Title: Let Me In
Author: Callie Croix
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 21, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Novella, eBook- 37,000 word count
On leave for Thanksgiving, the last thing marine lieutenant Talia Barnett expects to find is Liam Brodie waiting for her at the airport. He's had a starring role in her fantasies for the past two years, and although she'd love to make them a reality, she has a dark secret that prevents her from taking things further.
A former marine, Liam's specialty is planning tactical operations, and that's just what he plans to do to win Talia. The woman has kept him at arm's length for too long, and this time he's finally going to claim her—body and heart.
What begins as comfort quickly turns hot. When Liam shows Talia a hint of the dominant nature inside him, the submissive part of her flares to life. Though she desires him, she's going back on deployment and doesn't want to dump all her drama on him. Will he find a way to break through the protective walls around her heart and convince her they have a future that goes far beyond the bedroom?
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I am a sucker for a great romance involving a military man. There is just something super sexy about them-and my knees go weak at the sight of a man in is dress blues (or whites--or nekked).
Let Me In has a two-for: Liam Brodie is a former Marine and Talia has just recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan. She is a strong female character and Marine that any woman can admire.
This novella was the first book that I read of Callie's--and it most definitely won't be the last. Her powerful and emotional story hooked me in and drew a tear or twenty. And I thought it was pretty damn clever of her to write about a very real topic of hoarding.
If you haven't caught Hoarders: Buried Alive on TLC, you may not know what I am talking about. But hoarding is a very real and very serious medical condition. People who hoard their belongings until they are almost literally trapped inside their homes have a deep psychological illness and Callie explains how
Talia's mother desperately needs to accumulate things in her life. And she explains how this uncontrolled obsession effects Talia and her inability to connect to anyone.
Let Me In shows vunerable and tender moments between Talia and and Liam, and the dominant side of Liam as Talia explores her newly found submissive nature.
But the main theme for this novella is acceptance--and the ability for Talia to let Liam into her life. To finally lean on someone and let them in.
"What are you going to do?"
What I've wanted to do to you for almost two years.
"Shhh. Let me in"
Callie Croix packs an emotional story that you fall into and feel in such a short amount of time.
Callie Croix writes erotic romance tales about dominant alpha males that she hopes will curl your toes in the best way possible. She also writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense as Kaylea Cross. An active member of the Greater Vancouver RWA chapter, Callie lives in a beautiful seaside town just outside Vancouver with her husband.
•the richest, darkest chocolate she can find
•the Boston Red Sox (okay, mostly Jason Varitek, who she has a very large crush on)
•anything to do with the Civil War
•steamy romance books packed with emotion that rivals the heat level
•anything by Lisa Marie Rice and Anne Calhoun
Damn, she was a hard one to figure out.
Liam watched Talia surreptitiously from the kitchen as she finished dessert with his parents at the dining room table. Exhausted as she had to be, like always she was beautiful to him. Her light golden skin glowed against the black fabric of her lacy shirt, the slight tilt of her hazel eyes highlighting her partial Japanese heritage. She’d twisted all that long, rich brown hair up with some sort of clip, showing off the elegant line of her slender throat. It pulled his gaze down to the neckline of her shirt, where he caught a tantalizing glimpse of cleavage.
She was damned sexy, despite that protective shell she wore to keep everyone out, him included. Many times he’d fantasized about breaching that wall to touch the vulnerable woman inside it. Dragging his gaze back up to her face, he studied her expression.
She seemed relaxed enough on the surface, but beneath that calm veneer he sensed something else entirely. He’d always made her nervous. That wasn’t new. Something was different tonight, however.
The few times he’d caught her looking at him throughout dinner he’d glimpsed the quiet yearning in her eyes that always tied him up in knots, though it was stronger this time. She’d never let him see that kind of deep-seated need before. So why now?
It drove him crazy that she always kept herself at arm’s length from him, but he loved knowing she was aware of him as a man. God knew he was more than willing to satisfy whatever needs she kept buried beneath that cool exterior, sexual and otherwise. For whatever reason, she wouldn’t acknowledge her interest.
“She doesn’t want to go home,” Angie said quietly beside him, placing some rinsed dishes in the sink for him to wash.
“Yeah, she does. Look at her. She can’t wait to get out of here.” He knew Tal loved his family, but it was obvious she wanted to leave. She always pulled away when they wanted to keep her close. Like she couldn’t handle the thought of letting anyone in that far. It only made him want to break through that wall even more, find out why she was so scared of them learning about her personal life, and what she was trying so hard to hide about her family.
“No, I mean she doesn’t want to go home. To see her mom.”
Angie shook her head. “It’s sad. What the hell’s wrong with that woman? No one could ask for a better daughter than Tal. I don’t want her to be alone while she’s here.”
It wasn’t their place to judge her relationship with her family. It is what it is. “You ever met her?” They’d known Tal long enough for her to trust them, ever since Ang had met her through a veterans’ fundraiser and brought her to a family dinner one night a couple years ago.
“Are you kidding? The closest I’ve come to that is waiting at the curb in front of her house last time Tal came back. Last Christmas.”
Liam digested that in silence. Whatever the problem was with Talia’s mother, it was her private business. Obviously she preferred it that way. He smiled when she laughed at something his dad said. It was the most beautiful sound. He wished she’d do it more often.
He glanced at his sister. “What?”
Her eyes narrowed. “Don’t you dare scare her away.”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about. I want her to be comfortable here with us, like she can relax and feel at home.”
“So do I.”
“Then tone down the alpha-male-on-the-hunt routine. God, could you at least be a little bit more subtle? She’s one of my best friends, and you’re staring at her like a starving wolf.”
Only because he was starving. For her. Had been for a long time, though he’d tried to ignore it. “I like her.” He’d liked her from day one, but seeing her now, his feelings went far beyond protective and the usual physical need she incited in him.
“Yeah, I hadn’t noticed,” Angie retorted. “Now move aside and let me finish loading the dishwasher.”
He moved out of the way, still watching Talia. She was unlike any other woman he’d been interested in. Assertive and independent, she never asked anyone for anything. She was always friendly, but not flirtatious, unlike most of Angie’s other friends. For a long time after she’d turned him down he’d thought maybe he wanted her because she posed a challenge. That wasn’t it, though. Truth was, he admired the hell out of her.
This time around there was more to it, though.
Something about her tonight tugged at him and wouldn’t let go. That puzzling mixture of strength and independence combined with a deeply buried fragility just made him want to gather her up in his arms and take care of her. Not let anyone or anything ever hurt her again.
As though she sensed his stare, Talia turned her head and met his gaze. The flare of unmistakable sexual awareness in her eyes instantly caused him to go hard in his jeans. She quickly broke eye contact and concentrated on whatever it was his mom was saying, but Liam wasn’t deterred. That show of desire only proved that cracks were forming in her protective shield. The primitive part of him wasn’t about to let the opportunity to weaken her defenses pass by. There was a hungry, sensual woman in that self-imposed prison.
Maybe it was time to think about breaking her out of it once and for all.