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Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake
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Ultimate Courage

by Piper J. Drake

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Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake
Book #2: True Heroes Series
Source: Netgalley
My Rating: 4/5 stars
My Review:

Holy Hell! The men of the Hope’s Crossing Kennels sure do know how to find trouble. Even when they are actively avoiding trouble, trouble seems to come looking for them and in this second installment of the True Heroes series, trouble doesn’t just come a calling, it comes with a scary stalker willing to go to incredible lengths to retrieve his “property.”

Alex Rojas is home at Hope’s Crossing Kennels and he, along with his ten-year-old daughter, Boom have no intention of ever leaving. Alex is a retired SEAL who still deals, on a daily basis with the effects of PTSD. Training and rehabbing the dogs at Hope’s Crossing isn’t just a job, it’s a passion. His friends and partners are really his chosen family and his daughter, Boom is like a breath of fresh of air for the hardened military men. In Alex’s world, there is his family and his dogs and not much else. A very, very bad situation with Boom’s mother has left him wary of women so when Elisa Hall comes into his life, he isn’t quite prepared for the likes of her.

Elisa Hall was once a confident young woman with a promising career as a project manager ahead of her. When she met her ex, it seemed like a dream come true. Unfortunately, the dream quickly turned to a nightmare and getting free from her ex was a harrowing experience that has left her on the run for the last six months. In what eventually turns out to be a wonderful accidental encounter, Elisa meets Boom and Alex at the ER. With no intention of starting up anything even remotely close to a relationship, Elisa plans on slipping in and out of the ER but fate and Boom have other ideas. In the coming days, Elisa finds herself not only on Alex Rojas’s doorstep but neck-deep in his life, a place she never thought to find herself again. Trust isn’t at the top of Elisa’s list of things that come easily but, at every turn Alex proves himself to be a man of his word.

Alex is bowled over by Elisa and the more she shares with him, the more he wants to help her out of the mess that is her life. He and his friends have a great deal of specialized training that can help Elisa break free from her past if she will only trust them enough to tell them the whole story. Elisa is smart, organized, compassionate, and the only person Souze, Alex’s current doggy project really responds too. Alex has learned to trust Souze’s instincts and though it takes a great deal of patience and care (just like doggy training!) Alex is willing to try with Elisa. In fact, each day he is around her, Alex finds his own demons are a bit easier to deal with which makes him an all-around better dad, friend, and trainer.

A new relationship is hard enough but Elisa comes with a whole hell of a lot of trouble. As she grows more comfortable with Alex and the Hope’s Crossing crew, she finds that she is tired of running and being scared and that there can be a happy and settled life for her if she is willing to take a stand. Her ex isn’t just determined to have her back, he’s determined to make her pay for leaving him and is willing to go to some very scary lengths to take back what he views as his. Her ex isn’t above intimidation, threats, and/or violence which means, not only is Elisa in danger but so are the people around her. Getting and free and clear won’t be easy.

The Bottom Line: Book two of the True Heroes series is stronger than the first and was a true delight to read. This one has a little bit of everything including action, drama, a totally disturbing and bat-sh*t crazy ex, naughty bits, and a ten-year-old and dog who damn-near steal the show. Much of the read is taken up by the anticipation of the awful and the awful happening very quickly near the end. During the moments of anticipation, the characters are more thoroughly explored, relationships are established, and a place worth fighting for is established. I liked the tension that was created throughout the read and how explosively quick the awful came and went at the end. In many ways, the speed of the awful reinforced the idea that this moment is time is just that, a moment in Elisa’s life that will pass. Her life with Alex, Boom, and the Hope’s Crossing Kennels is really the story and readers will be happy to know, this one ends with an HEA. With the increased strength of this read, I have high hopes for the future of this series and sincerely hope it extends beyond a mere trilogy. ( )
  arthistorychick | Aug 5, 2016 |
For the longest time I've had a hard time getting into romantic suspense. I use to love the genre a lot, but one day I just thought to myself that I had enough. Yes I read other story with some suspense in them like my paranormal's, just not straight romantic suspense. Then slowly I've started to get back into it.

And I'm glad I did.

I'm still a little picky about what I like or don't like. But if I like you, I can't stop talking about you.

We read the first book in this series, Extreme Honor for my Book Club Thursday Group, and I loved it. It was so good! After I finished it I couldn't wait for more of this group. Then when Ultimate Courage came up for review I knew I had to read it right away.

So glad that I did.

I really loved it. I think I even liked it more then the first book in the series. It was just such a good book to read. I loved all the characters. You'll right away fall for Alex and his daughter, okay, maybe not so much Alex as just his daughter. In the first couple of pages Alex comes off like a crazy person. When you figure out why you'll love him even more.

I also like Elisa. I'm glad we didn't know her whole story right away. Drake did a great job of unfolding it slow, but yet keeping you engrossed in the story. There is nothing worse then knowing there's a big secret that you learn at the end of the book that turns out to be stupid.

Nothing like that here. The story is very fast paced and gives up another look into this business and what it stands for. I also really enjoyed the interaction with the dog in the story. As a dog (all animals) lover I truly believe that they all have their own personalities and are smarter then we give them credit for.

The twist in the story is also good. I really didn't see that coming...I know, you what to know what it is, you know what to do...buy the book!

Reviewed for Romancing the Readers Blog:
http://romancingthereaders.blogspot.com/2016/07/reviewexcerpt-giveaway-ultimate-...

Romancing the Readers Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/RomancingTheReaders/

ARC given for a honest review ( )
  AnnLorz | Jul 29, 2016 |
Elisa needs a job, but first she has to get her wrist checked out and that's where she meets Alex Rojas...in the local ER dept. where he has brought his daughter Serena (Boom). Elisa and Boom start talking and she learns about her school and her MMA. Alex can tell that Elisa has something that is troubling her and has a fear towards men, he offers possible help that she may consider.
And when she turns up at the kennels to return Boom's glove she is really pleased when Alex offers her a job.

She finds her new job really rewarding and working with Alex even better, their relationship becomes more than employee and employer and she becomes close to one of dogs. But still the stress of her ex finding her is always there, why does he continue to torment her? Will he endanger Alex and Boom?

This is a wonderful series, with such interesting and different stories, I just love the addition of the dogs they all have their own story to tell. A great story, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  JulieD2 | Jun 26, 2016 |
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