Friday, August 30, 2013

Stranded by Dani Pettrey

Stranded (Alaskan Courage, #3)Stranded by Dani Pettrey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Description: When her friend vanishes from a cruise ship, reporter Darcy St. James isn't satisfied with their explanation that she simply left her job of her own accord. Something isn't lining up, and Darcy believes the only way to find the truth is to put herself in Abby's position. Within days, Darcy learns her friend wasn't the only person to disappear mysteriously. Last summer, a woman vanished under almost identical circumstances. 
Gage McKenna has taken a summer-long stint leading adventure excursions for the passengers of various cruise lines that dock for a few days of sightseeing. He's surprised to find Darcy working aboard one of the ships, investigating a troubling report. Something sinister is going on and the deeper they dig the more Gage fears they've only discovered the tip of the iceberg.

My thoughts: The story starts out strong. Abby is a woman on a ship who realizes, too late, that she has been drugged due to getting too close to some shifty behavior. She can't escape the consequences and quickly slips a small clue into her bible before she is caught. We also discover that Abby is really and investigative reporter, currently undercover and she has already called in her former partner, Darcy, who quit the undercover scene due to a conflict of beliefs and standards. Now Abby is missing and she is at a loss at what course to follow except to dig.

This is the second book I've read with the McKenna clan. I read about Cole and Bailey. This time is Gage, the brother who lost an infant son and carried a great deal of anger at God but also attraction to Darcy who has a great deal of faith. Gage is the lead in an expedition company that joins the cruise and takes groups on excursions that are dangerous. He and Darcy grow closer but he hates what she does because it reminds him of his ex. Darcy gets closer to the subterfuge happening within the cruise ship company.

So it's a pleasant read. It just didn't engage me. Darcy and Gage's attraction is shallow and limited. Apparently, they have a history from a previous book which is often referred to but I still didn't get the deep connection they suddenly shared. This is the third book out of #3 (so far) thus #2 must have had a lot more in it. It seemed a lot like the characters jumped quickly from A to C, skipping completely over B. For me it lacked meat.

To be honest, I had another huge issue with this book. I read it as an E-ARC book. Every time a word was supposed to have double "f"s, there was a blank space. So I had to puzzle out "office" or "suffocate" or any number of words and it really bugged me. Perhaps if I didn't have to work so hard to decipher words and meanings I would have enjoyed it more.

Take that revelation with my criticisms of the book. I may have judged it more harshly because I was frustrated.

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