About the Book
Author: Valerie Massey Goree
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense
Release date: August, 2019
International Retrieval Organization Agent Lela Ortiz is assigned the kidnapping case of businessman, Chuck Davenport. When her boss allows Chuck’s brother-in-law to assist, Lela accepts the help with reservations, especially when Jay Vashon prays to God at the most inopportune times.
Jay would do anything to help bring his brother-in-law home, even work with hesitant Agent Ortiz. As Jay helps Lela decipher the clues sent to Chuck’s special-needs son, Jay begins to fall for the feisty IRO agent.
Can Jay break through the barrier Lela has constructed around her heart? Will Lela be able to overcome her distrust of men and God? And what of Chuck? Can the pair locate him before the ransom deadline?
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This novel is a pleasant change from the usual CIA/FBI ones of suspense. The main character, Lela, works for a private retrieval company. That allows for more character development and character action. And there is lots of character interaction, much more than suspense. Lela is joined in the retrieval of a kidnapped businessman by the man's brother-in-law, Jay. Both Lela and Jay have deep emotional scars from the past. Much of the budding romance consists of repeatedly pulling out past hurts in each other. Goree has also added personal problems to the mix, such as the intrusion of Jay's past girlfriend and a medical emergency in Lela's family. Those problems are not essential to the plot but do flesh out the characters involved.
This is a good novel for readers who enjoy an emphasis on character development and a budding romance rather than suspenseful action. There are spurts of suspense but suspense is not the focus of the plot. The strength of this novel is the strong Christian influence and clear gospel message.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
After serving as missionaries in her home country of Zimbabwe and raising two children, Glenn and Valerie moved to Texas. She worked in the public school system for many years, focusing on students with special needs. Now retired in Washington, Valerie spends her time writing, and spoiling her grandchildren.
Novels include: Deceive Me Once; Colors of Deceit; The Stolen Lives Trilogy, Weep in the Night; Day of Reckoning; and Justice at Dawn, to be released July, 2021. Valerie’s latest novel Forever Under Blue Skies, is now available from Amazon.
Valerie loves to hear from her readers.
Check Valerie’s website to learn more about her books: www.valeriegoreeauthor.com
More from Valerie
“Dressed in black, Lela stretched out of the chair like a panther on the hunt.” Would that sentence entice you to know more about Lela?
It worked for me, and I wrote the sentence!
Here’s how it all came about. When I outlined the plots for my Stolen Lives Trilogy, I knew that an International Retrieval Organization (IRO) agent mentioned in Book One would became the star in Book Two, and an agent highlighted in Book Two would take the lead in Book Three.
I first ‘met’ Lela Ortiz two-thirds of the way into writing Weep in the Night, Book One in the trilogy. She was a minor character, a proficient agent, but serious and quiet. Up until that point, I still hadn’t decided which agent would go on to fame in the next book. However, when I wrote the sentence already quoted, I knew Lela was my gal.
Ooh. I fell in love with that description of her and had to delve into her backstory. Why was she so serious? What happened in her past to make her such a good agent? At first, I decided she was an orphan, but she ‘informed’ me she had a loving family. Scratch that idea. If her troubles didn’t stem from her immediate family, where did they originate?
Quite often a character will ‘give’ me details during a conversation with another member of the cast. My plan might be for the plot to veer left, then lo and behold, the character will say something that takes the story in a completely different direction. This may sound strange to some readers, but believe me, many authors will agree that if your character isn’t ‘talking’ to you, maybe it’s because you’re taking them in the wrong direction. Lela certainly did that with me. And I think her story is so much richer and deeper than the one I’d originally planned.
After you read about her life before becoming an agent, you’ll understand her desire to help people, and why her boss holds her in high regard.
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