I’ve been evaluating things in books that I don’t like, so allow me to share a book I LOVED! Talon, by award winning novelist, Ronie Kendig is the middle book in her series about Military Working Dogs. But unlike some middle episodes in series (ahem*Star Wars*cough) this story grips the reader at the beginning and holds a powerful ending.
Here’s the blurb from Talon:
Aspen Courtland is out to find her missing brother. Only his combat tracking dog, Talon, knows where to look. Problem is, after a brutal attack that separated dog and handler, Talon’s afraid of his own shadow. The search is on, but when one mistake means disaster, can Talon muster the courage for one last mission?
Enter Dane Markoski, aka Cardinal, a top undercover agent full of secrets, both military and personal.
Let’s compare it with the Reader Rejectables that we’ve gone through so far.
So far I’ve gone through physical intensity in the romance and sexual implications, as well as plastic characters. Let me tell you, there is no concern about either of those in this book! The heroine, Aspen, and the hero, Cardinal, are sheer dynamite together. But their attraction only begins with appearance. He of course notices her beauty first (well he IS a guy) but he’s been around beautiful women before. Her strength and grace touch him. And for her, he’s just a little on the scary side, but something about him – momentary shadows of vulnerability maybe – draw her.
And while the couple does have moments, I have no qualms allowing my teenagers to read this book.
No Ken and Barbie here. Aspen is wide-eyed, but not stupid – YEA! She’s stubborn and is way too trusting, but very likable. And she has a sweet dog that she’s trying to encourage back to confidence. Talon is a character all his own, for that matter. Complete with a goal, fear, character arch, black moment, and epiphany. Who’da thought a dog would have such a great personality. I swear, he had more character than some of the heroes I’ve read. LOL!
And Cardinal is QUITE the hero. Brooding, driven, wounded, broken. Oh, there is nothing like a hero who stands when he has nothing left. Yummy! His character arch is even more developed than Aspen’s. Go figure.
I confess there are repeats in this book.
- Action scenes – several
- Intense romance scenes – a few
- Kisses – at least two
- Laughs – wait til you meet Candyman and Timbrel
Definitely no sign of the repeats that have been driving me nuts in the past couple of weeks. But it is a repeat of another fave of mine! But then I’ve never read a Ronie Kendig book that I didn’t just LOVE. Her next one, RAPTOR 6, released May 1, 2014 has some of the same characters as in Talon.
Your Turn: Have you read a recent book that soars when it comes to character development or romance? Tell me about it! I’m always looking for a good read!