Series: Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on June 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
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First in Katie Ruggle's thrilling new Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series.
He lost his mentor.He lost his K9 partner.He almost lost his will to live.But when a killer obsessed with revenge targets a beautiful woman on the run, Theo and his new K9 companion will do whatever it takes to save Jules before they lose their last chance at a happily ever after...
Theodore Bosco, grieving the death of his partner, is reluctantly fascinated by secretive newcomer Jules. Although his instincts scream that he should avoid her, he can't seem to stay away. It doesn't help that Theo's new K9 companion, Viggy, has fallen head over paws with Jules's rambunctious family.
Or that when he's with Jules, Theo finally knows peace.
When Jules kidnapped her siblings, whisking them away from abuse to the quiet anonymity of the Colorado Rockies, she never expected to catch the eye-or the heart-of a cop. All it would take is one wrong move and she'll lose everything. Yet as Jules attempts to fight her growing attraction to the brooding K9 officer, another deadly threat lurks much closer to home. Someone's gunning for Theo and Viggy, and they're willing to take out anything...or anyone...who gets in the way of revenge.
I’ve read some of Katie Ruggle’s Search & Rescue series and enjoyed it, so I was happy to see her starting a new series, specifically one about a K9 unit.
The dog, Viggy, broke my heart every time he was on the page. Still reeling from the death of his previous partner/owner, he’s completely depressed and unable to function. I was a little worried the force would retire him without giving him a chance to recover, but Theo worked with him as well as he could.
Theo… I didn’t like Theo as much as I liked Viggy, to be honest. He decides Jules is suspicious almost immediately, based on very little. I know – cop intuition. I’m not discounting it. And I realize that he’s still dealing with the death of his partner, too. It’s a lot. His partner committed suicide and Theo thinks he should have done more to prevent it or should have seen it coming. And I think he latches on to the secrets he thinks Jules is hiding because he needs something else to focus on. But he treated her badly, until someone else tried to treat her worse. He’s moody and surly and invasive, randomly deciding to go see where she lives and look around for no good reason other than ‘she might be hiding something.’ He wasn’t wrong. Jules was hiding something from him, but it’s still really gross to randomly drive up to her house, knock on the door and force her to let him in, just so he can look around and see if he sees something he doesn’t like.
Jules is hiding the fact that she kidnapped/rescued her four younger siblings from an abusive home. There weren’t a lot of details given about their home life. It was implied that their stepmother was abusive, probably even sexually abusing the oldest boy, but I’m not sure why it was necessary to kidnap them and get everyone new identities instead of reporting it to the police. As far as I can tell, Jules never even attempted that, just went straight to the kidnap option.
Most of the kidnapping and their flight to Colorado was told through flashbacks, which I didn’t love. They made an already slow-moving plot come to a halt. I don’t love prologues, but I think situations like this are exactly when they’re needed.
It becomes clear that someone is gunning for Theo, and since Jules and her siblings are there, too, they end up in danger as well, which spurs Theo into action, since I don’t think himself being in danger would have mattered enough to him. The resolution to this mystery was a little thin. And it didn’t have anything to do with Jules or the abusive parents. It didn’t exactly come out of nowhere, but it wasn’t…. Ok. I’m just going to put it in a spoiler tag. View Spoiler »The culprit was the daughter of Theo’s former partner, the one who committed suicide. She thinks that Theo should have, I don’t know, seen it coming and prevented it, or known it was coming and told someone? Like I said, it was a little thin. « Hide Spoiler
Fair warning – this ends with an HEA, but there are several storylines that are clearly going to be threaded through the rest of the series, including Jules situation with her siblings. So I wouldn’t consider it a cliffhanger, because the main romance is wrapped up and the next book will feature a new couple, but you should know that there are some open threads. Sort of like Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series.
I do recommend this one, but I don’t think it’ll be for everyone. Katie Ruggle is a good writer, and I enjoy her books. I liked the side characters, Theo’s other partners, and I want to check out their books. And, I guess that if I want to find out if there’s more to the story with Jules siblings, I’m going to have to.