On His Watch (Search and Rescue 0.5)
Author: Katie Ruggle
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Warning: Children in potentially life-threatening situations
Length: 84 Kindle pages
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…
Ice rescue diver Derek Warner never meant to be a hero. But when two little girls go missing, he’s the first in line to bring them home—even if that means scouring the wilderness with the woman he once loved and lost, Artemis Rey.
Artemis has never stopped wanting Derek. Now, racing to find the girls before it’s too late, minutes turn to hours. Night falls. Old flames rekindle. And a danger grows in the darkest wilderness that may be more than even the Search and Rescue brotherhood can hope to face…
Why I Loved It?
I got this novella after attending #RT16 and getting the first book in the series in the registration bag. I later attended the Crafting a Slam-dunk Hook: How to Seduce an Editor panel, featuring Cat Clyne and Mary Altman from Sourcebooks, who told us that there was a free introductory novella for the series.
As a 84 page novella, the book was quite short, but it definitely achieved its purpose of showcasing a new author’s writing style, introducing a loveable cast of characters, and sowing the seeds for the first book in the series, Hold Your Breath, which tells Callum and Lou’s story.
I loved how much character and personality Katie Ruggle got within those first few pages. Right from the start, we were introduced to the incorrigible, nervous public speaker, Derek, the wickedly serious and slyly humorous Callum, and the motor-mouth rookie, Lou. Even before Derek’s romantic partner was introduced, you really got the sense that the three members of the team take their job seriously, but all know when to kick back and relax (though people would say that Callum doesn’t have a relaxed bone in his body).
I think it was smart for the novella to focus on a second chance romance, rather than a love at first sight/fight storyline. Since the characters already had history, the story was all about reconnecting and explaining the decisions they made when they were younger. I thought it was awesome that both characters had been secretly pining for each other, making it possible for their story to be resolved within the limited page count the author was working with.
The little novella was action packed, giving us a drowning, missing kids getting lost in a snow storm, finding an arsonist’s hideout, and a tense confrontation with a mountain lion. I have to admit I was a little disappointed that one of the dangers that they didn’t encounter was the arsonist himself—that would have made for an even crazier ride, though.
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Lots of readers were disappointed with the brevity of the novella. Are you a quick read lover, or do you prefer a book you can really sink your teeth into?