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  • Caitlyn Lynch

NEW RELEASE: Blog Tour and Book Review for Total Bravery by Piper J. Drake


I love a good K9 story, and Taz, the dog in this one, is adorable, as is his handler, Raul Sà. On his first day at his new job with a private firm in Hawaii, Raul picks up the phone to discover the little sister of his best friend (and team-mate) is in trouble and asking for help. He never hesitates for a second to rush to Miri’s rescue.

This is an interracial romance with both protagonists from ethnicities you don’t see a lot in fiction; while they are both first-generation American, Raul is of Portuguese origin and Miri is Thai. A post-doc studying the effects of human trafficking, Miri seems surprisingly naive about the types of people she might be tangling with, but Raul certainly isn’t.

This is a difficult one for me to rate. Some parts of the story I loved, such as Raul recognizing that trying to build a relationship with Miri while she was in the middle of a traumatic experience wasn’t going to happen, and having the sense to let her normalize again first. At the same time, I never felt we really got to know Raul as well as I’d’ve liked. He clearly had guilt over the things he’d done while in military service, and I’d suggest probably some PTSD as well, but getting some help to deal with his demons never seemed to occur to him, or anyone else. I didn’t quite get the feeling there was a real emotional connection between him and Miri because I never felt I saw his emotions, I think.

The other thing that got on my nerves a bit was the references to ethnic food. Yes, Hawaii has different food and culture to the mainland US, but there were literally constant references and explanations which got on my nerves after a while, especially when every single thing they ate (and every meal was detailed) was some local delicacy. I’ve been to Hawaii. My best friend was born there. They still eat sandwiches and regular things mainland Americans enjoy too. Don’t overdo it with the cultural references; your readers will start skimming. I certainly did.

Four stars for a good story I just didn’t quite emotionally connect with, and which could have done with a little less ‘filler’ and a little more meat on the bones of the characters.

In celebration of the release of Total Bravery, enter below to win a Piper J. Drake gift basket (print copies of Extreme Honor and Hidden Impact, sports bag, fun Piper J Drake and Corbin swag)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review courtesy of Barclay Publicity and NetGalley.

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