Author: Rachel Robinson
Release date: February 12, 2018
(Sub)genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Tahoe. Badass. SEAL. Player. Powerful. Jerk. Available.
All words used to describe me for the past ten years. Wrapped up in the war, running and gunning constantly, has taken its toll on me. My next assignment is supposed to be a break, something to aid in taking the edge off; help open a new base in the miniscule, coastal, Florida town of Bronze Bay. A non-deployable position, I can work-out, decompress, and handle the mundane tasks of structuring a new SEAL command. Or, in other words, enjoy my free time with the tanned, toned, country women of the south.
Falling for a southern belle wasn’t supposed to happen. In fact, it’s more stressing than any challenge in my sordid past. Especially when she uttered the words, “I am a virgin.”
Someone cover me, I’m going in.
My first memory is in an airplane over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. My daddy sitting beside me and my heart full of joy. When I was sixteen, I made my first solo flight over those exact same waters. My daddy owns and operates the little airport in Bronze Bay, so my eyes have been skyward for as long as I can remember. Things like men and college, never appealed to me. My days are spent waitressing in my Mama’s diner, counting down the hours until I can head to the airport.
Then the SEALs came and changed everything. Big, brutal, jerks, forcing themselves into our little slice of paradise. Demanding use of our airport. One man in particular, aiming to take more than I’m ready to give. He is beautiful. Magnetic. Strong. Convincing. For the first time in my life, I’m flying in a different, exhilarating way. Keeping it isn’t going to be easy when merely looking at the man makes me think of four words.
Foxtrot. Uniform. Charlie. Kilo.
Bless my heart, I’m in trouble.
I have a love/hate relationship with Rachel Robinson’s books. I love the stories and the characters, but the angst… Sometimes I want to scream, sometimes I want to cry, but I still keep reading them. I think I’m a bit of an angst-addict. Keeping It however, is very different. Yes, it’s set in the same world as the ‘Real SEAL Series’, but the story is very different. I never ever expected Tahoe and Caroline to be this sweet.
“I told you I’m not a gentleman, Caroline. I don’t play by the rules. For me, there are no rules, just what I want and what you’re willing to give me.”
Tahoe is a badass SEAL through and through. The military has been a major part of his life for a long time, it’s all he knows. He has learned the hard way relationships and being a SEAL don’t mix, so fun is all he allows himself. Being send to Bronze Bay, Florida is almost a vacation for him and he plans on enjoying himself very much. That’s the plan until he meets Caroline, but meeting her changes everything.
Caroline is a sweet southern woman who has lived her whole life in the small town of Bronze Bay. After terrorist attacks changed the world, her beloved town stayed the same, but the arrival of a SEAL team changes that. Caroline is partial responsible for the town’s little airport, and that bring her into contact with Tahoe. She doesn’t have much experience with men, but she can’t ignore what she feels for him.
“I can’t deny how it makes me feel. I’ve never felt like this before. This sort of mix between lusting for something I know is bad for me, and the vulnerability of knowing I don’t have the first clue how to deal with a man like Tyler.”
Keeping It is a standalone book which happens to be set in the ‘Real SEAL’ world, but it’s nothing like those books. To be honest, for a large part of the book I kept waiting for the metaphorical bomb to drop. This is what normally happens in a Rachel Robinson story, but in this case it didn’t. And weirdly enough I didn’t even miss it. Keeping It is a sweet story told from a dual POV, and I love that the author didn’t put these two characters through the wringer.
I love Tahoe and Caroline, not only as a couple, but also for the people they are. Since I know Tahoe from other books, I expected a different man. Yes, he’s not ‘innocent’, but he didn’t keep bringing up his past hookups like so many book-heroes do. He also has his own ‘insecurities’, thinking he’s not good enough for a woman like Caroline. I love his realness. Caroline is innocent when it comes to the opposite sex, but not because of religious believes or to save herself for marriage. All she wants is her first time to be special, to be meaningful. And Tahoe turns out to be special to her. Caroline and Tahoe are absolutely each other’s match in every way, I adore them together.
“For us, our love was destined, a mark in time that came hurtling toward us without our consent. Found and lost. Love and loss. Promises and lies. Floating and falling. Forever and never. Defined simply: happily ever after.”