Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review - Absolute Trust by Piper J. Drake

Absolute Trust
by Piper J. Drake
Series: True Heroes, #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: December 20, 2016


After multiple tours of duty, Brandon Forte returns to his hometown on a personal mission: to open a facility for military working dogs like Haydn, a German Shepherd Dog who’s seen his share of combat and loss. It also brings him back to Sophie Kim, a beacon of light in his life . . . and the one woman he can’t have. But Forte’s success means he’s made enemies in high places. Enemies who are now after Sophie . . .

When Forte enlisted and left without saying goodbye, Sophie did her best to move on. But with her first love back in town, looking sexier than ever, she’s constantly reminded of what they could have had. Then after he risks himself for her, Sophie realizes she’ll have to put her life in the hands of the man who broke her heart, knowing the danger -and the sparks between them- could consume them both.

There were many things about this book that I really liked, but there was just something between the hero and heroine that was missing for me. That being said, the story itself was engaging, the writing was great, and the entire set of characters really worked for me. The whole service dog story line was awesome and I loved learning about the animals and the work that was happening at Hope's Crossing Kennels. I also loved that Sophie, the heroine, was self-sufficient and capable, but also wasn't TSTL. And of course Haydn and Sophie's kitty totally steal the show!

I haven't read the previous books in the series, so I'm not sure if I might be missing some dynamic between Brandon and Sophie. I could feel the deep friendship between the two characters, but the romance for me was just a bit off. There is some reference to some romance in their high school past, but I never got a good feel for the connection that was supposed to be between these two, which made the romance part not quite work for me - which surprised me since I am a huge fan of the second chance and friends to lovers tropes. (I did love that Sophie finally calls Brandon out - one of my favorite parts as well as the fact that once these two were all in...they were all in!)
     "Do these rooms share a bathroom?"
     Brandon sighed. "Yes, but you'll have your private space."
     Because there were two bedrooms.
     "Which one would you like?" Brandon asked.
     He wasn't planning to share a bedroom with her.
     All that planning with Lyn and Elisa was going to be for nothing. Those kisses, the way he'd coaxed her into melting under his mouth; they were just supposed to be ignored.
     Like hell.
     She stepped away from him without entering either of the rooms. Turning to face him, she folder her arms across her chest and prepared to break open the topic. If she didn't, she was going to let it slide for the rest of the trip, and if she let this go now she'd regret it.
     "Did you kiss me the other night?"
     Brandon's expression immediately went blank, but he didn't look away. "Yes."
     "Did you intend to?" This was an opportunity for an out if he wanted to take it. She'd be irritated and hurt, but it was a salvageable moment.
     "Yes." There was an intensity in his voice, one that was new to her.
     She kept her own tone calm even though the answer to her next question was one she was afraid to hear out loud. "Do you regret it?"
     "So why? Why are we sleeping in separate rooms?"
     Brandon dragged his hand through his hair, a sure sign he was frustrated and unsure. "Because you've been through a lot this week. And I want you to rest, heal, recover. All those things are going to happen faster if you have your own space. You should take the time."
     Oh no. There were a lot of things she should do, ought to do, like call her family. But she hadn't for the first time in her memory. She'd placed her trust in Brandon. And now she was so frustrated she could hardly breathe.
     She choked out a laugh. "You're so damned good at giving all the orders. Telling other people what to do. I've done exactly what you thought was best, and now I'm standing right here. Well, here's some instructions for you. Step up or get out of the way."
I'm intrigued enough about this series to go back and read the first two in the series - we get to meet the characters from those books and as I already said, the entire cast seems great...and I'm also thinking that there may be something in those books that might help with the romance part in this one. So I would definitely recommend checking this out, but maybe starting with the first in this series might be best.

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