With her thrilling and emotive stories, Ronie Kendig’s name has
become synonymous with the military romantic suspense subgenre. Her latest book
and the finale to the A Breed Apart Series, Beowulf: Explosives Detection Dog (Barbour),
places a magnifying glass on the formidable dangers and challenges that face
servicemen and woman on a daily basis, whether deployed or stateside. Beowulf takes readers to new depths in
what is one of her most evocative stories yet.
Book three of the A Breed
Apart trilogy sees the return of Green Beret Tony (Candyman) VanAllen,
Kendig’s most combustible heroine, dog handler Timbrel Hogan along with her
temperamental guardian and service dog, Beowulf. The foundation for the trio’s
partnership has been laid in previous installments, so readers of the series
will already be familiar with the engaging and constant bantering between the
main characters, human and canine. Timbrel’s impenetrable defenses serve as a
protection against the unspeakable trauma of her past. Her personality is unyielding
and her tongue merciless against those who defy her or attempt to draw too
near. Her character foil, Candyman, is as stubborn as he is charismatic making
him the only man brave enough to challenge Timbrel’s volatility and lay siege
against her heart.
Kendig’s clever use of wit and comedy in Beowulf and Candyman’s
battle of wills gives moments of reprieve to the intense context and plot with
laugh out loud moments. Beowulf is an active participant in scenes and dialogue
with his antics and role as protector, deservedly earning him the titular
rights to the book. In fact, every character, whether animal or human, in this
novel and series play a crucial role in the complex plots.
More than just recounting the stories of valiant soldiers, Beowulf exposes the harrowing elements
of a life of service: traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, sexual assault,
amputations, disintegrating family structures. Never told in an accusatory or
belittling fashion, the goal is awareness and appreciation for the personal battles
weathered while ensuring freedom. Kendig’s writing expresses the utmost respect
and gratitude for the American armed forces, honoring their sacrifices with her
tales of tactical and emotional bravery. She keeps their dedication and
sacrifice at the forefront of a reader’s psyche while spinning a tale of love,
intrigue and adventure. Drawing inspiration from real men and women gives her
characters a dimensionality and relatability that burrows them deep in the
heart of a reader.
Kendig aims her words with precision, a markswoman with a pen.
She can induce terror as easily as affection with her deft use of description
and subtext. Her portrayal of the threat from a terrorist’s point of view is
chilling in its authenticity. Scenes of tactical engagement and battles lead
readers through gut-wrenching reactions that are visceral. Romantic elements
are never saccharine but built upon real emotions and the triumphs and failures
of human nature. In a word, Ronie Kendig’s novel is gritty.
Beowulf is a bittersweet
conclusion to an adrenaline driven series with heart and passion. Kendig dives
in to the terrorist underworld and creates indomitable characters of courage
and honor that readers can champion toward victory in all its forms.
Lydia Mazzei is a Canadian high school teacher by day and a blogger by
night. She has been a lifestyle blogger since 2007 and began her book
blog The Overweight Bookshelf in 2009 to share her
favorite past-time with fellow book addicts. As the name of her book
blog indicates, Lydia has a voracious appetite for books that has resulted in
bookshelves so heavy, they just might crash through the floor supports. Lydia also
serves on the Advisory Board of the Inspy Awards.