by Alicia Singleton
Genre: Christian Suspense
My Rating: 4.75 of 5.0
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Child advocate Lelia Freeman saves children for a living. As the director of ChildSafe Shelters, she ventures to abandoned squats and crackhouses to rescue teens from the hellish streets of Los Angeles. When she is summoned to Washington to serve on a committee that aids the children of a war-torn African nation, Lelia is kidnapped and becomes a political pawn in a sinister conspiracy. Oceans away from everything she knows, she must trust a mercenary to save her life, or die in the clutches of a psychopath.
Hunting, combat and staying alive are Elijah Dune's specialties. Vengeance is his passion. Haunted by past demons, he travels to the Motherland to collect a debt. A debt that demands one payment. Death.
Caught in the crosshairs of a madman, Lelia and Elijah must survive the jungles of Zaire and the horrors of their pasts or be forever consumed by the DARK SIDE OF VALOR.
Lelia Freeman became a frightened teen on the streets of Los Angeles trying to stay out of the hands of the crack dealers and pimps. She finally becomes desperate enough to seek help through a local church. But before she can lead the church brother to her sick young ‘street sister’, the local pimp and his thugs snatch Joella and threaten both girls. When Lelia wakes up in the hospital she finds the church family there to take care of her. Unfortunately all she has left of Joella is a half-heart pendant.
Lelia returns to the streets to help others. Her fame and success as a valiant street warrior result in her being pulled onto a government task force to aid children of an African country devastated by civil war. She takes her role reluctantly but is determined to push for the protection of the children. Instead she is caught in the middle of a rebellious faction and the ruling government. She is kidnapped and wakes up in Africa.
Lelia remains stubborn and defiant to her kidnapper and one mysterious household servant comes to her aid. She is led out of the house in secret and placed under the care of two mercenaries. One is a charming rogue and the other is a brooding, intense man with secrets of his own. Elijah's plans of revenge did not include rescue. Lelia survived the hood, the streets of Los Angeles, and a malicious kidnapper. But will she survive the unexpected dangers of revenge in the jungle?
Ms. Singleton does a great job of putting the reader in the setting of the hood, the streets and the jungle. She also pulled me into the lives of her characters so that I felt Lelia’s anguish, longings, fear and heartbreak of betrayal. I really liked Elijah’s dark, moody character. His secret creates a great twist and adds trauma and conflict to an already action packed story.
The faith aspects of the story are subtly established through the wonderful church family who adopt Lelia as one of their own. The underlying foundation they teach her brings strength to Lelia at her most dire and despairing moments.
I very much enjoyed the fast-paced action, the tension and the dangers described. I felt that the return of the kidnapper was a bit of a stretch although it made for good excitement. The first part of the book seemed so authentic but I was a bit disappointed that there was no clear resolution on the political and international entanglement that the kidnapping would have created. This was the story’s only weakness.
The story was even better than I anticipated. If you like stories with real-life settings, strong characters and lots of action you should like this one. I will definitely be glad to read more by this author.
Tears wouldn't come. She felt too numb to cry. After she'd lost Joella, she'd promised herself she'd never fell that much. Not again. Sometimes lies and promises share the same face. Page 69.
The image of him looking over his wife and daughter's graves kept sentry in her brain. Her heart bled for him. A product of misery, the tragedy shaped the man, had destroyed him.
She's see it before. Lives molded by pain. Each kid she's helped had his own terror-patterned existence. Page 293
A BIG thank you to Alicia Singleton for providing this book for review through Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour.
Join Alicia Singleton, author of the suspense novel, Dark Side of Valor (Simon & Schuster/Strebor), as she virtually tours the blogosphere June 4 – August 24 2012 on her second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! Alicia has agreed to give away a $100 Visa Gift Card at the end of her tour and you could be the one! Find out how you can win by scrolling down and enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. Stop off at all her blog stops for more entries. Good luck!
ABOUT ALICIA SINGLETONBorn and raised in Philadelphia, the Howard University graduate embraced the written word at an early age. She credits this to her loving, older sister whom, while they were youngsters, made the author eat lotion on a regular basis. Realizing the need to sound-out the ingredients on the lotion label, Alicia stopped the lotion-eating practice, but continued to read the labels of the concoctions her sister brought for her to try. This early necessity to read flowered to a passion; hence, a writer was born.The award winning author resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son. Still an avid reader, label or otherwise, Alicia is hard at work completing her next suspense novel.Her latest book is the suspense novel, Dark Side of Valor. Visit Alicia’s website at www.aliciasingleton.com.
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