Series: Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters #2
Published by Tantor Audio on January 2, 2020
Genres: Action, Contemporary
Narrator: Callie Beaulieu
Length: 8 hrs 39 min
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Five bounty-hunting sisters Deep in the heart of the Rockies Fighting to save each other . . . and the men who steal their hearts Cara Pax never wanted to be a bounty hunter. She's happy to leave chasing criminals and tackling skips to her sisters. But if she wants her dreams of escaping the family business to come true, she's got one last job to finish . . . Only problem is, she doesn't think her bounty is guilty. Henry Kavenski is a man with innocence to prove. When he realizes that Cara believes him, he'll do anything to keep her out of harm's way. Escaping criminals and dodging cops might not be the best time to fall in love, but Henry and Cara won't give up, not when there's a chance at a new life ahead-if they can survive the fall.
Katie Ruggle keeps getting better and better. Risk It All is part crime drama, part survival adventure and all excitement.
The Pax sisters all contribute to the success of their bounty hunting business. But as a, hopefully, soon-to-be kindergarten teacher, Cara prefers research to field work. Yet with two of her sisters trying to track down their own bail-jumping mom, leaving Molly handling all the field work, Cara feels she needs to do her part in the trailing and tackling portion of bounty hunting.
That is what has Cara following a great big brute of a man who jumped bail on a double homicide. All she needs to do is put a tracker in his personal items when he steps out of his hotel room. Easy though it should be, Cara thought it would be the last mistake she would ever make when Henry Kavinsky catches her in his room. Except instead of brutally murdering her, just like the two people he is accused of killing, Henry simply lets her leave.
With each further encounter, Cara becomes more intrigued with Henry. Everything she learns screams that he couldn’t possibly be a cold-blooded killer. But before she can sink her teeth into an investigation of his supposed crime, Cara will have to put all her trust into Henry as they run for their lives from what might just be the true killers.
The only thing keeping Cara alive in the Colorado wilderness is a dangerous man who she has been consuming her thoughts. She knows that there is something not right about Henry’s case. But can her hormones really be trusted to correctly judge a man who is clearly dangerous, regardless of whether he is guilty of any crime?
Katie Ruggle has been on my favorite authors list for awhile now but I am really enjoying this Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunter series. I like these Pax sisters and as much as I liked Molly and John’s story, I was absolutely caught up in Cara and Henry’s story. I audiobooked this story but instead of switching to my eReader when I got home, I popped in my headphones so I could keep going with Cara and Henry. You knew something was not right about Henry’s story. He jumped bail but he didn’t leave town. He is accused of a brutal double homicide but he is gentle with Cara and becomes very protective. This whole thing stinks but how was he involved with all this? Not only did I need to get the answer to that but when Henry and Cara are forced to run from someone trying to kill them (her? him? both?) and end up stranded in the wilderness, needing to trust in each other for survival, I couldn’t stop listening.
Between the sweet Cara/Henry moments and all the action, I would highly recommend this story and the whole series because I am now looking forward to sister Nora’s story which was hinted at in the epilogue.
Willing her cheeks not to redden, she tried to play it cool, lifting her eyebrows in imitation of his expression. “Ready?”
“Yep. Shoot.” His mouth twitched at the double meaning, making her smile.
“Okay.” She rubbed her hands together with honest glee. Even when she wasn’t trapped in a cabin trying to distract herself, she loved games. One of the reasons she’d decided to major in elementary education was because a big part of her job would be playing with kids. She couldn’t wait until she had her own class of kindergartners, but for now she’d just have to play with Kavenski. “D-six.”
“Hit.” She scowled at him over the tops of their game boards. “On the first try?”
“I’m good at shooting games.”
“This isn’t really considered a shooting game.” Although she considered herself to a good sport, she couldn’t help but pout a little as she inserted the red peg into one of the holes in her destroyer.
“Well, then I’m good at shooting games and Battleship.”
“Humph.” Her eyes narrowed as she thought. Now she really wanted to win. “J-ten.”
“Hit.” She grumbled under the breath as she inserted the peg in the second, and last, hole. “Sunk.”
Even though his expression stayed as stony as usual, smugness positively radiated off him as he put a red peg in the top of the game board.
“You’re trying to punish me for making you play a game, aren’t you?”
A small smile appeared for a microsecond–just a tiny flicker before his typical scowl returned–but it was enough to warm her insides and erase all her annoyance at losing her destroyer so quickly. When it only took four more turns for him to find her submarine, however, all the irritation returned in a hurry.
“How have I still not found any of yours?” she grumped. “C-eight.”
His eyebrows bunched together. “Hit.”
Her hands, which had already been reaching for yet another white peg indicating a miss, paused. “Are you serious?”
His crabby look was answer enough, and she gave a victorious whoop as she grabbed a red peg. It didn’t even sting as badly when his next guess hit the middle of her sub.
