Doesn’t Kill Her by Christina
Dodd brings back the fabulous characters of Cape Charade.
Dodd has outdone herself by creating this character-driven
story. The previous book presented the heroine Kellen Adams
as a victim, survivor, and warrior. But in this novel, readers
also see another aspect of her, as a mom. People will take
a journey with Kellen as she grows emotionally while overcoming
the trials and tribulations of having a seven-year-old daughter.
In the last book, readers learn that Kellen
escaped an abusive husband. Unfortunately, she could not escape
his family and was shot in the head where she lied in a coma
for thirteen months. After running away, she takes her cousin's
identity, and joined the military, rising to the ranks of
Captain. After getting a medical discharge, she found a job
at a Di Luca resort. While there she was reunited with Max
Di Luca, her former boyfriend and unbeknownst to her, the
father of her child, Rae.
Kellen undergoes a transition from being
frail to be tough. Dodd noted, "I wanted to write her
as someone strong, determined, and brave. The year of unconsciousness
had her go from Cecilia who needed someone to protect her
to Kellen, a self-sufficient person. In future books, this
character will have to come to grips with the split personality.
In the beginning, she was weak, but now she can take control
over her life."
Realistically, Dodd shows that not all women
are suited to motherhood and the bond does not necessarily
happen instantaneously. Wanting time to deal with all the
new reality Kellen takes a side job to deliver an archeological
piece to a recluse in the wilderness. Things do not go as
planned because two teams of men are out to kill, one wanting
revenge, and the other wanting the antique head. While being
ambushed Kellen realizes that her daughter Rae has been hiding,
wanting to bond with her mother. To escape the killers, both
are running for their lives through the wilderness. During
these scenes, it becomes apparent the two are becoming close.
“I based Rae on my two daughters. They
had an extraordinary vocabulary, possibly because they are
the children of an author. Rae is antsy, a typical seven-year-old.
She is a chatterbox, very literal, curious, has a good imagination,
and like her mother is a fighter. In the next book, she will
be ten years old and a handful as she undergoes personality
The banter between mother and daughter is at times hilariously
funny as they journey through this adventure together. This
dialogue between Rae and Kellen stole the story. Rae is a
chatterbox, an intelligent and sassy girl. She looks on her
mom as a Superhero, and she is the sidekick, naming them ThunderFlash
and LightningBug. Dodd portrays Rae as an innocent child who
is still at the age where she feels her parents can do no
wrong and looks up to them. Knowing her mom is a badass, she
wants to emulate her and does so with the Superhero hidden
identities. At the end of the book, Kellen described her daughter,
"She'll grow up to be a woman who allows no man to hurt
her, to abuse her, verbally or physically. She's going to
be strong. She's got my back, and I've got hers."
Readers will have a smile on their face throughout this story.
Although there are intense scenes, the humor makes for a wonderful