Right out of the gate readers are thrust into danger and excitement in Warren's second installment of the Montana Rescue series! Deputy Sam Brooks leads the Peak Rescue team in a daring and volatile effort to rescue two teenagers from a potential bear attack in Glacier National Park. The rescue event segues the reader into the two primary storylines- a developing love triangle situation between Sam and the Rose sisters and the turbulent relationship Sam has with his younger, seemingly careless brother, Pete.
After Sierra severs ties with Ian, Sam begins dating her believing she is the perfect girl for him. However, things have not developed as he would have liked in the relationship leaving him fearful that Sierra will soon break it off. Sierra's sister, Willow, on the other hand, has been in love with Sam for as long as she can remember. However, Willow's belief that Sam would never be interested in her because of their very different personalities and out of her loyalty to her sister, Willow keeps her longings for Sam a secret. But as fate would have it, she and Sam both volunteer as chaperones for a church youth group outing. When the church van careens off a mountain road in a desolate area, Sam and Willow have to work together using their wilderness skills and intuition to bring the group to safety. Through several harrowing events as the group fights to survive their dismal circumstances, Willow's feelings for Sam start to surface and Sam likewise begins seeing Willow in a different light. As Sam discovers Willow's inner strength, passion for life, and ability to love with reckless abandon, he begins to question if he may be pursuing the wrong sister.
The second storyline between Sam and Pete explores unresolved bitterness and anger Sam holds toward his brother involving their father's untimely death. Sam believes Pete is to blame for their father's death because he persuaded their father to join him in an impromptu ski run down an unmarked wilderness trail. As a result, Sam has been especially hard on Pete viewing him as irresponsible, careless, and immature. Pete's role in rescuing Sam, Willow, and the youth group along with some inner reflection from Sam on the true circumstances surrounding their father's death, opens the door for reconciliation for the two brothers.
This story was very fast paced and intense throughout! The elements of danger and urgency kept me turning the pages wanting to see how the stories ended! I was satisfied with the result of both rescue scenarios and felt as though I was part of the action. I struggled a little, however, with accepting Sam and Willow as a couple because they were so very different. I found the juxtaposition of Sam and Willow's characters interesting- Sam's character through most of the book seemed abrasive and harsh because of the bitterness and anger built up inside him which made me not like his character, while Willow is presented as a gentle spirit, genuine, and deeply loving and compassionate. The beginnings of a potential romance and storyline between Pete and Jess piqued my interest, although I was disappointed that the novel ended leaving the reader hanging on the status of their relationship. Also included right at the end was yet another small piece of the puzzle regarding Esme's disappearance- and a possible hint at there being more in the works with Ian and Sierra in future books! Can't wait!
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Susan May Warren is the ECPA and CBA bestselling author of over fifty novels with more than one million books sold. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan has written contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, romantic comedy, and novellas. She can be found online at www.susanmaywarren.com.