Monday, October 21, 2019

Total Bravery (True Heroes, #4) by Piper J. Drake

Title: Total Bravery (True Heroes Book 4)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance
Series: True Heroes (Book 4)
Format: Paperback; 304 pages
Publisher: Forever (April 24, 2018)
ISBN-10: 1538759535
ISBN-13: 978-1538759530
Author's website:
Notes: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. This in no way affected by rating or review.

Raul Sa' is just starting a job with Search and Protect when he gets a call from his best friend's younger sister:

"There's someone--several people--chasing me."

Mali Siri and her research team were out doing field work when her PI, Principle Investigator, was approached by men in dark suits. At first no one was alarmed thinking they were probably just government officials checking up on their research. The heated conversation that ensued quickly suggested otherwise. When her PI sounded the alarm that the team should disperse, they did, scattering in different directions. Not knowing what happened to the rest of her team and being pursued herself, she tries to contact the one person she knows can help her, her sister. The only thing is the person who answers is not her sister. Apparently, her sister forwarded her calls. Mali will need the help of Raul and the Search and Protect team to get to the bottom of what happened to her team and, if they're still alive, rescue them.
This was the fourth book in the True Heroes series, and the first book of the series I've read. I didn't feel lost, so it can definitely be read as a standalone novel. The novel is fast paced and grabs your attention from the get go. It deals with some very heavy subject matter--human trafficking--and brings to light how close to home the horrific trade truly is. Even if you think it's only a third world country problem, it's not. Human trafficking is pretty much happening right in our own backyards.

Mali Siri is a strong, smart, resourceful, and quick thinking young woman who is trying to make a difference. Her work, and the work of her team, could do a world of difference in changing laws to help the victims of human trafficking from being victimized a second time by the laws that presently exist. Most of the women in the sex trade work out of fear for themselves or their loved ones, not because it's their profession of choice. This book just scratches the surface of human trafficking and the dangers associated with it. When Mari's team is taken, she acts without thinking knowing they were in over their heads. She calls the one person who has always managed to get her out of a jam, her sister.

Raul is a good man with a lot of emotional scars caused by guilt, shame, and self-reproach. In the past, his job made him do things that he's not proud of, but were necessary. He was the person they sent in to extract answers from people, and he was very good at it. Against his better judgment, he gives into the attraction that starts to stir between him and Mali knowing Arin, Mali's sister, will not be happy.

I loved how Raul was strong and vulnerable at the same time. He was afraid Mali wouldn't be able to come to terms with his past, but, in the end, he's the one who needed to come to term with it. I really wish the author would have delved into this a little deeper. It would have bumped this story from a really good story to a truly great one. 

The defining quote of the book which held multiple significance (even though Raul, ironically, didn't seem to realize it also applied to himself) was:

“Whether a person is good or bad can’t be identified by their job title. People aren’t that easy to categorize.”

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I loved the dynamics of the relationship, and how Raul let Mali take the lead. I liked how he did not try to shelter Mali or act like she was too fragile to assist in the extrication of her team. He made sure she was included in all the planning and implementation of the rescue attempt. I loved how these two were together. I do wish, however, that the author had delved a little deeper into Raul's past and let him come to terms with it. I believe it would have added another layer to this already wonderful story. Additionally, if Mali had been the one to help him do it, that would have been the icing on the cake for this tale. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. I definitely recommend this one. Now I need to figure out how to fit the rest of the series into my reading lineup.

Order of the True Heroes series:

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