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Stranded by Dani Pettrey

Book - StrandedAbout the Book:
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: September 2013
Series: Alaskan Courage – Book 3
Find the review elsewhere:
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Genre: Fiction; Suspense, Romance, Christian Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: Fans returning to the Last Chance Frontier and Alaskan wilderness will find Gage McKenna and Darcy St. James reunited when Darcy’s friend disappears off a cruise ship. Working on the smarts she honed as a former investigative reporter, Darcy left the job following a conscious troubled by a case, a decision she made when where the lines should be drawn begin blurring. Now she is drawn back in while trying to protect her now-missing friend and much to her dismay she finds Gage will also be a working member of the cruise – along with his family who have signed a contract to provide expert, guided tours at various scenic locations. When past and present collide, Darcy and Gage discover it’s not just Abby who is in danger – or missing, Darcy has also made herself a target.

In case you hadn’t heard, the McKenna family is baaack! There’s been no secret made how well these novels resonate with fans – its ability to make us catch our breath then turn around and coax a smile brands this series as leaders of its genre. As a reader, the excitement and danger makes for a fast, entertaining read (the kind you never wish to see conclude) and specifically speaking from a point of relation, discovering an emotionally relatable character within these pages has been a wonderful journey – it not only endears the character, but illustrates them as “real” people, which may be a needless point since really, the McKenna’s have felt more like a family who were a group of best friends, rather than cookie cutter characters whom we read about for 300 hundred pages and then promptly forget. True to the prior books, none of the McKenna siblings are forgotten – save for Reef whose rebel predispositions means the dude is rarely around, if anything, visiting them again was a blast especially since they are removed from the prior locations of the books and placed on a ship. Their laid-back teasing always comes at the most opportune interval (just when readers are in need of a momentary bit of relief!) and more emotions play into the dynamics in particular considering what is revealed about Jake; visiting these characters is like reliving a favorite event or spending the day relaxing in your favorite spot. Pettrey has a brilliant knack for combining familial ties and a top-notch mystery; the former offers comfort and stability – think feelings of a warm hug or the comforts of home, and the latter earning each story the distinction of being a page turner. Given the circumstances, again, there is no shortage of adventure; the mystery runs along similar lines and is yet again impressive though I do remember questioning the possibility (through educated guesses and the clues) of what it ultimately ended up involving.

Gage is probably the most complicated of the McKenna men yet. From experience he doesn’t trust easily and fights his own judgment more than once. He judges Darcy on a standard he should not, which then interferes with him trusting her based on past experiences that have nothing to do with Darcy. Getting to know Darcy again was fun and while I think Cole’s story may be my favorite yet, I thoroughly enjoyed Stranded; one of Dani’s best assets is the past she seamlessly forms between the romantic leads of each novel. Darcy and Gage may have found love quickly when you read this as a stand-alone novel (which I don’t easily recommend) but when read as a series their love story has greater meaning and more history. If nothing else – and they are about much more than that, the McKenna’s are unforgettable. The good thing about these books is that there is more than merely unforgettable characters. Dani wove strong bonds and fantastic plots – two things that any avid reader will tell you are non-negotiable musts in fiction. Fans of suspense or familial sagas will be swept away by Pettrey’s masterful Alaskan Courage series. The only disadvantage is having to bid adieu to them for another year.

Synopsis: When her friend vanishes from a cruise ship, reporter Darcy St. James isn’t satisfied with their explanation that she simply left her job of her own accord. Something isn’t lining up, and Darcy believes the only way to find the truth is to put herself in Abby’s position. Within days, Darcy learns her friend wasn’t the only person to disappear mysteriously. Last summer, a woman vanished under almost identical circumstances.

Gage McKenna has taken a summer-long stint leading adventure excursions for the passengers of various cruise lines that dock for a few days of sightseeing. He’s surprised to find Darcy working aboard one of the ships, investigating a troubling report. Something sinister is going on and the deeper they dig the more Gage fears they’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

Coming Next from Dani Pettrey: Silenced, coming summer 2014; synopsis N/A

Sincere thanks to author Dani Pettrey for providing a complimentary copy of this book. 

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