It's been a really, really long time since I set aside an entire day for reading just so I could finish a book…but that's exactly what I did on Monday for Katie Ruggle's Hold Your Breath. Because wow…can that lady tell a story! Keep reading for my thoughts–and for your chance to win a copy of the book for yourself.
Here's the blurb:
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.
What I liked about it
So many things. So many. The blurb really doesn't do the book–or Lou–justice, in my opinion. While things may go wrong around our heroine, she's smart, spunky, sarcastic, and altogether my kind of kick-ass woman in a story. I loved her, and I loved Callum, and I really loved how Ruggle managed to tread the fine line between making him an alpha and turning him into a…well, you know. Callum is as ruggedly strong and handsome as a romance hero gets, but he's confident enough to let the woman in his life be strong, too…and that, for me, is how a relationship should be. No…how it needs to be.
I also liked how Ruggle brought the secondary characters and setting to life. It's all too easy to let your secondary characters become cardboard cutouts, but Ruggle doesn't do that. Every single character in the book adds something to the story–whether it's tied in to the subplot or just giving us a sense of the quirkiness of living in a small, remote town in the Rockies.
And finally, I loved the sense of realism Ruggle managed to give to the story without overkill. There was just enough description to put the reader into the setting and just enough technical dive-talk to make the characters real. In other words, I didn't find myself flipping through page after page of jargon and narration just to get to the next juicy part. 😉
What I didn't like
:thinks: Not much, to be honest. :thinks harder: Nope. I got nuthin'. 😉
I really, really, really liked this story. (Did I mention that already? Sorry. 😉 ) I thought Ruggle did a fantastic job of balancing plot, romance, and character growth…and of keeping me happily glued to the pages. Characters and setting alike felt real, as did my emotional investment in them. If you're a suspense/thriller/romantic suspense fan–or just enjoy a well told story!–I highly recommend this one.
Word of warning: while Lou and Callum's story is neatly wrapped up by the end of the book, not all the plot lines are resolved…and there's a humdinger of a last line that had me complaining (in a good way) to the author on Twitter about not being able to get to the bookstore for the next in the series. You've been warned. Also, I need a new e-reader! 😉
(By the way, now I know how my own readers feel when I end stories like that. Not that I'll stop doing it, of course, but at least I can empathize. 😀 )
Now for the giveaway details! Because I enjoyed Hold Your Breath so much, I want to share the love…so one lucky winner will get a digital copy (winner's choice of format). Enter using the Rafflecopter form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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