Contemporary Romance

Review: Hold Your Breath – Katie Ruggle (Search and Rescue #1)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Blurb
In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive… even if keeping her safe may just kill him.

Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms… no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence Lou — and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.

My Review
Well I’ve devoured yet another Katie Ruggle novel and again, I’ve fallen in love with everything about the books from the writing to the characters and more.

Hold Your Breath tells the story of charming, resilient and quirky Lou Sparks and serious, stubborn Callum Cook. Lou has recently escaped her controlling family and even more controlling ex, but she’s determined to make it on her own terms in the remote Rocky Mountains. In an effort to change her life, she decides to volunteer as part of the ice diving search and rescue team. There she meets Callum and her quirkiness is no match for the stern-looking, highly organised hero.

As always Katie Ruggle’s story is full of action-packed adventure and thrilling drama that will leave you on the edge of your seat. In Hold Your Breath Lou faces a creepy stalker lurking around her home, slashing her tyres and just being a general menace. If that wasn’t bad enough, during her training Lou also manages to accidentally kick loose an unidentified, headless body hidden beneath the ice. The plot only continues to thicken when Lou (teamed up with Callum) discover the detectives are at a dead end in discovering the body’s identity. Ruggle created and executed a fantastic mystery that I simultaneously wanted to savour and rush through for the answers.

The romance was also incredibly well done. I am an absolutely sucker for the whole ‘grumpy one being soft for the sunshine one’ type of characters and that’s exactly what you get with Callum and Lou. Callum rarely smiles. He’s all about seriousness and being orderly, and he’s basically the complete opposite of Lou. Lou is described as a ‘walking disaster’. If something is likely to happen, it’ll happen to Lou but she is always friendly and looking to the positives in life. Watching Callum and Lou go from being acquaintances to sort of friends and then to a romantic relationship was lovely. The pacing felt realistic for their particular circumstances and personalities, and there were so many moments that had me sitting there just smiling at my book.

Overall, it was a great beginning to a new series. Ruggle also introduced a range of fantastic characters in other departments of search and rescue/law enforcement that I can’t wait to learn more about in future books. If you’re new to romantic suspense or simply want a comfort read with some mystery and romance, I couldn’t recommend Ruggle’s Hold Your Breath more. I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to read more of her stories soon.


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