BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, August 1, 2016

Bea Reviews Hold Your Breath & Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle

Bea's Book Nook, Review, Hold Your Breath, Fan the Flames, Katie Ruggle
Series: Search and Rescue #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge | Finishing the Series Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | ARe* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...

As the captain of Field County's ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise "Lou" Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he's never felt more alive...even if keeping her safe may just kill him.

Lou's new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she's determined to make it on her own terms...no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence Lou-and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.

My Thoughts:

I started this series by reading the free prequel  novella, "On His Watch" , which was underwhelming. "Hold Your Breath", on the other hand, was much more enjoyable. In fact, I jumped right into the next book.

I've always been partial, for some reason, to stalker story lines so "Hold Your Breath" was right up my alley. Unfortunately, the identity of the stalker was obvious early on but there was still tension as we didn't know when he'd strike next or what he would do. Ruggle gives us peeks into his mind even before revealing his identity. It was, however, those peeks that led me to guess his identity. There's a second mystery involving an anonymous, headless, dead guy and that is not resolved by story's end but runs all throughout the series.

Most of the story is told from Lou's POV. She moved to Colorado to start a new life and take control of her life. As part of that endeavor she's joined the dive team of the local search and rescue team. Her boss Callum both unnerves her and appeals to her. Whereas she's chatty, friendly, impulsive, and a little flighty, he is quiet, stoic, reserved, bossy, and often abrupt. Unfortunately, because we don't get his POV, he was hard to get to know and to warm up to. I ended up liking him but it took me a while.

Lou and Callum's romance also took time. The stalker and the dead guy brought them together and accelerated things but even so they took their time and didn't rush. It was a sweet romance but the move from interested and sort of dating to being involved and dating was anticlimactic. While it didn't fit Lou's character, it did fit Callum's, but it was a little unsatisfactory.

"Hold Your Breath" was suspenseful, engrossing, and sweet, a good mix of romance and mystery. I really enjoyed the characters and the story.

Read an excerpt here.

Bea's Book Nook, Review, Hold Your Breath, Fan the Flames, Katie Ruggle
Series: Search and Rescue #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Dingate: June 7th 2016
Challenges: NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge | Finishing the Series Reading Challenge
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | ARe* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...

As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers...and with the girl he's loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He'd die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath-and he may just have to.

Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she's managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war-with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.

Search and Rescue:
On His Watch (novella)
Hold Your Breath
Fan the Flames
Gone too Deep
In Safe Hands

My Thoughts:

Now, "Fan the Flames" wasn't quite as satisfying as "Hold Your Breath" but I did like it. If you haven't read the first book, or the novella, you can still jump in. The headless guy mystery is less prevalent in this story. It's primarily a romance with some action.

I had a hard time buying Ian as both a firefighter and a member of a criminal motorcycle club. They were an odd fit. To Ruggle's credit, she doesn't gloss over the difficulties he has in fitting in with both groups and the grief he gets from members of both groups. Even with Ian's background, I just could never quite buy into or reconcile his membership in both groups.

Related to that, Ian's family life was straight out of a soap opera as was Rory's. 'Dysfunctional' is barely adequate to describe their families. It's a wonder Rory wasn't a total fruitcake. And yet, she was a little too naive, a little too socially awkward, though there were certainly times i could relate to her awkwardness. Rory was both strong and vulnerable, smart and ignorant, while Ian was exceedingly patient and kind but took no crap from anyone. They made a good team and worked together well dealing with the threats against each of them. The action was over the top at times but I liked Ian and Rory enough that I could disregard that. We also got character appearances from the earlier stories and that filled out the story nicely, giving us context, and with Lou around, some humor.

In all, not the best story in the series, but a solid addition. Come back tomorrow for my review of the newest book, "Gone Too Deep", as well as an excerpt and giveaway.

Read an excerpt here.

My review of book 3, "Gone Too Deep"

2 comments:

  1. Hold Your Breath sounds really great! I'm a fan of stalker plotlines too so that alone tempts me. I also like a slower relationship in suspense books. So often they go from strangers to soulmates in a matter of seconds and that can be hard to get past. Fan the Flames sounds okay though doesn't grab me as much as the first. Overall, this sounds like a series I need to pick up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'd like this series. It's weird, but stalker stories and survivors of domestic abuse are catnip to me. I like the slower relationship too; not a fan of insta-lust or love. I'm curious to see if you like "Hold Your Breath", when you get around to reading it.

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let;s talk!