Library loan via Libby.
David Cruz is good at two things: war and training dogs. The ex-soldier’s toughest case is Atlas, a Belgian Malinois whose handler died in combat. Nobody at Hope’s Crossing kennel can break through the animal’s grief. That is, until dog whisperer Evelyn Jones walks into the facility…and into Atlas’ heart. David hates to admit that the curvy blonde’s mesmerizing effect isn’t limited to canines. But when Lyn’s work with Atlas puts her in danger, David will do anything to protect her.
Lyn realizes that David’s own battle scars make him uniquely qualified for his job as a trainer. Tough as nails yet gentle when it counts, he’s gotten closer to Atlas than anyone else – and he’s willing to put his hardwired suspicion aside to let her do the same. But someone desperate enough to kill doesn’t want Lyn working with Atlas. Now only teamwork, trust, and courage can save two troubled hearts and the dog who loves them both….
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating perspectives, not by chapter but clearly defined by change of narrator.
This is my first book by Piper J. Drake. Extreme Honor is best enjoyed by those who prefer the relationship building and romance to be central to the story over the K9 aspect. Most of the K9 training & rehab was shared via clinical terminology and felt dry at times. The mystery/suspense/action was intriguing, but took very little of the book’s time. A few plot points were never cleared up and the world-building seemed to slow the book down quite a bit, but I still found myself invested in the people and mission of Hope’s Crossing kennel. There was a nice twist at the end where I thought I had things figured out but didn’t.
This is definitely instalove as the whole book takes place over less than 2 weeks, but Drake spent quite a bit of time letting us get to know David & Lyn so it didn’t feel completely unfounded. There was enough of an introduction to secondary characters that I’m looking forward to their books as well.
Daniel Thomas May & Kristin Kalbli are both new narrators to me. They both did a good job differentiating character voices and expressing emotions.
Trigger Warnings (possible spoilers):
Lyn is attacked and David interrupts a sexual assault on her. She suffers PTS after.
My Favorite Quotes
The difference between yesterday and right now was night and day. – Extreme Honor by @PiperJDrake #Audiobook narrated by @iamDTMay & @kkalbli #RomanticSuspense #K9Tweet