Friday, May 11, 2018

Stranded by Dani Pettrey

Stranded by Dani Pettrey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Investigative reporting is in her past and good riddance, but when Darcy St. James's former partner asks for her help and then mysteriously disappears, she has to use those skills to find her friend and uncover a scheme that has ruined and ended lives.

Gage McKenna is over her. There's no way he's letting Darcy sneak into his heart. It's too fractured to handle one more heartbreak. But when she sails back into his life, he discovers that choice may already be out of his hands. Will she be his undoing or the key to healing?

Great spring or vacation read.


Gage is a fantastic tortured soul. His past is well done even though I don't feel like there's any repentance or remorse over the actions leaving up to his biggest heartbreak. His redemptive story is good, but felt a little off -- maybe rushed? Darcy has such a great heart for unbelievers. Unfortunately, although she is very likable, her circumstances always make the character seem flighty, lacking some of the grounding elements that would make her feel more realistic.

My Character Inspiration

Henry Cavill as Gage McKenna
Carrie Underwood as Darcy St. James


Wonderful mystery kickoff in the prologue. The premise is so intriguing, and the story line contains perfectly timed reveals and twists. The villains were easier to predict, but it didn't take away from the suspense aspects. I also love the "teasers" when perspective shifts to characters that will have their own books later in the series.

There are a few elements that aren't very believable - picking of electronic locks seemingly without any equipment and no password protection or security on a computer full of personal employment information are two that really stand out.


Mid-May. Alaskan Pacific, Yancey, Tariuk island, Alaska. Cruise ship and mostly uninhabited islands. As usual, the descriptions of places really bring the story to life.


From sentence structure to plot flow, the technical writing aspects are great. Things, people, and places are woven together in a way that draws you into the story, captivating your attention and your heart.


How can God let suffering happen? Gage can't fathom a God who could take his newborn son, leaving him hurting and broken. His struggles with this are real and impactful, and I love Pettrey's answers to his questions.

We are Messengers, but we can't be saviors. Darcy is such a great witness, outspoken about her faith (as she seems to be with everything) and genuinely cares for those who are not saved, but because of that burden, she struggles with giving it over to God. I like that she grows in this area and that you get to see some of the results of her work and prayers.

I really enjoy the overt spirituality and spiritual struggles the characters go through.

My Thoughts

Lately, it seems like so many people around me have lost children to miscarriages, cancer, and other tragedies. Every single time, my heart breaks at the suffering the parents face and the struggle that they continue to walk through on almost a daily basis as a result. Like the characters in this book, sometimes I find myself asking "Where are you, God!?" I can't fathom why these wonderful parents don't get to live out a life they expected with their beloved children.

Firstly, I have to remember that our children are not really our own. We are stewards of these wonderful beings, but ultimately they are His and He loves them infinitely more than we can even imagine. I can't wrap my head around what it would be like to lose a child and I pray that I never have to experience it, but when we have an eternal focus, we can see through the loss we feel and envision our child in heaven without having to go through the vast problems they would encounter in our world. God didn't take them because we weren't good enough to be their parents -- He wouldn't have created the child in our womb if that was the case. He took them because that was His plan for that child from the beginning of time, and His crazy abundant love chose to have that child make it to heaven before we do. That can be hard to understand while we are still in the only reality we know, but our ultimate goal is to do exactly what that child already achieved. They aren't missing out on life, but rather getting to live the ultimate life from the start.

Secondly, I know it's cliché, but they really are in a better place. This world we live in is so full of pain, suffering, and trials, but it will pass in the blinking of an eye. God has been working on my heart, changing me to have more of an eternal mindset. I'm realizing that I'm not supposed to find fulfillment in this world, but in my Creator. The end goal is not to be really great on this earth, but to worship God for all eternity because of what He did for me - not what I did while in my current shell.

I hope this book and post will encourage you if you're walking through a hard time. I'm praying for you, as always, but if you have anything on your heart you'd specifically like prayer for, please send me a message (there's a contact form right on the side of this page). Love you all and thanks for stopping by!

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb"
Psalm 139:13

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18


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