About the Book:
Her best friend’s been murdered and Brazilian orphanage director Regina da Silva will do whatever it takes to protect her friend’s baby. Even if it means dealing with an intimidating man she’s not sure she can trust.
Former Army Ranger Brooks Andersonrefuses to protect anyone ever again. The last time he did, the woman and child both died. He’s just here to transport an orphan for adoption, as promised, and then he’s outta there.
But when bullets fly, Brooks and Reginarisk everything and dive headlong into danger to protect one defenseless child.
As the killer closes in and long-buried secrets come to light, they’ll have to trust each other to stay alive.
Will that be enough to save their little angel--and themselves—from plunging to their deaths over the Falls?
This book grabbed my attention and held it the whole way through. It had lots of action. Regina works in an orphanage in Brazil, and when her best friend is killed, she has to take care of her child. Brooks, the son of the orphanage directors is sent to bring the child back to America. Brooks and Regina end up on the run fighting for their lives. This book left you on the edge of your seat. You think that Brooks and Regina have escaped peril, but something occurs that throws them right back in. There is also a great message of redememption in this book, that GOD will forgive anything. If you are looking for an intense, edge-of-your seat thriller, this is the book for you. Great job Connie.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About the Author:
Connie Mann loves stories that combine suspense, adventure and second chances. She offers encouragement to busy women on her blog: www.BusyWomenBigDreams.comand is an active member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She’s also a USCG-licensed boat captain, so when she’s not writing, she’s usually on Central Florida’s waterways with local school children or her fabulous family.
Her latest book is the Christian fiction, Angel Falls.
Please visit her online at: www.conniemann.com.
CONNECT WITH CONNIE:
Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, Present Day
Regina da Silva tied the laces on her cracked leather boots and yanked the hand-knitted wool stockings Olga made her last Christmas up past her knees. Outside, an icy wind fought to get in through the wooden shutters guarding House of Angels’ orphanage. She straightened the layers of skirts swirling around her ankles, knowing she’d give away all but one before the night ended.
She didn’t want to go out tonight, and that made her feel small and selfish. And guilty. So she hefted the wicker basket filled with meat pastries and opened the door—before she changed her mind. On nights like tonight, she didn’t know which she hated most—the cold, or the memories.
“You are still going out tonight, Regina?” Irene demanded quietly from behind her, voice heavy with accusation. And disappointment.
“Just this one night, Regina, stay home. We’ll talk. Laugh, maybe even shed a few tears. Minha amiga, even Jesus took time off for his friends.”
Reginaswallowed hard and glanced over her shoulder at the sagging sofa, where Irene sat with her feet curled under her, cuddling her three-month-old son. The pleading tone almost demolished the fence guarding Regina’s mouth.
A gust of wind snatched the door from her grasp and slammed it against the wall, the crash a call to arms. “If I don’t go, who will?” Reginaasked. She didn’t add, “since you aren’t anymore,” but it echoed in the room nonetheless. Reginatried to keep the hurt out of her voice. She still couldn’t believe Irene and little Eduardo were moving to the United States in the morning and leaving her behind. She was thrilled for Irene. She was furious, too, and mad at herself for feeling that way. But she couldn’t find words for any of it. So she simply pointed to the basket and said, “Olga has the meat pastries ready and Jorge packed extra blankets.” Reginapulled on a pair of handmade mittens, carefully pulling together the hole in one thumb.
Irene sent her a piercing sad-eyed look. “You can’t save them all, you know.”
At the familiar argument, Reginamet her gaze, eyes hot, and repeated what she always said in response. “Maybe not. But I can save some.”
Irene sighed. “I’ll pick you up in the morning, then. Be safe, my friend.”
Reginakissed her friend on both cheeks, did the same for Eduardo, and then headed out before she caved in to Irene’s pleading. The wind hacked through the slums, andReginahunched farther into her threadbare coat, determined to ignore everything but the task at hand. Especially the memories.
