STARRED REVIEW
February 03, 2015

Faith and danger on the Iditarod

By Dani Pettrey
Dani Pettrey is back with the fifth heart-pounding installment of her Alaskan Courage series, Sabotaged. Once again, the close-knit McKenna clan joins forces in the face of danger, trusting in God to give them the strength to survive.
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Dani Pettrey is back with the fifth heart-pounding installment of her Alaskan Courage series, Sabotaged. Once again, the close-knit McKenna clan joins forces in the face of danger, trusting in God to give them the strength to survive.

Set against the excitement of the Iditarod—the storied long-distance sled dog race run from Anchorage to Nome every year since 1973—Pettrey’s latest novel focuses on blond, brawny Reef McKenna, the black sheep of the family and prim and proper Kirra Jacobs, a veterinarian and the owner of a shelter for rescued sled dogs. As volunteers on the Iditarod search and rescue team, they’ve been paired to watch for mushers who are lagging or in trouble. And Reef, who has witnessed the romantic developments of his siblings, wonders if his family has something to do with team assignments—he and Kirra might be an improbable couple, but the attraction between them sparkles like new-fallen snow.

“Improbable” is an understatement, at least as the story opens. Kirra is an only child whose parents have fled Alaska for warmer climes, leaving Kirra to nurse a deep emotional wound that sets her apart from the easy camaraderie of the McKennas. Reef, on the other hand, is an adrenaline junkie who thrives on thrills, especially when they keep him from looking too hard at the choices he’s made in his life. Complete opposites, their only real connection comes from their love of the Alaskan landscape and the winter sports that keep them outside in the bracing air.

 Faced with a matter of life and death, Kirra and Reef are forced to work together, discarding their old perceptions of each other as they begin to discover the people they truly are. 

But as each of them will learn, God has another plan for them, one that draws them together in ways neither ever could have imagined, forcing them to rely on each other to survive. Just days into the race, Kirra realizes her uncle is hours past the time he should have arrived at the nearest checkpoint, and she sets out to find him. Reef has no intention of letting her go it alone, but when they reach what Kirra knows is one of Uncle Frank’s favorite resting spots, they’re shocked to discover that the situation is more serious than they’d imagined.

Men have kidnapped Frank’s daughter, Meg—Kirra’s cousin—and are holding her hostage until Frank completes a task for them. Desperate to save his child’s life, Frank is willing to do whatever he has to, even if the consequences are dire for the Alaskan wilderness. That leaves Kirra determined to find her cousin before Frank reaches the finish line in Nome and Reef vowing to help her every step of the way.

Packed with scenes featuring the extended McKenna clan, the story rushes on as breathlessly as the race itself, but action and excitement are only part of the plot. Faced with a matter of life and death, Kirra and Reef are forced to work together, discarding their old perceptions of each other as they begin to discover the people they truly are. And both of them rely on their relationship with God to navigate both the storm-swept trail and their own feelings.

As the conclusion to the Alaskan Courage series, Sabotaged is a breathtaking read and a satisfying goodbye to a beloved cast of characters. Readers are sure to be excited for Pettrey’s new series.           

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Sabotaged

Sabotaged

By Dani Pettrey
Bethany House
ISBN 9780764211966

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