Audiobook 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.

Listening Length: 6 hours and 11 minutes
Narrator: Colin Darcy 

For a Dreamspun Desires story I found this quite the nice gem. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t over the top. This was very grounded in reality, and when it comes to contemporaries I appreciate that. A lot.

This starts out with Coast Guard newbie Dan, who’s just arrived at the remote Alaskan outpost with a hidden agenda. Dan’s estranged half brother Axe, died while on a routine rescue mission, and he’s hard pressed to believe it was just an unfortunate accident. Thus, upon finishing his training, Dan immediately proceeds to get transferred to Staggered Cove to do some incognito investigating. Foremost on his to-do list? Check out Karl Radin who was in charge of the operation when Axe went missing.

It soon becomes apparent that Karl is a top notch officer who genuinely cares for his team and takes no chances. So how did Axe die? Seems there’s more than meets the eye as Dan finds some suspicious clues, and circumstances arise that quickly put him and Karl in danger.

Although my first Desires book from Brownlee fell short on the romance, this did not. There’s a nice budding working relationship between Dan and Karl that slowly grows into respect and then into trust, all with an underlying simmering attraction that burns quite nicely.

Narrated by Colin Darcy, I think many will not find much fault. However, for some unknown reason I didn’t quite click with him as much as I did with his first performance on High Test. Oh well.

Again, one of the better stories in this particular DSP line, with a nicely paced romance, bridging mystery and suspense as Dan and Karl fall in love. I’m all for military men and survival situations, and I found the Coast Guard setting against a harsh Alaskan landscape refreshingly different, and this did not disappoint despite the low smexy level. I look forward to seeing who will get their story next!

Thank you to the author/publisher for the audio in exchange for an honest review.

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