Shelly: My very first Katie Ruggle was a hit. And because I’m a newbie to both her stories and the Search and Rescue series thereby having no reference for what’s come before this one – I’m already eager for Callum Cook’s story. But before I get there – Derek’s story was really good and certainly entertaining enough for me to want more.
Joanna: I’m so glad you enjoyed it – I’m a big fan of this series and have been shouting it from the rooftops, but only picked up this prequel after reading the full-length books. One of the (many) things I liked about this short was seeing the first meeting of book 1 couple – Callum and Lou. An arctic gaze meets humor and mischievous fun. Brilliant. It only gets better for you from here, Shelly.
Shelly: I’ve read one or two stories set in Colorado and while I’ve found them to be fun reads, it’s not really the kind of place that promotes the typical prime location for a romance. I mean really – can you just randomly have people in swimsuits or swim trunks just walking around outside for no good reason? No, you’ve always got to have your clothes on because it’s well… cold. So I’m even more impressed when the setting is in a place that you actually have to have more than skin and sex going on.
Joanna: Lots of snuggling! Getting under all those layers! I guess it adds to the challenge and it certainly means characters have to be built up – maybe that’s why I like these books so much. It’s all character-driven with a kicker of snow, snow, snow.
Shelly: I thought the pacing was really good. When Derek had to rescue that child who went under the ice, I couldn’t read fast enough to see what happened. Then the whole search and rescue for the girls – that’s a lot of cold! But what I really enjoyed was the ease of Derek and Artemis’s reunion as a couple. No drama, other than the elements, just a sweet acceptance of where they were in life and realizing what they both wanted – each other.
Joanna: I already liked Derek from the other books – his sense of humor is great so I was looking forward to reading more. In the very opening scene, Derek puts a goat in Callum’s truck for want of a better place to put it, and it eats the upholstery (hence Callum’s arctic mood when he meets Lou). Not many people can pull off this sort of scene without making it seem daft, but Ruggle can and it was brilliant.
Artemis was pretty cool too – she’d been in an awful marriage and was so surprised when she bumps into Derek (on her school’s trip to see the search and rescue divers at the frozen reservoir), and finds out he didn’t know she was divorced. They used to date, but it didn’t work out back then. But his not knowing was a good thing cos it gave her enough time to get over her ex and be ready to move on. The effect of the news on Derek was visceral but there was a rescue on, so their reunion, which was cut and dried as they’re perfect for each other, had to be slow burn over the day. It enabled a good story out of a sweet and natural pairing. Nicely done.
Happy reading folks!
Shelly’s rating: B
Joanna’s rating: B
Oh – and this is free on Katie Ruggle’s website so there is really no reason not to start this series here.
Click to download free on: Amazon
On His Watch
by Katie Ruggle
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca