Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #3) by Katie Ruggle

source: free ARC via Netgalley and Sourcebooks
title: Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit 3)
author: Katie Ruggle{Twitter}
surpages: 352
published: February 6th 2018 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
genre: romantic suspense
first line: “Alice!”
rated: 3 out of 5

He’s always been a haven:
For the lost. The sick. The injured.
But when a hunted woman takes shelter in his arms, this gentle giant swears he’ll do more than heal her battered spirit—he’ll defend her with his life.

K9 Officer Otto Gunnersen always had a soft spot for anyone in need. As Monroe’s very own Dr. Doolittle, he dedicates himself to rehabilitating the injured souls that cross his path—but for all his big heart, he’s never been in love.

Until he meets Sarah Clifton’s haunted eyes. Until he realizes he’ll do anything to save her.

All Sarah wants is to escape a life caught between ambitious crime families, but there’s no outrunning her past. Her power-mad brother would hunt her to the ends of the earth…but he’d never expect Sarah to fight back. With Otto and the whole of Monroe, Colorado by her side, Sarah’s finally ready to face whatever comes her way.

It’s time to take a stand.

my thoughts:
Survive the Night is book three in the Rocky Mountain K9 Unit series Katie Ruggle and as soon as my dog loving self saw the awesome cover and read the blurb my attention was peaked. This author has the “hot cops with dogs” book cover market mastered by the way, take a peek at her website to see for yourself. This installment had its good and its bad parts and I would like to read the first in the series to get a little more backstory. I’m going to pick this one apart a little. This review contains minor spoilers.

This third installment starts off with Alice being held captive by her brother who is planning on marrying her off to a man from the Jovanovic family against her will. He is using her as a pawn. A mysterious man helps Alice escape from her brother’s highly guarded house and she ends up in small town Monroe, Colorado under a new name, Sarah Clifton. Her escape contact connects her with Jules and Grace along with a couple of police officers from the Monroe P.D. Sarah is to live with them until her brother and his goons are captured and she can consider herself officially safe. Jules and Grace were also on the run at one point and victims of the Jovanovic clan.

Enter canine officer Otto Gunnersen who is a viking type teddy-bear who rescues stray animals and cares for them at home. He has a horse, a goat, a cat and a pit-bull mix among others.

It is love at first sight for Otto, he is rendered speechless when he meets Alice/Sarah. 22-year-old Sarah falls for Otto pretty quickly also. He ends up offering to take her into his home temporarily because her brother and an associate have been arrested but his goons are still out there trying to get to her. As Sarah and Otto start to fall for each other, she knows she will never be able to live a normal life until her brother is in prison for good.

What I liked: The romance and suspense.

Otto is a sweetheart, he is a police officer, he rescues animals and shows Sarah nothing but respect and care. Sarah moves in with him and she gets a job in town and tries to start to create a life for herself. She has lived under her brother and her father’s rule her whole life and she finally knows what freedom feels like.

Author Katie Ruggle is great at building up suspense and at writing a kind beta hero which I enjoyed. The atmosphere and tension she created during some scenes were great and had me on the edge of my seat.

As far as the romance went, it moved along quickly but it made sense because these two are in the middle of danger and time is of the essence. I like that Sarah wanted to appreciate the time she had with Otto and not waste it. The same went for Otto, they wanted to live in the moment.

“Sarah memorized what he looked like, the angles of his cheek and jaw, his full mouth, his gentle expression and warm eyes. If she had to leave, at least she’d have this amazing memory of him.”
63% Nook, Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #3) by Katie Ruggle


What I disliked: Suspension of disbelief and lack of characterization when it came to the villains. 

I had a few issues with Survive the Night mainly the suspension of disbelief needed while reading as well as the lack of backstory and character depth when it came to the criminals and their motives.

I wondered why were the Jovanovics and Sarah’s brother so evil? I know this is the third installment, but like I mentioned a little back story would have helped greatly as the book moved along. These evil characters were cardboard cutouts of bad guys. There was no depth to them. There wasn’t an explanation as to why Alice was living captive under her brother’s hold or what her brother is exactly into, but I read an uncorrected proof so maybe in the final edited copy they fill in the details. And towards the end of the story I just felt like it was all too over the top, there were helicopters, explosions, a small militia and all kinds of crazy sauce going on at this point.

And while I enjoyed the romance for the most part, I also wished it were more realistic. Sarah decides pretty early on that Otto is the man for her. She has never been romantically involved with anyone, she’s a virgin, she was raised totally sheltered and was victimized, living in captivity so it kind of made sense she cling to Otto straight away but it also irritated me.

“As the kiss turned from hungry to greedy and then back to tender, Sarah just knew: Otto was the one for her. Any other man would pale in comparison to his gentle strength and kindness, not to mention how he erased the rest of the world with one look.”
50%, Survive the Night

I felt like she needed a therapist to help her sort through everything she suffered at the hands of her brother and father. Meeting a hot cop and his rescued animals can only help a girl so much. Therapy is needed. Throw a hint about a therapist in there at some point, especially at the end once things are wrapped up.

Also, speaking of being a virgin and of unrealistic scenes:

“She reached up and pulled his head down, and their mouths met in a kiss that was wild and almost savage-and so, so sweet.

Finally, he entered her, and it was heaven.”

63% Nook, Survive the Night

Heaven? Negative. I have a vagina and I know that is not what first time sex is like. That scene felt off to me and I just rolled my eyes.

So while the romance for the most part was sweet, the animal rescue part of the plot was nice and I liked the suspense and buildup, I wish I could have enjoyed this one a little more. I’d have liked to have seen more character development, backstory and a plot that was more realistic.

This one has gotten some great reviews and the series itself looks like a good one. I wouldn’t mind reading the first book to get a little more information as to the whys and hows.

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free copy of Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit 3) via Netgalley and Sourcebooks.
Some of the links in the post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission.

18 thoughts on “Survive the Night (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #3) by Katie Ruggle

  1. I really want to give this series a try. It sounds like this isn’t the strongest of books what with the flaws you mentioned, but still entertaining. I think the lack of character of development of the villains would bother me too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to try this series as I wasn’t a fan of her other one, the first book. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to read about a protagonist that is way younger than I am, especially in modern day romances.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to admit that the ‘eye candy’ covers are great, although I may get arrested for ‘cradle snatching’ just for looking at them!!

    I’m put off completely by the fact that the books seem to need to be read in order to make much sense of them and on checking out Katie’s website, I see that her other genre of writing is erotic romance. Apart from the fact that this is another genre I don’t particularly enjoy reading, that might explain some of the comments in your review … Perhaps the lines between the two genres are becoming a little too blurred … What do you think, or am I reading this all wrong?

    Thanks for sharing 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • lol the covers are too good to look away 🙂
      In my opinion, I think they do need to be read in order or at least reading the first one first is a good idea.
      I don’t think she has blurred the lines here, there weren’t too many love scenes, it was more romantic suspense but I felt like the character build up needed work as well as the storyline being a little more realistic.
      Thank for stopping and for you comments, I hope you are enjoying your Sunday!


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