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4.6 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Loved, loved this book!

    I am so glad I read Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake! I loved it. It was one of those books I didn't want to end, because I felt so involved in the plot! Piper J. Drake took the theme of an abused woman on the run to a whole new level, and wrote a well developed, emotional story in Ultimate Courage. Alex and Elisa are both powerful main characters. Neither of them are perfect, in fact they are both flawed and have issues they are working through. Neither of them is looking for any kind of relationship, but the instant attraction is there. I loved Alex. He is so strong and protective, and determined not to let his problems take over his life. It is very difficult for him, but he works hard at it. I loved how he was with Elisa...so patient, caring and very observant. He saw more than she was telling him from the start. I loved Elisa also. She is brave, determined, and very strong. I loved her as a heroine because she didn't hide her past, and slowly (but not too slowly!) opened up to Alex and his friends. She didn't want to take help, but she did because she knew she had to. She is very cautious though. I liked that she wasn't a heroine determined to do everything on her own and she didn't keep secrets about her past. I liked that she didn't paint all men with the same brush as her ex. I admired both of these characters greatly for what they went through in the past to the issues they are facing today. The developing relationship between Alex and Elisa felt very right. I liked the progression of it and that it wasn't perfect. I had high hopes that Elisa could put her past to rest and move onto a better future. Both of these characters made their way into my heart, and they felt like real people as I was reading. The alternating POV's between Alex and Elisa worked well to bring me into their lives. The secondary characters are mainly people from Hope's Crossing, from colleagues to Alex's daughter. They are a perfect fit for this story, and I loved the connection between them all. It felt like a group of friends I'd love to be a part of. I loved, loved the animal theme in Ultimate Courage. It really helped make the book for me. Especially Souze. Even his doggy character developed well and grew through out the story, and I really liked how Piper did this. Piper J. Drake writes the suspenseful, stalker part of the plot in a way that weaves in perfectly with romance. Alex and Elisa's relationship and all it encompasses is the main theme, but who Elisa is running from is always there in the undercurrents, and you can't help but feel a little shiver now and then, wondering what would happen. Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake had it all for me! A mature, realistic relationship between two people I came to care about, enough suspense and unknowns to keep me a little on edge, and a host of secondary characters who all fit so well with the plot. Very well paced with great flow, I'm not sure what I can read next that will compare to Ultimate Courage! I'd highly recommend Ultimate Courage to any romance reader! I received a free copy for an honest review.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Great 2nd book in the series!

    4 1/2 STARS! Lots of intrigue & romance! It was nice to see the old gang from Book 1 and to get to know more about some of the others. I connected much better with the main characters of this book than I did with the first one … I felt satisfied with the depth and dialogue. Elisa Hall is on the move to get away from a controlling relationship when she happens to run into Alex Rojas and his daughter Serena. They are kind to her at a time when she needs the comfort, and it makes a lasting impression on her. Alex Rojas is still trying to get his feet back underneath him here in the real world after his former life as a Navy SEAL and adjusting to life as a single father takes a lot of adjustment. He and his daughters have settled in with friends at Hope’s Crossing Kennels where he trains dogs with former military pals, but it’s still a work in progress to get used to life again. When Elisa shows up at the kennel to return something Serena dropped when they met, Alex sees she needs friends to help her, and the gang rallies around to be that for her. As she and Alex tread softly into the attraction they feel for each other, will there be a happy ending here, or will her past life come in the middle of it?
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    Another Stellar K9 RomSus by Drake!

    Another stellar hit with this K9-based Romantic Suspense ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ FIVE-STAR ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ ⚠ MY THOUGHTS ⚠ ⭐ ⭐ ARC Provided by Publisher via Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review ⭐ ⭐ Judging a Book by it's Cover: Fully clothed male holding a gun. His loyal K9 companion at his side. Did not pay too much to the synopsis, to be honest. I really enjoyed the first book and was highly anticipating the second book in the series. Looking Deeper: Third-person POV. Elisa was on the run from a controlling, obsessive and powerful man. She made it clear across the US, but her ex kept toying with her, letting her know that he was still following up on her. She tried to learn from her mistakes, but lacked the know-how and skills to survive for much longer. A chance meeting in an E.R. with Alex and his daughter set into motion a new survival path. Alex is a single dad to a nine/ten year old girl. He was trying to cope with PTSD as a result of his SEAL deployments but afraid to enter into counseling, fearing the ex in-laws would see it as him admitting an inability to properly care for his daughter. He struggled daily but by avoiding as much public interaction as possible he had been able to limit his triggers. She's smart and determined to regain her independence. He's strong and gruff yet generous and kind. Their chemistry was very entertaining to watch grow and develop. It was a gentle, considerate, slow simmer that was reminiscent of a particular Belle and Beast movie. Boom played a wonderful part in the story, as did Souze. The secondary characters were a blend of kennel staff that were introduced in the first book and new cast from the MMA Academy. I'm not sure what became of Souze after Parent's night, he seemed to have been forgotten when Alex went up to see Elisa. Dialogue and cast interaction was rarely otherwise questioned. The plot was full and dynamic with a smooth and well-paced flow. There were not too many conflicts besides her ex, but anytime they arrived at an obstacle, they handled it in believable manners. It felt natural. There was some minor predictability and not much for surprises. The conclusion is settled nicely, with a satisfying implied HEA. Piper J Drake produced another stellar hit with this K9-based Romantic Suspense and I truly look forward to reading ABSOLUTE TRUTH (book 3), due out in December of 2016. Stands alone extremely well despite being the second book in the series. No big Cliffhangers. ----------------------------------------------- Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.5 ~ Stars: 5 -----------------------------------------------
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    A sweet, heartwarming and engaging story

    The cover of this book caught my eye and I'm glad to say that it was worth every minute I spent reading it. ULTIMATE COURAGE is a very sweet, heartwarming and engaging story of strength and overcoming obstacles, with very enjoyable characters whose personal struggles and the development of their relationship as well as the suspense completely drew me in. While the first book in the series was an okay read for me, this book had me very excited and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. Elisa Hall has been on the run from her abusive ex for quite some time but with the resources at his disposal it's like fighting a losing battle, until a chance meeting brings her to a place where she finds a sense of belonging, support, and protection that have eluded her for so long. Alex Rojas is struggling to put his life back together but dealing with his PTSD is a daily struggle and his daughter and his job at Hope's Crossing Kernels leaves him with little room in his life for anyone or anything else, but he can't resist anyone in need and from the first glance at Elisa, he knows that he'll doing anything to make her feel safe. From the very first meeting the attraction between Alex and Elisa was very obvious, but I loved that there was no rush to take things to the next level. Between Alex's PTSD and Elisa's trust issues, they both had major hurdles to overcome and I enjoyed the slow and mellow pace of the story as they learned to let down their barriers and open up to each other. Alex was very patient with Elisa, which was so very sweet and I liked that his friends accepted Elisa without any reservations and were willing to help him protect her. I'm admittedly not a dog-lover, but Souze was also a very appealing and central part of this story. The story is very much on the slow side, but I think Ms. Drake does a good job building up the tension and suspense all the way to the end. While the timeline of the story is short, it does not feel that way because there is so much drama crammed into that little time. Elisa and Alex are a very delightful pair, Alex's daughter is adorable and their friends are great secondary characters. The ending felt a little rushed and I wish there had been more to the story on the ex and his activities, but I still enjoyed it. This is a book that would appeal to animal lovers or anyone looking for a slower paced suspense and I highly recommend it. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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    Enjoyable

    I am really enjoying this series of ex-military guys training dogs with a bit of romance and thriller thrown in. Hard to put down!
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