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text 2017-07-21 16:52
Review: Absolute Trust (True Heroes, #3) by Piper J. Drake (DNF)
Absolute Trust - Piper J. Drake

Review originally featured at Angel's Guilty Pleasures


Absolute Trust

True Heroes, #3
Piper J. Drake
Romantic Suspense - Contemporary Romance
December 20th 2016
Won a Copy



After multiple tours of duty, Brandon Forte returns to his hometown on a personal mission: to open a facility for military service dogs like Haydn, a German shepherd who's seen his share of combat and loss. It also brings him back to Sophie Kim, a beacon of light in his life . . . and the one woman he can't have. But Forte's success means he's made enemies in high places. Enemies who are now after Sophie . . .


When Forte enlisted and left without saying goodbye, Sophie did her best to move on. But with her first love back in town, looking sexier than ever, she's constantly reminded of what they could have had. Then after he risks himself for her, Sophie realizes she'll have to put her life in the hands of the man who broke her heart, knowing the danger -and the sparks between them- could consume them both.




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I ended up stopping at pg. 124 around 38% in.


This is the first time I’ve read Ms. Drake and a book in the True Heroes series. Their are previous characters around, ones that are couples now and friends to our leads, and so I’m missing out on the connections. I don’t feel the camaraderie or friendships like I might if I read the books in order.


As for Absolute Trust everything feels slow. The plot is slow and the romance is nonexistent. Even with them both having torches for each other since high school. I’m just not feeling the the chemistry and romance.


Up to this point no action has happened. We’ve had a car booming and an attempted apartment burglary/try to kill our heroine, but it wasn’t action associated, just things that happened to our leads, then we move on.


I’m not sure if I’ll try reading this again. I do have book one on request at my library and maybe I’ll pick up Absolute Trust again after I try out the previous books published.


Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!



Challenge(s): New To Me (Series/Author) | Pick Your Genre (Con) | Backlist Reader (2017)





Owner/Review and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. However what I am not is a writer. I apologize now for the grammatical and punctuation errors I make, because I know I’m going to make them. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. My favorite animals are horses. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/07/review-absolute-trust-true-heroes-3-by-piper-j-drake-dnf
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review 2017-07-03 06:23
Absolute Trust by Piper J. Drake
Absolute Trust - Piper J. Drake

Brandon Forte broke Sophie Kim’s heart when he enlisted right after high-school and left without saying goodbye. But since he’s come back to civilian life and opened Hope’s Crossing Kennels in their home town, she’s been there for him as a friend, never hoping for something more out of fear of ruining their friendship, never asking the question she needed answered above all: Why he left.

The reason behind him leaving and him coming back was the same for Brandon: Sophie. He’d do anything for her, even keeping their relationship friendly and strictly platonic if that’s what she wanted. But when she almost dies in a car bomb, Brandon ups the ante. He’s willing to die for her if it means keeping her safe, especially since he suspects he was the one who brought death threats to her doorstep.

While the first two books in this trilogy weren’t exactly literary gems, but I liked (most of) the characters, the dogs, the descriptions of training, the action and suspense, and even the romance, despite them being rather rushed and instantaneous.
In this last installment, I only liked the dog. Haydn was a real sweetheart.

The rest of the story was a mess, really. I was rather ambivalent toward either protagonist not really engaging, not really caring what happened to them or with them. They left me cold, and their supposed romance was no better.
They were supposed to be friends for ages, I didn’t see that, I was merely told they were friends. They certainly didn’t act like friends, merely passing acquaintances, and there certainly was no romantic spark between them, no unrequited sexual tension that would result in two people being attracted to each other, but keeping it all platonic.
The “interlude” at the cabin was boring and plodding in pace, and when they weren’t having sex (those scenes were cold, unemotional, their first time happened from behind with zero eye contact) they really acted like strangers, but instead of talking about weather, they talked about food.
There was nothing more to talk about, I guess, since, for supposed friends for life, they had little to nothing in common—he was a dog trainer, while she owned a cat, for example.
And when they finally had a serious and to-their-relationship meaningful conversation, he finally told her the truth, and she couldn’t or wouldn’t deal with it.

A rushed, instantaneous romance between two strangers would’ve been better than this torturous semblance of love.

The story could’ve been saved by the suspense. It wouldn’t have been a great read, but it could’ve been saved. Unfortunately, that was also a bust. It came on too strong from the beginning—going from safe to almost blown to pieces in a span of a few paragraphs. There was no buildup, no increase in intensity, everything just went boom.
The motive was also a huge problem for me. I could’ve bought it (maybe) if it was a slow burn, but when everything was revealed, and thanks to the pace it all happened at, I couldn’t help but find that particular plot element rather idiotic, convoluted and too over-the-top for a bunch of supposed professionals.

The characters didn’t leave much of an impression, the romance wasn’t there, the suspense was flat and vapid, the pace plodding...But, as I said, Haydn was a real sweetheart.

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review 2017-07-02 13:21
Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake
Ultimate Courage - Piper J. Drake

Elisa Hall has spent the last six months on the run from her controlling ex, but no matter what she does, or where she goes, the man always ends up finding her, and it's only a matter of time before he'll force her to go back with him. But maybe the chance encounter in an ER can be her saving grace, maybe the taciturn, brooding man taking care of his daughter might save her, offer her the freedom she craves...And maybe she can return the favor.

Oh, yes. Now we're talking. Much, much better than the first book in this series at least as far as characterization of the heroine goes. The romance was still rushed and rather instantaneous.

