Title: Run to Ground
Author: Katie Ruggle
Series: Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Available: 6th June
He lost his mentor.
He lost his K9 partner.
He almost lost his will to live.
But when a ruthless killer targets a woman on the run, Theo and his new K9 companion will do whatever it takes to survive—and save the woman neither can live without.
Grieving the death of his partner, Theo Bosco has no room in his life for distractions. Though his instincts scream that he should avoid Juliet ‘Jules’ Jackson, he can’t seem to stay away. It doesn’t help that Theo’s new K9 companion has fallen head over paws with Jules’s rambunctious family.
Or that when he’s with her, Theo finally knows peace.
When Jules rescued her siblings, whisking them away to the safety of the beautifully rugged Colorado Rockies, she never expected to catch the eye—or the heart—of a cop. Yet as Jules struggles to fight her growing attraction to the brooding K9 officer, another threat lurks much closer to home…
And this time, there’s no escape.
Source: ARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley
A woman on the run with her younger siblings, a cop struggling to cope with grief and anger, a seemingly quiet mountain town with a paranoid explosives expert and too many dark nights with shadowy shapes hidden amongst the trees for comfort – yep, Katie Ruggle returns with a new series that’s not too far away from her old one.
Jules and Theo are decent people struggling to do what’s right. In Jules’ case it’s the fact that her siblings desperately needed to be rescued from their home, but since the legal channels were failing them, she’s had to snatch them and run. Not that her siblings mind; they’re much happier living with Jules, even if their new life isn’t quite what any of them are used to. I really liked Jules and all of her siblings, who are distinct characters in their own ways, but I kept waiting for something to happen with them and was left with a definite sense that their tale isn’t over by the end.
As for Theo, daily life has become a struggle. The suicide of his mentor has left him near-crushed beneath the weight of guilt, while Viggy, his mentor’s K9 partner is too grief-stricken to work. They’re a broken pair, but their relationship was the one I was most interested in. Viggy is just… I so wanted him and Theo to make it through, to find a way to work together, to bring Viggy back to a happy life. In fact, this book could have been just about Viggy and Theo and I would have been happy. I love that dog.
The plot itself didn’t entirely win me over. The flashbacks to Jules’ story at the beginning, while necessary to the story, kept breaking my concentration. I’m not a fan of flashbacks in general and, personally, I think it would have been better as a prologue/the start of the book. The threat level also takes a long time to establish itself. I was expecting it, because this is a Ruggle book, but it felt too nebulous to really impact on the overall story. I also found the romance on Jules’ side to be oddly immature. She’s all giddy over holding hands and almost kisses. With everything else going on, it seemed kind of out of step, since she’s not exactly a kid. I also wasn’t too happy with the amount of things left hanging at the end.
So it’s a mixed bag. I liked the main characters and loved most of the side ones – Theo’s new partner Hugh and the kids were all great – I also liked the new setting and the slight connection to Ruggle’s previous series. The plot might not have blown me away, but I still found it an enjoyable read. And there was Viggy, who stole the book for me. Overall, I liked it and I look forward to seeing where it all heads next.
Run to Ground is out June 6th.
Visit Katie Ruggle for more details.