Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Shattered, by Dani Pettrey

After five years away, Reef McKenna returns to Yancey, Alaska, and his sister, Piper, is elated. She loves her brother and has been waiting for him to return home. However, her happiness doesn't last long. First, Reef is not planning on staying in Yancey; and second, he appears at Piper's house all covered in blood and no plausible explanation for it. A woman —a snowboarder like Reef— has been murdered, and Reef is the main suspect. He assures Piper he is innocent, and although she believes him, Deputy Landon Grainger does not. Landon is like part of the McKenna's family, which makes it harder for him to work the case, more so because he believes that Reef is guilty. All the evidence points to Reef, and as deputy, Landon trusts the facts. But when other leads surface, much to Piper's relief, Landon decides to pursue the truth even if it means he's wrong and that he could lose his job.

With Piper doing her own investigation, and following her own leads, Landon's impulse to take care of her drives him to join forces with her, or let her join forces with him, in a dangerous case where they constantly face death and, even scarier, where they must face their feelings for each other.

This is a wonderful romantic suspense that keeps the reader at the edge of the seat. It's packed with action, romance, mystery, and intrigue. With a great pace, fast and intense at times, and well written and rounded characters, this book holds the reader's interest from the start.

Piper is a sweet and vulnerable young woman; very naive and trusting, but smart. Landon, on the other hand, is rough on the outside, tough, and very skeptical. He puts facts over faith, and sometimes, duty over love. He has been in love with Piper for quite some time, and she has no idea. On the surface, their relationship seems ok, but Landon just wants, no, needs to be with her, and she is apparently oblivious to it. But jealousy can be a great eye opener, and so Piper’s and Landon's relationship starts taking twists and turns as fast as the mystery twists and turns itself, which makes for a very interesting, entertaining and fun romance.

The mystery is puzzling, and very entangled. As all the characters get immerse in trying to unravel it, the reader goes right along with them from Alaska to California to Canada, and a few other places in between, trying to find a way to make sense, a way to redeem an undeserving young man and bring hope and peace to the entire family. As the book progresses, it is very easy to fall in love with every character and be intrigued by their stories.

As the second book in the Alaskan Courage series, 'Shattered' brings back all the characters from the first, 'Submerged', and an interesting addition in the form of a female reporter who may or may not be a part of future adventures. Here's hoping she can endure and bring some life into one of the Mckenna's brothers who desperately needs closure and healing.

Shattered is much more than an adventure, a mystery, or a romance. It's an enjoyable and profound look at how our lives can come crashing down and be, yes, shattered beyond hope or repair, and how God can graciously take us in all our brokenness and despair and give us hope, a new beginning and love beyond our comprehension. It’s very refreshing to read such deep biblical truths in a book of fiction. It is remarkable how author Dani Pettrey appeals not only to our love for mystery, romance and suspense, but also to our need for redemption, our need for a Savior who can make us whole.

Incredibly well written and never boring, the author’s attention to detail, settings’ descriptions, character development and continuity is exceptional. This book is definitely a must read. Although part of a series, it can stand alone, but I highly recommend 'Submerged', which was easily one of the best books in 2012.

5 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

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