Monday, May 7, 2018

Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Submerged by Dani Pettrey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bailey Craig has been running from her past for years when it finally catches up to her. Forced to return home due to the sudden death of her closest relative, she must face her sordid history along with her first and only love.

Cole McKenna has experienced his fair share of loss, but none that impacted him like losing Bailey. When she returns to town, he finds himself torn. Should he protect himself from the one woman with the power to wreck his life again or hold on tight to a friend that's hurting? When mysterious killings rock the small town, they are forced to put all else aside to bring the killer to justice.


Love the name Cole McKenna. The family dynamic between Cole and his siblings seems really well done. Pettrey writes the characters so that you can connect with them almost instantly with surprising familiarity. The main characters are wonderfully rounded, their backstories bringing added depth to their current struggles and to the current relationships (or lack thereof). Play between sub characters is entertaining and doesn't detract from the story line, but adds more intrigue and inspires a desire to know them better. Probably most importantly, the male characters are wonderfully masculine but not overpowering, and the female characters perfectly feminine without feeling weak.

1 name slip up (chapter 27 - Kindle edition): calls Henry Reid's passengers "Gus's passengers"

My Character Inspiration

Jensen Ackles as Cole McKenna
Candice Swanepoel as Bailey Craig


Love the prologue! You get to jump straight into the adventure and suspense from the very beginning of the story, and it only gets better from there. Pettrey is great at sequencing events so that you can not only follow the action, but that there are perfect reprieves from intensity that bring added potency to climactic events. Perfect bad guy reveal! Great motive and diabolical plan.

The emotional scene at the end of Chapter 46 felt a little forced, but not so much that it was really awkward.


Takes place in Alaska, Tariuk Island. Bailey lived in Oregon for a while. Wonderful scene descriptions. Is Yancey Alaska a real place? Because I definitely wouldn't mind a trip there!

Date discrepancy between chapters 16 & 18 (Friday night vs. Thursday night)


Good vocabulary usage, smooth transitions from dialogue to action and back. Really great sentence flow makes story pacing a breeze, keeping you invested in the story all the way through. The story really evolves naturally and the composition is executed perfectly.


The spiritual center of this book really revolves around Bailey and her life before Christ. She struggles with overcoming the image she earned in high school. Even though she's given her life to Christ, she can't seem to accept the fact that he loves her in spite of her past, and is instead living in the guilt an judgement of herself and her peers. The redemption and grace aspect of this book is really powerful and something I think everyone can relate to at one point or another.

I love the way Cole and Bailey are constantly in prayer throughout the book. It really demonstrates a true depth to their Christian values. Powerful spiritual growth and development radiate throughout the book - especially in Bailey's life - and any as a perfect companion to the mystery without detracting from the plot, but enriching the experience.

Favorite quotes

"Work hard. Serve diligently. Do something you love."

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

"Christ did not only save her from her sins, but He loved her. Not based on how she measured up, but because she was His."

My Thoughts

First off, I just can't even begin to describe how much I love this series. From the cover art to the story line, the characters and gorgeous, rugged settings, I just can't get enough.

I love it when stories really touch my heart and challenge me as a believer, and that's exactly what this book did. I, similarly to the female protagonist, have a colorful past that I'm not proud of. But also like Bailey, I have become a new creation in Christ Jesus. I struggled for a long time with the guilt and shame of the past and couldn't really bring myself to accept God's forgiveness or forgive myself. 

God really used two people to show me how powerful His love is. The first was a woman who should have hated me for what I had done to her and her family, but instead, she offered her forgiveness in a display of grace that I will never forget as long as I live. I can't fathom the strength it takes to forgive an adulteress, but I thank God for her and the power that He gave her. Her mercy was the catalyst that lead to my repentance. The second person is my wonderful husband. Mike knows everything about me -- my sad history, my addiction to good literature, my penchant for mischief, the depth of my goofiness, and my HUGE problem with time management and self-discipline -- and yet, through all of that, he chooses to love me and lead me with a servant's heart every day. His consistency and arguably blind love for me has not only helped heal me, but encourages me to strive to be the woman God's intended me to be.

When we can accept our position in Christ, as a beloved child of God, it has the potential to change every aspect of our lives. We are freed from being concerned about what people think about us because we know what God thinks about us. We are freed from condemnation because we know we are saved. We are freed from worry because we know God is our provider and protector.

I hope you take a moment to just revel in the freedom we have in Christ today.

"In you, O Lord, I put my trust;
     Let me not be ashamed;
     Deliver me in Your righteousness.
     Bow down Your ear to me,
     Deliver me speedily;
     Be my rock of refuge,
     A fortress of defense to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
     Therefore, for Your name's sake,
     Lead me and guide me.
     Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
     For You are my strength.
     Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
     You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.
I have hated those who regard useless idols;
     But I trust in the Lord.
     I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,
     For You have considered my trouble;
     You have known my soul in adversities,
     And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;
     You have set my feet in a wide place."
Psalm 31:1-8



  1. Hi Tiffany,
    Thank you so much for reading Submerged and for the amazing, thoughtful review. I'm so blessed by your words and I love who you picked for Cole and Bailey. It's so funny, I'm using Jensen Ackles right now for inspiration for the character I'm currently writing for the first book in my upcoming Coastal Guardians series.

    1. How funny! That's so great. I can't wait to read it! Thanks for reading my review and for the reply. I'm going a little fan-girl crazy right now, so I'll just leave it at that. :)