Hold Your Breath (Search and Rescue #1)
by Katie Ruggle
In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…
As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive…even if keeping her safe may just kill him.
Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms…no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence Lou—and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.
When I read On His Watch, the prequel novella to Katie Ruggle's Search and Rescue series, last year I couldn't wait to dive into Hold Your Breath (pun totally intended there, btw) and I'm so glad that I finally had time to read this one. It wasn't exactly what I was hoping for, and I'm honestly surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did, but I cannot wait to see what's next for this series!
Normally when I read a book I prefer for the romance to be the primary focus, which was so not the case in Hold Your Breath, and I was honestly a little put off for the first 30% or so but let me tell you... Once the suspense really started to pick up I found myself relieved by the natural progression of Callum and Lou's relationship. There was no push-pull, no will they or wont they angst... It just simply was, which totally worked in their case.
There are actually a couple different suspense plots in this one and the one will continue on into the next book, I'm assuming, but the main plot was wrapped up very nicely. So what's it all about? Lou has a stalker (dun dun dun) and Callum steps in to keep her safe, thus progressing their relationship as they start spending more and more time together. Unfortunately Lou's stalker isn't too thrilled there's another man in the picture which, of course, escalates his stalking.
On top of the stalker plot, we have the case of the dead body, which Lou unearthed during a training exercise, making her feel a need to find out who said dead person is... So not only are Lou, Callum, and the rest of Field County’s bravest trying to figure out who's stalking Lou, but they're also trying to discover the identity of the body and find out what happened to him.
Honestly there's quite a bit going on in this one but I never once felt confused... If anything it kept me even more invested. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get any of Callum's POV, so add that with the lack of focus on the romance aspect of this romantic suspense, and it ended up being a solid 4 star read for me. Luckily I already have an ARC of the next book and I cannot wait for an opening in my schedule so I can give it a go!
On His Watch (Search and Rescue #0.5)
Disclosure: I was provided with an ARC of Hold Your Breath through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.