To help a desperate woman’s search,
he’ll have to brave treacherous territory.
In the wilds of Alaska, grieving former marine Colter Hayes shuts out the world…until he and his combat tracker dog become Kensie Morgan’s last hope of finding her long-missing sister. The improbable mission starts to rekindle Colter’s desire to rejoin the world—while saving Kensie from a killer unsettles his heart. Can they find all they are searching for before it’s too late?
One second, his retired Military Working Dog, Rebel, was goofing off, chasing a stick as naturally as she'd once tracked dangerous bombers back to their hideouts. The next, she was racing away from him so fast he knew her injured leg would be acting up later.
He heard the engine a second after that, spotted the old station wagon careening around the corner, cutting through the slippery snow way too fast. And a woman frozen in the middle of the street.
"Move!" he screamed at the woman, cursing the injury in his own leg - sustained at the same time as Rebel's - as he raced for both of them.
He'd never make it in time.
The world around him seemed to move in slow motion as panic shot up his throat, mingling with the cold and making it hard to breathe. The car slip-sliding out of control. His five-year-old Malinois-German Shepherd mix - the only friend he had left in the world - running straight in front of it.
Colter pushed his leg as hard as he could, trying to follow, trying to be any use at all. But it was no good.
Rebel leapt up high, slamming into the woman's chest with her front legs, knocking both of them out of sight as the car raced past Colter. It slowed for a second, then sped off.
The panic dropped lower, making his chest hurt and his heart beat too fast. The memory of a year ago, of Rebel jumping on him as a bullet passed so close he felt its trajectory over his head, made it hard to breathe.
He tried to push it out of his mind, willed himself not to fall into that darkness as he raced across the street, sliding in the snow toward the two figures lying prone on the ground. He dropped to his knees, ignoring the pop in his knee and the pain that rushed up his thigh.
Another memory from a year ago, of surgery after surgery as he begged to know the condition of his unit. No one would tell him.
Colter blinked the present back into focus.
Oh, this story hits hard. It is filled with emotions - regrets, survival guilt, emotional pain, expectations, hope, love, desire, fear - every moment of the tale counts as a peak as it is either in the hight of the suspense, in middle of an a-ha moment of growing, learning, and forgiving yourself, or in the midst of surviving the elements, or falling helplessly, completely, in love. This story kept me entertained and keen on finding out what happens next, so much so that I found it unputdownable.
I love the author's voice and way to tell the story, it is so effortless with the natural flow that it is easy to submerge yourself into the tale.
The three main characters, Colter Hayes, Rebel, and Kensie Morgan are endearing and so perfect for each other. Rebel steals the scene easily, as she does her best to protect her partner Colter, as well as her new friend, Kensie. I love the brokenness and vulnerability of the main characters, cause that made them so relatable. There is something truly lovable in a hero and heroine who despite the challenges life has given them, are able to learn from them, conquer their mind over matter, and make a new normal, a new type of life that suits their circumstances.
The danger Colter and Kensie face comes from multiple fronts, keeping the story continuously on the edge. The elements of the Alaskan wilderness, the cold, snow, the terrain, the unwelcoming neighbors who just want to be left alone does not make the investigation easy or the surviving, staying alive effortless when things go wrong.
The attraction between Colter and Kensie is palpable, yet the author lets them go about it on their own speed and space. Their both need time to heal, they both need to forgive themselves the past events, they both have to find their new normal again before nothing can be built between them, yet even with this dilemma, the author delivers a perfectly satisfying, adorably sweet, well wrapped up ending that left a huge smile on my face. Ah, the reason why I read romance!
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and eight languages; they've also been shortlisted for the HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice, Daphne Du Maurier and Booksellers' Best awards and won the RT Reviewers' Choice award.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America.