About the Book:
Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Author, publisher
Publication Date: May 2014
Find the Review elsewhere:
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Series: Alaskan Courage, Book 4
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Rating: 5 out of 5
There is nothing quite so disappointing as a series that introduces us to a cast of beloved characters – whether they’re considered primary or secondary, only for some of them to never have their own story. Most series come out as the usual three-book trilogy, which for the best kind of books is never enough. Coming across a series that spans five books and covers all of its family members – the McKenna siblings, was something I hadn’t anticipated so learning it was a journey with talented suspense author, Dani Pettrey was a very good thing. Silenced is book four in the adventurous, Alaskan-set series about a group of five siblings, which focuses on eldest sister, Kayden McKenna and the man who has quietly loved her. Ever since the McKenna’s “adopted” him, Jake Westin’s troubled past – one he fled from in Boston, has slowly healed by loving Kayden. Only trouble is, Jake’s love is unrequited. Mistrusting Jake’s unusual knowledge of criminology and refusal to reveal his past, Kayden closes off her heart to him with no promise to accept the honorary McKenna until the truth of his past is exposed, and when events place Kayden with Jake – particularly when she discovers a body during a family day of rock climbing, the McKenna family must chase the truth to piece together a mystery.
Anyone who puts up with my book tweets will know that I read at the pace of a turtle, which is why I have to confess that I devoured the better part of this book in one day. Peeps, it was that good. For those of us who are “team McKenna,” this is the book that Dani has built up to be the “one” we were all anxious to get our hands on. It wasn’t long in book one before we realized Jake’s heart had been given to Kayden, which meant all that was left was for the readers to figuratively cheer on Kayden to wake up to the depth of that love. For multiple reasons, this was the book that left me breathlessly awaiting its arrival, one of which I’ve talked about enough and won’t bore you. The other being the subtlety with which this love story was crafted, the care with which it was handled – anyone who thought that the actual story wouldn’t live up to the teasing, I think it’s safe to say, everyone is going to appreciate Jake and Kayden’s story. It’s full-on in excitement and the love story is all the more precious because of the bantering story between these two characters. Before reading Silenced, I’d learned that the format took a different approach than the normal suspense novel which raises curiosity, however, in reading the book, I can confidently say that it’s proof that the upkeep of a secret can be revealed prior to the final ten pages and brilliantly, can work – and be very effective. In Pettrey’s hands, there is no lost gap between the guessing game reveal we expected to last until the final remnants and the final half of the book – it remains a solid page-turner.
There are adventurous books that struggle with meeting a happy medium of keeping the reader turning the pages to propel an escape from the “danger” chasing the characters and good character building. This is not one of those novels. The characters are magic in this series, which is what makes the suspense work so well – it’s the characters who bring it all together. To some, Kayden may seem a heroine difficult to relate to because she doesn’t effortlessly open up or outwardly show love; she’s an internal person who loves fiercely, and she is passionately loyal to family and their traditions. The girl doesn’t wear her heart on her sleeve which is what makes her such a strong person – and in a way, this is also her greatest weakness and what makes her fragile, and as a reader, I love her all the more for who she is, not what the expectation of who she should be is. Then there is Jake. (*swoon*) I cannot tell you all what a fantastic hero he is. In some ways, he’s very much like Kayden – loyal, protective, kind, moral, and secretive. These two are well matched – Jake is going to have to draw Kayden about of the protective shell she’s made for herself, and similarly, Kayden – even if unintentionally! – has opened up Jake’s heart to the fullest love, just the way God intended.
Coming to book four is bittersweet. As I reluctantly closed the final page of this novel, I realized again how close we are to the end of these Alaskan adventures (happy with Silenced, we are back “at home”) that come alive in our mind so easily. There are weddings (I cannot say how beautifully Cole and Bailey’s wedding sequence was – I loved that we had Cole’s point-of-view when it was most important), more insight to youngest sibling Reef and I suspect, we have met the girl who is about to steal his heart. With her flair for descriptive scenery, beautiful family ties and adventure that is more than just one-dimensional, Dani Pettrey has again written another 5-star piece of high-stakes escapism. These aren’t just books that have found a spot on my shelf, they’re books about people I feel like I know. That’s the best kind of story there is.
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Synopsis: Romantic Suspense’s Rising Star Returns with an Electric New Thriller.
A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna’s route leads her face to face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something sinister? When the case is handed to the overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin. With Jake’s past now revealed, he’s ready to use his talent for investigation again–but he could never prepare for where the case will take him.
Kayden and Jake soon realize that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is on to them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine. – Goodreads
Coming Next from Dani Pettrey: Reef’s story, which arrives Spring 2015.
Sincere thanks to author Dani Pettrey (and publisher) for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.