Silenced: Alaskan Courage, Book Four
The McKennas are back in the fourth installment of Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series. This time, the story centers on two characters we’ve come to know well in the last three books --- characters whose romantic tension has been building. I’m sure I speak for many readers when I say, “It’s about time!”
Kayden McKenna is a health-conscious adventure-junkie who is also fiercely independent. She finds it difficult to accept help from anybody, and her siblings lightheartedly joke about her stubbornness, trying to get Kayden to admit she can’t do it all. For the past few years, Kayden has been fighting an attraction to Jake Westin, a virtual stranger that the McKennas “adopted” into their family when he mysteriously appeared in Yancey. Since the beginning, Jake has been vague about his past, and Kayden’s cynical nature and suspicions about his motivations have kept them at arm’s length. But the truth about his past was recently revealed, shedding a whole new light on things. Now Kayden understands Jake’s reasons for his evasiveness, and her attraction to him has only increased. Still, she won’t admit it, not even to herself.
"Adrenaline junkies, romance readers, suspense fans, and anyone who prefers fast-paced and action-packed fiction will definitely want to reserve a slot on their bookshelves for this one."
Jake built a career in Boston as one of the city’s finest police detectives. He was married, with a baby on the way, and he couldn’t have been happier with his life. But then his wife and unborn baby were murdered, and his life fell apart. The suspected killer committed suicide, and his wife --- also his accomplice --- was put in prison. That’s when Jake fled Boston to make a new life for himself in Yancey. He hoped a new place and a whole lot of time would help mend his broken heart and possibly relieve some of the guilt he felt at not being able to protect his family. The McKennas have welcomed him into their family, providing a much-needed place to heal and recoup.
The story opens with a bang as Kayden discovers a dead body while on a rock-climbing excursion with Jake. The death is quickly determined to be anything but an accident, and against his better judgment, Jake is drawn back into the thrill of police work. He agrees to help with the case and is sworn in as a deputy. Kayden’s climbing expertise and Jake’s detective skills determine them a great team, and they begin to dig into the crime. The clues eventually lead them to realize that the past Jake has been fleeing has finally caught up with him --- in an unexpected and explosive way.
As Kayden and Jake get closer to solving the case, they also realize that being a great team may stretch beyond the bounds of a murder investigation.
Each of the Alaskan Courage series books have focused on a particular adventure seeker’s dream: deep sea diving, snowboarding, whitewater rafting, and now rock climbing. That excitement alone is a wonderful foundation for a suspense novel. The fact that Dani Pettrey adds engaging and colorful characters, a beautiful setting, and a well-crafted plot only enhances the enjoyment. Kayden and Jake are both battling their separate internal issues, which prevent them from believing that love is an option, yet neither one totally denies their feelings for the other. It’s a continual romantic tension that builds throughout and results in a satisfying and sigh-inducing ending. After the exciting and heart-pounding climax, of course.
As with the books before it, SILENCED makes for a thrilling page-turner, and Pettrey has earned a spot at the top of my list for romantic suspense authors. Of the five McKenna siblings, only Reef is yet unattached. Pettrey has set the stage in this book for Reef’s love story to unfold in what probably will be the final book in the series. Although each book stands alone, you’ll probably want to read them in order to get a feel for the characters’ progression and growth throughout.
Adrenaline junkies, romance readers, suspense fans, and anyone who prefers fast-paced and action-packed fiction will definitely want to reserve a slot on their bookshelves for this one.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on June 20, 2014