Author: Kendall McKenna
Publisher: MLR Press
Pages/Word Count: 140 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Hurricane Lauris tore through North Carolina, leaving devastation in her wake. When the Marines of Camp Lejeune respond with help and resources, Staff Sergeant Troy Matson immediately volunteers. His mission is to assist Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Delaney and his K9 partner, Decker, search for trapped survivors. Their mutual attraction is instant and intense, but all of the destruction leaves Troy conflicted. Austin proves to be a surprising source of comfort and understanding in Troy’s search for redemption, but returning to their daily lives might end what has only just started.
Review: There is no doubt about it, Troy Matson has returned home from Iraq a changed man—a haunted man. Responsible for calling in airstrikes and taking lead on a recon team to search out the enemy, it’s left the marine in real mental turmoil. However, when duty calls Troy to assist in the cleanup of the aftermath of one of the worst hurricanes to hit North Carolina, he responds immediately; though nothing had prepared him for the total devastation and loss of civilian lives that awaited him. Shadowing Deputy Austin Delaney and his rescue dog, Decker, Troy begins to grapple with the demons that followed him home from that nightmarish desert. But this time Troy does not have to face his guilt and fear alone. This time there is a sweet dog who has been trained to save lives, with his handler, who is focused on one thing other than successfully handling Decker—and that one thing is falling head over heels for one Troy Matson.
This was a fast-paced and well-written story that focused solely on the amazing abilities of the rescue teams that move in after disasters. From the K-9, Decker, and his handler, Austin, to the fire and rescue teams and the marines who are sent to assist them, each component of this novel rang true and precise. I felt I was right there with them. Enduring the heat and dirt and the endless burden of searching for that one victim who had survived. So many dead, so many still to be found. Author Kendall McKenna brings the disaster to our door and keeps the overwhelming sadness of it all at bay by creating two men who meet and feel that instant zing of recognition. That incredible moment when your heart says, here is someone I want to get to know better!
By far, this story is my favorite to date. I felt such grief and pain in Troy’s character, and both Austin and Decker were the calming influence—the balm that Troy needed to begin sorting through all the harsh memories that threatened to drown him. This was one of the best-written insta-love stories I have read in quite a while, a wonderful addition to this marvelous series!
You can buy Storming Love: Austin & Troy here: