Review: Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle

Survive the Night
(Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #3)
by Katie Ruggle
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: Feb. 6, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense

He’s always been a haven:
For the lost. The sick. The injured.
But when a hunted woman takes shelter in his arms, this gentle giant swears he’ll do more than heal her battered spirit―he’ll defend her with his life.

K9 Officer Otto Gunnersen always had a soft spot for anyone in need. As Monroe’s very own Dr. Doolittle, he dedicates himself to rehabilitating the injured souls that cross his path―but for all his big heart, he’s never been in love.

Until he meets Sarah Clifton’s haunted eyes. Until he realizes he’ll do anything to save her.

All Sarah wants is to escape a life caught between ambitious crime families, but there’s no outrunning her past. Her power-mad brother would hunt her to the ends of the earth…but he’d never expect Sarah to fight back. With Otto and the whole of Monroe, Colorado by her side, Sarah’s finally ready to face whatever comes her way.

It’s time to take a stand.



The story starts off on a suspenseful note. You can tell that Alice has been abused just about her entire life. She lives under the ruling thumb of her brother, someone who deals in shady stuff. You’d think that because she has a bodyguard assigned to her, that she’d be safe. Except, the bodyguard is more of a prison guard and he doesn’t care if he has to use force to get her to do what her brother wants. Needless to say, right from the start you are afraid for Alice. So, when her grand escape takes place, I was on the edge of my seat hoping that she got away. Thankfully she does and her contact sends her to the middle of nowhere Colorado to live with Jules and Grace, two other women this contact has helped escape from a nightmare of a life. You’d think it would be pretty quiet from there on out but not even a quarter of the way in, the author tosses some pretty intense scenes at the characters. Basically, I was on pins and needles right from the start.

I love Otto’s character. I will admit that he never really stuck out to me in the previous two books. He’s always the quiet, reasonable one when it comes to his and his two buddies. You would see him at the shelter working with one of the dogs there, but you never really knew much about him. So, I was a little excited to finally see Otto as a leading character. Boy, did he not disappoint. He’s serious, cautious, caring, shy, sympathetic, and loyal. When we get a look inside his house, it’s filled with neglected or abused animals. There’s a horse that’s terrified of humans, a cat with half an ear, a goat, a litter of orphaned puppies, and even his old K9 partner lives on his ranch with him. Not to mention, he takes in that dog from the shelter that we see him visit in previous books. A dog that’s so badly abused and afraid of humans that it was heartbreaking to witness. Yet, Otto is so gentle and patient with her. When the shelter says they can’t hold her anymore since they need the space for adoptable dogs, Otto immediately decides to take the dog in. That is just one of the reasons why I loved this guy. The other being his extreme awkwardness around Alice/Sarah. He’s attracted to her the moment he meets her and instead of being a cocky alpha, like we see way too often, he just stares at her and gives a shy half wave before retreating. Then when he has a conversation with her one on one, he tells her that her mouth is pretty before turning beet red and walking away. It was those adorably awkward moments that really pushed Otto up into my top male characters of all time.

“He was a Viking lumberjack cop who bottle-fed orphaned puppies? If he’d spent years trying to think of the most effective punch to the ovaries, he couldn’t have come up with a better plan.”

Since Sarah escaped her brother and also the betrothal of being a crime lord’s wife, she is always looking over her shoulder… and for good reason. Usually in a romantic suspense there’s some parts that might spook you and the characters, but the big conflict happens at the end of the book. With Survive the Night, let’s just say this book should have been called Survive the Week. It was insane how many things happened. Just when you thought the characters might finally be able to relax, *BOOM* something else blew up in their faces. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop when it came to this story, because you knew that given how strong of a crime lord this guy was, and how crazy her brother was, that there was no way they didn’t have a handful of aces up their sleeves.

Survive the Night was perfect. I loved every minute of it. The characters were lovable, there were animals galore, and so much suspense that my heart was racing almost the entire time. Usually I like my main characters to have some sassy snark, but I absolutely loved the shyness between these two characters and how awkward they were when they interacted. Now, I know I loved Run to Ground, the first book in the series, but I dare say that this book exceeded that one. I mean, there’s a part in the book where things are dicey and Sarah wrangles up Otto’s rag-tag group of animals and leads them to safety, and we’re not talking about a simple cat and dog. Oh no! She managed to get a seriously spooked horse to trust her, a sassy goat to follow her begrudgingly through the snow, and a beaten down, terrified, rescued bait dog, to trust her in order to get them out of danger. That scene the author describes of her riding the horse with the dogs and goat following her through the snow storm… goosebumps!



Favorite quote..

“What kind of horrible people would we be to leave a defenseless cat trapped on a windmill? Worse, if we’d left the poor cat to the mercy of the fire department? They’d be standing around, flexing, posing for calendar shots. By the time they got around to save it, the poor thing would’ve died of starvation.”




10 Thoughts on “Review: Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle

  1. I’m definitely gonna have to pick up her books to read soon.

  2. What a great review! Glad you enjoyed this one, I haven’t read the previous two but I would definitely want to. I’m getting my thoughts together on this one myself.
    I liked Otto and I enjoyed the storyline overall, but I did feel a little lost sometimes, mainly because I didn’t have the backstory on the bad guys from the prior books. I like that last quote too! and the covers are so yummy.

    • You definitely need to go back and read the previous books. Obviously the bad guys are people that are brought up in the previous book and there are some references to things that happened earlier on in the series. I hope you get a chance to read the series from the beginning. 🙂

  3. Otto sounds like my kind of guy! I don’t actually read much in this genre but if its as good as this story, i guess I wouldn’t mind reading more this year 😉 Great review Kristin 🙂

  4. Looks yummy…in more ways than one. I love books with dog ‘heroes’ in them, along with the hunk.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  5. Oh the animals. I really do need to start these. I think all of yall I follow who read them have loved them.

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