When I got the opportunity to review this second book in the Federal K-9 series, there was no doubt in my mind as to wether I should take this opportunity or not. So thank you so so much St. Martins press and Netgalley, for providing me with an arc copy!
I’ve read and LOVED the first book in the series, which I’ve read twice already, so I was really eager to get my hands on this second installment.
Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Nick Houston is as tough as they come, and he and his K-9, Saxon, are hot on the trail of a major illegal gun dealer. But his best lead—the beautiful owner of the Dog Park Café, Andi Hardt––is not cooperating. Doesn’t matter how sexy she is, or that his dog seems to be in love with her. She’s a suspect and he won’t cross that line. Ever.
Andi Hardt sank everything into her dream business—the Dog Park Café, a restaurant catering to dogs as much as people. Now everything is in jeopardy because of one extremely frustrating, incredibly hot state trooper. Like it or not, she’s in Nick’s crosshairs, and he’s calling the shots. Her only option: cooperate, or lose everything she’s worked so hard for.
Nick and Andi are catapulted straight into the danger zone, forcing them to make life-altering choices, and face their desires. Risking his life for Andi is the easy part. Risking his heart is the toughest assignment Nick will face.
The plot driven story-line was really fast-paced, which is something I love about these books so far. Every second spent not reading this book – when I needed to take care of my family or something like that – I was thinking about this book and about how the story would continue. I love reading books like these, that hold me captivated even when not reading them.
I loved being back in this world and experiencing this particular story revolving Nick, whom we got to meet in the first book as well. The K-9’s and their handlers in these books are all so interesting to read about, wether we’re looking into the main characters or the supportive ones. I loved seeing characters reappear that we got to meet in the first book, but there were also some new characters that I came to love, like our female lead for example, Andi.
She was a character I could so easily connect with somehow. She felt realistic and was just incredibly likable to me. She was feisty but not ‘too much’ you know? She had her moments of insecurity and sensibility but she was no pushover either. A great balanced out character that I came to care for a lot!
Somewhere along the line, annoyance had turned into respect, and she’d begun to like him. Then like had morphed into caring with something else thrown in- desire. God, how she wanted him to make love to her.
But her feelings ran far deeper.
Fear curled in her belly.
If anything happened to him…
If he were killed…
he would take a piece of her heart with him.
How much of her heart was too frightening to contemplate.
And then we have Nick, our sexy AF K-9 handler and his dog, Saxon. Especially Nick was quite a surprising character. The author kept me on my toes throughout the entire book with this guy. Sure, he’s this sexy and confident cop with an intimidating K-9 dog at his side that you can’t help but fall in love with as well.
But there are aspects of him coming to the surface throughout the book that had me Really falling in love with this guy. Guitar playing?! Check! Capable of talking about his feelings even though he had some shitty things happening in his past? Check! Going after the things/people he loves? Check! Love for Dogs? CHECK! So yeah… He ticked all the right boxes in my opinion hihi.
Until now, he’d been hiding under a blanket, scared shitless of exposing his heart for fear of having it ripped from his chest again. It had taken the right person to yank off that blanket and let sunlight into his world again.
Andi had done that.
As with the first book, the presence of the animals in this one is just great yet again! I love how the author fits them all in so nicely into the story-line. I couldn’t imagine them not being present in these books. These animals that we’ve had the pleasure of meeting so far, have stolen my heart and are definitely a part of what makes these stories work so well in my opinion.
The mystery and suspense elements in this one were magnificently done I think. Normally I’m not all that into mystery persé, but it all just ‘clicked’ in this one. It was in such nice balance with the rest of the story, the character development and romance development. The author kept me guessing and it was quite surprising to find out that I wasn’t really able to anticipate correctly in the mystery revolving the WHO IS BEHIND ALL THIS? I loved being surprised when finding this all out.
I think the romance brewing between these two characters was just incredible. HOOK.LINE.and SINKER. I was a goner right from the start. I loved these characters as individuals so much already but them together? LOVED IT SO FRIGGING MUCH.
There was chemistry, there was banter, there was laughter, intensity and tenderness. I couldn’t get enough of the romance bits and pieces in it. The author really knows her way around writing down sexual tension to perfection. The build up is just amazingly well done and blends in perfectly with the actual romance development.
When it comes to the writing: I think it’s just amazing how the author is able to write a plot-driven storyline, with mystery and suspense and that she’s also able to develop the characters so incredibly well, as well as writing down such an incredible in depth romance.
Overall, this was an extremely enjoyable read from beginning till end. I devoured page by page and would’ve finished it in one-sitting if I didn’t have to take care of my family in between, lol. I really couldn’t get enough of it. Every second I could spare, I spent reading this book.
This – and don’t forget the first book; Locked ‘n Load of course! – is a series I’d recommend to anyone who likes a plot driven story-line involving cops and K-9 elements, mystery, suspense and a really believable and intense romance. It’s well written, fast-paced, enthralling and captivating. This author has me craving more already!
This book foresaw in my every need: It surprised me, it shocked me, it had me falling for these amazing characters and the amazing dogs who are present and it held me captive until the very last page. Sexy cops and brave K-9’s who’ll steal your heart. What more could you want for? Exactly! So my last message to you? GO READ THIS BOOK ASAP! You won’t regret it!
Thanks for reading,