This one had it (almost) all. A wonderful hero, a great heroine (still with issues, but understandable and relate-able issues), an awesome dog (I like it how all the couples—so far—ended up with a dog of their own completing the family), and the amazing little whirlwind of joy that was Alex's daughter Boom. Usually when there's a kid involved in a story, everything revolves around that kid, and the kid's usually a whiny, passive-aggressive brat. Boom was so far removed from this cliché, I almost cried in gratitude. She was smart, fun, spunky, and knew her place in her father's heart and life, so she wasn't afraid of any "competition" so take that security away. And her matchmaking was utterly endearing.
This book certainly had its characters (both primary and secondary) down pat. Well-developed and nicely layered, their growth and change both in personalities and relationships was organic and realistic, and boy am I glad that despite their issues there was no dragging-on conflict that could've been resolved with a simple conversation. They were all adults, even the kid. ;)

True, there was a bit of a slip-up in the last couple of chapters, where I wanted to smack the hero upside the head, and although it served as catalyst for the final confrontation between Elisa and her ex, I couldn't help but feel it could've been done differently, without turning Alex into a temporary asshole. But hey, we cannot have it all.

The romance was, as mentioned, once more rather rushed, but rather more believable (despite the haste) as the one between Lyn and David. Alex and Elisa actually talked, they actually had meaningful conversations, they more or less knew each other's triggers and possible intimacy issues, and they still decided to give it a go almost from the start without the let's-keep-it-professional-because-we-work-together. They wanted each other and they went after it, I appreciated that.

But where the romance once more failed, the suspense picked up the slack. It wasn't as "in your face" as in the first book, it was all more subtle and slightly creepy, perfectly in tune with the stalker angle, but the final scene packed just as much punch.
I knew from the moment Elisa told her tale, that whatever dealings her ex had, had to be connected to the overall suspense arc, and I wasn't wrong. I would've liked for that point to be a little more expanded, the resolution maybe a little more detailed, but I guess every loose end will be connected in the next book.

Looking forward to it.

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text 2017-07-02 10:59
Challenge Update
Orange Is the new black : My time in a women's prison - Piper Kerman
Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
AchtNacht: Thriller - Sebastian Fitzek

So, as I'm not very good at sticking to my guns I thought I would try something different this month. When it comes to classics, non-fiction and German books I am always daunted by the prospect of reading them, although there are so many that I want to read. The trouble is I always think that they are going to be hard work which mostly they aren't, at least not when you get into them. As I always find the first few pages slow going I quite often get distracted by contemporary fiction. I'm generally a mood reader and it is easy to distract me. So I have decided to plan my 'set' genres and leave my just-for-fun open. I don't know it if will work but I have chosen 'Orange is the New Black' as my non-fiction, which I started last month; Crime and Punishment as my classic, the pretty cover lured me in; and AchtNacht for my German book, the new thriller from Sebastian Fitzek. So far so good, I've made inroads into all but Crime and Punishment and I am liking them so far. We'll see what happens.

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review 2017-07-01 16:55
Extreme Honor by Piper J. Drake
Extreme Honor - Piper J. Drake

David Cruz has once more temporary custody of Atlas, the Belgian Malinois he'd helped train in the past. His handler is dead and Atlas isn't taking it well. While the dog pines away after his lost partner, David knows there's more to his friend's death than accidental friendly fire.

While Atlas's bleak mood seems to be easily fixed, thanks to the "dog whisperer" in the form of the sexy blonde sent by the military to rehabilitate Atlas, David's gut feeling about a conspiracy brewing might take a lot longer...

I don't really know how I feel about this book. Undecided come to mind. Because it had its strengths; the hero and his two friends running the dog kennel, everything about Atlas, his training and abilities, the suspense, and the rather awesome final action scene. But it also had its weaknesses; the heroine most of the time (rather whiny, easily scared, and rather incompetent when it came to self-defense or any military talk for someone who grew up with an enlisted stepfather), the heroine's inner monologues (about anything from the dog, her self-worth and self-esteem, the hero and her feelings toward him, and her running hot and cold about his former profession mostly colored by her experience growing up), the spotty pacing, and the rushed romance.

This is the first book by this author, but it won't be the last, despite my reservations about this particular story. I liked the writing, narrative style and voice. It was engaging and lively, it wasn't bogged down by too many fillers, although the pacing tended to slow down in some more "contemplative" scenes.
And yes, I'm curious to read the rest of this trilogy (that looks to become a series in 2018). I liked both co-owners of the kennel David, the hero, was working at and I'm looking forward to their stories.
Also, I want to read more about dogs and their special training, which looks to be a trend in novels lately. Although I don't own a dog, and have no idea of all the work and effort it goes into training dogs for special operations, my mind didn't go blank, I didn't zone off, and I didn't get bored with all the "shop talk". Which it all comes down to the writing and the author's ability to keep things interesting without getting boring. Kudos for that.

This is categorized as a romantic suspense, but since, as I mentioned, the romance left me rather cold (it was a combination of my dislike of the heroine and the overall feeling of haste with which it all happened), I more than enjoyed the suspense part of the story.
It was nicely structured, and well-paced. Progressing slowly and organically, increasing in intensity and tempo with each new puzzle peace uncovered by the protagonists. I thought I knew who the villain was from the beginning, and I wasn't wrong, but I wasn't entirely right either. The reveal came off as a surprise, but very believable with an explanation that actually made sense. And since the big suspense arc wasn't fully resolved, it will hopefully extend into the next two books. And I can't wait to read how everything is resolved.

A solid start to the series, albeit with much room for improvement (especially in the characterization and romance department).

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