Jaimie: Gone Too Deep is the third book in the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue series by Katie Ruggle and I cannot say enough how great this series is. Hands down George and Ellie’s book is my favorite and that’s largely because of my love of George.
Joanna: So ditto! I’ve fallen hard for this hero. To the story – we open with our heroine, Ellie Price, who’s on an unfortunate bad date when she receives an unexpected phone call.
Jaimie: It’s Ellie’s dad Baxter is calling her, obviously off his medication, and rambling about people trying to kill him. Believing that he’s just in one of his episodes, Ellie doesn’t buy the part about someone trying to kill him, but she does believe that he’s in need of help. They never quite confirm what condition Baxter has, but there are references to schizophrenia.
Joanna: Ellie leaves her comfortable city life and flies/drives to Simpson. She pitches up at the local café and slips straight over on the ice. A very big mountain man (hurray!) helps her to her feet then ignoring her squeaks of protest, carries her to the door of the café. He drops her on the mat and goes without a word, leaving her astonished at his help.
In the cafe, she starts talking with Lou and Callum (book 1 couple) who are still investigating the death of headless dead guy.. With their help, Ellie works out that her father’s already started a trek into the winter wilderness. Ellie has to go after him to persuade him to come back to safety with her. He won’t listen to anyone else. But she can’t follow him alone and she needs the help of a local expert. Enter George, our mountain man and great big bearded hero. He’s huge, handsome and capable. But he doesn’t talk.
Jaimie: George Holloway is a loner and he seems to like it that way. In past books in the series you see him grunt and occasionally mumble a few words but he’s more the strong, silent type. No one knows the wilderness around them like George does and that makes him the perfect person to lead a city girl around in the snow.
George is literally one of the sweetest heroes I’ve read about in a book. He is strong, fit and independent, but his shyness and sweetness with Ellie is way too cute. He’s probably one of my favorite heroes to date.
I liked Ellie, too; don’t get me wrong. She’s a city girl like I am and hiking through the mountains sounds like a special kind of hell to me, but she keeps up with George and does her best not to complain or slow him down. Had to admire her spunk.
Joanna: A special kind of hell I’d happily endure for some time in isolation with George. Uh huh. Ellie manages to persuade him to help her and off they go together, Ellie with a new goal of getting the big man to smile before they reach their snowy destination.
There’s a grumpy sweetness to George that’s just under the surface and as they walk together, it starts to emerge more and more. He helps Ellie and tries not to frown or laugh when she’s incompetent or gets scared by a squirrel. He treats her blisters and keeps her safe. It’s touching. And she does get him to laugh and indeed talk. Whole sentences.
The first word he says to her, back at his place before they leave, is “Wait”. It seems like George the loner had just been waiting for Ellie to come along and get him out of himself.
Then check this – I love this trope so much – when Ellie leans in to kiss him one night in their tent as a tease to beat him in a game, he lies there thinking about it for hours after. Cos how could he forget his first kiss? Awww, swoon to the floor, love him! He’s 31, lives a self-sustaining existence and never had a relationship! It made me so much more invested in their HEA than if he’d have been a more experienced guy. This made me so happy.
Jaimie: Totally agree – this part was beyond adorable and sweet. Usually it’s the woman who has no experience so it was a nice layer to the story and just made me love George even more!
Joanna: George and Ellie aren’t alone in the wilderness – there’s someone else on the trail of Baxter – someone who wants information from him and isn’t going to hold their punches in getting it. Turns out Ellie’s dad isn’t completely paranoid. This adds a threat beyond Mother Nature to Ellie and George’s trek and this is all part of the wider story of the headless dead guy.
Now I like this series a lot. I love the heroines and I love the heroes so much. Callum in book one was grumpy and measured, Ian in book two was hella good looking and a biker, but George has definitely stolen my heart. He’s just so lovely. The strong, silent type but good with his hands, with survival skills and rescuing people? Yes please. He’s called by Lou the love child of Grizzly Adams and Pa Ingalls. And the way he slowly falls for Ellie is just swoony. There are so many little bits which I highlighted cos they melted my heart.
Jaimie: One thing I didn’t like was a completely unnecessary scene where George goes to the big city to try to fit in to Ellie’s life. While it was sweet that he wanted to try, it was out of place and almost seemed like it was simply a way to stretch the book.
Joanna: I agree. I didn’t like him being in the city – it somehow diminished him, but I’d happily read another book where his skills and lifestyle are shown. He’s so awesome.
Jaimie: There were quite a few twists in the story but right at the end there is a HUGE one and it was one I did NOT see coming. I’m dying to get my hands on the next installment so I can find out how this is all going to play out!!
Overall I loved this one. It was fast-paced, lots of action and twists, super adorable hero and a great heroine as well. My favorite one in the series for sure.
Joanna: Absolutely agree and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Jaimie’s rating: A
Joanna’s rating: A-
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Gone Too Deep
by Katie Ruggle
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca