Review: Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake

Ultimate Courage
(True Heroes #2)
by Piper J. Drake
Publisher: Forever
Publication date: Jan. 26, 2016
Genre: Romantic Suspense


Retired Navy SEAL Alex Rojas is putting his life back together, one piece at a time. Being a single dad to his young daughter and working at Hope’s Crossing Kennels to help rehab a former guard dog, he struggles every day to control his PTSD. But when Elisa Hall shows up, on the run and way too cautious, she unleashes his every protective instinct.

Elisa’s past never stays in her rearview mirror for long, and she refuses to put anyone else in danger. But with Alex guarding her so fiercely yet looking at her so tenderly, she’s never felt safer . . . or more terrified that the secrets she keeps could put countless people in grave peril. The only way for both to fully escape their demons will take the ultimate act of courage: letting go and learning to trust each other.



I really enjoyed this story. Alex is a single father battling PTSD. When his daughter injures herself and needs to be taken to the hospital, he’s really close to having an episode when Elisa bumps into him. He immediately recognizes the signs that she’s been beaten and coward by something and needs help. He offers her an olive branch to attend a self-defense class. However, in a random turn of events, Elisa ends up getting a job at the kennel as their front desk clerk. As time goes on, you realize that Elisa’s ex isn’t just controlling, but he is full blown off his rocker. This story sort of covers the romance between Eliza and Alex, the struggle Alex has with his PTSD, the suspense of her ex always figuring out where she is and how to contact her, and the bigger mystery of what’s really going on.

One thing to mention is that both of these characters are great. Alex is strong, protective, and trying to deal with his PTSD on the down-low. He went through a big battle to get custody of his daughter, and he’s not about to jeopardize it by going into a facility and labeling himself. So, he tries to keep himself in check by not pushing his limits. Most everyone sees him as this handsome and mysterious person, but really he was just a guy struggling, trying to get through his demons on a daily basis. Elisa has been manipulated and controlled by her ex-fiance for a long time. She only recently started to realize what was going on and made a quick decision to make a run for it. When she tried contacting friends, family, the authorities, she soon realized that her fiance had connections everywhere. Thankfully she stumbled into Alex at the hospital and he gave her a safe place to lay low. Even though she’s been through so much on a mental standpoint, she was still a strong character. She fought tooth and nail to be free and get away, and she wasn’t about to end up in his clutches again.

I also really liked Souze, the German Shepard Dog. He’s the dog that this book focuses on. He was trained to be a guard dog, but when his owners divorced they dumped their dogs at the shelter and Souze was unadoptable. Alex has been working with him to get him over his skittishness and hopefully get him to be more sociable around people and places. When Elisa comes in Souze takes an immediate liking to her. It’s nothing huge, but he seems attentive around her and pays attention to cues more. Watching Souze get another chance, when everyone else had written him off was a beautiful thing to witness.

I honestly could go on and on about this story. While you could totally read this as a stand-alone, a character from the previous books and the conflict that story had does pop up in this one. It seems that the series is going to focus on a bigger picture that will tie all these books together, while giving each individual set of characters their own obstacles to overcome. If you’re in the mood for a really good romantic suspense that deals with working dogs and military men, then you have got to pick up this series.


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5 Thoughts on “Review: Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake

  1. everything about the book appeals to me. i love that it can stand alone, but if i were to start, it would be at the beginning. dogs add a little something extra for me
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. This sounds really good. I might have to pick this one up.

  3. I love it when books in a series can stand on their own! I feel like every book should have a beginning and ending, even if they tie into a larger story. Cliffhangers make me stabby. 😉

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

  4. I enjoy romantic suspense, so guess what? I’m noting this one down 😉
    I’m glad that it works as a stand-alone, but I’m always up to meet all the characters involved in a story, so I’ll try to start for the first instalment. Happy you loved it!

  5. What a lovely review. I do have a weakness for military suspense romances though and I can’t wait to pick up this series especially in seeing your love for it.

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