Friday, July 1, 2016

Review: Ultimate Courage (True Heroes #2) by Piper J. Drake

Book Blurb:

Elisa Hall is good at starting from scratch. Leaving an abusive relationship in her rearview, she packs everything she owns into the trunk of her car and heads for refuge with her friend in Hope's Crossing, North Carolina. 

Alex Rojas returned from his second deployment as a Navy SEAL to find his condo empty and divorce papers on the breakfast table. Now he's building a life for himself and his daughter at Hope's Crossing kennels training younger dogs and handlers to search and rescue, struggling to adjust to life back in the States and as a single father.

When Elisa shows up at the kennels, it's obvious she's running from something. Luckily, the dogs and trainers at Hope's Crossing are more than capable of warding off trouble. And with every minute he spends with Elisa, Alex becomes even more and more determined to protect the woman he's certain he won't be able to live without...

My Review:

I am so glad I read Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake!  I loved it.  It was one of those books I didn't want to end, because I felt so involved in the plot!  Piper J. Drake took the theme of an abused woman on the run to a whole new level, and wrote a well developed, emotional story in Ultimate Courage.

Alex and Elisa are both powerful main characters.  Neither of them are perfect, in fact they are both flawed and have issues they are working through.  Neither of them is looking for any kind of relationship, but the instant attraction is there.  I loved Alex.  He is so strong and protective, and determined not to let his problems take over his life.  It is very difficult for him, but he works hard at it.  I loved how he was with patient, caring and very observant.  He saw more than she was telling him from the start.  I loved Elisa also.  She is brave, determined, and very strong.  I loved her as a heroine because she didn't hide her past, and slowly (but not too slowly!) opened up to Alex and his friends.  She didn't want to take help, but she did because she knew she had to.  She is very cautious though.  I liked that she wasn't a heroine determined to do everything on her own and she didn't keep secrets about her past.  I liked that she didn't paint all men with the same brush as her ex.  I admired both of these characters greatly for what they went through in the past to the issues they are facing today.

The developing relationship between Alex and Elisa felt very right.  I liked the progression of it and that it wasn't perfect.  I had high hopes that Elisa could put her past to rest and move onto a better future.  Both of these characters made their way into my heart, and they felt like real people as I was reading.  The alternating POV's between Alex and Elisa worked well to bring me into their lives.

The secondary characters are mainly people from Hope's Crossing, from colleagues to Alex's daughter.  They are a perfect fit for this story, and I loved the connection between them all.  It felt like a group of friends I'd love to be a part of.  I loved, loved the animal theme in Ultimate Courage.  It really helped make the book for me.  Especially Souze.  Even his doggy character developed well and grew through out the story, and I really liked how Piper did this.

Piper J. Drake writes the suspenseful, stalker part of the plot in a way that weaves in perfectly with romance.  Alex and Elisa's relationship and all it encompasses is the main theme, but who Elisa is running from is always there in the undercurrents, and you can't help but feel a little shiver now and then, wondering what would happen.

Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake had it all for me!  A mature, realistic relationship between two people I came to care about, enough suspense and unknowns to keep me a little on edge, and a host of secondary characters who all fit so well with the plot.  Very well paced with great flow, I'm not sure what I can read next that will compare to Ultimate Courage!  I'd highly recommend Ultimate Courage to any romance reader!


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