The second novel in the Cape Charade series, What Doesn’t Kill Her continues the story of our heroine Kellen Adams. After finding out she’d had a daughter while in a coma, Kellen, Max and Rae are trying to ease into a family unit. Suffering from PTSD after her years in Afghanistan, Kellen is having the tougher time bonding with her new daughter. Needing a break, she takes a side job delivering an archeological find to a recluse in the wilderness with a man she doesn’t know. On the way, the man tries to kill her, Kellen evades the kill, and finds out her new seven year old daughter Rae has hidden in the back of the van in the hopes of bonding with her mother. Escaping into the wilderness, Kellen and her pink sparkly daughter find out that they are being hunted by two teams of men. One is out to collect the valuable item they are carrying, and the other is out to kill Kellen. This quick trip has suddenly turned into the run for their lives.
Kellen started off so out of her element as a mom, but as she and her daughter evaded capture Kellen found that she did in fact care deeply for this little girl. Kellen’s maternal instincts are slightly skewed from the traumatic events in her past but she does teach Rae some invaluable lessons in self defense that were dramatic and sweet at the same time. Imagine trying to relay to a seven year old girl that they were being hunted by people who were trying to hurt them without scaring the crap out of her. There were some seriously funny conversations between these two that really added a lot of maternal warmth to Kellen’s character. For Kellen, this trip was a boot camp to motherhood.
I really liked Max in Dead Girl Running and he was even more likable as a dad and love interest to Kellen in this novel. He was alpha male enough to want to sweep in and keep his girls safe, but smart enough to let Kellen use her skills and provide her own safety. That’s not to say that he didn’t want to kick ass and take prisoners, but this was a woman who took charge of her own life and didn’t wait for anyone to save her. The two of them were very well balanced and I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow into a romantic one.
What Doesn’t Kill Her was even better than Dead Girl Running, and I loved that novel! There was some great dialog between Rae and Kellen that provided comic relief to what would’ve been a non stop action novel. Those moments of warmth between mother and daughter allowed the reader to build a deeper connection with Kellen, and I cared even more when she and Max reunited as a couple. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next Cape Charade book, Stranger She knows. It can’t come soon enough for me! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️I was given a free ARC of this book for an honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“What makes this book a fun read is, for the most part, the non-stop action and diversity of settings: As the plot progresses, readers witness lots of action, near-misses, and pursuers, and assassins in exciting locations such as vineyards, resorts, and mountain-top lodges – and the chase is always on.” Mystery Tribune
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