Review: Total Bravery by Piper J Drake

Reviewed by Sara

On the beautiful islands of Hawaii, Mali is studying the ugliness of human trafficking. While interviewing victims, she becomes the focus of a dangerous group determined to keep their criminal activities quietly expanding. When she calls her sister’s paramilitary group, Search and Rescue Corporation, for help she reaches newest employee Raul.

Raul and his trained German Shepherd, quickly and efficiently save Mali, but she is still in danger and Raul is the best able to keep her safe –or at least that’s what he’s telling himself. Keeping Mali safe from a increasingly dangerous threat is proving difficult, but keeping himself from falling in love with the beautiful, smart and courageous researcher is proving to be the hardest part of his new job.

Total Bravery isn’t the usual kind of Romance novel that I go for as I’m usually not into the whole military thing, but Piper J Drake has a really good grasp on police/military procedure, specifically the information regarding the dogs used by Search and Rescue Corp. She also does a fantastic job describing the beauty of Hawaii, describing in the great detail the food and culture that makes Hawaii a unique and gorgeous locale. The beauty of Hawaii is balanced by the dark, insidious evil that is human trafficking. Drake doesn’t trivialize the effect of human trafficking has on its victims; she is cognizant of the how this crime victimizes not just women, but entire families and understands that victims can be very different in their responses to assistance. Occasionally, the author’s attention to detail caused the book to lag a little. For example, there is a lot of emphasis on food in Total Bravery, which makes sense as food is an excellent way to explain and describe a culture to someone, but I don’t need to know the entire composition of each of the 6 dishes Mali ate in a given day.

Mali and Raul are great characters and are the the opposites of each other in many ways. Mali is slight and scholarly while Raul is your classic military hero with a complex about what he’s had to do during his years in service. However, they’re both called to braveness in their professions and with their hearts and this is what brings them together. While, Raul’s “I’m a horrible guy” schtick gets a little old, he and Mali make a fantastic, dynamic couple that made me want to see them reach their happily ever after.

While Total Bravery isn’t what I’d usually read, I’m really happy I gave it a chance. Piper J Drake’s knowledge of her subject matter, attention to detail and excellent character building brought the beauty of Hawaii and Mali and Raul’s Romance to life. A really enjoyable novel overall.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Total Bravery
by Piper J Drake
Release Date: April 28, 2018
Publisher: Grand Central

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