Review: The Scenic Route by Katie Ruggle

Posted April 9, 2024 by Lucy D in Book Reviews, Contemporary / 0 Comments

Review:  The Scenic Route by Katie RuggleThe Scenic Route (Beneath the Wild Sky, #1) by Katie Ruggle
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on July 30th 2024
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
amazon b-n

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Why date a mountain man? Because climbing him will leave you breathless.
Felicity Pax loves her job. She craves excitement, and being a bounty hunter gives her that in spades. So when her estranged mother disappears with a small fortune in tow, Felicity chases her like she would any other skip. Too bad she didn't barter on having increasingly infuriating (and infuriatingly hot) PI Bennett Green on her tail.
Bennett's got a job to do, and if that means shadowing Felicity…well…he's had worse assignments. Even if he's 99% sure the increasingly intriguing bounty hunter is leading him on a wild goose chase through the Rockies.
If she has to drag her PI tail through endless quirky mountain towns in order to shake him, that's what she's determined to do…but it isn't long before Felicity's intended distraction turns up a mystery worth solving—and Bennett becomes the unexpected partner she never realized she needed. As things heat up, Felicity will have to decide what's most important to staying one step ahead of the "enemy" or giving herself freedom to experience the adventure of a lifetime.
The Rocky Mountains get unBEARably hot in Katie Ruggle's brand-new series packed with adventure, action, tall dark & scruffy heroes, and a sense of quirky humor that will be your next perfect escape.
Books by Katie
Fish Out of Water
Hold Your Breath
Run to Ground
In Her Sights


I have missed the Pax sisters. So happy they are back.

Bennett Green is a Private Investigator hired to find Jane Pax and the necklace that she stole.  Staking out the Pax house seems to be the best strategy and while he could be tracking any of the five sisters, it seems Bennett can’t keep his focus and his thoughts away from Felicity Pax. Bennett has no idea that just about every fortune hunter or low life scumbag has been staking out or actually breaking into the Pax house thinking the sisters are hiding the valuable necklace for their mother.

But the Bounty Hunter sisters will do everything they can to keep everyone from finding out that their mother has jumped bail, leaving the Pax house on the line as collateral for that bail. They have been desperately trying to find their mother and make sure she makes her first arraignment before they lose their beloved home.  There is no love lost between mother and daughters and they would happily hand over their mother and the stolen necklace over to the authorities if they could.

The sisters receive yet another tip where they might find Jane hiding but with Bennett staking out the house, there is no way they can all head out without Bennett getting wind that something is up. Since he seems pretty focused on Felicity, she is chosen to act as bait to get him out of the way and you might as kill two birds, as they say, and Felicity heads in the opposite direction to Simpson, Colorado to chase a skip.

The best place to get some information in a tiny town like Simpson would be the local coffee shop and little does Felicity and Bennett know when they walk into The Coffee Spot and meets Lou, they have found the jackpot of information. Lou would introduce them to the Simpson Murder Club, who have become bored with the sudden lack of murders in Simpson, and who desperately want to help Felicity and Bennett catch their man.

I liked how quickly Felicity switches up from baiting Bennett to keep him out of the way to using him as backup, which was right from the get go. She is introducing him as her stalker and then going, come on stalker, we have places to go. They end up being tossed out of the only motel in Simpson and end up having to sleep together in various hiding spots.  Snuggling with your stalker for warmth is okay, right?   So they get pretty close, pretty quick but Felicity knows that she can trust Bennett to have her back.

Felicity is the one to make sure her sisters’ train and exercise regularly to keep fit. She also sees herself as the calm, cool and collected sister but alone with Bennett, she finds out that she doesn’t have all that much patience for stake outs and keeps getting them into trouble.

I am confused with the change in this series.’ name.  We had two stories in the Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunter series, which featured sisters Molly and Cara. We ended Book 2 with a epilogue on sister Norah. There was a break in stories and now we not only switched sisters with Felicity but this is Book 1 of the Beneath the Wild Sky series. Not that any of it matters. I am sure the series change is a marketing thing and switching sisters is a story plot thing as we end The Scenic Route with the same epilogue featuring Norah. This one also features a cross-over with the Rocky Mountain Search and Rescue series which is Katie Ruggle’s first series. Do you need to read that other series first? No, but you will want to after you finish The Scenic Route so you can really get to know all of the fun characters that pop up.

Of course, being a fan of both series I enjoyed our time with Felicity and Bennett as well as seeing the old Search & Rescue crowd.

Favorite Scene:

Felicity could feel both Lou and the PI staring at her, but she refused to look up. She hadn’t decided how much to share with either of them, but she had a strong feeling that neither was going to quit looming until she told them something.

Lou was the first to break. “C’mon, Felicity, my new friend, my buddy, my sister from another mister. You need to satisfy the curiosity before the parents get done dropping their kids off at school.”

