Type: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martins
My Copy: Net Galley
When adrenaline runs high, so does the force of desire… For Shay Appleton, it’s love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he’ll make a terrific watch dog—and with an abusive ex who won’t let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart—until Bogart’s even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep.
Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who’s convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend…to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart?
I love the premise of this series, heroes and heroines with amazing dogs that are trained to serve and protect. This is the first book in an exciting series and I am looking forward to reading more about these men and woman, and their K-9 friends.
James Cannon is a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer whose partner is a highly trained K-9 officer, Bogart was recently kidnapped and James is on a mission to find out what happened. He finally tracks Bogart down and sees he is living with a woman who claims she got him from a local animal shelter. While discussing the dog-napping, James not only discovers that he is very attracted to her, but she seems be the victim of a stalker.
Shay Appleton has been staying at a cabin in the woods to get away from her ex-boyfriend, Eric. While she had Bogart by her side she felt protected, but when James takes Bogart with him, she feels vulnerable again. She dated Eric for almost a year but broke it off when he raped her on a trip, he called it rough sex. She reported him but was nervous about the publicity, afraid of her past being revealed, and with Eric not taking no for an answer she was scared. When James comes to check on her the next day he finds her fears are real and helps her chase off an angry Eric and is surprised when realizes he wants to stay to keep her safe.
This is an exciting suspense filled drama that is a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. I enjoyed this first book and liked how Bogart plays such a pivotal role in solving not only the problem with Eric but also an unknown threat to Shay. I also want to mention that I absolutely love how the author portrays the relationship between an office and his K-9 partner, Bogart and James work so well together and we see them in action several times.
James is a very likable hero; he is one of the good guys without much baggage in his life other than a few wrong choices in women. He grew up in a loving family without much drama and is healthy and happy working as a cop with a partner he has bonded with. He is captivated by Shay, wants to protect her as much as Bogart does, only to find she is an enigma with a clouded past.
What to say about Shay, she is also likable but she is so skittish and anxious that it is hard to get a vibe on her. I kept watching her make poor decisions and I wanted to throttle her, seriously why is she going back to the same place that Eric works? But after I heard her story and realized that she has had a troubled past, she is frighten and has been for several years, that I was beginning to understand, it is no wonder she bonded with Bogart so fast and was devastated when James came to claim him. In the end I like the person she becomes, stronger and standing up for herself, it was a “Yay, you go girl” moment for me when she takes on her foes.
The two have immediate attraction and their scenes are steamy, she finds comfort in his arms each and every time she experiences some trouble or is traumatized. Yet there are some trust issues between them, he is trying to protect her and she feels like he is overstepping and she pushes him away, yet she holds him close when she needs him, she is a bit conflicted at times.
The pace is fast, we jump from one crisis to another, there is more than one person trying to get to her and she does not know which way to turn or who to trust. The twists and turns and danger keep you turning the pages all the way to the end to see how things are resolved. A great start to a new series and I am looking forward to reading more about the connection between man/woman and their best friends.
I give Irresistible Force by D.D. Ayres 4 stars!