Adventure & romance in the land of midnight sun...
September 13, 2013
This is, rather obviously, my first time reading one of Dani Pettrey's books. I had read quite a few reviews and blog posts about the Alaskan Courage series so there was quite a build-up for reading it. So, I was pretty excited to receive a copy in the mail. It didn't take long to find out what everyone was 'talking' about, just a glance at the cover pulls you in and the author takes it from there, on a wild Alaskan adventure.
Bailey is a very likable heroine. She has every reason to feel very confident, she is intelligent, well educated, successful, and isn't the plainest of Janes. But she doesn't feel very confident at all, nope, going back to her hometown in Alaska just brings back her rocky past and the painful moniker she has tried to flee. She's a Christian now, changed a lot, but will she stay long enough to prove it?
Cole is a pretty cool guy. The oldest son, he let go of some of his dreams to come home and take care of his younger siblings. He is responsible, gentle, kind, and everything that Bailey finds hard to resist. His faith is a major part of his life, it wasn't always so, but he leans on it heavily now. With his siblings, Cole runs a shop that rents diving equipment as well as tours, and is also involved in rescue/recovery dives. Will he fall for Bailey again? And if so, will she just break his heart for a second time?
I loved the suspense thread in Submerged, the melding of modern diving and history. The mystery and romance are nicely balanced. The little bit of Russian and Russian-Alaskan history that are woven through the story were simply fascinating. I know there was some literary license but still... The story kept me reading long after I should have gone to bed, and when I finally had to sleep, I picked it up first thing in the morning so I could find out what was happening next.
I did wonder a little bit at the characters wearing shorts, sundresses, and flip-flops so often but I since I have never been to Alaska I won't question it too much.
Engaging characters, AMAZING scenery, danger, and romance make Submerged a great read!
(I won this book in a giveaway and am in no way obligated to review it. I have chosen to do so and all opinions are my own)
Bailey Craig moved to Oregon 10 years ago to get away from her past in Tariuk Island, in Yancey Alaska and plans never to return there. During those 10 years she has changed a lot about the way she lives and is now a devoted Christian. But she gets a call from a friend, Gus Holbrook in Yancey informing her of her beloved Aunt Agnes Grey's death in a plane crash. Gus wants to know how soon she can arrive for her aunt's funeral and go over details of her aunts business, The Russian-American Trading Post and living space above, hers now. As Bailey goes through Agnes's things, both business and personal, something doesn't seem right. As she digs deeper, she has a strong feeling that Aunt Agnes's plane crash was not accidental.
Long time friend, Cole McKenna, remains on the island and continues to work at his family owned business, Last Frontier Adventure. He too has changed over the years and now follows Christ. He has never forgotten Bailey and likely never will. A certified search and rescue diver, he and his crew go into the water to rescue survivors from the plane crash only to find that the three passengers have died. Agnes Grey is one of the passengers of the small plane. Along with Deputy Landon Grainger, Cole seeks answers to causes of the plane crash and soon discovers evidence that the plane crash was not accidental. There are two more bizarre deaths on the island and they now suspect that the two other deaths are somehow related to Agnes's death/murder as well.
Cole and Bailey end up working together to find out why those on the plane with Agnes and the two other deaths on the island were murdered and if there is a connection. Tensions are high as they try to overcome their past feelings, anger and find their feelings are just as strong.
I was captured from the first page and had a hard time putting it down until I finished it. I love Bailey, Cole and the rest of the characters in the book. They all have struggles much like we do in our own lives making them so real. I found myself getting so involved in their lives throughout the book. Dani paints such a clear picture of Alaska's beauty and its history I felt I was right there. This is a great book full of mystery, suspense, romance, history, family dynamics, Christian values, forgiveness and more.
Submerged is a book I enjoyed for it's connection to Alaska; reading the quirks of Alaskan life in a novel form was fun. Reading about the diving lifestyle in Alaskan waters was interesting as well.
There is also a story of heartbreak, forgiveness & reconciliation throughout the story. Just a heads up, I found this book to be a more intense than I expected - might have been due to the underwater elements.