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Just after midnight Piper McKenna is awakened by a strange sound. Slipping from her bedroom into the hallway, she joins her sister Kayden at the top of the stairs. Rifle at the ready, Kayden gives Piper the signal. Piper flips the lights and finds her brother Reef standing at the foot of the stairs covered in blood.
Deputy Landon Grainger isn’t having a good night. Struggling with regrets and fighting his deepening attraction to Piper, Landon is tempted to simply bury it all at the bottom of a bottle. An official call keeps him from that slippery slope only to plunge him onto another. Competitive snowboarder Karli Davis has been murdered, and eyewitnesses place only one man at the scene. Piper’s brother. In order to do his job, Landon must now pit himself against a family he admires and the only woman he’s ever loved.
Dani Pettrey’s second title in her Alaskan Courage series catapults readers into the thick of the action with these opening scenes and takes them on a fast-paced slalom through the ins and outs of a murder investigation that includes enough obstacles and surprises to keep readers on the edge of their seats until the last page.
The exquisite friction between hero and heroine adds depth to the conflict and just the right amount of spice to the story line. Friends since they were kids, Landon and Piper are used to rubbing each other the wrong way, but something’s changed. The easy banter they once shared is strained by something other than Reef’s arrest, and the undercurrent of attraction between them keeps them off balance, forcing them to channel their pent-up energy into working the case.
Landon has both the skill and determination to do just that. He loves being a cop and takes pride in his ability to conduct an unbiased investigation. This case demands no less of him, and when all the evidence points to Reef, Landon doesn’t hesitate to arrest him for murder, in spite of how it will affect Piper and her family. Though his boss and the local prosecutor believe there’s more than enough evidence to convict, Landon won’t be satisfied until he investigates every angle. He may not be able to keep Piper’s brother from prison, but he can give her the assurance that no single detail was overlooked.
Piper doesn’t appreciate the effort. She has no doubt Reef is innocent; she just doesn’t believe Landon is doing enough to prove it. Conceding that Landon is constrained by police protocol, Piper decides to find answers on her own, a choice that disrupts the official investigation and makes Landon’s job harder than it already is.
Admitting that the line between the personal and professional is dangerously thin, Landon recuses himself from the formal investigation to cover some ground on his own. He has a lead in the lower forty-eight, but he can’t slip out of Alaska without Piper on his heels. Rather than leave her to her own devices, he allows her to join him. Working together, they uncover the truth about Karli’s past and discover the possibility of a future with each other.
Fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining, Shattered delivers all the best elements of romantic suspense. Dani Pettrey crafts a narrative that keeps the reader engaged every step of the way. From tracking the progress of the case to watching the sparks fly between Landon and Piper, there was never a time I wanted to put this book down. The plot twists kept coming, the danger kept escalating, and the emotional ties kept tangling, culminating with a satisfying ending where the dauntless heroine saves the day.
I highly recommend this book as well as the first title in the series, Submerged. To find out more about Dani Pettrey and her books, visit her website.