Title: The Brave Line
Author: Kate Stewart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 17
She is a five foot seven long list of things he can’t have.
He is a determined cop, desperate to keep his heart sealed behind his badge.
Michelle is a survivor. With a fresh perspective on life, she trades her tragic past in California for the coastal waters of Charleston. Fueled by a new career as a dispatcher, she’s determined not to let her scars weigh her down. She apologizes for nothing, especially her insatiable need for a certain police officer.
Rowdy is a newly minted sergeant dedicated to his job, but the life of a Charleston police officer has never been more dangerous. With his need to take order of a city spiraling out of control, the last thing he wants is an entanglement with a mouthy dispatcher. But, there’s just one problem. He can’t get enough of her.
As the heat rises between the unlikely pair, so does the tension.
Three months of summer was all it took to shake their foundations, rattle their walls, and bring them crashing down.
It was lust.
It was love.
It was real.
And it would have been perfect . . . if it wasn't already over.
Note to reader: This book has several elements and explores topics that some may consider triggers. For mature audiences only. Explicit sex, violence and language.
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Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***
“I’m not breathing for ghosts anymore, I’m breathing for you.”
Many, many moons ago I stumbled across my first Kate Stewart read and so began a love affair with this authors writing. Sometimes, you just click, an authors voice resonates within and an instant connection is born and that is how Kate Stewart has become one of my go to authors, an auto 1click, and a total blind read. I went into the Brave Line knowing absolutely nothing, I had stayed away from teasers, little snippets and everything, I wanted to be transported and once again I was.
“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just have to find the ones worth suffering for. ~ Bob Marley”
The Brave Line is the uplifting, tumultuous and heart breaking at times story of Michelle and Rowdy, these are two characters that you will be familiar with if you have read Anything but Minor but this is anything but a Rom Com. Even though these books are connected by characters you can read this book as a standalone. This book does touch on some sensitive issues, each and every one though was dealt with brutal honesty and compassion.
“There are different kinds of assholes, Rowdy. Don’t be that one, seriously.”
Michelle is a 911 operator and Rowdy is a Police Sergeant, both connected by their jobs and the love of their best friend. Both Michelle and Rowdy are broken by their pasts, troubled by their present and both put on a good front. Under that professional and in Michelle’s case, fun loving façade though are two extremely terrified and troubled individuals that are stuck in their own vortex of pain, a living hell with no end in sight to their plight. Two individuals both scared to move on, weighed down by fear and yet two people that have so much in common that work and play well together.
“Rowdy had obliterated the pavement with his hesitance and his hurt, but I could dig my way in through that debris.”
Just the fact that Michelle is alive to tell the tale is an achievement in itself, but when someone goes through what she did, the scars are not just physical, they are emotional, mental and permanent. Being a survivor though changed Michelle’s course of life, she wanted to give back and so she became an 911 operator. Michelle has a huge heart, would do anything for anyone but she wasn’t perfect. Michelle had her flaws, they were there for all to see, what you saw is what you got. Michelle was such a strong character and Kate Stewart nailed her. Kate Stewart always delivers rich characters, they have depth, they are normal, they are relatable but she brings them to life in vivid technicolour and Michelle was no different. I lived and breathed this character, both her past and present. It wasn’t always pretty, but I felt every damn thing.
“I’d never committed to a woman in my life. I had played the boyfriend role once or twice, and the results had been the same: I’d walked away without a scratch and devastated women who didn’t deserve it.”
Rowdy, Rowdy, Rowdy at times I wanted to smack him about a bit and tell him to wake up but sometimes when you have been closed off for so long it is hard to let those vulnerabilities and insecurities show, especially in his line of work. As this story progressed we were treated to little glimpses of the real Rowdy and you knew deep down there was an exceptional man underneath, he just needed to be brave enough to let him out. Rowdy’s past is littered with pain and devastation and this has led to him closing himself off to protect his own heart, he cannot lose anyone else. A life without love is a crime in itself and Rowdy had a lot of love to give, he just needed to be brave. Rowdy was real, like Michelle, his flaws were apparent but this just made you love him all the more, oh and our Rowdy has one hell of a filthy mouth, who couldn’t love a dirty talking cop?
“I’m still fucking hard from ten minutes ago, and you are to blame, so I’m going to coat that throat with Rowdy Red.”
These two together with combustible, both in and out of the sheets. These two complimented each other, they called one and other out and the banter and comedic moments were a great lift to an otherwise emotional story. Their journey is fraught with obstacles, mainly their own emotions, thoughts and feelings, but this journey was a necessary evil…before they could love each other, they had to learn to love themselves. The sexual tension, the passion and the intensity that Kate Stewart managed to deliver between these two was infectious and all-consuming. These are two characters that you will be rooting for from the very beginning and no matter how much they have to battle themselves and one and other, you will find yourself begging for their happy ever after.
“We were locked bodies and scarred souls completely exposed. And it was okay because I wanted him to have a piece of mine. And I gave it to him.”
Once again, Kate Stewart took a sledgehammer to my heart, she decimated it, but very carefully put it back together. My heart and soul took these characters in and were extremely reluctant to let them go. These two were so relatable, so brutally honest that you cannot help but love them, their struggles become your own. As ever, Kate Stewart’s writing was flawless, her innate ability to deliver on character connection, on emotion is effortless, her comedic timing, genius, and her characters as honest and relatable as the day is long. This is a book that will put you on the proverbial emotional rollercoaster, but once again, what a ride. Another amazing book from this incredibly talented author. I cannot wait for the next one.
A native of Dallas, Kate Stewart now resides in beautiful Charleston, S.C. She lives with her husband of 10 years, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring the city her creative muse. Since the move in 2010, Kate has written and published several novels including Room 212, Never Me, Loving the White Liar, The Reluctant Romantics Series (The Fall, The Heart, The Mind) and The Balls in Play series (Anything but Minor and Major Love.)
Kate writes messy, sexy, angst filled romance books with ‘hard to get’ happy endings because it’s what she loves as a reader. She has a scary addiction to chocolate milk and a deep love for rap music specifically the genius known as Marshall Mathers.
In addition to her addiction to romance, Kate also lets her alter ego take over on occasion and writes erotic suspense under the pen Angelica Chase.
Check out Kate’s works as Angelica