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Book Review: Salvaging Truth by Joanne Jaytanie

Famed marine biologist and researcher Claudia Rawlings is presumed dead by everyone but her daughter Riley. When Claudia’s research vessel goes down presumidly with no survivors, Riley goes on a desperate search for any sign of Claudia, eventually turning to Dagger Eastin, co-owner of Hunters and Seekers a marine salvage business. Dagger soon realize this isn’t a simple search and reclaim mission when someone takes a shot at him during an exploratory  dive with Riley. Former Navy SEALs, Dagger and his partners Kaleb LaSalle and Stone Garrison are the definition of relentless, and they quickly become embroiled in the investigation that has caught the attention of some very influential people, all seeking Claudia’s important research. But Riley learns that her mother has left behind clues to her missing research, and the Hunters and Seekers pull out all the stops to help and protect Riley. The wild scavenger hunt sends Dagger and Riley on a trip through Riley’s past, but Russian spies, big oil, and psychopathic hitmen lurk around every corner as Riley seeks her mother’s legacy.  

Much more than a pretty face, Riley is a smart, successful female main character. Shadowed by a hitman and refusing to patiently wait for the official investigation, Riley faces challenge after challenge. Despite being thrust into a dangerous environment, she refuses to play the timid female victim, but she is isn’t without vulnerability, knowing instead when it is time to ask for help and rely on Dagger’s expertise. Riley is fallible protagonist with guts and brains, creating instant connection for the reader.

The first in a series, Salvaging Truth introduces readers to three heartthrobs destined to create an immediate book crush. The men of Hunters and Seekers are not only tall, dark, and handsome, but smart, funny, and lethal. The relationship between this “band of brothers” is touching and promises myriad future adventures. The touching bond these men share creates an extended-family that is almost as close as Riley is with her mother. In fact, “created families” is a strong theme within the novel. Riley, an only child whose father passed away a number of years prior to the novel’s action, finds a family when she meets Dagger, Kaleb, and Stone. Many times, she relies on these men to not only protect her but to also provide the emotional stability she needs when she believes her mother has been killed. As she follows the clues to her mother’s research, she relives many important familial moments while creating this new family with Dagger.

In this mystery as dark as the depths, dangers and secrets abound. Mystery and romance lovers will devour this fast-paced thriller.

This review was written for Chanticleer Reviews.