Book Review: “On His Watch” by Katie Ruggle

January 8, 2020 Book Reviews 3

Book Review: “On His Watch” by Katie Ruggle

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

"On His Watch" by Katie Ruggle
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 5, 2016
Pages: 100
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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An introductory short story, 0.5 in the Search and Rescue romantic suspense series, that revolves around an estranged pair of friends, friends who had been a couple and now have a second chance.

My Take

Ruggle is good with the four-year tease, although the more she drags it out, the more irritating it becomes. Mostly because it’s one of those annoying memes. You know the one, I’m-not-good-enough-for-her.

Using third person dual protagonist point-of-view, we’re privy to Derek’s and Artie’s thoughts and emotions about their break-up and their current, precarious situation. Reminiscing over childhood pranks, assessing their growth, and realizing their chance to have what they really want…as grownups.

I do appreciate Derek’s appreciation for a strong and fierce woman. Especially one who teaches her students about personal responsibility. Even if it does feel too late for Artie. Oy.

Ruggle does keep it interesting and realistic with that pair of siblings who run off to escape perceived punishment. It’s just like kids of that age to see only the immediate consequences and not look to the future.

As for the fears of body recovery…urk. That’s scary enough, and then when you add in how you’d feel as a parent of the victim and/or of the “perpetrators”. More “oy”!

Ruggle does a good job of combining actions and characters with a colorful back history and the potential for a future. Even if some questions are left unanswered, but it may be so you’re enticed to read on from this short story.

Still, as Randy learned, you can’t always get what you want…but if you stick with it, you just might.

The Story

It starts with a demonstration by the ice-diving team and quickly slides from embarrassing presentation to terror and more.

The Characters

Artemis “Artie” Rey is one of the schoolteachers. The competitive Randy is her newly ex-husband.

Field County Rescue Dive Team
Derek Warner is hopeless at public speaking. Callum Cook is the dive-team leader. Lou Sparks wants to join the team.

Fire Department
Early is the fire chief. Firemen include Steve, who took on Maybelle, and Ian Walsh.

Rob Coughlin is the sheriff who will mobilize Search-and-Rescue. Janelle trains tracking dogs. Tank is her best, but he has a tendency to eat all the wrong things. The vet wants to install a zipper… Puck is a new dog in training.

Simpson Elementary School
The third- and fourth-graders are on a field trip and include the bullying Chase DuBois; Zoe and Maya are sisters; the too-hot Julius; and, Amber is a fireman fan. Micah is an older student who doesn’t put up with bullying. Marnie Belcher teaches fourth grade. Betsy and Lorna are the useless parent chaperones.

Derek’s dad is a known thief; his long-haul trucking business is a front for moving illegal goods. Malcolm is Derek’s brother; they started a small-engine repair shop.

Steve Springfield is Zoe and Maya’s dad. George Holloway is a loner. Maybelle was a very naughty goat. Donnie had an auto shop.

The Cover and Title

Looks like the barechested Derek (he’s wearing drysuit pants, ladies) has a tight eight-pack with plenty of arm muscle to sigh over on the cover with a very chilly background of a stormy blue sky, a deeply blue mountainous ridge of trees angling down from left to right, and an ice-covered reservoir behind him. The author’s name is in white just below Derek’s waist with the series info in a tiny (and white) font below that. The title is at the bottom in yellow.

The title would be more accurate with a feminine pronoun, for all the whining Artie does about her responsibility, and then again, it is also “On His Watch”, for Derek is the focus of the presentation.

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