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Book Review: Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

by Sandra Ardoin

Cover Art
Revell Publishing

Dani Pettrey’s new series Chesapeake Valor begins with the novel Cold Shot and introduces her romantic suspense fans to three childhood friends, all involved in some form of law enforcement. All are still puzzled by the disappearance of a fourth friend after college.

Former Maryland SWAT sniper, now Chief Ranger of the Gettysburg National Military Park, Griffin McCray teams up with forensic anthropologist Dr. Finley Scott to investigate an unidentified body buried in the park—one that didn’t belong to the Civil War era. What they eventually discover raises the hairs on Griffin’s neck and unites the three friends (Griffin, Declan, and Parker) in a dangerous case with multiple bodies and international crimes. When the hairs on Griffin’s neck rose, mine did too.

While Griffin and Finley explore the possibility of a future together, he’s forced to confront a past incident that, for years, has strained his relationship with Parker. Finley’s nickname for Griffin, “Ranger Grumpy,” pretty much sums him up at times. The case dredges up terrifying memories for Finley.

As Griffin had explained to her on the drive back from the range to her lab, a cold shot was the first shot out of a sniper’s rifle. No practice, no warm up. Just a “cold” shot. The term added an extra sense of brutality, lack of all compassion, just as the term in cold blood did.

We get several points of view, several romances or potential romances. I’m one who tends to like the simple hero/heroine POV, but this story left me eager to delve deeper into the other characters and the series mystery of what happened to Luke.

I’ll admit, it took me a bit to gain my footing with the book. There’s a little more of a light romance novel feel at the beginning than I expected based on Ms. Pettrey’s Alaskan Courage series, and I wasn’t wild about much of the epilogue.

Overall, though, Cold Shot is definitely no waste of a romantic suspense lover’s reading time. So, if that’s what you are, don’t miss it!

In your ideal novel, how many POVs do you like to read? One? Two? Several?




As an author of heartwarming historical and contemporary romance, Sandra Ardoin engages readers with page-turning stories of love and faith. Rarely out of reach of a book, she's also an armchair sports enthusiast, country music listener, and seldom says no to eating out.

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  • authoramheath

    I think it depends on how the author handles it. I’ve read books with only 1 POV and enjoyed it. When you have a male and female POV, it takes the surprise out of wondering who she’ll marry in the end. I like a good mystery so I enjoy a 1 person POV. 🙂
    I also love getting the man’s perspective so a 2 person POV is still fun.
    And there are times when more than 2 POV is annoying and times when it’s done just right. The key is to not waste the POV by repeating the same information that the other characters have already shared. This is SO annoying. A POV character MUST have something unique to offer or it’s a waste.
    Another tip is to spend the proper amount of time with each POV. I read a book once that bounced around between 6 characters so quickly that I couldn’t keep up. Needless to say, I dropped it before getting to Chapter 3. Setting also makes the difference here. If all 6 characters are in the same room, it’s easier to move around and meet them. But when you have to relocated each and every time, it’s too much to take in.
    Lol Without meaning to, my novels actually have at least 4 POVs. No one, that I’m aware of, has ever complained. But again, it helps to meet characters from the same family, give them something unique to offer, and spending enough time with them before moving on.

    • Sandra Ardoin

      Interesting take about the mystery involving the romance, Anita. I’ve read editors, etc. say so many times that readers don’t want to have to guess. Maybe that’s more for the formula romances. For me, it’s a matter of which romantic interest I like better. 🙂 Also, I don’t like cameo POVs–when there’s only one scene from a certain POV, just to get info across. If that person has a scene, make them important enough to have more than one.

      • authoramheath

        Really? Some of my all time favorite books are the ones that had me guessing the whole time. Ex Julie Klassen’s The Painter’s Daughter, The Apothacary’s Daughter or Lynn Austin’s A Proper Pursuit and Wonderland Creek.
        I tend to enjoy mysteries a lot though so my thoughts may stem from that. I think I just really like to try my hand at reading people through their actions and body language.
        When it comes to romance, I’m the same way. I like love triangles because I’m able to guess early on and see if I’m right as the story unfolds. After so many years, I’m pretty good at it, but then very few books make you really think about your answer. So many books follow the same formula that it takes the surprise out it. Any book that can keep the surprise is always a hit for me! 🙂
        And cameo POV’s are annoying!!
        Worse still is the one whose only purpose is to think about all the great points of the main POV character, who, by the way, is already getting on my nerves. It’s like this POV is trying to sell me on the main character only it’s not working. If you need a POV to explain your main POV, you’re not doing something right. I can name titles with this problem but we’ll not go there. 😉
        The other titles I mentioned are FANTASTIC if you haven’t read them yet.

        • Sandra Ardoin

          I have not read The Painter’s Daughter yet, but want to! Right now, my list is crazy. I hope to get to yours shortly!

          I kind of like knowing the romantic result. I like reading the emotions of the two people involved. For me, I think it depends on how the “triangle” is done, though. Sometimes, it can be interesting. Usually, it’s obvious in the back cover copy.

          Surprises are great! Sometimes, I’ll read a book and think “How did he/she ever come up with that idea–that twist?”. If a story has me wanting to flip to the end to see how something is resolved, I guess that’s a good thing. 🙂 And the POV “sell” sounds like the author doesn’t really know the main character (or doesn’t like him/her).

          • authoramheath

            The Painter’s Daughter is one of my favorites by Klassen and I know you’ll enjoy it when you get the chance.
            And I’d be HONORED to have you read mine. 🙂
            I see what you mean about reading into the emotions of the characters. It’s the reason why I like getting the guy’s perspective. There’s something so sweet about knowing how he feels about her.
            And the best love triangles never give their secrets away on the back cover. 😉 But that’s the mystery lover in me speaking again. Lol
            The great plot twist is awesome. There is nothing like sitting in awe at the creative mind of another.
            Lol I can remember both times that I wanted to flip to the back of the book. Both books were agonizingly fantastic! Lol

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