Friday, December 27, 2013

"Stranded" Review

Darcy St. James thought her undercover journalism days were over. But then her best friend Abby convinces her to join her in an investigation on board an Alaskan cruise ship. When Darcy arrives on the ship and discovers that Abby has disappeared, Darcy’s task becomes even more difficult.

Gage McKenna and his siblings love doing their job of taking tourists on various Alaskan excursions. When the McKenna family is approached about running the off-board activities for an Alaskan cruise ship, Gage decides to head it up. He thinks this job will give him the opportunity to get Darcy St. James – a girl who he thought he might be able to care for but who abruptly left his life – out of his mind.

When Gage realizes that Darcy is doing publicity for the cruise ship, he is stunned. And when he finds out that Darcy is actually undercover, he is dismayed. Gage is attracted to Darcy, but he is not interested in being with someone (again) who is not completely genuine.
As Darcy searches for the truth of what happened to Abby, she and Gage are thrust into the middle of something even more sinister than they believed.

Stranded is the third book in the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey. You can read my reviews of Submerged and Shattered also.

In usual Dani Pettrey fashion, this book starts off with a bang. You could probably read this novel without having read the first two in the series, but it might be a bit chaotic in the beginning if you are not already familiar with the characters. It took me a bit to remember who all the characters were and to get familiar with them.

The story starts off strong with the disappearance of Abby and with Gage and Darcy ending up working together to find her. The suspense portion of this novel is done very well. I was interested in the mystery surrounding Abby’s disappearance, and it was fun to follow all of the twists and turns along the way. The only thing that kind of got in the way of the suspense was that although I appreciated Darcy’s dedication to finding her friend, I sometimes thought the way she went about it was either na├»ve or a bit over the top and reckless.

As for the romance between Gage and Darcy, it pretty much followed the same pattern as the previous novels. Gage and Darcy did seem to be meant for each other, but the romantic conflict seemed rather more limited in its scope than it could have been. It was a bit tiresome that Gage kept having to rescue Darcy all the time (see the previous paragraph on her being reckless...) - I mean, he 'saved' her, what? Three times, I think? Just a bit much.

I mentioned in my reviews of the previous novels in this series that they both had a clear message of grace and forgiveness that comes through, and that is true for this novel as well. Gage is really struggling with questions that all of us ask at one time or another such as why would a loving God allow bad things to happen, especially to children? This portion of the novel was difficult for me to read, but it was written with a sense of hope and continued faith in God with the focus being clearly on Christ.

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of characters in this novel. This is mostly due to the fact that this is the third book in the series, which is to be expected. I actually think that one of the best parts of this book was how it set up the story of Jake that will hopefully be told in the next book. I have been interested in his story since Submerged, the first book in the series, so the next novel is going to have a lot to live up to!

Overall this book was a good continuation of the series. The setting of the Alaskan cruise ship was really interesting, especially since I would love to go on an Alaskan cruise someday. I just hope I don't have to deal with the things these characters did on that cruise!

I will give Stranded ... 3.5 BookWorms.


Stranded by Dani Pettrey
Alaskan Courage #3
Bethany House Publishers
Publication date: September 1, 2013

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free 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 is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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