Caution: Do not start this book right before bed or you won’t get enough sleep because you have to read it cover to cover. Speaking from personal experience.
As a long time Katie Ruggle fan, I was highly anticipating Through the Fire. For the most part, Ms. Ruggle delivered. Kit, a petite, half Korean police officer placed in a fish out of water situation is everything I needed in a heroine right now. Her fire (see what I did there?) and ability to trust her own instincts in the face of doubters and danger was inspiring.
Are you ready to hear about Wes?? Let me just say: NERDY, RECLUSIVE, MOUNTAIN MAN HERO. Do you need to know anything else? Maybe that he’s described (hilariously) as a hairy Rapunzel because he lives in a fire watch tower? Wes is adorable. His instant fascination and respect for Kit as both a woman and a police officer is a thing of beauty to read. Ms. Ruggle knows how to write a good beta hero.
The plot revolved around Kit moving into town and trying to find a murderer/arsonist with her adorable bloodhound Justice. The suspense plot was fast paced and satisfying with plenty of heartwarming moments to balance out the thrills.
I had trouble with the lack of romance in the book. I loved Kit so I didn’t mind following her interactions with her fellow police officers and the crazy townspeople, but I enjoyed her sweet encounters with Wes much more and felt a little dissatisfied about the quantity of them. Wes was much more of a periphery character than a main one.
Through the Fire is the fourth book in Ms. Ruggle’s Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series. I have read all of the previous books which is why I was shocked and kind of horrified with how the other members of the K9 unit (the previous books’ heroes) were portrayed in this novel. They came across as bumbling, incompetent jerk faces in this novel. I understand Kit was new to their team, but constantly treating her as an adversary and preventing her from doing her job correctly for their own personal reasons was pushing my buttons in all the wrong ways. I’m glad I read Theo, Hugh, and Otto’s books previously because after their characterization in this book, I don’t think I would have gone back for their stories.
Overall, I really enjoyed this romantic thriller. It’s a quick and satisfying read with enough twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. Kit is easy and fun to root for and Wes is my new book boyfriend crush.
One last note: the cover of this book bugs me. All of the other books have the men of the K9 unit on the cover, Justice is Kit’s dog, not Wes’ and she’s the member of the K9 unit. I would have loved to see her represented on the cover. I think it would have made much more sense for the story.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
Through the Fire is Available August 28