Present Danger (Book 1 Rocky Mountain Courage)
April 6th 2021
Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard is full of action and twists. Readers will be kept on the edge of their seats as they try to figure out the clues dispersed throughout the novel. A reunion romance, an intriguing mystery, and a theme that includes forgiveness are all the ingredients needed for a riveting story.
“I have been interested in the subject matter about artifact trafficking for quite some time. As I was researching about the heroine, I spoke to a Forest Service Special Agent in charge to find out what that profession does. One of the things they investigate is archeological crimes. It was the perfect opening. This is how I could get the heroine, Terra, involved in the investigation since her expertise was needed. I was excited to use some of what I read and put it into the story.”
The plot begins with pilot Chance Carter crashing into Southern Montana. Although he survives, his cargo disappears along with his rescuer. During a search and rescue mission former FBI Agent, now a Montana County Sheriff Detective, Jack Tanner, along with US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors, find a body. They later find out that the fall was not accidental, but a murder. While investigating the death they find stolen Native American artifacts in a remote cabin. Both realize that these artifacts are being trafficked, a la “Indiana Jones,” although this plot is much more realistic. The closer they get to the culprits the more danger Terra and Jack put themselves in.
“Terra is strong, complicated, guarded, and determined. She carries some baggage since she feels she has to live up to her mother’s reputation who made the ultimate sacrifice. Terra is family oriented, and a nature lover like her mother. Jack was a minor character from the previous book. He is caring and anxious. Unlike Terra, he wants to erase his father’s reputation and past.”
The relationship between Terra and Jack is based on forgiveness, healing, and hope. As they work together, they realize that there are still feelings and question should the relationship have a second chance. Terra and Jack were college sweethearts until he left to join the FBI. She felt betrayed after he walked away and just left a note. But as they work together, both realize that their feelings for each other never died. They have a chemistry, which provides plenty of romantic tension.”
“They had a previous romance while in college. They still carry the torch for each other although there are trust issues. Terra has been deserted by those she loves either by having that person die or someone who left her. She has had a lot of heart break.”
Besides struggling with the relationship, they are also struggling with their past. Terra’s mother died conducting a search & rescue mission in the mountains, and Terra is trying to live up to her mother’s heroism. Jack has come home to help his aunt who raised him and appears to be suffering from dementia. He also wants to make sure he never turns into his father who Jack has no respect for.
Goddard builds the momentum page by page. This novel is a great suspense thriller filled with a shocking ending and misdirection. The author does a great job of developing characters with real flaws and issues to overcome.