Book Review: Sunrise (Sky King Ranch #1) by Susan May Warren

  • Title: Sunrise
  • Series: Sky King Ranch #1
  • Author: Susan May Warren
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Genre: Christian Fiction, Suspense, Adventure, Romance
  • Would I recommend: Absolutely! If you’re a fan of clean romance, suspenseful moments, and characters who work through their faith and grow in their relationship with God, this book is for you! I loved it.

Synopsis:

Pilot Dodge Kingston has always been the heir to Sky King Ranch. But after a terrible family fight, he left to become a pararescue jumper. A decade later, he’s headed home to the destiny that awaits him.

That’s not all that’s waiting for Dodge. His childhood best friend and former flame, Echo Yazzie, is a true Alaskan–a homesteader, dogsledder, and research guide for the DNR. Most of all, she’s living a life Dodge knows could get her killed. One of these days she’s going to get lost in the woods again, and his worst fear is that he won’t be there to find her.

When one of Echo’s fellow researchers goes missing, Echo sets out to find her, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly haunting the woods, and the biting cold. Plus, there’s more than just the regular dangers of the Alaskan forests stalking her . . .

Will Dodge be able to find her in time? And if he does, is there still room for him in her heart?

Sunrise is the first explosive volume in a new nail-biting series from USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren. 

My review:

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! (And there’s romance. Oh, hey, I’m a romance reader now. For reals.) For starters, the setting is just wonderful. My husband has told me about how much he enjoyed his time spent in Juneau, Alaska. He was up there for several weeks one summer doing an internship for his master’s in museum studies. So Alaska has been on my bucket list of places for a while. And I am not a cold weather girl, but Warren’s descriptions of the beauty of the Alaskan landscape almost make me willing to go there when it’s cold.

The characters were likable (or not – looking at you, Idaho) and relatable. Life has left both Dodge and Echo struggling with issues of trust and the need to extend forgiveness. When their relationship imploded ten years ago, both were deeply hurt. Neither is sure they want to open up to the possibility of further pain, even though they clearly still have strong feelings for each other. I wanted so much to see them succeed, to work past their issues, with each other and with other people in their lives. I wanted to shake them when they were being stupid and stubborn. I wanted to give them hugs when they needed them.

There’s plenty of tension in the story to keep it moving briskly. We see that tension between Dodge and his father right off the bat. The details of their conflict aren’t shared right away, but Dodge’s reluctance to face his father is clear. Echo has issues from her mother leaving the family when Echo was young. There’s strife between Charlie, Echo’s father, and one of the guides in town. There are rescue missions, potential wildlife poachers, man against nature scenarios, all stirring the pot in their own way. This is not a story that will lull you to sleep. In fact, I stayed up past my bedtime reading because I just couldn’t tear myself away!

This story bills itself as Christian fiction, and it delivers. It makes me sad when books are categorized as Christian fiction and then have very little of faith in the story. Warren makes faith an integral part of her characters’ lives. Not only are they struggling with trust and forgiveness and healing of broken relationships (romantic and family both) on their own terms. They also wrestle with seeking God, with coming back to God when they thought He had walked away from them. And at the heart of all of it is love.

“This was love. Love showed up. Love stayed. Love sacrificed.”

Not gonna lie, there were times I was wiping away the tears while I was reading. And I’m not a crier.

For those of you who hate cliffhangers, there is a BIG FAT ONE at the end of this book. All it did, though, was make me want to read the second book as quickly as possible!

Five stars for well-written action, a gorgeous setting that makes you want to go see it for yourself, characters I loved, and just the right touch of romance. If you like a book that’s heavy on the action and adventure, that includes clean romance and Christian values and beliefs, Sunrise may be the start of your next favorite series. Go pick it up and give it a read.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.

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