Review: Staggered Cove Station (Coast Guard Rescue #1) by Elle Brownlee

Rescues are wild in the Alaskan terrain. So is romance.

Sun-kissed California guardsman Dan Farnsworth might be at home in the water, but he’s out of his element at remote, rugged, and freezing Staggered Cove Station. Acclimating proves hard enough, but he’s also digging into how the station’s previous rescue swimmer was lost at sea. Was it an operation gone bad or something more sinister? Add to that the instant tension between him and his partner—no-nonsense Alaska-born Karl Radin—and Dan has his hands full.

As his investigation heats up, so does the attraction between Dan and Karl, even if they don’t completely trust each other. But as suspicious events escalate to sabotage, Dan starts to fear that he and Karl won’t get the chance to become more than reluctant coworkers.

This book came along when I needed it the most. I’ve been in a pretty down mood of late and needed to find a book that could draw me in and make me feel and this did just that.

Told from the dual POV’s of two Coast Guardsmen as they rescue the lives of stranded strangers and rescue their chance at love, we meet flight mech Chief Petty Officer Karl Radin as he’s out for a morning run along the crisp and frighteningly cold waters of the rugged Alaskan coastline. Karl an Alaskan native who is posted at the Staggered Cove Station and is about to meet the member of his team Rescue Swimmer, Dan Farnsworth. Karl isn’t keen on the newbie on paper yet when Dan arrives, Karl is attracted at first sight.

Dan has followed in the footsteps of his older brother Axe, joining the Coast Guard and becoming a rescue swimmer, but being assigned to Staggered Cove wasn’t by chance, Dan asked for it. You see, Dan’s brother Axe died on a rescue mission that was led by Karl Radin and Dan knows his brother was strong enough to survive the conditions so there must be foul play about. Dan has a job to do and a mystery to solve and both will lead him down roads he never expected.

I loved this story so damn much. The adrenaline with the rescue scenes were so intense and detailed I could hear the blades of the chopper and feel the cold of the Alaskan waters as Dan swam in them. It was amazing to read and just thinking about what a rescue of this caliber requires has me excited but knowing what goes on with Dan and Karl during the rescues has my heart rate spiking.

Speaking of heart rates, let’s talk about the romance. At first, neither Karl nor Dan are fond of one another. Dan is basically there to prove Karl did something wrong in regards to his brothers death and Karl isn't enthusiastic about arrogant rescue swimmers and isn’t quick to trust but there is something about these two that draws them together… it was beautiful to watch.

There is a slow burn feel to the romance between Dan and Karl. They have the mistrust at the start but after a quick turn around with a rescue soon after they meet, they learn that if they can trust the other with their lives on a mission, there has to be other ways they can trust as well. Of course, being roommates and Karl being interested in Dan helps the romance along the way but it was really lovely and romantic to watch Dan finally find someone to open up to and see him through the “I’m fine” facade he presents.

I admit I wanted some sort of confrontation between these two preferably in a storm that ends with them getting physical and having a make out session and while I didn’t get what I wanted exactly, because what I got was even better.

The mystery of Axe’s death provides some heart stopping moments with the men and gives another level of character development to Dan and Karl as individuals and a couple. They have to trust, they have to listen, keep an open mind, accept the unexpected and they have to keep rescuing the other so they can have the type of relationship they are so damn hungry for.

I loved watching Dan and Karl develop into a couple and the intimacy build between them until it was an explosion of want. For me, I don’t need explicit on page sex to feel the connection between these two and what I got was more than enough. Actually, it was so much that I squeed and hugged my Nook at the end and that exchange between them.

Elle Brownlee has created a romance that has me researching coast guardsmen in Alaska and watching a few videos of rescues that have my toes tingling from the cold. It really felt like you were right there during each of the rescues and each of the moments that had action within the romance that it was impossible not to get lost in the story. Dan and Karl are wonderfully complex characters and I am thankful I was able to witness their romance.

Yup. This was good and I can’t wait to see what comes next in the Coast Guard Rescue series.

Don't miss the Staggered Cove Station blog visit HERE!

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