“Stranded” is the third book in Dani Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series and though you could pick it up without having read “Submerged” and “Shattered” first, you probably won’t enjoy it as much if you do. That said, “Stranded” is by far my favorite book in this series. My one major complaint with the first two books was that it was incredibly difficult to keep all the McKenna family characters- and their romantic interests- straight, particularly with the author’s style of alluding to a character’s past and slowly…very slowly, recounting it. Keeping them straight and trying to identify with who each character was just took a lot of mental work. Happily this is not the case in “Stranded” (perhaps Ms. Pettrey has been reading my reviews?).
Darcy St. James and Gage McKenna are the main focus of this book, and most of the other McKenna’s and assorted fiancés are generally left in the background. The developing relationship between Darcy and Gage is what you would expect and is mildly engaging; I don’t think I ever feel any sense of actually identifying or connecting with them. What makes “Stranded” a good read is the plot: Darcy St. James’s undercover sleuthing and associated mishaps are on par with those of Nancy Drew, and I mean that in the very best of ways. Indeed, I almost felt like a kid again, trying to solve the mystery correctly before the detective does.
To the reader’s great relief the “mystery” of Jake’s past is finally revealed in this book after lingering far too long through the first two. The stage is set for the next installment in this series, which I will read because I genuinely enjoy the mysteries, the adventures, and the Alaskan setting- even if the kaleidoscope of characters is somewhat exacerbating.
I realize this is a very mixed review…I think I have developed a love-hate relationship with this series and its really coming through. This is a series based on a family, but the character development leaves a lot to be desired. The strength of Ms. Pettrey’s writing is her storytelling, which I truly enjoy.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.