Thursday, October 24, 2019
Review - - Sergeant's Christmas Siege
Sergeant's Christmas Siege
by Megan Crane
An Alaska Force Novel
Release Date: October 29, 2019
Reviewed by PJ
When straight-arrow, by-the-rules Alaskan State Trooper Kate Holiday is sent to investigate a local band of secretive commandos in remote Grizzly Harbor over the holidays, her least favorite time of year, her objective is clear: disband Alaska Force and arrest them. But Kate didn't count on the diabolical temptation of Templeton Cross. The former Army Ranger exudes charm and has absolutely no respect for the rules of law that govern Kate's life - too bad he also makes her mouth water and her knees weak.
Templeton has always been good at keeping his game face on and his emotions hidden, especially in combat. But working with Kate brings back memories of losses he prefers to keep locked up tight. As the pressure mounts - and Christmas draws closer - it’s a given that someone's going to get hurt.
Trouble is, the more time he spends convincing his careful, wary trooper that there’s more to the holidays than her memories, the more he wants to keep her around. Forever.
But forever is the one thing a man like Templeton can't do. Not even at Christmas.
Add another author to my romantic suspense auto-buy list. Sergeant's Christmas Siege was my first Megan Crane novel. You can bet it won't be my last. I am all-in for more Alaska Force stories!
I had to force myself to put this book down. Once I met Kate and Templeton and witnessed the friction between them I couldn't turn those pages fast enough. Crane weaves so much animosity, suspicion, and chemistry between them that it was all I could do to wait for the explosion to happen. But this story is about so much more than sexual attraction.
Kate is a by-the-book, Alaska State Trooper who sees only good and bad, law followers and law breakers. She's a kick-ass heroine but pretty rigid and stand-offish which could have made her unlikable and someone I'd have a hard time warming up to. But Crane gives her one heck of a back story that gives Kate hidden layers, unacknowledged fears, and a vulnerability that she keeps deeply hidden, even from herself. Templeton is perfect for her. I loved his humor, his ability to pull out Kate's hidden qualities while respecting her law enforcement abilities, and his deep sensuality. I liked how he was protective of her while never trying to overstep her authority or diminish her power. I like how he pushes her. But I also enjoyed how she pushes him. They're evenly matched and that makes the journey all the more fun.
There's a lot of emotional baggage to work through for both Kate and Templeton and Crane does a good job of guiding her characters through that process in concert with the mystery, danger, and action that take center stage in the story. I appreciated the fact that she took her time with these two, lessening Kate's suspicions and deepening her attraction, then feelings, slowly. Given the details of her background that are gradually revealed, anything else would not have been as believable.
The suspense element of this book held me captive and kept me guessing while Crane's depiction of a dark Alaskan winter set the perfect backdrop against which the events played out. It's a well-crafted story that never lagged, kept me actively involved, and gave me a realistic, heartfelt, happy ending I could buy into. It also left me eagerly anticipating the next story in Megan Crane's Alaska Force series!