Monday, January 8, 2018

Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren

Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren

I love these characters! In this story, (Montana Rescue series, book four), we get to see the PEAK team travel, putting their resources to use away from the usual Montana setting. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s begin with the summary:

Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants—except a happy ending. Or at least that's what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece, Esme, still missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. In fact, he doubts she would date him even if they were stranded on a deserted island.

Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. The only problem is, Sierra has solved it, but a promise to Esme to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.

When the PEAK chopper is damaged, and Sierra lacks the funds to repair it, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the three-day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and sends the passengers overboard. Shaken up and soaked to the bone, Ian finally has a chance to test his theory when he and Sierra do indeed find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.

It will take guts and gumption for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra's relationship.

And now, my review:

From this series's prequel (which is a Kindle FREEBIE), entitled If Ever I Would Leave You, I’ve been hoping we would get back to Ian and Sierra's story. This book takes us there. Please, if you haven't yet, read this free prequel. Then, you'll have the background for Troubled Waters, and really, for the rest of the series.

We also get to follow Jess and Pete’s story, which is another reason I love this series—the threads of secondary characters keep us hooked. It’s also a good reason to read these novels in order, which I highly recommend doing. Here’s the list:

Montana Rescue series, titles and release dates:

Prequel: If Ever I Would Leave You (9/15/16)
Book One: Wild Montana Skies (10/18/16)
Book Two: Rescue Me (1/31/17)
Book Three: A Matter of Trust (7/2017)
Book Four: Troubled Waters (1/2/18)

[Note: These links are for the Kindle versions. You’ll find my reviews of these books on this blog (Net’s Book Notes).]

Now, back to my thoughts. 
There are so many good things to like about this book! I loved the dynamic between brothers Pete and Sam. I loved the characterization, overall, but especially Susie’s male POVs. (points of view) At difficult points, we see their brokenness, in believable ways. So well done. Though the novel’s level of peril got to me a little bit (because there is a lot of it here), I enjoyed the ride. And oh, the romance! Every couple we focused on had their own romance going, which was so much fun.

Ian is a once-wealthy man who has trusted in his wealth and his own ability to control life, he thinks, to get him through. That’s why the loss of his niece eats him up, I think. (see the prequel) He tried his best to control her future, and his efforts didn’t work. Readers may relate with trying to control their lives out of a sense of fear. Ian has skid marks from past relationships, feeling abandoned, and he’s got a fatal flaw (this control issue) that needs to go. But his persistence and drive make him respectable, and I rooted for his success. He’s also broken, especially as his journey gets rough, and I felt for him.

Sierra sees herself as second rate. She’s interpreted her life’s events as evidence for that belief. She’s stronger than she thinks and her adventures in this story, including her romance with Ian, will unravel her lie. I loved rooting for her and watching her bravely take on the challenges in her path.

I loved that Susie included herself in this story, incognito! (Read the book to find her.) And I loved the escape of sailing and revisiting summer weather this January while I read. Jesus is present in this story in a way I don’t recall in Susie’s earlier books, and I loved that!

One of the novel’s themes was how life is not easy. Trusting God is hard and even when you do, bad things happen. But how we respond to those times is what counts. That’s a relatable theme. Susie encourages readers to choose faith, another theme.

Troubles hit these characters over and over on their way to the book’s conclusion. I held my breath and cheered and cried. Every emotion. I laughed aloud a few times and delighted in this journey.

Looking back at my highlighted in the Kindle ARC version, I think I’m going to want to read this one again. So much to enjoy!  

I loved this novel and highly recommend it.