Title: Hold Your Breath
Author: Katie Ruggle
Series: Search and Rescue #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Available: April 5th
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.
Source: ARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley
Action, a mysterious murder, a sinister stalker, snow, ice and the sweetest kind of heat all combine to make this first full length novel from the Search and Rescue series into a thoroughly enjoyable ride. Lou and Callum couldn’t be any more different – she’s determined to be independent, is sarcastic and playful, and never afraid to break the rules, while he’s straight down the line, a complete neat freak and not well known for his smile. I loved the way these two struck sparks off each other, and how well they formed into a team when circumstances demanded it.
Despite the discovery of the dead body, and Lou’s determination throughout to uncover the victim’s identity, the suspense element actually comes from the stalker, who likes lurking outside Lou’s isolated cabin at night. If I’m honest, it might have been nice if there had been a little more mystery about said stalker’s identity, but still, it’s all pretty unsettling and creepy. Not to mention provides an excellent excuse for Callum to hang around.
Ah, Callum. What an enigma he turned out to be. Quiet and taciturn, he’s not one to tell jokes or become the life of the party, but I loved the steady way he supports Lou and sneaks his way into her life. He may like to be in control, but he’s never controlling, and the subtle way he instilled confidence in Lou throughout was lovely. He’s an unusual hero, in that he’s strong and a natural leader without any of the arrogant alpha tendencies that tend to come with it. He knows what he can do, so he goes ahead and does it – he doesn’t need to posture. I loved him. I would, however, have loved him even more if we’d been given his pov. He’s such a quiet mystery that I would have loved to have seen inside his head a time or two along the way.
It might also have been nice to have had a bit more back story for either of them. We learn very little about Callum (I was expecting a revelation about his childhood, actually, but it never came so I think I picked up clues that weren’t there, sadly), while Lou’s history is sketchy at best – aside from her horribly pushy mother. When added to the fairly open ending, it meant I was left with a few too many questions after I put this down.
However, I thoroughly enjoyed the romance, while the action scenes and stalker helped make this a compelling, exciting read. So far I’m liking this series and I can’t wait to see how it all develops next in Fan the Flames, especially as it means getting to know sexy Ian a little better. If you like your romance with a bit of action and suspense, and are intrigued by the idea of a dive rescue team, then why not give this a try. I’m certainly glad I did.
Hold Your Breath is out April 5th!
Visit Katie Ruggle for more details.