“I actually like you.”
“You know what else?”
“My dog likes you, too.”
Jules has “kidnapped” her younger siblings in order to rescue them from her stepmother who is abusing them but managing to keep it hidden. Jules has tried the custody route, but when her boss’s finances are investigated by the FBI and she loses her license and job she’s desperate. Jules knows she can’t trust anyone but she just can’t stay away from Theo, even though he’s a cop and he puts her and her family’s safety at risk. Theo has been struggling ever since his partner and mentor killed himself. Theo has been put in charge of his old partner’s K9, Viggy, but the dog is also depressed over the loss of his human. Theo hasn’t really felt anything in a long time but there’s something about Jules that brings out all his emotions.
There were a few holes or annoyances but overall this was a solid story and a great introduction to a new series. The plot moves at a good pace and there’s a nice combination of action and slower parts where the characters are able to connect. I liked the idea behind the plot. The beginning starts out with flashbacks to how Jules “kidnaps” her siblings. I felt that the flashbacks weren’t really necessary and a little jarring and instead they could have just been written alongside the intro to Theo and Viggy during the scene at Gordon’s house. That being said, this was only in the beginning so it didn’t bother me too much. I found the ending very interesting because it takes a step outside of the normal expectation for a romance novel.
I liked Jules, especially her dedication to her family and her unwavering love and sacrifice to making sure they were safe. Jules was taking a really big risk, a felony sized risk, to help her siblings who were in a bad situation. She was willing to do anything to help keep her siblings safe and it’s hard to dislike to someone so self-sacrificing.
Theo was gruff, grumbly, and terribly socially awkward when he first meets Jules. Theo was going through a really tough time though and this strongly affected his mood. He comes around but still maintains just enough gruff to stay within character. I have to admit that I cringed a little during their first interaction between Theo and Jules because Theo was pretty much interrogating her.
One other part I’ll mention is the abuse that is the reason for Jules’s daring rescue. I felt like the beginning it’s unclear just how bad the abuse is to warrant Jules’s extreme actions. We’re inclined to trust our heroine so we can assume it’s bad, but it takes a while to really understand the gravity of the situation. On one hand, I felt like Ruggle was being respectful to not use trauma merely as a plot element but I also needed a stronger understanding of why Jules’s actions were justified.
Content Note: references to child abuse, secondary character’s suicide
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
••• Book Details •••
Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #1 • Romance, Suspense • Sourcebooks • June 6, 2017
Grieving the death of his partner, Theo Bosco has no room in his life for distractions. Though his instincts scream that he should avoid Juliet ‘Jules’ Jackson, he can’t seem to stay away. It doesn’t help that Theo’s new K9 companion has fallen head over paws with Jules’s rambunctious family.
Or that when he’s with her, Theo finally knows peace.
When Jules rescued her siblings, whisking them away to the safety of the beautifully rugged Colorado Rockies, she never expected to catch the eye—or the heart—of a cop. Yet as Jules struggles to fight her growing attraction to the brooding K9 officer, another threat lurks much closer to home…
And this time, there’s no escape.