A solid 3 starsbecause it's still better than some of the new cr*p bombarding GR.
I rated this some time ago, and while looking at comparisons of ratings amongst others, I wondered why initially I gave it only 2 stars. So, I went back to the book and did a refresher.
This book involved a heroine (Christa) who is an athlete and Susie-homemaker (sport=softball and some plays described in detail), a hero (Hutch or Rayne) who is a cop (SWAT or SRU), and a psychopath villain with a fixation. Though I appreciated Christa's being a "mean" baller, I wasn't really enthused about the contrast of her being such a sweet person. She'd been hurt in a previous relationship, so she was a little wary of relationships, but I expected more wit and charisma from her. She fell for Hutch right away and wore her heart on her sleeve. On the other hand, Hutch, followed by his lothario rep, seemed first to be "just kickin it" with Christa (understandable) until he starts playing knight to her "distress"(a stalker who is her over-zealous fan at ball games), which left a big question as to why he falls in love with her.
The biggest climax and most disturbing scene that garnered enough reaction from me happened the 1st time stalker-boy gets hold of Christa. Hutch gets serious about his protection and takes Christa away, so the reader is introduced to his friends (Bryn being highlighted) and later, his parents (Enter: a serious subplot dealing with separation issues and PTSD that was interesting, but didn't flow well with rest of plot for reasons of timing or balance of focus).
I had a hard time switching focus back on Christa's POV after having been treated to Hutch's POV (more interesting) and his father's(even more
interesting), um...and his mother's! AND, I thought the love story btwn Hutch's father and mother was more interesting than that of Hutch and Christa. I got more involved with these secondary characters.
Bottom line, everything has potential and wants to work in this plot, but ...doesn't. It seemed unfinished and maybe gave the villain too much thinking time with his POV (yes, the reader runs through his mind as well as the other four). Some authors are good at multiple POVs, some have good intentions.
The ingredients in this novel were all my favorites, but the taste of it didn't satisfy. 2 1/2 3 stars I will read more of Kaylea Cross because I am interested to see if any of her works gets better and I like suspense. PLUS Hutch's father, Luke, gets his story in bk #5 of this series. I may have to skip to that.LOL