Review: Cold Shot (Chesapeake Valor #1) by Dani Pettrey

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

In college, Griffin McCray and his four best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore PD. Declan Gray would head to the FBI and Parker Mitchell would go on to graduate school as a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world–and friendships–crumbled.

Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet–until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern–a young social justice lawyer missing since spring–and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Gray takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he’ll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he–and those he cares about–are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents.

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I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Cold Shot will be available February 2, 2016.

I enjoyed Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series so when I saw she was starting a new series I definitely wanted to check it out. I’m very happy to report that I liked the start of this Chesapeake Valor series even more!

I have to say that one of the reasons I liked it so much is that it reminded me a little bit of the tv show Bones, which I loved during it’s early years. Griffin is a former sniper (like Booth) and Finley is a forensic anthropologist (like Temperence, aka “Bones”). When Griffin comes across remains in Gettysburg he calls upon Finley’s expertise when he suspects the body has been more recently killed than he expected. To assist in the investigation they bring in Griffin’s childhood friends Declan, an FBI agent, and Parker, a crime scene investigator (though Parker is no longer really a friend), Parker’s assistant Avery, and later their other old friend, Kate.

I liked the characters in the story a lot. Though the story mostly focused on Griffin and Finley, we get several different perspectives and they were all pretty distinct. I liked learning some of the backstory between Griffin, Parker, Declan, and Kate and look forward to getting even more in the coming books.

I also liked the romance in the book. I thought Griffin and Finley were well matched and they complemented each other well. They both had to overcome some of their own demons before they were ready for a relationship, and they both played a role in each other’s life to help them come to terms with the past and with God. I also liked the developing relationship between Parker and Avery. The one thing I didn’t like about the romance was that there was just a little too much of the “He/She’s so beautiful/kind/strong/special, but I’m not ready/don’t deserve him/her” inner-monologues going on for my taste. That’s not to say the romance wasn’t sweet, because it was, it’s just a problem I have with a lot of romances.

I thought the suspense was done pretty well, as there were several life-endangering situations and the plot moved along fairly quickly. The main mystery was just ok for me, though. There was a twist that kind of came out of left field and while it did work, it slightly annoyed me. It always makes me feel like I’ve wasted time trying to figure things out when the answer doesn’t even become a possibility until late in the game.

I really liked the way that Pettrey wove in issues of faith with the story. There’s an overall message of forgiveness and trusting in God’s presence that was very well done. Prayers and discussions on the subject were organic with the characters and it never felt like you were being “preached” to, so I think that even those who aren’t Christians would still enjoy the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed Cold Shot. I really liked the well-developed characters, the thoughtful way their faith played into the story, and the suspense. While I enjoyed Pettrey’s previous series, I think her writing has greatly improved with each new book and I think this one is her best yet. I look forward to spending more time with these characters when the series continues.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

4 stars

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Review: Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage #5) by Dani Pettrey

Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage #5)

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Sabotaged will be available February 3, 2015.

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Growing up, goody-two-shoes Kirra Jacobs and troublemaker Reef McKenna were always at odds. Now paired together on Yancey’s search-and-rescue canine unit, they begin to put aside old arguments as they come to see each other in a different light. Then a call comes in from the Iditarod that will push them to their limits.

Kirra’s uncle, a musher in the race, has disappeared. Kirra and Reef quickly track the man, but what they discover is harrowing. Frank’s daughter has been kidnapped. In order to save her, the man must use his knowledge as a mechanical engineer to do the kidnapper’s bidding or she will die. Kirra and Reef, along with the entire McKenna family, are thrown into a race to stop a shadowy villain who is not only threatening a girl’s life, but appears willing to unleash one of the largest disasters Alaska has ever seen.

Sabotaged is the final book in the Alaskan Courage series. It centers on the final McKenna sibling, Reef, and his love interest, Kirra, while still involving some of the other characters we’ve come to know throughout the series.

The story follows Reef and Kirra as they investigate the kidnapping of Kirra’s cousin and what her uncle is being forced to do to rescue her, while developing their relationships with each other and with God. As in Pettrey’s previous books, my biggest complaint with the mystery is that it spends way too much time on a red herring that essentially does nothing to move the story along. However, the central mystery was pretty well done. I was also expecting to see more of the Iditarod race, but most of the story took place away from it.

My favorite part of the book was probably the epilogue where we finally see all the McKenna siblings and their significant others together. I really enjoyed reading about each of them and am sorry to see them go.

Overall, I enjoyed Sabotaged. I felt it was a good ending to the Alaskan Courage series. Pettrey’s writing style has steadily improved throughout the series and I look forward to seeing what she does next. I would recommend this book to fans of Christian fiction, mystery, and romance.

3 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait To Get. I thought this would be the easiest top ten list ever for me to do, but going through my TBR list, a lot of my favorite series finished this year or last year. However, there are still plenty of sequels to look forward to!

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5)

1. Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 3.5) by Marissa Meyer. January 27, 2015.

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)

2. The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines #6) by Richelle Meade. February 10, 2015.

3. P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han. (No cover yet!!) April 21, 2015.

4. The Bone Season #3 by Samantha Shannon – No cover, title, or release day yet! But I recently just finished The Mime Order and I’m dyyyying for the next one!

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)

5. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Boys #3) by Maggie Stiefvater. October 21, 2014. This is already out, but I still haven’t read it yet!

