I stumbled upon Elle a while back through two Anthologies and I REALLY wanted to try more by her. Maybe starting with Dreamspun Desires wasn't the best idea as these tend to be less "sophisticated". I liked the idea behind this one, and I think, as a series, it holds promise but all in all it was quite disappointing. The romance was flat, with no real issues / difficulties, taking place in a rather short period of time. The mystery was the best part, though I'm not sure what I feel about the way it was resolved.
Karl Radin was born and raised in Alaska and he loves his job on the Coast Guard Rescue teams. He knows his job and feel capable but after losing his partner he is a bit weary of getting another "fresh" one. Dan looks like a promising prospect but he behaves a bit strange which makes it a difficult for Karl to trust him fully (which he needs considering the high risk in their job).
Dan Farnsworth came to Alaska and the Coase Guard Rescue team for one and only reason - to find out what happened to his brother - Axe Neal. A strong swimmer, better than him, he can't believe he simply drowned. His first prospect is ex-partner (and now his own partner) - Karl, but after seeing him in action it's obvious to Dan he couldn't be behind anything nefarious. All the other girls and gals at the station are pretty nice an accepting which makes it easy to build a connection, but it doesn't make his "job" of finding the truth easier.
Right in the beginning we get introduced to A LOT of people (not GOT a lot, but still a lot). I guess it has to do with the promise of a series (though it's been 3 years since this one was published and it's still the only one out) or maybe it was part of trying to build an interesting setting for the mystery. I'm not sure. For me it was a bit confusing, not to mention the rescue missions where I got totally and absolutely lost on what they were doing. Maybe it's me and English not being my mother tongue.
To sum it up - I wasn't a fan. I finished it because I wanted to and it wasn't that long, not because I found it overly engaging. I can't say I have a solid opinion about Karl and Dan as I'm not sure I actually KNOW them. Also if Karl was so devastated about everything that happened to his ex-partner how can he know so little about him personally? (at least the basic - him having a younger brother he practically raised). I feel like there was a lot of "meat" missing or maybe just too many "holes" but I'm not sure adding more pages would have solved the those issues. I think it's more the structure that wasn't solid enough.
I'm not letting this one derail me from trying out more by Elle. Hope I'll like the next ones better.