Title: A gentle kind of strength
Author: Kendall McKenna
Release Date: November 5, 2015
Page Count: 2970 kindle locations
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
A police K9 handler believes he’s lucky when a romance starts with the local veterinarian, but then his canine partner is injured in the line of duty.
Sergeant Ray Lerner is a veteran sheriff’s department K9 handler. Damien Federov is the veterinarian caring for Harley â€“ Ray’s canine partner. When taking a man as a lover, Ray’s always been confident. Around Damien, Ray becomes uncharacteristically shy and tongue-tied. When Damien begins their romance, Ray knows he’s lucky.
His obsession with a past tragedy blinds Ray to everything he has with Damien. When Harley is injured on duty, his life is in Damien’s hands. As Ray sits vigil, he has one final chance to allow Damien in all the way, or risk losing everything important, in a single night.
This was lovely. It felt very different to the usual Kendall McKenna books filled with possessive, hard-core MCs but I still liked it. Ray is a police K9 handler and I honestly loved learning about his relationship with his K9 partner, Marley, and everything that involved how they were on duty. I knew nothing about that world so it was truly exciting to find out how everything works. That being said, there was quite a bit of telling in this book, especially in the beginning. Ray was infatuated with Marley’s vet, Damian, and we were so very much told about everything, not shown. I though the writing itself was quite stilted and choppy at times, but it smoothed out after the first third of the book or so.
There was a delicious slow-burn between ray and Damian which I enjoyed immensely. The guys talked to each other, flirted, and took things really slowly. Their relationship developed nicely I thought, and the sex was uber hot, per usual McKenna fashion. And then, Marley got injured on the job.
What the hell happened there?
Ray was obviously upset and worried about Marley and Damian did his best to fix the medical emergency. Ray spent the night at the clinic by his dog’s side and that’s where the characters’ actions got truly ridiculous in my opinion. Damian started becoming distant and angry and Ray found himself apologising for not thinking of anyone else during his worry for Marley. It hadn’t even been 24 hours and he was still processing everything, yet he was selfish for not immediately taking stock of how everyone else felt? What the hell?
Other than the WTF moments during the overnight stay at the clinic, this was a gentle, slow romance that overall hit the spot. If you want to learn more about the world of K9 handlers and their partners on top of a nice, simple romance, give this a go. The steam doesn’t hurt either *winks*!