Fast-paced action thriller with a romance
As a fan of action and law enforcement stories, no one had to force me to read the new book by Nance Sparks. It is my first book by this author, but definitely not my last. I love the combination of action and romance.
Alex Trenton is an undercover marshal who runs her late mentor’s bison ranch as a cover. Secretly, she works as a specialist in the management of a witness protection house, where particularly vulnerable witnesses are protected before testifying in court.
Emily Hawkins, half Native American (her mother is an Arapahoe) officially works for Search & Rescue along with her two dogs, Hunter and Scout. But she’s keeping secrets that slowly start to unravel as the story unfolds.
Both main characters are tough and strong women who want to protect what or who is dear to them at all costs, and with all the means at their disposal. Emily’s grandmother also belongs to the guild of badass women and, in my opinion, she is the secret star of the story. Her “I’m old, not incapable” motto always made me smile.
The crime plot is fast-paced and the story is action-packed and exciting to the end, with some unexpected twists. Some of the action scenes are very surprising, showing the skills of an MC that I didn’t expect. But what impressed me the most were Emily’s dogs who are perfectly trained and followed commands by word or hand signals, amazing.
The story is more mystery than romance, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but the romance could have benefited from a bit more emphasis. It was a bit of a shame that we didn’t get to see the beginning of the love story directly, that part was just narrated. It felt a bit like we were late to the party. Alex and Emily had already developed feelings for each other when we meet them. It’s quickly clear the two are a good match and I was cheering for them. Both are good women, tough as nails but still vulnerable. The backstories of both women are interesting and important to the story and it made me understand them better. I can’t imagine living a life with so many secrets and feeling like I have no one to talk to about anything.
Another thing I really liked is that Emily is half Arapahoe which is, unfortunately, rare in lesfic. I learned a bit about Native American culture and also that she spoke to the dogs mainly in their native language.
Overall, a very entertaining and engaging story. 4.5 stars for the mystery and 3.5 stars for the romance.
ARC was provided by BSB and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.