I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Colton K-9 Target by Justine Davis
Series: Coltons of Grave Gulch #8
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Romantic Suspense on August 24, 2021
Genres: Fiction / Animals, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Police & Law Enforcement, Fiction / Romance / Suspense
Buy on Amazon
Man's best friend
…is this cop's most trusted partner
New to the Grave Gulch Police Department, K-9 detective Brett Shea feels like an outsider among its many Coltons. Even Annalise, his dog's trainer, is a Colton! But when she's attacked by a man pretending to be her date, Brett vows to track down the criminal. Though he's sworn off forever love—which is proving harder by the day—Brett will protect her at any cost.
From Harlequin Romantic Suspense: Danger. Passion. Drama.
Feel the excitement in these uplifting romances, part of The Coltons of Grave Gulch series:
Book 1: Colton's Dangerous Liaison by Regan Black
Book 2: Colton's Killer Pursuit by Tara Taylor Quinn
Book 3: Colton Nursery Hideout by Dana Nussio
Book 4: Colton Bullseye by Geri Krotow
Book 5: Guarding Colton's Child by Lara Lacombe
Book 6: Colton's Covert Witness by Addison Fox
Book 7: Rescued by the Colton Cowboy by Deborah Fletcher Mello
Book 8: Colton K-9 Target by Justine Davis
Book 9: A Colton Internal Affair by Jennifer D. Bokal
Book 10: Uncovering Colton's Family Secret by Linda O. Johnston
Book 11: Agent Colton's Takedown by Beverly Long
I’m a sucker for mysteries and thrillers with canine companions, and working dogs are certainly my favorite. Colton K-9 Target has this and a fast paced story, so I was so happy to read this for Harlequin’s tour. Here’s an excerpt from Colton K-9 Target, and stick around for my review after the sneak peak.
Excerpt of Colton K-9 Target by Justine Davis (Aug 24)
Harlequin Romantic Suspense
Annalise stared into the darkness, hoping that forcing herself to keep her eyes open would perversely trigger the overwhelming urge to sleep. It was her last resort; she’d been lying here for two hours, unable to find a way to turn off, or at least slow down, her whirling thoughts.
And the fact that a few minutes ago Brett had come to her open doorway and lingered a moment didn’t help.
She’d heard the faint creak of a floorboard and felt a spike of that adrenaline rush before she realized it was him. That realization caused a spike of an entirely different kind until she heard him walk away and realized he’d only been checking on her.
What did you expect? That he’d climb into bed with you?
She rolled over and buried her face in her pillow, wondering why these wild thoughts kept careening into her mind. What kind of woman was she, to have been so very excited about her date tonight—never mind that it had all been a scam—yet almost simultaneously so attracted to this man who had no interest at all in her that way? Or in anything like the kind of relationship she was looking for?
I’m not looking for what you’re looking for.
He meant it. She didn’t doubt that. And she knew she should consider it fair warning. A warning some men would never bother to give. Why had he? She felt her cheeks heat at the thought that maybe he knew, how she reacted to him. Maybe she’d betrayed it somehow. That would be embarrassing. They’d always gotten on well in the joint training sessions with Ember, but her focus had been on the smart, willing dog, not on him.
Well, not any more than usual. Qualified, capable K-9 officers with a record like his weren’t thick on the ground, and he’d proven that rep well-earned in their first exercises together. That he was quietly competent and apparently unaware of his own looks were big points in his favor, in her book.
She’d assumed at first he was married, because how could he not be? He didn’t wear a ring, but some men didn’t. Then Troy had told her a week later he wasn’t and had never been.
You have to believe in love before you can give up on it.
She sighed into the darkness. That just might be the saddest thing she’d ever heard. Yet he didn’t seem sad to her. Or bitter. Just…closed off. Except with Ember. That alone told Annalise that he wasn’t completely closed off.
But that didn’t mean she should be lying here thinking about him.
And about what she would have done if he had climbed into bed with her.
“I can drive myself—”
“I know you can,” Brett said patiently to Annalise the next morning, “but I have to drop Ember off anyway.” He didn’t mention that he also didn’t want her taking off to go get lunch or something. He wanted her under observation at all times, and he’d already called Sergeant Kenwood to let him know to keep an eye on her; the man might be retired from active duty, but his instincts were as sharp as ever.
“But I’ll need my car to get home.”
“I’ll pick you up when I come get her,” he said, with a scratch of the Lab’s soft ears. “After I talk to the two other women this jerk targeted.”
“I want to take Apple and Jack,” she said. “I don’t want to leave them alone. They were scared, too.”
And that was Annalise Colton in a nutshell, he thought. “Fine. There’s room. And Ember won’t mind.”
And so he ended up with a carload of three dogs and the woman adored by them all.
He yanked his mind off that fruitless path. He drove, trying to concentrate on mentally organizing his day.
Colton K-9 Target is the eighth book in the Coltons of Grave Gulch series. Justine Davis is the author of this installment. While this is a long running series, I didn’t have any problems jumping right in with the whole gaggle of Colton’s that live in and around the fictional Grave Gulch.
K-9 detective Brett Shea is newer to the Grave Gulch PD, and he took this job to get out of the big city drama, looking for a more low-key working experience. What he finds is a police department and town full of Coltons, who stick together like glue and have each other’s backs no matter what. While Brett never had that kind of family support system, he can’t help but be irritated by encountering one of them every where he goes.
The only Colton that Brett likes is dog trainer Annalise, and he’s undeniable drawn to the smart, caring, and attractive woman who loves his dog Ember like she’s her own. But Brett has sworn off love after being burned too many times by both girlfriends and his family, so he stays respectful and aloof.
Annalise is tired of being one of the few Coltons that isn’t happily paired up, so she joins a dating app to hopefully find the man of her dreams. Little did she know that the man she paired with was catfishing her, and after she fought off his robbery attempt. Now she’s firmly in this guy’s crosshairs, and luckily the best K-9 detective is there to protect her and help drive out the suspect before he can target anyone else–or get his revenge.
Annalise is strong and in control when it comes to dog training, but her personal life is left in shambles after the attack. She’s had feelings for Brett since they first met each other, and she’s finding it very hard to keep those emotions inside as she and Brett are forced together. Can they go through all of this togetherness with Annalise temporarily moving in with Brett for protection without getting closer than they’ve ever been to anyone before?
I give COLTON K-9 TARGET a 4.5 out of 5. The suspense built throughout the book, and I really enjoyed the will-they, won’t-they relationship between Brett and Annalise. There was an underlying serial killer story in the background of this book that carried over from previous books, but they main focus in this book was the danger to Annalise. I enjoyed their relationship, but also the other Coltons that pop in and out of the story. Justine Davis does a fantastic job of incorporating real-world policing with dog handling, and I really enjoyed all of the interactions with the people and dogs.
Find COLTON K-9 TARGET
About Justine Davis
Justine Davis lives on Puget Sound in Washington State, watching big ships and the occasional submarine go by, and sharing the neighborhood with assorted wildlife, including a pair of bald eagles, deer, a bear or two, and a tailless raccoon. In the few hours when she’s not planning, plotting, or writing her next book, her favorite things are photography, knitting her way through a huge yarn stash, and driving her restored 1967 Corvette roadster—top down, of course.
Connect with Justine Davis