carefree, and bubbly man. He used to find the smallest reasons to smile and laugh. But he's not that man anymore. He was changed by war; the loss of his men, the guilt of their blood on his hands, and the crippling pain the aftereffects of battle left him. He's suffering from much more than survivor's guilt. He's lost and broken, and the only thing that could possible save him is also the one that he doesn't want to taint and must stay away from..

Cara Sands has always been quite stubborn, a trait that is both endearing and frustrating. She's independent and always knows what she wants. Right now, what she wants is for Pete to open up to her, and not fight the attraction that they have for each other.
I've read a lot of books wherein the male lead came back from war and is experiencing survivor's guilt. I even read one, titled Death Grip by Tracy Sherwood which I personally found to be eye-opening, but Cross My Heart is much more...angry.

I liked the fact that Pete came back from war with physical evidence of his suffering. It's just that more often than not, authors create war heroes that are physically perfect but emotionally and mentally absent. So reading about one who has flaws gives the entire story more sense of realism. More than that, he went through the usual stages of dealing with his demons; by drinking, being angry, and being destructive. I found Cara annoying at the beginning, namely from the prologue to the part she picked Pete up from the airport. She seemed childish, selfish, and unable to see sense. BUT it all changed when the two of them finally got together. I saw a side, or rather sides, of her that I truly liked. Stan was also a doll. Can I have him? Please? Maybe a Stan-Ara love team in the future?
There were a couple of scenes I could've done without. The push and pull between the two irritated me a few times, so it would have been better if they got to the climax of the story a bit sooner.

I rate Cross My Heart 4 stars. It's very engaging, frustrating, and heart-melting. They took things at a steady and believable pace, and I'm a huge supporter of that.
K. D. Friedrich is a writer of Contemporary and Paranormal Romance. By day, she crunches numbers, but by night, she's busy creating interesting worlds and compelling characters, hot alpha heroes being her favorite. In 2013, she placed second in the Golden Palm contest for Paranormal Romance. She's an overprotective mother (her daughter's words), lifelong New Yorker, and an obsessed reader of everything romance. 
Twitter: @kdfriedrich_

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