Thursday, April 10, 2014

Release Blast for Down and Dirty by Kimberley Troutte (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Kimberley Troutte is here today with her new release, Down and Dirty, an intense read dealing with heavy issues of loss.  Keep reading to get a taste of this story along with my impressions of it.  You can learn even more about this release by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win another of Ms. Troutte's books too!

Final request…
SEAL Lieutenant Commander Nick Talley keeps promises, but taking care of a teammate’s sister is a vow he should’ve made. How can a man tortured by the past, help a woman fight her tough future?
Broken dreams…
Ironman qualifier, Jill Connors, is counting the days until her brother brings handsome Nick home with him. But a buried IED takes her brother’s life and a drunk driver steals her competition hopes. Will Nick want a woman with only one foot?
Love has a way of healing the wounded…one muddy step at a time.


Jill awoke to see a figure sleeping in the chair next to her bed. Wide shoulders, short dark hair, naval dress…“Billy!”
The man lifted his head and pierced her with amber eyes. Not green. Not Billy’s.
No, this was the courageous, hard-headed lieutenant commander her brother adored. He was also the man who had starred in quite a few of her steamy fantasies. Nick’s here? I’m not dreaming?
Nick Talley was the only man Billy respected enough to call brother. One of the few he’d die for. If he was really here, not a figment of her overactive imagination, then…
Oh, God.
She remembered everything. It was as if her insides were suddenly shredded. “I was driving to his funeral when this car slammed into me.” She studied a face that was rugged and strong, but old too, like he’d lived through centuries of pain and barely survived. “Billy’s dead?”
“Yes.” The muscles in his jaw worked to ground down his feelings, but his eyes filled with grief. He was suffering, maybe as much as she was.
“You were there?” Her voice ripped out of her. It was too screechy. She couldn’t control it.
“He died in my arms.”
“Thank you.” She opened her arms and welcomed him. He lurched forward, pressing his head into her chest. Tears flooded out of them both. Together they mourned. She’d missed her brother’s funeral, but somehow she knew Billy was okay with that. This personal moment from the two people who loved him the most would’ve been enough. Somewhere, Billy was smiling.
When she finally caught her breath, she scooted over as best she could. “Lay down beside me.”
“You sure? I don’t want to hurt you.”
“I’m already hurting. It’s a nightmare I can’t wake from.” The way he winced, she suspected he had nightmares of his own. “Please. I want to touch something real.”
He eased down beside her.
Tentatively, she laid her head on his shoulder. He was all muscle and warmth. She placed her arm over his chest and felt his heart beating strong under her palm. Just what she needed.
Lifting her hair, he pulled it back out of the way and wrapped his arm around her. “I’ve got you, sweetheart.”
A sweeter truth was never spoken. Nick had her, all right, since the first day she’d seen him.
She had been Skyping with her brother when a tall, dark-haired man of steel peeked around Billy’s shoulder and came into view on her computer.
“Hey gorgeous, why are you talking to Worm when you could be talking to me?”
She laughed. “You must be Nick.”
“He mentioned me, huh? Whatever he said was a lie.” He looked into the screen, melting her with his intense stare. “You’re beautiful.” He glanced at Billy. “Shit, Connor, what happened to you? Did they drop you on your face when you were a baby?”
“I have no problem with the ladies, wise-ass.” Billy elbowed Nick in the gut so hard he doubled over.
“Is that my not-too-subtle cue to step away from the Skype?” Nick asked, never taking his eyes off her.
Holy mackerel, he was gorgeous. “No, you don’t have to leave yet. Stay.” She was a thin line away from begging.
“No way! Nu-uh. It’s my brother-sister bonding time. Go away, Nick,” Billy complained, but Jill couldn’t help but notice he was grinning.
“All right. I’ll go.” Nick moved closer, and his face filled her screen. And what a face! All chiseled and rough, except those full lips. A girl could spend a lifetime getting to know that mouth. “Nice meeting you, Jill. I hope to talk to you again.Soon. Real soon.”
Wowza, she hoped so too.
Billy had said that Nick was tough, loyal, and damned good at his job. He’d saved Billy’s ass more times than he could count. Her brother had neglected to say that his buddy was hot.
And now she was lying in bed with Nick Talley. Her head was on his amazing shoulder. It was the one great moment in a terrible day.
“Go to sleep, Jilly-girl. I’m right here.” His deep voice rumbled in her ear.
And he was there. God, he really was. How had he come to her at the exact moment she needed him the most? His heartbeat soothed her, and she let herself drift.
They both went to sleep.



In just under 25 pages Ms. Troutte has crafted an engaging read dealing with heavy emotional issues that gets really good before rapidly concluding.  In this story that easily immerses readers, both protagonists have been dealt heavy blows in some heartbreaking scenes and only have each other for support.  Their burgeoning romance must be put aside to give them time to deal with these individual losses which adds some realism to an already compelling read.

Nick and Jill met while he was fighting overseas and bonded through Skypeing.  They promised to meet once he returned, but the trauma of his holding Jill's brother while he died and her becoming physically impaired puts shadows on their souls.  They both want to be strong for the other and now that they must deal with their losses individually before they can be together which shows how mature and strong-willed these individuals are.  The conclusion is rushed but extremely cheer-inducing and gives hope to those dealing with similar losses.

This was a compelling story dealing with important issues that I truly wish would've been addressed in a longer format.  The characters were immensely likable but there would've been a stronger impact had we gotten to know the characters in a deeper sense.  The ending was far too rushed and gave a quick fix to difficult problems.  Ms. Troutte has a pleasant writing style though and accomplished a lot in very few pages and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

My rating for this is a B-

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Kimberley Troutte is a Southern California girl, born and raised. She lives with her amazing hubby, two awesome sons, one old dog, a wild cat, four very large snakes and various other creatures the man/kids/dog inevitably drag in.
Kimberley has been an accountant, substitute teacher, caterer, financial analyst for a major defense contractor, real-estate broker, aerobics instructor and a freelance writer. With a B.A in Business Economics and a M.S. in Systems Management, she was destined to write romance.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. Thank YOU for stopping by Kimberley! As a disabled person myself I thank you for dealing with such life-altering issues. I would love if you were to revisit this couple and fill us in as to their time apart and how their relationship progresses from here. I very much liked both characters and applaud you for crafting such an engaging read!

      The Scarf Princess