Early Review Post: Ultimate Courage by Piper Drake

Hot military heroes, the women who love them, and the devoted dogs that always have their backs. ULTIMATE COURAGE is the second book in a high adrenaline contemporary suspense series from Piper J. Drake published by Forever Romance. Fans of D.D. Ayres K-9 Rescue series and Cindy Gerard’s One Eyed Jacks, will love this action packed romantic suspense series.

Title: Ultimate Courage
Author: Piper J. Drake
Series: True Heroes #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing- Forever
Print Length:  336 pages
Format: Digital and Mass Market Paperback
Elisa Hall is good at starting from scratch. Leaving an abusive relationship in her rearview, she packs everything she owns into the trunk of her car and heads for refuge with her friend in Hope's Crossing, North Carolina.

Alex Rojas returned from his second deployment as a Navy SEAL to find his condo empty and divorce papers on the breakfast table. Now he's building a life for himself and his daughter at Hope's Crossing kennels training younger dogs and handlers to search and rescue, struggling to adjust to life back in the States and as a single father.

When Elisa shows up at the kennels, it's obvious she's running from something. Luckily, the dogs and trainers at Hope's Crossing are more than capable of warding off trouble. And with every minute he spends with Elisa, Alex becomes even more and more determined to protect the woman he's certain he won't be able to live without...
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Rating/Review: 4 cups ☕☕☕☕

Ultimate Courage is the second book in Piper Drake's True Heroes series, about a  trio of ex-military men who has started a kennel mainly to rehabilitate and re-train former military and guard dogs to civilian life.  Along the way each one of them manages to find their perfect match and yes the perfect women as well.

In Ultimate Courage readers meet Elisa Hall, obviously running from something but ultimate by good fortune meets Alex Rojas and his daughter.  His daughter Boom befriends Elisa which leads to a eventually hiring her as an administrative assistant in their already rapidly expanding Hope's Crossing Kennels.   As Elisa and Alex starts getting closer, and an additional member in the form of Souze keeps their connection more real, the danger thats followed Elisa for the last six months has found her.  Can Alex keep her safe while dealing with his own demons from the past?

This was a great action suspense romance book with both protagonists dealing with their individual psychological traumas.  For Elisa, trying to pick up the pieces of her self esteem was a long process that was adequately depicted in the story.  A victim of emotional abuse, the help that was freely offered can sometimes feel like a trap about to be sprung anytime.  For her to be able to make her own decisions, to learn to trust her instinct again is a great example of her being a survivor.  Alex's PTSD as a result of his time in the war zone and his eventual decline into almost anti social behaviour will strike a lot of readers with familiarity.  The way his daughter keeps him grounded and the way that Souze eventually was able to help him keep his demons at bay is something truly special.  It focuses on how well therapy dogs can give those who suffer from PTSD or any psychological trauma that little bit of normalcy that they crave.  Dogs like Souze become an important therapy took to giving back their lives.  Ultimate Courage does have an overarching arch carried from the previous book, but it was introduced almost as an after thought that it  felt like it was just tacked on, the only jarring note on an otherwise great action suspense romance.  Looking forward to the third book!

About Piper J. Drake:
Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) began her writing career as “PJ Schnyder” writing sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk. She has recently received the FF&P PRISM award for her work as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award.
Now, PJ is exploring the complexity of romantic suspense, incorporating her interests in mixed martial arts and the military into her writing.