Book review: Submerged

14 Aug

A sabotaged flight. Two murdered divers. A single clue—a grainy image of sunken treasure.

Dive Rescue Captain Cole McKenna has never worked a case like this, but who he’s working with may prove more dangerous than the assignment. It’s been a lifetime since Bailey mangled his heart. Now she’s back in town and he needs her expertise to track down the illusive treasure.

Professor of Russian Studies Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again, but when her beloved aunt dies, she has no choice. Her plan of attack is simple: return for Agnes’s funeral, get the family business ready for a quick sale, and then put Yancey and all the heartbreaking memories wrapped up in it behind her for good.

Cole walking through her door, asking for her help on a murder investigation, wasn’t part of her plan, neither are the feelings he’s resurrecting—feelings best left dead.

Bailey agrees to help for the sake of the victims, and travels with Cole across Alaska’s rugged terrain and deep beneath its coastal waters. As the case escalates, so do their feelings for one another. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing to let go of the past and just when Bailey thinks she can’t take it any longer, the case shifts in a new and extremely personal direction, fastening her in for its duration.

Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Cole and Bailey fight to find the treasure and uncover the hidden history at the root of it all. But will they be too late?



Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.


My Impressions:

I was somewhat disappointed by Submerged, the first novel in the Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey.  I had read several reviews that sung its praises and the cover boasts a quote by Dee Henderson promising that the suspense will keep you up at night.  I did not find that to be the case.  While there is definitely an element of suspense, the story really is centered on the relationship of Bailey and Cole.

Bailey Craig left Yancey, Alaska 8 years ago, never to return, until the death of her aunt calls her back.  Yancey holds no fond memories for Bailey.  Instead it reminds her of the many mistakes and failures that surrounded her teen years. And she fears how Cole McKenna, her one time boyfriend, will react when she gets to town.  While a few townspeople seem to remember her teen indiscretions, most welcome her back as family.  Soon Bailey is drawn into the McKenna family and, try as she might to resist, her attraction to Cole.  Several murders and her own aunt’s death team Bailey and Cole in an investigation that leaves them and the whole McKenna clan in danger.

The strongest part of the novel is its examination of what it means to be a new creation in Christ.  While Bailey openly states that she is now a Christian and that God saved her life, she does not quite believe that He really has forgiven all that she did in her past.  I know many struggle with the grief and guilt of past actions even after accepting the cleansing forgiveness of God.  I think Pettrey got this part right in her portrayal of Bailey’s struggle with who she now is and who she once was.

I think this book will definitely appeal to those who like romance with a touch of suspense.  I wish there had been a bit more though.  And if you like series, Submerged opens up a few more romantic plot lines for future books.


(I received Submerged from Bethany in return for a review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)


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