Tough Enough is the second book in Leighton's "Tall Dark and Dangerous" series. I read the first book with Jasper and Must and I just need to tell you that this is a totally different book. The first book was definitely an action/suspense with a very strong, brooding alpha hero lead. This book reads like a much more traditional contemporary romance. There is a little suspense and even less action but it's mostly alluded to and takes up much less space in the plot. All that being said, this is still a good read and if you're a fan of the series, give it a try.
If you read the first book in the series, you know that the series is set up around the members or rather former members of a Navy Seal team. Rogan, the hero in this story was a part of that team who has become and MMA fighter and Hollywood actor in his retirement. When this book begins, there is an outstanding issue from the first book which is that someone is targeting the former members of Rogan's Seal team. That was a major issue in this book but it really is more of a blip in this book. Rogan meets Katie when she becomes his makeup artist on the set of his latest movie. Katie has deeeeep physical and emotional scars that she is both physically and mentally covering. up. Rogan is instantly attracted to her but the issue is whether Katie can accept herself and Rogan's feelings for her. Throw in the issues with the Seal team and we've got a story.
I really really like Rogan. He is absolutely everything you would want in a book boyfriend and way too much to hope for in a real boyfriend (ugh). Rogan is patient, persistent and understanding. He sees past Katie's physical imperfections and loves the deepest parts of her. Katie is not as likable of a character as Rogan but you can understand where she's coming from. The incident that led to Katie's scars was effed up to the 10th degree of effedupedness (that's a word) and as a result her barriers are Great Wall China strong. I enjoyed watching Rogan work through Katie's issues with her. It's always gets me when a man can love the crazy away because what elese could you hope for in love.
Almost the entire book is really Rogan working through Katie's issues and getting her to open up. There is not a lot of change in scenery or external action in the story. There is really good character dialogue but also quite a bit of character introspection.The connection between the couple is well developed but sometimes I did want a little more in the way of events. That might just be because I read the first book and it set my expectations in a certain direction. One thing I know I didn't like was the way so much information was shoved into the last 20% of the book. I felt like the author suddenly remembered this book was a part of series and decided to start connecting all these dots but it just all came too fast. I would've really liked to see the events at the end of the book spread throughout the entire story.
All in all, I think you will enjoy this love story and I would recommend it.
**ARC provided by Publisher**