Monday, May 7, 2018

2 in 1: Extreme Honor & Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake

Author: Piper J. Drake
Publisher: Forever
Date of publication: January 2016

David Cruz is good at two things: war and training dogs. The ex-soldier's toughest case is Atlas, a Belgian Malinois whose handler died in combat. Nobody at Hope's Crossing Kennel can break through the animal's grief. That is, until dog whisperer Evelyn Jones walks into the facility . . . and into Atlas's heart. David hates to admit that the curvy blonde's mesmerizing effect isn't limited to canines. But when Lyn's work with Atlas puts her in danger, David will do anything to protect her.

Lyn realizes that David's own battle scars make him uniquely qualified for his job as a trainer. Tough as nails yet gentle when it counts, he's gotten closer to Atlas than anyone else-and he's willing to put his hard-wired suspicion aside to let her do the same. But someone desperate enough to kill doesn't want Lyn working with Atlas. Now only teamwork, trust, and courage can save two troubled hearts and the dog who loves them both . . .

Extreme Honor is the first in this series about a group of retired military men who run a canine training facility.  Each of them carry scars from their service time.  Working with the dogs has given them a new purpose and home.   This was a fairly good start to the series.  It set up the world nicely and introduced the key players in the series. 

This book is David and Lyn's story.  For the most part, I like David and Lyn's characters.  Their attraction was instant with just a little bit of angst toward the end.   I think Atlas was my favorite though.  I loved that the dog was such a strong characters in the story.  My only complaint was the speed in which the "I Love You's" came.  I think the story takes place over a two week period. However, the mystery was interesting and kept me guessing.  I also enjoyed the bits about dog training. 

Author: Piper J. Drake
Publisher: Forever
Date of publication: July 2016

Retired Navy SEAL Alex Rojas is putting his life back together, one piece at a time. Being a single dad to his young daughter and working at Hope's Crossing Kennels to help rehab a former guard dog, he struggles every day to control his PTSD. But when Elisa Hall shows up, on the run and way too cautious, she unleashes his every protective instinct.

Elisa's past never stays in her rearview mirror for long, and she refuses to put anyone else in danger. But with Alex guarding her so fiercely yet looking at her so tenderly, she's never felt safer . . . or more terrified that the secrets she keeps could put countless people in grave peril. The only way for both to fully escape their demons will take the ultimate act of courage: letting go and learning to trust each other.

Ultimate Courage is the second book in the series.  This one is Alex and Elisa's story.  Again, the "I love yous" came really fast in this one.  I wasn't too sold on it because Elisa had a lot of healing to do after her last relationship.  To me, she got over it pretty quickly.   Alex has a lot of PTSD from his service years.  I love how the dog, Souze, ended up playing a role in helping Alex.      The other thing that bugged me was Alex's over reaction in the end.  It was way over the top given all he and Elisa had been through over the weeks they were together.  It kind of felt like it was a plot device just to get her alone.

The secondary characters rounded out the story nicely.  I loved Gary and Greg.  I would love to read their story one day.    The mystery wasn't as exciting, but it didn't take away from the overall enjoyment of the book.

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