Monday, July 9, 2012

Submerged by Dani Pettrey - a book review

From the back: Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska again. She has a past, and a reputation - and Yancey's a town that doesn't forget. She's returned to bury a loved one killed in the place crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's expertise becomes invaluable for the case.
Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives. He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town. But facing the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart...but doesn't seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten year's ago. And he's not the same guy she left behind.
Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what's hidden in the depths finally surfaces.

Submerged was not my usual fare and that's why I chose it. Lately I've had a hard time finding books I truly enjoy. I will pick up a book and it will take me ages to read it because I just can't get into it. Is it a mood thing or are the books really not that great? I don't know. But I finished this book in just a few days which is something I haven't been able to do for quite some time.

This book is called a romantic suspense and I have to say it wasn't all that suspenseful for me. Was there an interesting mystery? Yes (it involves Russian history and royalty) but I felt like it was definitely second fiddle to the real story which was about forgiveness. I like the newer trend of characters in Christian fic not being so perfect. Bailey left town because during high school she acquired the colorful epithet of "Easy Lay Bay" - when you've completely changed who you are why would you want to return where people won't let you forget that? That part of the story and how she has to really put on a brave face and ignore the sneers of men she awkward and heart breaking but not necessarily in a bad way (if that's possible). The other aspect of that is Cole whom she ditched to gain this nickname and breaking his heart in the process. He realizes that he walked away from someone who was drowning in trouble and wonders what he could have done to help her then so he helps her now by choosing to go by what she is in the now instead of what she was. I'm babbling but this is what the book really was to me. It was true friendship and forgiveness (and made me want to be a better more forgiving person). And romance of course. Some of it made me literally roll my eyes. Man: let me stand behind you and wrap my arms around you while I teach you something. Guh. Not that I would protest if some smart, attractive man did this to me, but I will still roll my eyes if I see it in a movie or read it in a book.

There was actually a second romantic possibility in this book and that one really piqued my interest so of course it was never completed but was promised to another book. Argh! Which is why I'm glad there's a sequel for these secondary characters (and what spawned my silly intro).

The setting of Alaska was one I enjoyed although I frequently found myself confused by all the board shorts and surfing talk. Maybe I don't know anything about Alaska but when I googled surfing in Alaska every photo I saw had people in wet suits.

In any case, Submerged was an excellent title and theme for this story. There was the diving elements as well as the emotional submersion so Dani gets points from my literary heart for making that flow throughout (water pun totally intended).

In all:
Russian (Alaska) history? Yes!
Men of integrity? Yes!
Flawed main character you could maybe relate to (in one way or another)? Yes!
Amazing forgiving and accepting and loving people? Yes!
Characters you want to know more about? Yes!
Hokey moments? Yes.
Suspense? yes.
Mildly creepy cover that doesn't totally fit? yes.
Recommended? Yes, with the warning that the story doesn't get completely resolved.

This book was provided by Bethany House for the purpose of reviewing. Opinions are entirely my own.


Sara said...

If I didn't have like 30 books on my bedside table waiting for me I would totally pic this up! I agree, sometimes you need something different to read :)

Clara Turbay said...

I like so much what you are doing here.

kathy said...

This book is in Clackamas County Libraries - now it is in my queue.
I always enjoy anything Alaska plus the planes - worth reading for me.
Board shorts and surfing - well - I've never seen it.
My daughter is up in Ketchikan this summer working so Alaska is back on my mind.

I don't know what your schedule is like this next month-- I was talking to Janine about possibly getting together. stay tuned.