She shifted her grasp on the heavy basket and kept her eyes fixed on the barrel of burning trash ahead. Automatically avoiding open sewers and billowing newspapers, she followed the dancing flames like a ship to a lighthouse. Odd that both lights warned of danger, yet promised safety.
Reginatightened her scarf and snorted. Here on the streets, safety was an illusion, a wish unfulfilled. How many nights had she and Irene spent just like these street children, huddled around a barrel, protecting their right to be there by clutching a switchblade in a shaking fist? They would probably be dead if not for Noah Anderson, who had done exactly what Reginawould do tonight. What she and Irene had done together for years.
But everything had changed. Irene planned to take Eduardo to Floridaand leave Reginato run the orphanage alone. Her throat tightened, so she stepped up her pace, shoving self-pity roughly away. She had a job to do tonight. The children were cold and hungry and she could help—at least a little. Keep them safe, God, please.
Reginaknew the exact moment the children caught the scent of meat pastry, for suddenly a swarm of children surrounded her, shouting, “Senhorita Anjo, um pastel,um pastel.”
Reginasmiled warmly, though she still couldn’t get used to being called Miss Angel, even after four years as co-director of House of Angels.
The crowd surged, pressing close, but Regina’s willowy height worked to her advantage. “Hello, children. Fernando, Stephan, back up and let the little ones closer.” Reginagently pulled the smaller children toward her, trying not to think about just how young they really were. Could Christiane be more than five? Already her beautiful brown eyes held dull acceptance, the understanding that life would never get any better than this—that hopes and dreams were for other, richer children.
Suddenly, the skin on the back of Regina’s neck prickled, and she stopped dead on the cracked sidewalk. Someone was watching her. Again. She hugged one of the children as she scanned the street, but saw nothing out of place, no one who didn’t belong. Yet there was someone there, someone with evil in mind. Every street child knew what that meant. If you were smart, you ran and hid.
Even fifteen years later, Regina’s flight instincts screamed just that. But she wouldn’t. Couldn’t. The children needed her. She fingered her switchblade and looked back, relieved to see old Jorge in the beat-up orphanage van, lumbering slowly up the cobbled street behind her. The groundskeeper had packed an extra box of blankets, in case the thermometer dropped sharply tonight. And he carried his own knife—just in case. Jorge clambered down from the van and opened the back doors.
“Go get a blanket, children. Fernando, where is the one I gave you yesterday?”
The instant the words left her mouth, Reginawanted to call them back. The twelve-year-old hung his head in shame and shrugged, telling her without words that someone had taken it from him and he hadn’t been able to stop them. “Go get another. It is all right,” she said gently, trying to spare his pride.
“Thank you, Senhorita Angel,” he said, but instead of heading toward the line forming behind the van, he disappeared into the shadows.
Reginatried to call him back, but snapped her attention to the basket when one of the newer boys tried to make off with two pastries. “One,” she said firmly, holding his thin wrist until he let go.
Within moments, the meat pastries were gone, the blankets dispersed, and she’d sent at least ten children to the van for a ride to the orphanage. If she could have fit more pallets into the dining hall, Reginawould have scooped up more children. And still, the crowd grew bigger than it had been before.
“Senhorita Angel,” a voice shouted.
Whirling around, Reginasaw Fernando running toward her. Panting, he skidded to a stop. “You must come, now. Please.”
Reginadidn’t hesitate. Before she reached the van, Jorge had started the engine and handed her medical bag through the window. He motioned her forward and prepared to follow.
“Let’s go,” she said, and smiled when Fernando grabbed her bag before galloping off. She couldn’t be sure if this was his attempt at gallantry, or a way to make sure she kept up with his punishing pace. As she ran down narrow alleys and grim little streets, Reginaprepared to put the nurse’s training she’d received in the USto instant use. She prayed it would be enough. Too often, though, what little she could offer came years too late.
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