Most people dream about going to the beach, but I’ve always been a mountain girl. My favorite vacations as a child were in the Poconos, and I still dearly love any kind of forest or mountain setting. Add in some suspense and I’m there! So, I was eager to kick off the Rocky Mountain Courage series by Elizabeth Goddard with Present Danger. This novel has an assemblage of elements characteristic of the romantic suspense genre, yet it avoids becoming formulaic through the execution of the plot.
Reuniting under less-than-perfect circumstances, Detective Jack Tanner and Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors enter into a work partnership years after their romance abruptly ended. Both have moved back to their childhood homes and matured in the intervening years, determined to put the past behind them. A strange case requiring both of their skill sets resurrects secrets from the past, however, and raises questions about their families and what their current investigation has to do with the events of those fateful years. Taking this journey with the characters is a poignant reminder of how one occurrence can shape a person’s life, or as Terra’s mother told her, “The direction your life takes can often come down to one decision, one moment in time.”
The trafficking of archaeological artifacts is a criminal market that I had never heard of prior to reading this book. It truly surprises me that in some ways this theft seems relatively easy to accomplish—which I absolutely do not recommend, by the way!—especially outside the U.S. I was initially drawn to the archaeological aspect of this story because it sounded unique and was an area of interest to me as a kid. I enjoyed digging in my yard and looking for arrowheads, and ancient Egypt has always intrigued me a bit. As such, I wish that there had been slightly more of that facet within the story. I found myself struggling with keeping the secondary characters straight, especially in the second half, although I understand the reasoning behind writing it this way. Aunt Nadine is my favorite character; with her endearing confusion and love for dogs, she reminds me of a great-aunt of mine who passed away nine years ago.
Perhaps the most touching facet of Present Danger is the tender grappling of the main characters with their failures, real or perceived, and the constant striving to prove themselves. This is so relatable in our social-media-driven culture, and yet the solution remains simple: “Cease striving and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Sometimes when it seems that things are falling apart, God is actually weaving them together into a tapestry more beautiful than the one we thought we lost.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥
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