Tough Justice (K-9 Special Ops) – ARC review

Tough Justice
by Tee O’Fallon
Release Date:  March 29, 2022
Publisher: Amara
Book #1 in the K-9 Special Ops series
Number of Pages:  368
Kindle Edition
Source:  ARC from NetGalley
Romantic Suspense
Ages 15 and up
CW: drug overdose, kidnapping, violence
It should have been a routine investigation. Instead, DEA K-9 agent Adam “Deck” Decker watches in horror as one Denver hospital seems to be Ground Zero for overdoses of a new drug. Now Deck can only hope a certain icy, green-eyed ER doctor will help him and his canine partner track down the deadly source.

Dr. Tori Sampson has her reasons for not trusting federal agents, especially ones working for the DEA. But the rash of overdoses—including a heartbreaking case involving a teen—is alarmingly high. And the new opioid is not only extremely dangerous, it defies all the usual medical treatments. So Tori has a choice: work with the big, brawny, and annoyingly hot DEA agent…or watch more innocent people die.

Tori’s the only person who can help Deck break the case, and they’ll need to trust each other, no matter how high the tension and attraction sizzling between them runs. But with every question answered, they realize there’s something more behind these typical teen overdoses. There’s a pattern here, and a pattern can only suggest one thing. There’s a killer on the loose.

This is a new-to-me author, although I see she has many romantic suspense stories under her belt. I’m not a big dog person in real life, but there’s something about dogs in suspense books that I just love.

Tori is not a fan of the DEA, and that’s an understatement. Something happened to her father that landed him in prison in the past, and that was almost an issue for me. Not what her dad did or that she had a distrust of the DEA because of what her dad did, but because that “big secret” went on a bit too long from this reader’s perspective. It was bordering on getting annoying before we finally got the backstory of her dad’s arrest. I’m not a huge fan of the “big secret” trope, especially when it goes on too long. There was a lot of other story that didn’t deal directly with this issue so it kept me engaged, but when it would pop up I just wanted to know the story already.

Deck is gruff and uncompromising, but he’s also extremely loyal and kind. While Tori had not love lost for the DEA, Deck is adamantly opposed to any sort of drug, even those that are prescribed. Just like Tori has a reason behind her hatred, so does Deck. Both are valid, both characters are bit too rigid in their though process. No matter that they are, in a way, on different sides of the issue, they cannot deny they have chemistry. Plus, for what they are trying to accomplish to get a new deadly drug off the streets, they kind of need each other.

The pull these two have toward one another, no matter their resolutions to themselves, was intense and kept me turning the pages. So, although there was the plot point that was too drawn out and a few continuity issues, overall, I found this story to be great. There was a point where I thought too many characters were being introduced, but it sure kept me jumping around with my suspicions at first.

I’d love to check out more of this author’s books. I had a lot of fun with this story.

3.5 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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