The Boy with the Hidden Name (Otherworld, #2)

6. The Boy with the Hidden Name (Otherworld #2) by Skylar Dorset. December 2, 2014.

Invaded (Alienated, #2)

7. Invaded (Alienated #2) by Melissa Landers. February 3, 2015.

8. The Boy Most Likely To (My Life Next Door #2) by Huntley Fitpatrick. No cover or release date yet!

9. After the Storm (Kate Burkholder #7) by Linda Castillo. No cover yet! July 14, 2015.

Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage #5)

10. Sabotaged (Alaskan Courage #5) by Dani Pettrey. February 3, 2015.

What sequels are you looking forward to?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I read because of the Blogging Community

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie week where we can pick our own topic. I’ve decided to go with the Top Ten Books I read because of the Blogging Community. Perhaps my favorite thing about blogging is all the books I’ve discovered from reading other blogs. I wish I could remember who the blogger was that made me read these books, but I just can’t remember. So know, whoever you are, I thank you.

The Night Circus

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)  Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)

2 & 3. Unspoken and Untold (The Lynburn Legacy) by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

4. The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

5. Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo.

Storm (Elemental, #1)

6. The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer.

The Fault in Our Stars

7. The Fault in our Stars by John Green.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

8. Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1)

9. The Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey

My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1)

10. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

What books have other bloggers inspired you to read????

 

 

Wish They Would/Wouldn’t Wednesday

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Welcome to my new feature: Wish they Would/Wouldn’t Wednesday. This is where I’ll discuss issues that I wish authors would or wouldn’t do. This could include favorite styles, themes, genres, or pet peeves. And my first topic is………

I WISH THEY WOULDN’T: CREATE SERIES WITH NEW PROTAGONISTS FOR EACH BOOK

So we’ve all been there. We read a book and fall in love with not just the story, but the characters. Even if the plot wraps up in a satisfying way, you still crave more of the characters. And you’re in luck! It’s a series. HOWEVER, instead of focusing on these characters that you adore, a minor character from the first book takes center stage.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of series like this that I end up really enjoying, but each new book drives me a little bit crazy waiting for my old favorites to show up before I start to like the new characters. And even when I really get into the new protagonists, I still can’t get enough of the characters from the first installment. I wish these types of series at least included more of the previous primary characters in each new book.

Some examples of these series that I read and enjoyed, but was still annoyed with (click on the picture for summaries):

The O’Malley series by Dee Henderson

The Negotiator (O'Malley, #1)  The Guardian (O'Malley #2) The Truth Seeker (O'Malley #3) The Protector (O'Malley #4)  The Healer (O'Malley #5) The Rescuer (O'Malley #6)

The Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1) Shattered (Alaskan Courage, #2) Stranded (Alaskan Courage, #3)  Silenced (Alaskan Courage, #4)

Reviews: Shattered, Silenced

Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)  Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)  Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm (Elemental, #1)  Spark (Elemental, #2)  Spirit (Elemental, #3) Secret (Elemental, #4)

Reviews: Storm, Spark, Spirit, Secret

What do you think of series that change protagonists with each new book? Love them? Hate them? Read them, but are annoyed by them?

Review: Silenced (Alsaskan Courage #4) by Dani Pettrey

 

Silenced (Alaskan Courage, #4)

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not affect my review.

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Romantic Suspense’s Rising Star Returns with an Electric New Thriller

A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna’s route leads her face to face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something sinister? When the case is handed to the overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin. With Jake’s past now revealed, he’s ready to use his talent for investigation again–but he could never prepare for where the case will take him.

Kayden and Jake soon realize that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is on to them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine.

I’ve enjoyed the first three books in the Alaskan Courage series and Silenced did not disappoint. It continued with the blend of romance, suspense, and faith that I’ve come to expect from Pettrey.

In the last book, we got a closer glimpse into the relationship between Kayden and Jake. Kayden had always believed he was hiding something and we found out he used to be a detective, but left his old life after his wife was murdered. In Silenced we pick up with their burgeoning relationship.

While out on a rock climb, Kayden finds a dead climber. When the acting Sheriff, Landon (Kayden’s soon-to-be brother-in-law), convinces Jake to join his short-handed police force and take lead on the investigation, Kayden agrees to help since she has climbing expertise and is in with the tight-knit climbing community.

While the mystery of the murder is interesting, the focus of the investigation seems mostly to advance the relationship between Kayden and Jake. They’ve never spent much time together one-on-one and they both enjoy it a little more than they should during a murder investigation. When the case comes to a startling close, something still isn’t sitting quite right with Jake, especially when he continues to get threatening notes.

After a life-threatening accident on another climb, Jake figures out that the threats don’t have anything to do with their initial case, but that his past is coming back to haunt him and he’ll need the help of the rest of the McKenna’s to save the woman he loves.

Overall, I enjoyed Silenced. I liked that we got to see Cole and Bailey finally get married and that we also got to see more of Reef (who the next book is likely to be about). I would’ve liked for the initial mystery to have tied into the central plot of the book in some way, though. While it was interesting, I felt a little bit like it was a waste of time. However, I still look forward to continuing the Alaskan Courage series.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3
Characters: 3.5
Readability: 4
Enjoyability: 4
Overall Average: 3.626 stars

Monday’s Minutes

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Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

Landry Park (Landry Park, #1)

Landry Park by Bethany Hagen. I’ve just started this so I’m not too sure what I think about it yet. It’s supposed to be in the future, but America’s future is apparently like the European Regency era. But I’m in to those types of books, so I’m ok with it.

Endless

Endless by Amanda Gray. I’m still working my way through this one. I hate not finishing books I get through NetGalley, so I want to press on, it’s just not interesting me yet. Hopefully it picks up.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT

Stranded (Alaskan Courage, #3)

Stranded (Alaskan Courage #3) by Dani Pettrey. I’ve read the first two books in the series and while I wasn’t terribly impressed, the second improved a lot over the first so I’m hoping this one does too. I like the character development and the Alaskan setting.

What are you reading?