I have been on a streak lately with great books! Ultimate Courage is the second book in the True Heroes series by Piper Drake. This was my first experience with Ms. Drake’s writing, and I can tell I’m going to be a big fan of her work. I already ordered the first book in this series. I love the whole stalker ex trope, and this one had a bit of a twist on it which was a nice change.
Elisa Hall has been on the run from her ex for the past few months. She stops in places briefly and works to make a bit of money but inevitably has to move on whenever he catches up to her. After spraining her wrist, Elisa goes to the emergency room to see a doctor. There, she runs into an extremely intimidating, yet intriguing man and his adorable daughter who is there with a broken arm.
Alex Rojas is a retired Navy SEAL who is dealing with a serious case of PTSD. After his ex-wife overdosed on pain meds leaving him a single dad, he knows he needs to put down roots. When one of his former SEAL buddies offered him a chance to move to a small town and work at his kennel training dogs, he knows it’s a good opportunity for his daughter. Getting through the days is hard enough in a crowd, and the land the kennel is on gives him that space he needs. But it also allows him to slowly close himself off from everyone else.
After returning something that Alex’s daughter Serena (a.k.a. Boom) left behind at the hospital, Elisa finds herself in the right place at the right time. Hope’s Crossing Kennel is looking for an admin assistant, and it gives her the chance to earn a bit of money to prepare for her next run. Unfortunately her ex catches up with her a lot quicker than she anticipated, and she’s torn between going and staying.
The men who work at the kennel all know a scared woman on the run when they see one. They also know how to protect her if she will just give them the chance. As the relationship between Elisa and Alex heats up, her ex ramps up his efforts to track her down.
If I had any complaints it would just be that the inevitable showdown with her ex was kind of anticlimactic. It didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book, but it was just kind of over before it really started.
I really liked the relationship between Alex and Elisa. She’s obviously a strong woman because she has survived months on the run, and she has a core of steel. But she’s also tired of running. More than anything, she wants a life, and she finds herself wanting that life with Alex, Boom and the new friends she’s made. Alex obviously wants to help protect her, but he doesn’t take over. He involves her in every step, proving to her that he’s nothing like her ex.
Once I started reading, I didn’t stop until I had read the whole thing. It was a fast read but was really good. The main couple was sweet; the supporting characters were great, and I enjoyed the story. I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Piper Drake
Release Date: July 26, 2016