“C-nine,” she guessed, unable to hold back a grin. She wasn’t winning, or even close, but it was fun to finally find one of his ships.
That took the wind out of her sails a little, but she was still hopeful, even when his next turn sank her submarine.
It took only two more turns for him to stumble onto her battleship, but she almost didn’t care, since her next guess had to be a hit. “B-eight.”
“What…what?” She stared at the top of her board. With the latest miss, the single red peg as completely surrounded by white ones. “That’s impossible.”
“No, it’s not. You missed.”
“I can’t have missed. There aren’t any ships with only one hole.” When he lifted one shoulder in a shrug, she narrowed her eyes at him. “You’re cheating!”
“Am not.” He widened his eyes in what she thought was supposed to be an innocent look, but it just emphasized the devilish glint as he ever so casually reached for his board. She popped up as quickly as she could, needing to see his ship arrangement before he could fix things.
All of his ships were clustered in a corner, nowhere near where she’s managed to get a hit. “Did you move them?” she demanded.
She blinked, not having expected him to just admit it outright. “You’re not allowed to just move them.”
“Why not? Real ships can move.”
“If a ship’s taking fire, you’re just expecting it to sit in the same place, waiting to be sunk?” He tsked. “Not in my navy.”
A laugh spluttered out of her. “In this game, the rules say you can’t move them after you start not unless you’re a Cheaty McCheaterface.” She reached over and grabbed one of his ships, intending to put it back where it’d been when she’d hit it, but he caught her hand and tried to retrieve it.
“I’m not losing any ships on my watch,” he said, using both hands to try to pull the plastic piece from her grasp. She quickly figured out that he was trying very hard not to hurt her, and she was willing to use that to her full advantage. Her position bent over the coffee table took away her leverage, so she stepped onto the wooden surface.
She could tell that he was surprised by her move, and she used that to twist out of his grip. As soon as she was free, she jumped off the table and ran, unable to hold back a gleeful shout of triumph. Who knew that years of wrestling things away from her sisters would build necessary life skills?
She didn’t even manage to get a stride in before a thick forearm caught her around the middle. With a laughing shriek, she was pulled off her feet and back against Kavenski’s chest. Holding her with one arm, he tried to pry the ship out of her hands, but his gentleness was still his greatest weakness.
Squirming and breathless with laughter, she managed to cling to the game piece, but she wasn’t able to free herself from his hold. As she tried to wiggle out from under his arm, she managed to get him off-balance, and he took a step back. Suddenly, they were both falling, tumbling down to land on the couch.
Kavenski’s back hit the cushions as she landed on top of him, the hard surface of his chest and abs knocking the breath out of her. Slightly stunned, she stared down into his equally startled face before she regained her bearings. Once she realized what had happened, she started giggling.
He attempted to frown, but it wasn’t even a good effort. There was too much laughter in his eyes for him to look menacing. “Return my ship.”
“Or what?’ The words came out so breathless and husky that Cara almost didn’t recognize her own voice.
“War.” His arms had been banded around her, keeping her from rolling off the couch when they’d fallen, but now they moved. She only had time for a short, silly moment of regret that he wasn’t holding her any longer before his hands were moving over her, searching for the sensitive places most vulnerable to tickling fingers.
“Nooo!” she cried out, her laughter picking up again as she clamped her arms against her body, flattening herself against him and tucking her head beneath his chin, trying to minimize exposure. Still, he was relentless until she gave up. “Okay, okay! I’ll give you your ship back.”
Only when his hands moved to flatten against her lower back did she dare raise her head. Looking at his amused face, she wondered how she could’ve ever thought of him as closed-off. Now that she’d gotten to know him better, she could see all sorts of things chasing across his expression.
“Here.” She carefully placed the battleship on his forehead. “But know that you are a cheater, cheater, pumpkin-eater, and I’m never playing board games with you again.”
He glanced up, as if trying to spot the ship, and she laughed. “Never? What if we’re snowed in here for weeks?”
She felt her eyes widen as trepidation filled her. “You think we’re going to be stuck here that long?”
When she saw the slight upward curl of his lips, she thumped her fist lightly against his chest. “Rude. You scared me.” She tried to infuse her huff with more annoyance than she actually felt in order to hide that she was really enjoying lying on him like this. “And no. Even if we were snowed in here for months, I wouldn’t play with you.”
That wicked curve of his mouth was back. He gave a small shake of his head so that the game piece toppled off onto the sofa. “You wouldn’t play board games.”
“Right.” Her voice was both sultry and absent as she studied his mouth. Normally, his lips were set in a hard line, but now that they were relaxed and actually smiling a little, he was a hundred times sexier. That was a problem, since she was already having a hard time keeping her head on straight when it came to him. She shouldn’t be playing with him or wrestling with him, or–and this was the most important–lying stretched on top of him, her body touching his from chest to toes. “No board games?”
“So other games are still a possibility?”