Let me begin by saying I won this book in a giveaway with a bunch of other super hot romances sent to me by Hachette Book Group’s Forever imprint. I never win anything when I enter giveaways, so thank you for the books!
Out of the number of books I won, I immediately jumped on Extreme Honor to read first because who doesn’t want to read a book with a hot guy and a dog on it? I am a huge dog lover, so of course this was my first pick. The story
follows Evelyn “Lyn” Jones, known as one of the best dog trainers / rehabilitators in the U.S. with solid credentials to prove it. She is sent to help a dog named Atlas who experienced traumatic events as a working dog for the military while oversees, but veteran David Cruz doesn’t plan on making it easy. As a master of reading people with his honed senses from his time in service, David is suspicious of Evelyn and her intentions, but soon enough she joins him at Hope’s Crossing Kennels, and the story (and romance) unfold.
Let’s talk about characters first, because really romance novels with shallow characters can make or break a book. I
thoroughly enjoyed the dynamic between Evelyn and David mostly because, while attraction was apparent to both characters, there was no star-struck moment where all rationality was thrown out the window in the name of lust. Readers get to see slowly how many parts of Evelyn David observes and respects, and likewise we also get to enjoy his kind and very respectful personality. Evelyn is strong but imperfect, and her character really explores David in a light other than simply that he is hot. Contrary to the common “hot but arrogant” trope, David watches his every move to make sure those around him feel safe, and is both the rugged war-torn veteran and simultaneously the most genuine gentlemanly character I have read in a while. And can we please appreciate how Atlas comes into play, here? This dog makes the story so engaging and the character chemistry so much more realistic than “love at first sight”.
That being said, I wish both characters could have been fleshed out more. We only scratched the surface between how the two get to know one another, but their pasts and relationships with the rest of the world are only touched upon. Since this book is a standalone story in the series, I will have to be satisfied with what we have, but there was definitely potential for more.
The plot was not what I had expected, and the twist at the end had me reading the scene over twice. I must say, the action and events that propelled the story forward made the plot surprisingly compelling. Normally when I read romance, I prepare for the romance to take precedence over the plot, but Extreme Honor had a nice balance. The writing was clean and easy read, with no run-ons or anything that pulled me from the story. I read the book from start to finish in a day because it was that fun to read.
On a side note, I was disappointed that readers didn’t get to see more rehabilitation time with Atlas. For example, parts where he might be doing military-grade agility courses and the like. This is probably me being biased because I am particularly keen on dogs, but I also feel, as I mentioned earlier, that the story could have been more fleshed out and longer than the 300 pages gave me.
That being said, Extreme Honor was a very fun read! I will definitely be picking up the next book titled Ultimate Courage when I can.