A Bookish Pet Peeve and One Author Who Convinced Me Otherwise

Confession: One of my big bookish pet peeves is a large cast of family characters. You know the ones I’m talking about; those huge family sagas that have about twenty relatives and each get their own book. Somehow these families found between the covers are super close and loving despite the drama that ensues among them. Yep, I can’t stand those books.

Why? Well, to be completely honest, I find them completely unrealistic and frustrating. I mean, you have this large family and it feels like a cookie-cutter perfect family that goes through ridiculous amounts of drama. And there are so many of them, I can never keep them straight since I’m so confused as to who’s who. On top of all that, many times the character development suffers as a result of so many characters. So suffice it to say that books with a large cast of characters pretty much repel me.

Phew. Sorry but I had to get that off my chest. I’m sure I’m in the minority on this but that’s how it goes folks.

Now, what does my little rant have to do with anything?

Well, I’m so glad you asked! There’s this one book that I read recently, that had me glued to the pages:

Submerged by Dani Pettrey
Alaskan Courage, Book 1
Bethany House, 2012

I absolutely loved Dani Pettrey’s first book in the Alaskan Courage series. The McKenna family has won me over. Yes, the McKenna family is a large one, with five siblings and some family-like friends, but it worked for me.

Each character had his or her own personality and flaws that jumped off the page. They were each so distinctive and I loved that. We have Cole, Gage, Kayden, Piper, and Reef. Five siblings and each one is their own person, with their own interests and quirks that I enjoyed reading. And I can’t wait to read each one of their stories. This book and the characters are so engaging and I enjoyed the way they interacted with one another.

First of all, this is Cole’s story, so we learn a lot about him in this book. He, as the eldest brother, has raised his siblings, in a sense, so he feels responsible for them and loves them fiercely. I loved his protectiveness and his desire to be the supportive big brother to his siblings.

I’m dying to read Piper’s story. I enjoyed her back-and-forth banter with Landon, the big-brother-like family friend. But is there more to that relationship? I’m really hoping the next book is about Piper because she was one of my favorite characters in this book.

Kayden is a character I can’t quite put my finger on yet, but she seems mysterious and I’d like to know more about her past.

Gage is intriguing to me. That tattoo of his has a story behind it. We got a tidbit of it in this book, but there’s a lot more to his story and I need to know it!

And finally we have Reef, the brother we haven’t even met yet. Now that is mysterious. And he is going to show up sooner or later, right? I mean he has to. You don’t mention an estranged brother and have it lead nowhere. He will return eventually, and I am very interested to see what happens when he shows up.

Submerged is a wonderful book. There is romance, intrigue, and suspense that keeps you engaged and eager to learn more about the characters. This book was a surprise for me, and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. Dani Pettrey has a talent for writing novels that are exciting and riveting. Time to add all of her books to my TBR list!

18 thoughts on “A Bookish Pet Peeve and One Author Who Convinced Me Otherwise

    1. I’m so glad you can relate, Jamie. Sometimes it just drives me crazy! That’s why I was so surprised when I fell in love with Dani’s book and all the characters. So happy I read it and can’t wait to continue! I’m jealous that you have her latest!!


  1. The only family saga series that I think is out of control (or that I know about) is Jillian Hart’s McKaslin clan books. Otherwise, I LOVE this family stories trend in Christian fiction. Susan May Warren, Denise Hunter and Dani Pettey are beautiful examples of this. And Cassie, I sure hope you enjoy the rest. I’m about to read Silenced and am super excited as Kayden is the sister I’ve most related too.

    If you like Dani’s check out Dee Henderson’s O’Malley books, too (or perhaps you already read those).


    1. I’ve actually never heard of Jillian Hart– just looked her up and it does look like she has quite a few! These family stories just aren’t my thing, but I’m glad that you enjoy them, Rissi 😉

      Eek! I so wish I could read Silenced right now! But, I really want to read Dani’s books in order so I won’t spoil it for myself. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for your review!

      And, no, I haven’t read Dee Henderson’s books, so I’ll go check them out. Thanks for the recommendation.


      1. Nothing wrong with not being a fan of the “family sagas.” (Yeah, Jillian’s are crazy albeit cute. They number in the 20’s and probably beyond – I didn’t ever read them all.) Thank goodness we all enjoy something different – that way we get an AWESOME array of talented authors to chose from. 🙂

        Enjoy Dani’s books. Glad you’re reading them in order (stay strong ;-D) – that is always my recommendation. Happy reading.


  2. This is also kind of a pet peeve of mine, but what really annoys me is that once I fall in love with the characters of one book, they’re hardly in the next book. But I think Dani Pettrey does a good job of making me fall in love with the main characters of the next book, too. I also would recommend the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson!


    1. Agreed, Stephanie! It’s sad when your favorite characters don’t show up much in the next books. I’m excited to continue with Dani’s next book and see how the family dynamics develop! Thanks for the recommendation!


  3. I know how you feel, I get very confused and lost in all the “family” too, but I am now reading Book 4 in this series and I’ve LOVED EVERY BOOK!!! I know you’ll love them too. I’ll be sad when the last book is written because I feel like I’ve become one of the McKenna’s family! 🙂

    I was looking at some other comments and I’ve read Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series and loved it!! There is also the Rock Harbor series by Colleen Coble…and so many more that my brain can’t think of right now!

    Enjoy the rest of this series. I’m thinking there will be a Book 5 in Dani’s series, but I don’t know for sure.


    1. That’s good to hear, Debbie– I just bought book 2 when I went to the bookstore the other day. I can never seem to leave without buying something!

      Thanks for the recommendations, I will have to take a look at these books. Everyone seems to love Dee Henderson, so I’m going to have to try one of her books.

      And yes, I’m pretty sure the last book will be about Reef, so I can’t wait!


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