Title: A Gentle Kind of Strength
Author: Kendall McKenna
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Page Count: 57,000 words
Reviewed by: Gigi
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 – 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 book, the first book Kendall McKenna has written in year, needing time to recover from knee surgery, should have been a slam dunk for me. A sexy veterinarian, a beautiful ex-Marine K9 handler for the sheriff’s department, some medical angst and it’s. Kendall. McKenna! I worship all of her books! Three of her books are in my top-10-of-all-time list! But Ms. McKenna did a little something different with this one. She wrote a warm and fuzzy story. Don’t get me wrong, I adore warm and fuzzy, but it seems I don’t adore Kendall McKenna’s warm and fuzzy.
K9 handler Ray has been pining over vet Damian for a year and a half when they finally figure out the other is gay. Damian is Ray’s K9 partner, Harley’s vet. When they finally get together, the sex was classic Kendall McKenna smoking-hot! They fucking with real emotions the first time and the emotions grew and grew and the sex got ever hotter. The problem for me here is that the story didn’t do anything for me. It was too descriptive when it came to all the things Ray does with his K9 partner. Weird, right? I should LOVE that, but I just didn’t. It completely took me out of the romance.
When an accident brings Harley to the emergency vet clinic, Damian is there to patch his up, and Ray turns into a basket case. He has hidden some secrets from Damian that come out of this tense situation, but I didn’t feel the connection and was rather confused by their bed side confessionals. One minute Ray is pissed, then he feels shame, then Damian pulls back into professional mode and confused Ray and… Ahhh! I was lost.
It’s very likely that I am disappointed because I waited with such excitement for another book from her, of the fact that I just read How to Walk Like a Man which featured a K9 working dog romance (sounds crazy, but just read it and it will sense.).
I really do believe fans of Ms. KcKenna’s will enjoy this, if going in knowing it not her typical fare, but for others, I don’t think this is a strong enough book for the casual reader. But, again, the sex was spectacular! Bonus star for that.