‘Submerged’ by Dani Pettrey: Fast-Paced Series Opener by Debut Author

July 3, 2012 Rissi JC 4 Comments

STORY: In the aftermath of her aunt’s death, Bailey Craig reluctantly makes a return to her hometown of Yancey Alaska. Not only the one place she hopes never to see again, it’s also the place where painful memories haunt her. She also much face her past in the form of the boy she left behind.

Cole McKenna is a deep sea diver who takes his job very seriously. As captain of his, their safety is his priority, which is why it hurts so much when he’s unable to save Agnes. But the good thing to come from this is seeing Bailey again. Their lives look very different now, and while Bailey has no plans to stay, when she learns Agnes’ death wasn’t an accident, everything changes.

Submerged, by Dani Pettrey | Book Review

‘Submerged’ by Dani Pettrey: Fast-Paced Series Opener by Debut Author. A review of the 2012 debut. All text © Rissi JC

REVIEW: It’s been eons since I read a suspense novel, whether it be Christian or mainstream. There are plenty sitting on my bookshelf, but I usually opt for lighter reading. Twenty-twelve has been a phenomenal year (and we are just in July!) for debut authors and no surprise, Dani Pettrey’s is another example of fresh voices in this Christian fiction industry. Specifically, Pettrey joins the likes of Dee Henderson and Irene Hannon. Submerged is both charming and adventurous with touches of history that keeps everything abuzz with excitement.

The characters are warm and inviting making this an easy read as does the short, easy chapters (which I love); chapters that have no trouble convincing me to read “just one more.” It does surprise me how much this focuses on Cole’s family rather than just he and Bailey. That said, I don’t mind. The closeness of these characters, including Cole’s best friend Landon and their “adopted” brother, Jake, seems to be something Dani effortlessly weaves together. All of this makes Submerged humorous and poignant, especially because of its forgiveness message.

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If one thing could be picked apart about this story it would be the opening. It reads confusing to me, but it lasts no more than three chapters and is mainly in relation from the hurried introduction of characters. And all that slightly disordered beginning does is heighten our awareness of the mystery in the book. In the end it didn’t matter because I fell in love with each of the characters. Their banter and ease around each other made me believe I was standing in their kitchen, laughing right along with the gang. I love Cole’s protective nature that isn’t smothering; Bailey’s genuine heart for God; and Cole’s younger sisters are just the cutest. Piper’s exuberance is unmatched and I sympathize with the method by which the tough but tenderhearted Kayden processes things.

In all honesty, I hadn’t much given this book a second glance after its first press releases, but I’m quite happy that I took a second look. I cannot remember the last time I read a book so quickly without having to “make” myself finish it. It isn’t dripping with suspense (although those last two chapters are pretty awesome!) as much as it is a griping story of family.

As an avid reader, there are certain books you don’t want to see end no matter how good its ending may be, this is one of those. Considering we are being given Piper’s story early next year I suspect that given how large a role she and the rest of the McKenna siblings play in Cole and Bailey’s story, this isn’t the last we’ll hear of these two. That alone brings a smile to this reader’s face.

IN CONCLUSION: Submerged is a beautiful story of forgiveness and the unbreakable bonds of family. Not a book to be missed!

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Dani Pettrey
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
ELSEWHERE: Amazon | Goodreads
FIND the REVIEW ELSEWHERE: Goodreads | WordPress
Series: Alaskan Courage – Book 1
Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary, Suspense
Rating: ★★★★★

Many thanks to the publisher providing this complimentary copy for reviewing purposes 

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • […] been five years since I read Dani Pettrey’s debut novel, Submerged. Since then, she has written an additional four novels that connect to that debut Last year marked […]

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