That caught Felicity’s attention. “Why is that the deadline?”

“This is their next stop after Simpson Elementary. I’ll be slammed for a good hour, and my curiosity will kill me within ten minutes. Spill, for the love of Pete!”

Felicity’s gaze slid to the big silent man next to her. He sipped his coffee while watching her closely, and she rolled her eyes back to Lou.

“You don’t understand,” Lou continued. “It’s been months–months, I tell you–since something exciting has happened here. Not even a hint of a mystery, no dead guys, headless or otherwise, just…nothing except making coffee for the boringly normal tourists. My murder-solving whiteboard is covered in a layer of dust.” She grimaced a little. “Okay, fine. It’d be covered in dust if I wasn’t married to Mr. Clean-Freak Callum.”

This time, when Felicity glanced at B. Green, their gazes met in a look of confusion and an odd sense of solidarity. She looked away quickly, uncomfortable with any sort of bonding with this stranger, and met Lou’s begging eyes.

“My research here in boring.” Felicity didn’t want to raise Lou’s hopes just for her to be disappointed. “Just a run-of-the-mill meth dealer who skipped out on his bond. Everyone has their heads attached, and everyone will keep their heads–and all other critically important body parts–attached during the course of my investigation.” It felt a little like a vow.

Despite Felicity’s attempt to keep Lou’s expectations low, the barista’s eyes lit up. “Ohh, you’re a bounty hunter?” At Felicity’s nod, Lou looked at B. Green. “How about you? Are you a bounty hunter too? Maybe a rival one who’s stalking Felicity so you can steal her rightful bounty out from underneath her?”

As amused as Felicity was by the accusatory frown Lou was directing at Mr. Green, her sense of fairness couldn’t let that go uncorrected. “He’s a PI, not a bounty hunter.” Felicity had to snicker a little at Lou’s disappointed expression. “What you just described did happen to my sister though. Except he wasn’t trying to steal her skips. He just had a crush on her.”

At this, Lou was positively dancing in place. “Really? Are they together now? Please don’t tell me she didn’t feel the same way and had to let him down easy, and now he’s nursing a broken heart.”

Felicity was glad she could give Lou good news. “They’re together.”

Lou cheered before focusing on B. Green and returning to her initial line of questioning. “So, Mr. PI, are you after the same meth dealer as my new bestie then?”

With a short shake of his head, he took a sip of coffee, obviously using it as an excuse not to talk.

“He’s following me because he’s looking for a stolen necklace, and he thinks I can lead him to it.”

Cocking her head to the side, Lou looked back and forth between them. “And can you?”


B. Green gave a quiet, disbelieving grunt that made Felicity want to smack him.

“Then why is he following you if you don’t know where the necklace is?”

“My mom stole it,” Felicity wasn’t sure why she was sharing that information with an almost stranger. In her defense, she was used to everyone and their grandma no only knowing what Jane did but also a good percentage of them breaking into their house in order to search for the necklace themselves.

“Wooow.” Lou pulled out her phone. “You two don’t mind if Callum joins us, do you? He pretends he’s not a nosy gossip queen, but he really hates missing out on any drama.”

“Uhh…” Felicity found herself glancing at Mr. Green and giving him a wide-eyed look before she caught herself. He’s not my partner. She mentally repeated the reminder, but there was just something so solid and reassuring about the man that was completely opposed to the reality of their relationship. He’d skip-blocked her, sat on her, then stalked her. Why couldn’t she seem to remember that?

Shaking off her distraction, she noted that Lou was putting her phone back in her pocket. Apparently, Lou had taken her silence as permission, and the drama-loving Callum had already been summoned. With a sigh, Felicity resigned herself to having an audience, her brain already working on information she could get out of the Simpsonites. If she was going to be the entertainment for half of this small town, she’d at least use them as a resource. She smothered a grin, imagining herself with an army of odd mountain people under her command.

“Who’s this meth dealer?” Mr. Green asked.

Pausing, she considered the PI. Might as well make him into a lieutenant in her bounty-hunting army, she figured. If he was going to be underfoot, he may as well be useful. “Douglas Fletcher. He goes by Dino. He was caught with a whole lot of meth, arrested, paid his bond, and disappeared.”

The door swung open, letting in a chatty crowd of customers that filled the shop. As they formed a somewhat orderly line at the register, Lou made a face that only Felicity and Mr. Green could see. “This is what happens when you don’t get right to the good stuff immediately. Now the hordes of parents are here.” She backed toward the register, pointing at Felicity and then Mr. Green. “No talking about interesting things while I’m busy.”

Despite her early mental lecture, Felicity’s gaze found Mr. Green’s again, and this time he quirked an eyebrow, making her want to laugh.

No! No laughing. No camaraderie. He’s my stalker. S-T-A-L-K-E-R. Stalker.

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